Family Advisory Council

The Family Advisory Council is a diverse group of families whose children have received care (inpatient or outpatient) at one of Children’s facilities. They work collaboratively with staff to promote and enhance patient- and family-centered care and to improve the family and patient experiences. Learn more about our expectations of members of the Family Advisory Council.

Are you a Children’s staff member interested in collaborating with patient-families?  Would you like feedback on a project?  Do you have an idea or topic you would like to share before the Family Advisory Council?  If so, we would like to hear from you.  Please complete this form and send it to [email protected].

What The family advisory council does:

As part of our mission, the Family Advisory Council uses experiences, wisdom and diverse points of view to:

  • Promote patient- and family-centered care
  • Advise and advocate for children and their families
  • Encourage positive changes to Children’s and the community.

Core activities

The council enhances the quality of child and family care experiences by assisting in:

  • Service and facility development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Educational opportunities for staff, leadership, students, managers and all new employees.
  • Management of recommendations and concerns expressed by parents, family members, parent associations and others.
  • Policy review.


Use these fill-in-the-blank forms to help organize and track your child's medical information.

Resources and materials

The Family Advisory Council also publishes documents and resource materials to:

For example members of the Family Advisory Council prepared A Resource Guide for Families from Families (PDF)  to share important information and resources members have found to be helpful. While this packet may contain only some of the information families need, man families have found it to be a great place to start.

Excellence in Patient and Family-Centered Care Award

Family Advisory Council also gives out the Excellence in Patient and Family-Centered Care Award. This award gives families an opportunity to recognize and honor care providers who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to family-centered care. Nominate a provider.

Current members and staff

Take a minute to meet the people currently involved with the Family Advisory Council — including patient family members and Children’s employees.

Our Staff:

  • Roxanne Fernandes, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Bjorn Gunnerud, VP, Marketing and Communications
  • Joy Johnson-Lind, Senior Director of Child and Family Services
  • Tessa Billman, Patient and Family-Centered Care Coordinator
  • Joe Arms, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship Program Director and Emergency Staff Physician
  • Scott Elsbernd, Patient Care Manager, Float – Minneapolis Neonatal Care
  • Donna Eull, Clinical Practice Specialist, CPDP
  • Brian West, Program Assistant

Family Advisory Council members:

Support.Volunteer.FAC.Anderson Family 2015Amy Anderson
Children: Norah, born 2007; Molly, born 2010
Diagnosis: Norah: Extreme prematurity, born at 22 weeks and weighing 11 ounces. Molly: Born prematurely at 34 weeks; Septic staph infection (surgery at nine days old)
Campus: Minneapolis
Member: Since 2015

Support.Volunteer.FAC.Asp Family 2015Lindsay Asp
Children: Liam, born 2012; Lilly, born 2014
Diagnosis: Liam: Extreme prematurity, chronic lung disease
Campus: Minneapolis, Minnetonka
Member: Since 2014

Alison Barrick
Children: Sam and Ben, born 2010
Diagnosis: Ben: Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (congenital heart disease)
Campus: Minneapolis, St. Paul
Member: Since 2015

Grace Baltich
Children: Eva, born 2010; Kallan, born 2014
Diagnosis:  Kallan: Congenital Heart Disease, Double Outlet Right Ventricle, VSD, Pulmonary Atresia, Malposed Great Vessels, Rastelli Repair, Tachycardia, Hypothyroid
Campus:  Minneapolis
Member:  Since 2016

Support.Volunteer.FAC.Beasley Kids 2016Amy Beasley
Children:  Ashley, born 1997; Austin, born 1998; Anthony (AJ), born 2001; Andrew, born 2002; Andre, born 2003
Diagnosis:  Andre: Wilm’s Tumor
Campus:  Minneapolis
Member:  Since 2016

Support.Volunteer.FAC.Dallum Family 2015Sarah E. Dallum
Children: Franklin, born 2008; Benjamin, born 2011; Walter, born 2012; Rosemary, born 2014
Diagnosis: Benjamin: Severe brain trauma due to lack of oxygen at birth
Campus: Minneapolis
Member: Since 2014

Aimee Gabrielson
Children: Liam, born 2009; Anika and Ava, born 2012
Diagnosis: Liam: Right-sided diaphragmatic hernia; Anika and Ava: Born prematurely at 30 weeks
Campus: Minneapolis, St. Paul
Member: Since 2015

Heidi Graf
Children: Eva, born 1996; Liam, born 2000
Diagnosis: Liam: Smith-Magenis Syndrome
Campus: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Minnetonka, Shakopee (Metropolitan Pediatrics)
Member: Since 2014

Liz Hannan
Children: Margaret, born 1992; Mary, born 1995; Michael, born 2000
Diagnosis: Michael: Congenital heart disease, Down Syndrome
Campus: Minneapolis, St. Paul
Member: Since 2015

Support.Volunteer.FAC.Holzbauer Family 2015Stacy Holzbauer
Children: Isla and Klarise, born 2011
Diagnosis: Congenital heart disease
Campus: Minneapolis, St. Paul
Member: Since 2015

Support.Volunteer.FAC.Hughes Kids 2016Carrie Hughes
Children:  Keaton, born 2003; Parker, born 2004
Diagnosis:  Parker: Burkitts Lymphoma
Campus:  Minneapolis
Member:  Since 2016

Michelle Jackman / Chair
Children: Samantha
Diagnosis: Extreme prematurity
Campus: Minneapolis, St. Paul
Member: Since 2011

support.volunteer.FAC.Jenkins Family 2013Stacey Jenkins / Vice Chair
Children: Sam, born 2005; Maya, born 2007; Grant, born 2010
Diagnosis: Sam: Seizure disorder, multiple other concerns
Campus: Minneapolis, St. Paul
Member: Since 2013

Support.Volunteer.FAC.Johnston Family 2015John Johnston
Children: Mike, born 1998; Emma, born 2003
Diagnosis: Mike: Germinoma brain tumor
Campus: St. Paul, Minneapolis
Member: Since 2014

Support.Volunteer.FAC. Martindale Family 2015Julie Martindale
Children: Tyler, born 1991; Aaron, born 1991; McKenna, born 1992; Hope, born 1994; Jordan, born 1996; Brennan, born 1998; Kaden, born 2004; Elijah, born 2005; Evan, born 2005; Maisy, born 2007; Isaac, born 2009
Diagnosis: Complex medical needs and multiple diagnoses
Campus: Minneapolis, St. Paul
Member: Since 2012

Becky Miller
Children: Parker, born 2010; Connor, born 2013
Diagnosis: Parker: Neonatal hypoglycemia; Factor V Leiden (Heterozygote); Connor: Prematurity; Neonatal arterial thrombosis and subsequent tissue necrosis; Factor V Leiden (Heterozygote)
Campus: St. Paul, Minneapolis
Member: Since 2014

Support.Volunteer.FAC.Natzel Family 2015Stacy Natzel
Children: Jacob, born 2007; Lucy, born 2009; Mary, born 2012; Sylvia, born 2014
Diagnosis: Jacob: Addison’s Disease (adrenal insufficiency)
Campus: Minneapolis
Member: Since 2015

Audrey Smith
Grandchildren: Elijah, born 2008
Diagnosis: Cerebral palsy
Campus: Minneapolis
Member: Since 2012

Dan Ullom
Children: Annika, born 2008; Shelby, born 2010
Diagnosis: Shelby: Extreme prematurity; BPD; Pulmonary Hypertension; chronic lung disease
Campus: Minneapolis
Member: Since 2015

Support.Volunteer.FAC.Wilford Kids 2015Adam Wilford
Children: Isaac, born 2009; Luke, born 2010
Diagnosis: Luke: Coarctation of the aorta
Campus: Minneapolis, St. Paul
Member: Since 2015

Beth Wakefield
Children: Max born in 2009, Anna born in 2012
Diagnosis: Anna: Ring 21 Chromosome with Q Deletions
Campus: Minneapolis and St. Paul
Member since 2016

Join the Family Advisory Council

As the family member of one of our patients, you have important views and experiences that Children’s cannot get from any other source. Consider the opportunity to contribute your unique perspective as a member of the Family Advisory Council.

How to apply

Applications are always welcome for consideration for the following year’s recruiting period.

Becoming a council member is a four-step process:

  1. Learn about the time commitment and expectations of participation and training.
  2. Submit the two-page member application form.
  3. Interview with the Family Advisory Council recruitment committee (interviews are scheduled by the recruitment committee).
  4. The council communicates new–member election results in December.


If you have any questions about  Patient Family Involvement at Children’s, contact Tessa Billman at 612-813-7407.