Family Advisory Board

Ideas and feedback from patient families are very valuable. That's why we formed the Family Advisory Board in 1996. Our board includes parents, caregivers and hospital leaders who help improve the quality of services and communication between families and hospital staff.

What Issues Does the Board Address?

The Family Advisory Board covers issues such as planning and operational matters, facility enhancements and other topics related to the needs of pediatric patients and their families.

How do the Board's Suggestions Make a Difference?

The board played a key role in planning for the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. Thanks to the board's suggestions, the hospital was able to create a unique, holistic healing environment for the whole family. As a result of the board's input, patient rooms are big enough to accommodate family members and there are more common spaces for families, including sleeping areas and a family area with a kitchen. Families also provided input about the signs and throughout the hospital, as well as the Family Learning Center. These are just a few examples of how the board has made an impact.

Who's on the Board?

Members of the board represent the rich diversity of patients served by Comer Children's. Besides family members, hospital staff members on the board include the Department of Pediatrics chair, the pediatric director of nursing, the Comer Children's vice president and other key staff members. The Family Advisory Board is led by two co-chairs who are family members.

Can I Join?

To qualify, members must be or have been a primary caregiver to a child who is or has been cared for at Comer Children's. They also must have the ability to support the hospital's mission, participate in at least one subcommittee and represent other families' views along with their own in an understandable and meaningful way.

Hospital staff typically recruits new members of the Family Advisory Board, and sometimes families volunteer to serve. Board members are selected to ensure that the board includes a broad range of families with children of many ages and past medical histories. This is done to have a broad sampling of diverse family experiences.

Download the application (PDF).

How Long are Terms on the Board?

Terms of office are for two years, with the opportunity to renew for two additional years.

When are Meetings?

The Family Advisory Board meets on the fourth Tuesday evening of every month. Members of the board must attend nine of 12 meetings per year to keep active membership status.

The board welcomes input from all families using the hospital. Your concerns and feedback make a difference!

Can I Still Provide Feedback Without Joining the Family Advisory Board?

Absolutely! Some families are only available on a short-term basis, yet still have much to offer. Their services might be utilized on a hospital unit committee or for a particular project. Parents with children experiencing long hospitalizations often have valuable feedback to offer the hospital.

Contact Us:

For more information, to provide feedback, or to contact Family Advisory Board member, Jennie Ott