Teen Advisory Board

Our Teen Advisory Board (TAB) includes nine adolescents from 11 to 17 years old who are, or have recently been, patients/siblings at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. The board meets monthly, giving teenagers a chance to voice their opinions and make suggestions on how the hospital can be more teen-friendly. 

Download the Teen Advisory Board application (PDF)

TAB members have been an integral part of the planning team for Comer Children's. Some of their ideas included adding a cafe and more group areas for patients to socialize and play. Comer Children's includes all that and more. The young people asked for — and received:

  • More common spaces for families

  • A family kitchen and laundry facilities

  • Bigger bathrooms

  • More windows

  • Personal bulletin boards in each room

Tips for Fellow Teenagers from Our Board:

What is it like to be in the hospital?

Our Teen Advisory Board members had this to say about staying in the hospital:

  • Sometimes it can be very difficult, but not all the time.

  • Sometimes it can be boring.

  • You have to get used to the needles.

  • It helps to make friends with the nurses and staff.

  • Sometimes it helps to get some fresh air, take a walk or spend some time in the play area.

What is it like to have a sickness that lasts a long time?

Here are a few answers from kids like you:

  • It can be scary and/or challenging, but you need to keep your chin up.

  • Parents and friends can be a good support system.

  • Sometimes people treat you like you are fragile.

  • School can be hard because you have to skip gym class sometimes.

What might you say to other kids about being sick?

Here is some advice from our members:

  • Be brave.

  • Remember that you are not alone.

  • Try not to worry too much.

  • Be positive.

  • Listen to the doctors. They are trying to help you.

  • Try not to worry about things you can’t control.

  • If you need to get injections, ask the nurse to use Emla cream first. It helps with the pain.

What items should I bring to the hospital?

You can bring any of these items to Comer Children's:

  • Stuffed animal

  • Music player

  • Game Boy

  • Cards

  • Books

  • Homework