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Family Advisory Council


Our patient- and family-centered approach to caring for children is paramount at Children’s Hospital. When you’re in our facility, you’ll hear the administrators, doctors and staff refer to this philosophy of care. We take this commitment very seriously and enlist the help of a group of patients known as the Family Advisory Council to make sure we continually make decisions with patients and their families as the focus. 

The Council includes parents and hospital staff who:

  • Identify family concerns and priorities
  • Offer input in planning programs and policies
  • Create education and support resources for families and medical providers


Families with children who experience Children's Hospital and/or its clinics are often experts when it comes to healthcare matters.

Joining the Family Advisory Council is one way to help improve the quality of care and services for all children and their families. The Council provides families with an opportunity to make a significant impact. Members of the Council play an important role in making recommendations to hospital leaders. More information is available in our charter document. 

We welcome families from diverse backgrounds who represent a wide range of healthcare challenges, diagnoses, and cultures among the families we serve. The Council currently meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in Children's Hospital Conference Room 2104. If you are interested in joining, please email

Contact us

Janet Cross
Administrative Director of Patient- and Family-Centered Care
(615) 936-0097

Council accomplishments

Community and national involvement

Our members are active in many efforts outside the Family Advisory Council. Their involvement goes beyond the walls of Children's Hospital. Many members play important roles on the local, state, and national levels.

Internal collaboration

Bringing a family perspective to internal projects and committees allows us to make patient and family-centered care a priority. FAC members can be involved in many different opportunities inside the hospital. Here are some examples:

  • We Care for Kids Day: "Bee Safe" tent
  • Children's Hospital and Medical Center new employee training participation
  • Pediatric to Adult Transition Steering Committee
  • Staff Nurse Council
  • Patient Education Oversight Committee
  • Patient Engagement Steering Committee
  • My Health at Vanderbilt Advisory Committee
  • Food Committee


Our council assists the marketing department in creating more patient and user-friendly resources. Members provide marketing ideas, give feedback on format, content, and ease of use. They are consistently featured in hospital publications, web pages, and social media.

  • Children's Hospital's website and online physician directory
  • Children's Hospital's Facebook page
  • Hospital patient stories

Performance management and improvement

FAC members have provided valuable feedback and review of initiatives such as: Asthma Home Action Plan, Cardiac Surgery Notebook, Patient and Family Handbook, Family Information Notebook, ATV and Teen Motor Safety campaign, Blood Bank, Guest Services Standardization, Whiteboard Project, Nursing bedshift change process, discharge process review, the food menu, and the pharmacy.

Members have provided insight for facilities planning projects such as the 7th South NICU expansion, the 33-bed hospital expansion, and our Outpatient Clinics.

Learning opportunities

Webinars and talks allow us to provide FAC members with continuous learning and growth opportunities:

  • Patient safety webinar: "Engaging Patients, Families, and the Community as Partners in Patient Safety: Innovation and Best Practices"
  • Medical Home Summit sessions with Dr. Carl Cooley, Center for Medical Home Improvement