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Family Advisory Council


Our patient- and family-centered approach to caring for children is paramount at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. 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 parents 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:

  • Partner with the healthcare teams to promote the core concepts of Patient- and Family-Centered Care
  • Collaborate with the healthcare teams to improve the quality of care
  • Offer input in planning programs and policies
  • Contribute to the education families, students, staff and medical providers


Families with children who experience Monroe Carell or our clinics are often experts when it comes to health care matters.

Joining the Family Advisory Council is one way to work with us to improve the quality of care and services for all children and their families. The Council provides families with opportunities to make a significant impact. Council Members play an important role in making recommendations and contributing to improvement initiatives. More information is available in our charter document (linked below).

We welcome families from diverse backgrounds who represent a wide range of health care challenges, diagnoses and cultures among those we serve. The Council currently meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. central time via Zoom.

If you are interested in learning more about the Family Advisory Council at Monroe Carell, complete the interest form at the link below. We will contact you about joining an information session.

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.

  • Host for 2020 International Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IFPCC) Conference with three presentations by our family advisors
  • Participation in Beryl Institute 2020 Conference with podium presentation by one of our family advisors
  • Tennessee Voices collaboration to implement the Parent 2 Parent Advocacy Training Program
  • Training of Meharry Medical Students through our Family Faculty Program
  • Participation in the Vanderbilt undergraduate medical student curriculum development

Internal collaboration

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

  • Monroe Carell and 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
  • Bereavement Committee
  • Professional Advisory Group for the Clinical Pastoral Education Program
  • Medication Use Safety Improvement Committee
  • Nursing Awards Committee
  • Nursing Quality Committee
  • Patient Experience Coordinating Committee
  • Hospital Acquired Condition Safety Committees

Performance Management and Improvement

Family Advisory Council members have provided valuable feedback and review of initiatives such as:

  • Improved healthy food choices
  • Patient throughput and discharge
  • Information and support related to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines
  • Surgery passport for children on the autism spectrum
  • End-of-life resources
  • Home medicine policy
  • Epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) visit preparation tools
  • Central line associated blood stream infection (CLABSI) prevention tool
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention tool
  • Wayfinding

Members continue to provide insight for facilities planning projects such as the the expansion of our 12th and 14th hospital floors.

Contact Us

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