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Monroe Carell Patient and Family Advisory Council


Established in 1995, Monroe Carell's Patient and Family Advisory Council includes 30 members whose children have received care at our hospital and clinics. The Council includes four clinical advisory groups in neonatal intensive care, cystic fibrosis, primary care, and Metro Nashville Public Schools. 

The Council includes parents and hospital staff who meet monthly to

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

Patient- and Family-Centered Care

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.


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 meets virtually on the second Monday of each month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. central time.

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.


Janet N. Cross

Janet N. CrossMEd, CCLS, CPXP

    Administrative Director, Patient- and Family-Centered Care
Josh Graham

Josh Graham

    2024 Chair

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.

  • Participation in the Vanderbilt undergraduate medical student curriculum development and training

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
  • Staff Nurse Council
  • Patient Education Oversight Committee
  • Patient Engagement Steering Committee
  • Workplace Violence and Communications
  • Professional Advisory Group for the Clinical Pastoral Education Program
  • Hospital-Acquired Conditions Committee: medication use safety improvement, central line associated bloodstream Infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, peripheral intravenous infiltration extravasation, pressure injury
  • Nursing Awards Committee
  • Nursing Quality Committee
  • Patient Experience Coordinating Committee
  • Monroe Carell Patient and Family Experience Governance Council
  • Visitor Management Planning and Implementation


Our council assists the VUMC Marketing & Engagement Department in creating more patient and user-friendly resources. Members provide marketing ideas, and give feedback about format, content and ease of use. They are consistently featured in hospital publications, websites and social media.

Performance Management and Improvement

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

  • Selected and awarded Patient and Family Choice 2023 Award winner
  • Participated in FOCUS orientation at Monroe Carell for 917 new employees
  • Invested 384 volunteer hours
  • Provided feedback to wayfinding consultants
  • Partnered with Get Well Network implementation team in planning for the integrative television system
  • Presented information and facilitated discussion with first year medical students on day four of their education
  • Onboarded eight new advisory council members
  • Added Complex Care and Spina Bifida Clinical Advisory Group
  • Provided feedback on 12th and 14th floor expansions
  • Provided feedback for the Medical Records Team
  • Provided feedback for the visitor and family presence policy in review


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

Alison Bynum