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St. Jude patient Gunnar with his mom and dad

Getting the whole family involved

Our health-care staff puts families at the center of their child's care because we know how critical a family's support is for a child's recovery. That's why our health-care staff treats each family as a partner in their child's health-care decisions.

The words "your child has cancer" can turn a family’s world upside down. Suddenly, daily routines are replaced with the responsibilities of caring for a child with a serious illness.

At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, we know how important a family’s support is to the recovery of their child. That's why our health-care staff treats each family as a partner in their child's health-care decisions.

Families meet with the same care team each time they return to St. Jude, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and Child Life specialists, who work closely with families to help them cope and educate patients about their care. Working with the same care team encourages good working relationships and allows the team to become knowledgeable about a patient's health history.

Parents also receive one-on-one instruction in caring for their children from St. Jude nurses, who offer advice and encouragement to build their confidence and expertise.

What our families are saying about St. Jude care


Patients and family members are also invited to work with health-care staff to help develop and improve hospital policies and programs. Members of our Family Advisory Council, established in 2008, assist in many ways, including taking part in hospital committees, helping to design new patient-care areas and suggesting new programs.

And families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

"Everyone has been so wonderful — the doctors, the nurses, Child Life,” says St. Jude mom Renee. "You wouldn’t get this quality of care anywhere else."

Help our families focus on their sick child, not medical bills.

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