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Patient Family-Centered Care Program

The Patient Family Centered-Care (PFCC) program is a way for St. Jude families to stay involved with the hospital after their child is off treatment.

St. Jude employee standing at PFCC table, speaking with another employee

In the Patient Family Centered-Care (PFCC) program, caregivers and hospital staff work together to improve the patient experience at St. Jude. There are in-person and virtual opportunities for caregivers to help. 

Core concepts of PFCC

The core concepts of PFCC are:

  • Dignity and respect: To listen to and honor patient and family ideas and choices and to use patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds to improve care planning and delivery.
  • Information sharing: To communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families in affirming and useful ways. Patients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate details so they can take part in care and decision making.
  • Participation: To encourage and support patients and families in care and decision making at the level they choose.
  • Collaboration: To invite patients and family members to work together with health care staff to develop and evaluate policies and programs in facility design, in professional education, and in research, as well as in the delivery of care.

The core concepts of PFCC place value on:

  • Recognizing that each child and each family is unique. Families have different personalities, life experiences, values, beliefs, education, and religious and cultural backgrounds. All patients should get equal, flexible care to meet their needs and choices.
  • Open honest communication among patients, their families, and health care staff. Talking about experiences, whether good or bad, is important for changing, improving, and developing the best ways to care for patients. It is also important for making hospital policies. Honest, clear communication makes care experiences better.
  • Empowering families to join in their child’s health care journey. When families understand their options, it is easier for them to be part of their child’s care.
  • Acknowledging that families can help improve quality and safety within the health care system. Families and staff are strengthened by their partnership and shared knowledge. This partnership results in the highest quality of care.

The PFCC program’s fiscal year 2024–28 strategic plan goals are to:

  • Amplify underrepresented family voices across hospital committees and work groups to identify and overcome barriers to improve care. Engage more family advisers, eliminate gaps in communication and engagement, and drive progress forward throughout all levels of adviser engagement.
  • Provide opportunities for professional development and community building among all active family advisers.
  • Execute joint initiatives with various St. Jude departments to initiate more caregiver support. Start mentor programs to ensure families feel supported along the continuum of care.
  • Promote the varied PFCC programs that can be used as an internal resource to ensure the caregiver voice is represented in policy and facility design, clinical trial development, and patient care and safety collaboration.
  • Educate and train staff on PFCC initiatives so that they connect their work to a culture of respect, inclusivity, partnership, and collaboration.
  • Share best practices in patient and family support programming in the U.S. and globally by working together with our peers, patients, and families.

How to become a family adviser or volunteer

You can fill out an application to volunteer with PFCC or to become an adviser. You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer.

Volunteer opportunities vary depending on your experience and when you can take part. Opportunities include:

  • Being a mentor to other caregivers
  • Serving on a committee or steering council
  • Educating staff
  • Being involved in events that support other caregivers

Volunteers may be:

  • Current and former St. Jude patients
  • Family members
  • Friends who have directly cared for current and former patients
  • People recommended by staff and families

All advisers go through orientation, education, and training based on their role with PFCC.

Appreciation and achievements

PFCC gives out several awards to St. Jude staff who best show they practice excellence in patient family-centered care. These awards include PFCC Champions, Partners in Excellence, and Platinum Partners. Selected staff members demonstrate the core concepts of the PFCC. Those who follow these concepts can help to:

  • Shape hospital policies, programs, and design
  • Improve quality and patient safety
  • Improve health outcomes
  • Contribute to a wise use of resources
  • Improve patient experience
  • Create respectful and fruitful partnerships between families and staff

Nominate a champion

Contact us

Email for updates on Patient Family-Centered Care at St. Jude.

Kathryn Berry-Carter, Director
Phone: 901-595-2277

Learn more