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The Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC)

The Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) is a leadership council that works with hospital staff and families.

Group of people in conference room watching projection screen

The Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) is a leadership council at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This group works directly with hospital staff and families. They further the patient family-centered care concepts and programs.

The PFAC consists of patients, family caregivers, and staff members. They meet many times throughout the year to guide patient family-centered care (PFCC) programming and related adviser roles.

The family caregivers and patients on the PFAC are called advisers. They are 18 years of age or older. Each of these advisers has either been a St. Jude patient or a family caregiver of a St. Jude patient.


Members are expected to attend at least 75% of scheduled PFAC meetings per calendar year. You can attend in person or online.

Time commitment

Council meeting days are the biggest time commitment. When you join, you will receive a calendar of dates for the full year. The council meets many times during the year to guide PFCC programming. Some meetings are in person and others are online. These meetings are usually held Fridays from 8 a.m.–3 p.m.

Various caregiver support events are held the Thursday before PFAC meeting days. Taking part in these events is optional, but highly recommended. 

Friday meetings consist of hospital speakers and discussion groups. In these meetings, advisers are encouraged to share their ideas, feedback, and perspectives. We will cover many issues that affect patient care and improve the patient experience.

The family caregivers and patients on the PFAC are called advisers. They are 18 years of age or older. Each of these advisers has either been a St. Jude patient or a family caregiver of a St. Jude patient.

Your first meeting

On the first meeting day, a caregiver adviser or PFCC staff member will meet you when you arrive. This person will be with you throughout the day to answer questions and help you make your way through the hospital. They also will help you get any materials or resources that you may need during your first day.

The members will want to get to know you. Before your first PFAC meeting, prepare to introduce yourself to the other council members. Please tell them:

  • Your name
  • What brings you to the PFAC
  • What you expect from the group
  • What experiences make you a good fit for the council

Your short introduction will give them a glimpse into your journey at St. Jude.

Don’t forget that members always visit Microsoft Teams and Vsys to find more resources on your role as an adviser.

Meeting topics

During meetings, many topics may be covered. These topics will depend on the needs of the patient families and the hospital at that time. The members will look over upcoming projects and talk about how the work groups and committees are doing.

Meetings focus on making sure that patient families are actively involved in the areas of clinical experience, education, and planning. Members always check Microsoft Teams for a detailed meeting agenda.

Staff attending meetings

Patients and family caregivers are the driving force behind the PFAC. St. Jude staff members attend these meetings as partners who assist where needed. They can serve as links to hospital administration and other departments. They also share PFAC ideas and feedback with other staff.

Reaching other PFAC members

You can connect with other PFAC members in one of these ways:

  • St. Jude email address: St. Jude email is the primary way to send and receive messages with members and staff.
  • Microsoft Teams site: We keep all meeting minutes, presentations, and support documents here. You can use the conversation tab to ask questions and start discussions. Your mobile device can be set to alert you when new items post to the page.
  • WebEx: If you are unable to attend the council meetings in person, you can join us online through WebEx. WebEx is also used for advisers who are taking part virtually in steering councils and committees.

Staying engaged

You can stay engaged in many ways:

  • Check your St. Jude email often. You can also get the email and alerts sent to your phone.
  • Check out Microsoft Teams for helpful documents and info. Review the meeting agenda in advance.
  • Come to the PFAC meeting prepared to take notes, ask questions, and take part in discussions.
  • Think about questions you have when someone is presenting. Think about how their topic relates to patient or family needs and what insight they are asking for from you.
  • Review the meeting minutes when they are sent out.
  • Complete any surveys the PFCC team sends you.
  • Read the “PFCC Alert” email. It has details about what other advisers are doing. It also might include other volunteer opportunities for you.

Learn more

To learn more about the Patient Family Advisory Council, email or call 901-595-2277.