Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC)

PFCC quote, "Nothing about me, without me."

What is the PFCC Program?

To help promote Patient & Family Centered Care (PFCC) principles throughout UMHS, we recruit, train, and place patients and family members (caregivers) to serve as advisors on clinical committees and boards, right alongside administration, staff, and faculty. Our advisors also partner with researchers on Patient Centered Outcomes Research projects. Currently, we have 400+ onsite patient and family member advisors and peer mentors serving throughout the health system. We also have more than 800 e-advisors who can be utilized by UMHS staff.

What does a PFCC Advisor do?

PFCC advisors share their stories, experiences, opinions, and perspectives in order to champion initiatives that help create more patient-centric programs, operations, and research, and improve safety and quality. They work in partnership with UMHS on more than 30 councils looking at ways our health system can better care for patients. In addition to serving on committees, patient-family advisors serve on speaking panels, task forces, research projects, and collaborative conversatons.  Many of our advisors also serve as peer mentors and e-advisors.

To request volunteer advisor information, please call the Patient & Family Centered Care Program (PFCC) program at 734-764-1202 or email

How do we partner with our patients and families?

PFCC Committee meeting
Kati (front) serving on a UMHS PFCC Committee

On June 19, 2002, Kati received a life changing call from her son. “Mom, Dad just fell 30 feet and landed on his head. I think he's dead.” Critically injured, Kati's husband was rushed to UM Hospital where Kati spent over 11 weeks at his side while he transitioned from the ICU to a step-down unit, back to the ICU, then to a rehab floor - and during all those transitions Kati became a pro at recording their experiences. She recognized early on that she needed a tool to help her navigate this strange and traumatic event, so she purchased a notebook and started noting names, roles, medications, dosages, procedures, and suggestions that would improve his stay.

During his recovery, her husband received great care, and sometimes not so great care. Kati documented it all. She then shared her journal with senior leadership at UM Hospital and it was soon recognized as an amazing learning tool and example for improving patient engagement. The book was shared with other hospital caregivers and Kati was invited to become the inaugural patient and family advisor on the health system-wide Patient Safety Committee.  

Twelve years later, Kati is still a member of this committee as a Patient and Family Centered Care Advisor. She is also a member of our Speakers' Bureau, Nursing Quality Excellence and helps to collaborate with faculty on Patient Centered Outcomes Research projects. And, thanks to UM, her husband is doing very well.

At UMHS, we view patients and family members, like Kati, as partners in care, education, and research and make every effort to include them in our core functions. We strive to communicate fully and frequently and to recognize and respect the uniqueness of each patient and family. We call this Patient & Family Centered Care, or PFCC. Individuals are respected, opinions are asked, experiences are valued, collaboration with patients is expected, and family members are viewed as a key part of their loved ones’ health care team.

Volunteer Patient-Family Advisors serve in a variety of ways including:

  • E-Advisors
    An online list of patients and family members who review materials and complete surveys, providing quick access to determine a direction or trend in patient and family opinion.
  • Executive/Community Boards and Hospital/Clinic Committees and Quality/Safety Rounds
    Advisors join existing, often long-standing, groups ranging from front-line unit committees to executive level planning committees dedicated to increasing the quality and safety of the patient and family experience.
  • Facility Design
    Patients and caregivers help to design new or remodel existing facilities. Advisor participation runs the gamut from design to operations to activation to moving into the new space.
  • Collaborative Conversation
    An in-depth, facilitator-led discussion intended to collect information on a single issue. The intent of the group is not to resolve issues nor make decisions, but rather identify opinions and feelings.
  • Patient-Family Advisory Councils
    Members plan agendas and address issues at an executive or strategic planning level. Councils can vary from hospital-wide, to unit/department level, to a specific demographic (i.e. Cardiac Rehab Advisor Council) and have at least a 1:1 PFCC advisor to staff/faculty ratio.
  • Peer Mentor Programs
    Peer mentors provide support and encouragement to patients and family members who are facing similar conditions and challenges. Advanced training and staff support are required to sustain peer mentor programs.
  • PFCC Theater
    A group of advisors interested in acting out healthcare scenes that teach PFCC principles to staff, faculty and students. Participation includes education simulations, video creation, scene recreations and more.
  • Speaker's Bureau
    A group of advisors dedicated to teaching staff, faculty, students and community members through personal experiences and storytelling. Participation includes panel as well as individual presentations.
  • Task Forces
    Temporary workgroups established for the purpose of accomplishing a single issue and are solution-oriented. Groups are formed on an as-needed basis and typically end when the objectives have been resolved.

Contact the PFCC Program 734-764-1202 or