Be the voice of patients and families

Patients and families are central to everything we do. Penn State Health’s Patient- and Family-Centered Care Advisory Councils bring together families, patients and hospital staff to help provide the best care to our patients.

Feedback from patients and their families helps Penn State Health create a better experience for everyone who comes through our doors. Together, our council members identify areas where we can improve the patient and family experience, then work to make those changes happen.

Penn State Health has three advisory councils:

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Advisory Council
  • Pediatric Advisory Council
  • Penn State Health Medical Group Advisory Council

Members of our Advisory Councils speak from experience – they’ve been patients, family members and/or caregivers. They know that sharing their experiences can help improve the health and well-being of every patient at Penn State Health.

Our focus

The Patient- and Family-Centered Care Advisory Councils:

  • Seek input from the patient and family perspective to ensure our services meet their needs
  • Establish a forum to develop creative solutions for the health system and its staff
  • Meet with a variety of hospital leaders to collaborate on new initiatives

Council initiatives

  • Provide ongoing feedback on quality and safety issues, marketing campaigns, food services and patient satisfaction
  • Made coffee stations available in family waiting areas
  • Started Comfort Cart with amenities for visitors
  • Advised on food sourcing project
  • Participate in various hospital councils and committees

Who can join?

To join one of our Patient- and Family-Centered Care Advisory Councils, you need to:

  • Be a patient or family member of a patient who is receiving or has received care at Penn State Health
    • Family, as defined by the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care, refers to two or more persons who are related in any way – biologically, legally, or emotionally. In the patient- and family-centered care approach, the definition of family, as well as the degree of the family’s involvement in health care, is determined by the patient, provided that he or she is developmentally mature and competent to do so.
  • Commit to serving on a council for at least one year
  • Attend monthly meetings

When do we meet?

Penn State Health’s Patient- and Family-Centered Care Advisory Councils each meet for 1 1/2 to two hours in the evening once a month:

  • Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Advisory Council
    • Last Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Pediatric Advisory Council
    • Third Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Penn State Health Medical Group Advisory Council
    • Second Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7 p.m.

Zoom links or meeting locations will be provided to members.

How can I join?

If you have ideas to help improve care for Penn State Health patients and their families, we invite you to join as a Patient- and Family-Centered Care Advisory Council member. Your voice matters to us and will help us improve the care we provide to all.

Submit an application

Still would like more information? Please email PatExp@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or call 717-531-0003, x284511.

Cubby CARE Award

Celebrating the Amazing, Respect and Excellence our patients and families receive!

In our Children's Hospital, patient and family-centered care is our culture. We believe families are an extension of the patient and a  partner in their child's care.

We created an award to celebrate those staff and faculty who embody the patient and family-centered values of the Children's Hospital.

Nominations for the Cubby CARE Award are reviewed by the Family Advisory Council and winners are announced annually.

Nominees can include anyone who has a direct or indirect impact on patients and families. Nominations can be individuals or teams, anyone or any group that truly demonstrates the values of patient- and family-centered care.

How do I nominate someone or a team for the Cubby CARE Award?

It's easy! Anyone can nominate someone for the Cubby CARE Award!

You can complete and submit the form online.

Once the form is received, someone will contact you to have a more in-depth conversation about your experience with the nominee.

Children’s Miracle Network support

The Children’s Miracle Network sponsors the Family Advisory Council through stipends for council members to help with transportation costs and by providing meals and supplies for meetings.