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Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC)


The Children’s Hospital University of Illinois (CHUI) Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC) works to hear and heed “the voice” of its patients and families. The CHUI PFAC was developed in partnership with leadership and stakeholders from various areas across the Child Health Enterprise.


Partner with our Children’s Hospital patients, parents, and families to advocate, plan, deliver, evaluate, and continuously improve healthcare experiences and outcomes.

Only you can share with us the impact our services have had on you and your family. Your views and insights are critically important to our future efforts. The council:

  • Provides CHUI an experienced, diverse group of families who are willing to consult on policy, program development, and evaluation
  • Provides the opportunity to receive ongoing feedback that goes beyond what can be learned from satisfaction surveys and focus groups
  • Provides a forum to develop creative, effective, and efficient solutions to challenges
  • Increases understanding and collaboration between families, staff, and the organization

Membership Overview

Your Role as a Member

  • Provide input on ways to improve the experience of patients, families, and staff
  • Provide the family perspective and be fully involved in decision-making processes
  • Provide advice on the development and operations of CHUI services
  • Be aware of and work within the policies and procedures/code of conduct of the UI Health, including confidentiality

Benefits of Being a Member

  • Your “voice” will help us improve patient and family experience and health outcomes
  • Have a chance to help others, share what you have learned, and contribute to the further development of CHUI
  • Opportunity to effect meaningful change
  • Learn new skills
  • Free parking for meetings and activity involvement
  • Dinner at meetings
  • Cafeteria meal passes for activity involvement
  • A surprise UI Health souvenir at each monthly meeting
  • Toys for your children!

General Criteria for Care Team Members

  • Positive and supportive of the values of CHUI
  • Previous inpatient experiences at CHUI
  • Able to listen to, respect, and reflect on issues and priorities that are different than your own
  • Able to share insights in ways that may benefit others
  • Comfortable speaking in a group environment
  • Able to see beyond your own personal experience
  • Able to work in partnerships with others to achieve team initiatives
  • Able to communicate and work with families and staff whose background, experiences, and styles may be different from your own
  • Committed to improving care for all patients and family members

Time Commitment

  • Eight in-person meetings, averaging about 1.5 hours in length (March–October)
  • Three 30-minute teleconference meetings (November, January, February)
  • Participate on at least one project/committee outside of the council, as time and interest allows
  • Confirm meeting attendance with council administrative coordinator
  • Be an active member at least one year

Note: Many families find hospital experiences overwhelming. In deciding upon membership, please consider how comfortable you are at this time to draw upon your experiences. We want you to consider your well-being first, but we welcome your participation to your comfort level.

Click here and fill out the form to apply to be a member of the council.

Contact Information
For more information or questions, please email or call 312.413.8655.


Patricia Garza's family has a long history with UI Health, as she and her brother and sister were born here. In keeping with tradition, Patricia gave birth to her daughter, Patricia Gabriela, who graced us with her presence a month early. Being a NICU veteran at UI Health, Patricia Gabriela is a happy 18-month-old.

Lenaesha Haynes, a mother of four, had her last child at UI Health in 2015. Her experience at UI Health was much more pleasant than previous hospitals, where she felt her opinions and concerns were never taken into consideration. Being a part of PFAC gives her a chance to voice her concerns in an unbiased forum.

Kelly Winsley has had three children at UI Health, but she shares that her last experience was not a good experience. She joined the PFAC to share her experience, voice concerns, and work to ensure that families have a great experience at CHUI. She says she appreciates this committee because it allows families to have a voice and share concerns with management and the board.

Council Leadership

Sponsor: Beena Peters, DNP, MS, RN, FACHE; Associate Chief Nursing Officer; Women, Children & Psychiatric Services
Sponsor: Benjamin W. Van Voorhees, MD, MPH; Associate Professor of Pediatrics; Head, Department of Pediatrics
Project Manager: Priyang Baxi, MPH
Facilitators: Jean Powlesland, MS, RN;
Administrative Coordinator: DeOrsay Foster