Patient and Family Advisory Council

The McLean Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) was established to serve as a forum to promote excellent patient and family-centered care.

By communicating the perspectives of patients and their families regarding the care experience at McLean, PFAC works in an advisory role to enhance the care experience across the hospital’s treatment settings.

Patient and family-centered care supports collaborative partnerships among providers, patients, and their families built upon a foundation of dignity, empathy and respect.

Key elements include recognition of and respect for differences and preferences of patients and families with respect to culture, ethnicity, and abilities and communication, education, and collaboration in support of shared decision-making and patient empowerment.

Our volunteer members may be asked to provide feedback about patient education materials, existing and potential new programs, policies and procedures, and facility design.

Members may also be asked to participate in the education of staff or become members of McLean committees including the Care Experience Committee, the Recovery Oriented Practice Initiative, the Residential Program Human Rights Committee, the Interdisciplinary Recovery Oriented Practice Committee, or the Board of Visitors.


We participate in various activities throughout the hospital:

  • PFAC was instrumental in the development and completion of the Guide to Inpatient Care at McLean Hospital, a resource for patients, spouses, and other family members coping with a relative’s inpatient experience. The patient and family resources are now available on each inpatient unit and a part of every inpatient’s arrival and admission.
  • During new employee orientation, patient advisors have shared their experiences of receiving care at McLean, and family members have shared their experiences of interacting with hospital staff.
  • Stigma Reduction Week, sponsored and supported by PFAC, includes lectures by patients to promote awareness around a variety of mental health topics.
  • During Mental Health Awareness Week in October, PFAC members presented at the hospital-wide Grand Rounds, a weekly lecture open to all staff; led a wellness recovery action plan (WRAP) group on the Short Term Unit with the unit’s expressive therapist; and presented at the Patient/Family-Centered Care Symposium and the Healthcare for All conference.

New Members

The Patient and Family Advisory Council seeks former patients or family members of former patients who have received services at McLean, preferably within the last three years, to join PFAC. It is our belief that PFAC should reflect the cultural diversity of patients and families who are consumers of the hospital’s services.

Although no specific background or experience is required to serve on the Patient and Family Advisory Council, its volunteer members need to be able to:

  • Demonstrate a positive approach and an ability to share and tolerate diverse points of view
  • Exhibit good listening skills
  • Support the hospital’s vision of excellence in adopting and promoting a collaborative care model and the values that drive the McLean Hospital mission
  • Share positive and negative clinical care experiences in a constructive manner
  • Communicate and work well with families, patients, and staff whose backgrounds, experiences, and styles may be very different than one’s own
  • Commit to attending four meetings per year for a term of three years

New Member Application Process

To apply to be a member of PFAC, please fill out the application below and return it via the included instructions.

New members of the Patient and Family Advisory Council must complete the mandatory McLean Hospital volunteer orientation which includes a TB health screening and a criminal background check (CORI). They also receive PFAC-specific orientation, including a resource packet that explains members’ rights and responsibilities.

Applicants will have an in-person interview to be scheduled after completion of the application. Confidentiality is assured and maintained throughout the entire application process.