Roswell Park Patient and Family Advisory Council

Families and patients have an important role in guiding our work at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Beyond staff and professionals working together to care for our patients’ health care needs, there is a broader partnership involving patients and families in helping us make decisions about hospital programming and policies. The Patient and Family Advisory Council is an important resource to guide the hospital’s priorities and planning.

What do members do?

The Council, which was formed in 2014, offers a formal way in which patient and family members can contribute to the mission of Roswell Park. The Council advises the administration and medical leadership about patient and family needs, in addition to hospital priorities.

Who is on the Patient and Family Advisory Board?

The council has a maximum of 25 members. The group consists of patients with all different cancer types and their family members. The board is co-facilitated by Kara Eaton-Weaver, Executive Director of Patient and Family Experience, and Richard Satterwhite, Patient Engagement Specialist. Members of the Senior Executive Team, faculty and staff also attend meetings. 

Members serve a maximum of two years on the council. This group meets monthly on the first Thursday of each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Main Hospital. Members may attend on a quarterly basis as an emeritus member after completing their 2-year term. 

What are the steps to becoming a member of the Family Advisory Council?

If you are interested in applying, complete the application form and return it to Roswell Park, Attention: Richard Satterwhite, Patient and Family Experience. The applications will be reviewed, and if you are one of the final candidates, you will be contacted for an interview. 

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How do I know if this is the right commitment for me?

Here are some things to consider. These are the things that the selection committee will be asked to consider in reviewing applications, as well. You must be:

  • Be confident in your view, but able to see many different points of view.
  • Reflective and insightful.
  • Able to communicate and cooperate with people whose backgrounds, experiences, and styles may be very different from your own.
  • Positive about the hospital, and enthusiastic about its mission of excellence in patient care, education and research.
  • Able to fulfill the time commitment.

What kind of training and support will Family Advisory Council members get?

Council members will receive a brief orientation in a number of areas. Orientation will include training in the mission and value of the hospital, the principles of family-centered care, and the philosophy of care at the hospital. In practical terms, family members will receive reimbursement for parking or transportation.

The training, support and administrative oversight of this program will come through the Department of Patient and Family Experience.

Thank you for your interest in this program.