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Patient and family advisors

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Patient and Family Advisor Program was created in 2012 to align with Fred Hutch's commitment and dedication to patient- and family-centered care. Fred Hutch advisors are current and former patients and caregivers who volunteer their time to help Fred Hutch establish systems that are easier for patients to understand and help us better understand patient needs.

By working in partnership with staff and providers, respecting that we each have something important to offer, patient and family advisors help us enrich the care experience for patients and families while making the job of providing care a simpler, safer and even more positive experience for our staff.

Participation in the Fred Hutch Patient and Family Advisor Program during the COVID-19 pandemic is virtual. Read below on the two advisor opportunities available to patients and caregivers.

Advisor position summary

Applicants must have direct experience as a current or former patient, family member or caregiver at Fred Hutch.

Patient and family advisors are current and former patients and caregivers at Fred Hutch who serve as a resource on committees, short term engagements and projects, patient and caregiver speaking panels, and the Patient and Family Advisory Council. Their role is to improve communication between staff, patients and families and provide input in the development, implementation and evaluation of Fred Hutch programs, policies and services. Advisors do not work directly with patients.

E-Advisor position summary

When Fred Hutch considers making changes to our policies and programs, the Fred Hutch Patient Experience team seeks input from patients and their families – that is where e-advisors come in. We will email e-advisors occasionally, at most once a month, asking them to share feedback on a topic, experience or complete a short survey. We know Fred Hutch’s expertise is not complete without the point of view of patient and families.

Mandatory orientation and time commitment

All Fred Hutch advisors must adhere to vaccination and orientation requirements to participate in the program. Attendance at Patient and Family Advisor Orientation is required for advisors only, no orientation is required for e-advisors. E-advisors are not required to show proof of vaccination to participate. There is no set time commitment in volunteering to be an advisor or e-advisor. Advisors have the opportunity to choose their level of engagement based on their interests and availability of current advisor activities. Members on the Fred Hutch Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) serve two-year terms and are required to attend 9 out of the 11 monthly meetings a year.

Caregiver A person who gives care to people who need help, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. A person who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. Caregivers may be health professionals, family members, friends, social workers or members of the clergy. They may give care at home, in a hospital or in another health care setting.

How to apply

Please review the responsibilities and qualifications below. If you meet the qualifications, please complete the form below and the program manager will contact you for an interview. Fred Hutch is an organization that embraces diversity and advances equity while fostering inclusion and collegiality. We encourage and welcome patients and caregivers of all backgrounds to apply, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color, immigrants, refugees, womxn*, LGBTQIA, people living with disabilities, veterans, and others to become an Fred Hutch patient and family advisor (click here for definition of womxn).

Qualifications
  • Ability to communicate well in a group setting
  • Ability to share insights and information in constructive ways 
  • Shows concern for more than one issue or agenda
  • Ability to work in partnership with others and collaborate on solutions
  • Have passion for enhancing the health care experience
  • Ability to think beyond own experience
Responsibilities
  • Share personal experiences and viewpoints in order to aid staff in the development and evaluation of programs, services and policies. 
  • Remain compassionate, objective and constructive when sharing thoughts and opinions, understanding that each person’s experience differs.
  • Respect the privacy of patients and family members.
  • Comply with all infection control and confidentiality policies as applicable.

Contact us

Katie Rehfield
Patient Experience Program Manager

Fred Hutch Patient Panel

Our patient and family advisors have been sharing their experiences, perspectives and stories since 2012 and are an integral part of Fred Hutch. During this panel, you’ll hear from our current patient advisors on who they are, what brought them to the Fred Hutch, why they decided to serve as an advisor for Fred Hutch’s Patient and Family Advisor Program and what their favorite advisor activities are. Our hope is to inspire patients and caregivers to share their stories and volunteer as Fred Hutch patient and family advisors. This is a guided interview where questions are posed informally.