Empowering Health Care Consumers

Grantee Name

Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Funding Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Publication Date

October 2022

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

November 2019 - June 2021

By learning from and with patients and their families, health professionals are better prepared to promote and support patients and families as full partners in their care.

The knowledge and skills that health care professionals gain over the course of their education shape the interactions they have with patients and families throughout their careers. Many academic institutions are adopting new models of education for health professionals that are less didactic and more experiential. Despite this trend, it is still rare that instruction in health professions education actually includes patients and families as partners. To address this gap, NYHealth awarded a grant to the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC) to create and pilot a patient and family faculty training program in New York City hospitals.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

Under this grant, IPFCC:

  • Convened a national advisory committee of clinical faculty and patient and family leaders to advise with the development, piloting, and dissemination of the training program.
  • Conducted a targeted national environmental scan to understand which academic medical centers involve patients and families as faculty and how to integrate them into curriculum design.
  • Analyzed findings of a survey to understand the prevalence and function of patients and families as educators in hospitals and academic medical centers, which were summarized and broadly disseminated in a report.
  • Developed a patient and family faculty curriculum, online training, and implementation resources for use by clinical faculty and patient and family faculty trainees in academic medical centers, health and hospital systems, and schools of medicine, nursing, and other allied health professions.
  • Piloted and tested the curriculum and online training materials at four New York City teaching hospitals: NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Stony Brook University Hospital, and The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore.
  • Finalized the free online training course, which contains strategies for creating a new or expanded patient and family faculty program; training videos; supplemental educational materials; action plan templates; and other implementation and sustainability tools.
  • Disseminated the course and training materials broadly through a webinar, email outreach, and social media posts, reaching more than 15,000 partner organizations in New York State. Resources will remain on a new dedicated Partnerships in Medical Education page on the IPFCC website.

The project faced a number of obstacles at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the team and the hospital implementation sites to quickly adapt to an all-virtual environment. Hospitals sites were also under immense pressure during the height of the pandemic and juggled significant competing priorities that impacted the completion of the pilot activities, resulting in a longer project timeline. Despite these challenges, IPFCC’s adapted approach resulted in an accessible and comprehensive online course that is more widely available. This shift led to creative thinking and some unexpected benefits. For example, video footage from exemplar national sites is now memorialized in the training materials; a planned in-person, all-day training was transformed into a practical online resource; and more participants can complete the resources at their own pace. Although hospital teams were stretched thin, many reported how the pandemic underscored the critical need to better involve patients and families in workforce development and training. As a result, they committed their time, resources, and insights to the project, even during difficult times.

All four participating hospital sites have continued their patient and family faculty programs past the grant period, including concrete next steps on how they will increase and diversify their patient and family advisors; build advisors’ skills to effectively share their experiences; and meet with deans and faculty in the medical school to identify opportunities.

IPFCC’s research showed that robust and sustainable patient and family faculty programs are still low in number as a result of lack of leadership support, training for patient and family faculty, and funding. IPFCC is continuing to advance the field, integrating resources and lessons learned from this project throughout its consultations and trainings.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: None