Patient and Family Advisory Council

What is PFAC?

A Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) is a way for patients, family members, other caregivers, and community advocates to partner with health network staff to improve services, meet local health care needs, and help AHN provide a positive patient experience.

Council participation provides an opportunity to represent the voice of the patient and customer, and to make a positive contribution to community health. Council members communicate openly and collaborate with health care staff to develop strategies and achieve measurable results.

Councils are usually composed of 14-20 members, half of whom are community representatives.

Together, they work to provide recommendations to improve patient services.

Benefits of a PFAC?

Joining a PFAC allows you to have a direct impact on the health care community. Health networks have embraced PFACs because the committees help them learn directly from the consumer's point of view to improve care.

You can be involved in redefining daily interactions for hospital stays, physician office visits, outpatient services, and testing. In the process, you help promote patient dignity and an ultimate healthcare experience. By working with your local healthcare provider staff, you can provide input that:

  • Improves patient safety and outcomes
  • Helps determine service needs of your community
  • Improves financial performance to secure local programming
  • Decreases malpractice claims
  • Increases patient satisfaction survey scores
  • Promotes employee satisfaction, and job growth in the region

Our Stories

Jennie Zioncheck

41, Former Patient

To people who don't know about PFAC, I would say that it is proof that AGH cares about its patients and community. They are seeking to create "people plans," not just business plans, and I believe that is the future of quality health care. I'm in a board room sharing my experiences and suggestions with the very people who made my care possible.

Ernest Ngririmana

34, Allegheny Valley Hospital staff
PFAC member at Allegheny General Hospital since 2017

In our very first meeting, our community members talked about how it would be useful for every hospital employee to be reminded of the basic elements that patients care about. Since then, the hospital has introduced AIDET (Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, and Thank You) training to every employee in order to improve communication with patients and each other.

AHN PFAC Community

Allegheny Health Network serves health care needs of the region at nine hospitals, eight outpatient surgery centers, six urgent care centers, five Health + Wellness Pavilions, numerous Institutes and physician practices — more than 250 sites of care in all. AHN Wexford Hospital will open at the end of 2021.

Council meetings representing all AHN service lines are hosted at:

Join an AHN PFAC


Each member can serve on a council for up to three 2-year terms. All PFAC members are expected to:

  • Work together
  • Listen well and ask questions
  • Share views while keeping an open mind
  • Agree to disagree at times
  • Attend 75 percent of PFAC meetings per year
  • Sign a confidentiality agreement

If you are a patient, family member of a patient, or an advocate for the delivery of the best possible health care in your community, complete the form below, or ask a Patient Experience team member to join a PFAC at your nearest preferred AHN location.

Application Form