Getting involved: what to expect

Our PFACs provide an arena for collaborative communication among patients, families, and Inova stakeholders. Advisors provide valuable feedback on programs, policies, services, facility planning, and other activities impacting patient experiences across our health system. Advisors are also often asked to participate in health system committees and work groups. Meetings occur virtually over Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

To join a PFAC, please complete our online application. PFAC advisors are eligible to serve up to a two-year term and expected to attend at least 75% of the scheduled meetings.

Once your application is submitted, a member of our patient experience team will review and respond to schedule an interview with you. Please note that to join an Inova PFAC, you must successfully complete a background check and compliance documents.

For more information, questions, or to request a paper application, please contact us at YourExperience@Inova.org.

PFACs at Inova

Inova Alexandria Hospital & Inova Mount Vernon Hospital

Inova's Eastern Region PFAC is composed of both Inova Alexandria and Inova Mount Vernon Hospitals. They serve as a forum for recent patients and their loved ones to collaborate and actively participate in discussions, contribute ideas, and provide feedback on various aspects of care such as patient education, facility design and communication strategies that impact a patient’s experience while in the hospital. The goal of the Eastern Region PFAC is to center decision-making processes around the voices and needs of our Eastern Region community.

Current/prospective members are:

  • Recent patients of Inova Alexandria Hospital (IAH) or Inova Mount Vernon Hospital (IMVH) and their family members
  • Comfortable with public speaking, sharing their personal stories, talking with hospital team members, and collaborating with hospital leaders to enhance quality, safety and patient-centered efforts
  • Able to meet every other month on the first Thursday

Our recent accomplishments:

  • Provided feedback on several specialty patient education resources
  • Learned about patient journey mapping and identified potential opportunities for PFAC members to be involved
  • Provided valuable feedback to update the inpatient rehabilitation admission binders

Inova Fairfax Hospital

The emergency department and adult inpatient services PFAC at Inova Fairfax Hospital is a forum to collect valuable feedback and perspectives to help ensure we deliver exceptional care to all our patients and their families.

Current/prospective members are:

  • Recent adult patients of Inova Fairfax Hospital and their family members
  • Comfortable with public speaking, sharing their personal stories, talking with hospital team members, and collaborating with hospital leaders to enhance quality, safety and patient-centered efforts
  • Able to meet every other month on the third Thursday

Our recent accomplishments:

  • Discussed the discharge experience and benefits of a discharge hospitality suite
  • Reviewed the current system-wide patient education experience
  • Connected with frontline team members in the emergency department and on our adult inpatient units while participating in compassion cart rounds

Inova Fair Oaks Hospital

A newly reestablished council, the Inova Fair Oaks Hospital PFAC is the link between Inova Fair Oaks Hospital and the community we are privileged to serve. The council holds and continues to actively seek a diverse group of members who recognize inclusive representation as the cornerstone of patient-centered care while striving for healthcare equity through a commitment to improve healthcare services for all patients and their families.

Current/prospective members are:

  • Recent adult patients of Inova Fair Oaks Hospital and their family members
  • Comfortable with public speaking, sharing their personal stories, talking with hospital team members, and collaborating with hospital leaders to enhance quality, safety and patient-centered efforts
  • Able to meet every other month on the second Thursday

Our recent accomplishments:

  • Held our inaugural PFAC meeting in August 2023
  • Collaborated with hospital team members to identify what matters most to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital patients and their families

Women's Services

The Inova Women's Services PFAC, implemented in June 2023, aims to bring patients and family members together who have experienced services that are included under the women’s services umbrella. We seek to grow this group with community members who can provide perspective and constructive feedback on the unique experiences encountered through Inova Women’s Services.

Current prospective members are:

  • Recent Inova patients who have experienced a women’s service and their family members (services can include but are not limited to annual well-woman care, perinatal care and childbirth experiences, gynecology, gynecologic and/or breast cancer care, and gynecologic surgery)
  • Comfortable with public speaking, sharing their personal stories, talking with Inova team members, and collaborating with leaders to enhance quality, safety and patient-centered efforts
  • Able to meet quarterly (meeting day and time varies based on group availability)

Inova Schar Cancer

The path our patients experience once diagnosed with cancer is incredibly important, yet complex. The Inova Schar Cancer PFAC aims to bring forth the voice of our patients and family members experiencing life with cancer. The council has and continues to contribute significantly to improvements made across Inova’s oncology services.

Current/prospective members are:

  • Recent Inova patients who have received cancer care and their family members
  • Comfortable with public speaking, sharing their personal stories, talking with Inova team members, and collaborating with leaders to enhance quality, safety and patient-centered efforts
  • Able to meet every other month on the fourth Thursday

Our recent accomplishments:

  • Supported the redesign of the Life with Cancer® online registration site for classes and events
  • Developed a patient information sheet for the Inova Saville Cancer Screening and Prevention Center

Sickle Cell

Inova’s Sickle Cell PFAC brings together individuals experiencing sickle cell, an inherited blood disorder. Given the challenging management of this condition, we seek to bring together community members who receive care through Inova for sickle cell. By elevating your unique experience and challenges, we can work together to find meaningful solutions and improve our care delivery. This group was chartered in January 2023 and is hoping to expand in the years to come.

Current/prospective members are:

  • Recent Inova patients who have received sickle cell care and their family members
  • Comfortable with public speaking, sharing their personal stories, talking with Inova team members, and collaborating with leaders to enhance quality, safety and patient-centered efforts

Behavioral Health

The Inova Behavioral Health PFAC aims to improve the experience of our inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services through the unique perspectives our advisors share with us. While engaging with hospital and system leaders on patient experience initiatives, the group advocates for this patient population throughout Inova and in the community.

Current/prospective members are:

  • Recent Inova patients who have received inpatient or outpatient behavioral health care and their family members
  • Comfortable with public speaking, sharing their personal stories, talking with Inova team members, and collaborating with leaders to enhance quality, safety and patient-centered efforts

Our recent accomplishments:

Spanish Language

The PFAC for Spanish-Speaking Patients was established in May 2023. This is a forum that allows us to engage and receive input from patients and families who speak Spanish and use these insights to enhance the experience of our diverse patient population.

Current/prospective members are:

  • Recent Inova adult patients who speak Spanish and their family members
  • Comfortable with public speaking, sharing their personal stories, talking with Inova team members, and collaborating with leaders to enhance quality, safety and patient-centered efforts
  • Able to meet every other month on the third Thursday

Our recent accomplishments:

  • Discussed the importance of having access to interpreter services during every interaction
  • Reviewed what "good communication" means and highlighted behaviors that help build trust and connection

Inova Schar Heart and Vascular

The Inova Schar Heart and Vascular PFAC is comprised of dedicated individuals who have firsthand experience as patients or family members in heart and vascular services at Inova. The council actively participates in discussions, contributes ideas, and provides feedback on various aspects such as patient education, facility design and communication strategies. The goal of the council is to ensure that the voice of the patient is heard and considered in decision-making processes.

Current/prospective members are:

  • Recent Inova patients who have received heart and vascular services and their family members
  • Comfortable with public speaking, sharing their personal stories, talking with Inova team members, and collaborating with leaders to enhance quality, safety and patient-centered efforts
  • Able to meet every other month on the second Wednesday

Our recent accomplishments:

  • Provided valuable insights concerning communication improvements with unexpected delays/wait times for providers, health literacy and what matters most to patients
  • Participated in review of the new digital patient education platform, cardiac rehabilitation patient education and registration kiosks to improve patients’ experience

Inova Children's

The Inova Children's Parent Advisory Councils (PAC) are comprised of dedicated parents with firsthand experience within Inova’s pediatric services. The purpose of Inova’s PACs are to gain insights from parents on how we can provide the best care to our patients and families. Current PACs include the cardiac PAC, the NICU PAC and the oncology PAC.

Current/prospective members are:

  • Parents and caregivers of pediatric patients who have received care at Inova L.J. Murphy Children’s Hospital or Inova’s pediatric multispecialty clinic
  • Comfortable with public speaking, sharing their personal stories, talking with hospital team members, and collaborating with hospital leaders to enhance quality, safety and patient-centered efforts
  • Able to meet every other month on the third Wednesday or Thursday (meeting day and time may vary based on specific PAC and group availability)

Our recent accomplishments:

  • Consulted on various healthcare initiatives, including the development of ISHAPED (nursing shift change handoff system), proposals for new/renovated pediatric spaces and the Comfort Promise
  • Assisted in establishing a comprehensive social media presence for Inova Children’s Hospital, contributing to the hospital's outreach and communication efforts
  • Provided expertise in program development including editing patient and family education materials, providing feedback on the discharge education program, reviewing emergency department flow processes, guiding the creation of the complex care binder, creating the parent mentor program, and guiding efforts related to pain management

Apply to join an Inova Patient and Family Advisory Council

For our PFACs, we seek a diverse representation of our Inova community across healthcare and background experiences. Please answer the few questions below:

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