Patients and families have valuable wisdom, advice, and experiences to share. We value patient and family feedback. It helps us improve the delivery, quality, and safety of our care. At the UVM Medical Center, we are committed to patient and family-centered care. We believe in it so much that it is a hospital-wide strategic initiative.

Bringing Patient and Family-Centered Care to Our NICU

We invite families to join our NICU Advisory Board as a patient/family advisor. We are working to build an active, multidisciplinary advisory council. Our goal is to consistently and meaningfully incorporate the family voice into practice.

If you are a family member of a patient who was recently cared for in our NICU, you have important insight to share. We want to partner with you to improve care and the patient experience.

What is a patient/family advisor?

A patient/family advisor is a patient or family member of a patient who provides advice, feedback, or suggestions. You do so through participation in a focus group or on an advisory council. The goal is to make services more responsive to the needs of patients and families.

One NICU Advisory Board Member’s Story

“When my son was born 5 weeks early and with low birth weight, the last thing I was thinking was that he would be staying in the hospital for 19 days. In the coming days, after I discharged home and my son did not, spending my days in the unit became my life. I sat by my son’s bedside every day like it was my job, arriving every morning to participate in morning rounds and staying until dinner and a final feeding with my son.

The care my son received was always excellent. The care and attention I received as a mother on the unit varied. I was surprised and confused by the feeling that sitting all day with my premature son was odd and not celebrated. I worked hard to learn the rhythms and rules of the unit on my own and struggled when at times nurses seemed almost irritated by my presence. I couldn’t articulate it then, but once we settled into life at home it became clear to me that I wanted to share my experience with not only other mothers and parents of NICU babies but also with professionals and staff at the hospital.

For all of these reasons both positive and negative, I joined the NICU parent advisory committee where we can share our experiences if we want, but almost more importantly, we hope to support the experiences of future NICU moms and parents.”

How can you get involved?

The NICU Advisory Council currently meets on the 4th Sunday of each month from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Please contact Charlotte Safran at if you would like to participate or to learn more!

Learn more about patient and family-centered care at the University of Vermont Medical Center. 

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