Patient and Family as Advisors

ICU Advisory Council Group

What is an Advisor?

Advisors are patient and family volunteers who work with UWMC care providers and staff to improve the healthcare experience for everyone. This partnership fosters the philosophy of patient and family centered care that is central to our services at UWMC.

As part of a continuing process to include patients and families in everything from creating guidebooks to interviewing residents, UWMC has seven advisory councils. These councils cover inpatient, intensive care, neonatal intensive care, outpatient, pregnancy and childbirth, rehabilitation services and transplant units.

How do I become an Advisor?

  • Complete an application form and mail it to Andrea Dotson at the address below.
  • Or, send an email to
  • Or, call 206.598.7448. If you receive a recording, please include your name, interest in becoming an advisor, and a way to contact you.

What is patient and family centered care?

Patient and family centered care is a philosophy that guides how we provide care. It:
  • Recognizes the importance of patient and family involvement in health care decision-making.
  • Emphasizes the strengths, priorities, and preferences that are unique to each family.
  • Encourages a partnership among patients, families and health care professionals.

Who can be an Advisor?

Any patient who has recently received or is currently receiving care at UWMC may serve as an Advisor. Advisors should be willing to volunteer two or more hours per month.

Family members also may be Advisors if their loved ones have recently received or are currently receiving care at UWMC.

What are the qualities of an Advisor?

Patient and family Advisors:

  • Share insights and experiences in productive ways.
  • See beyond their own personal experiences.
  • Respect diversity and differing opinions.
  • Are good listeners.
  • Collaborate on solutions.
  • Are passionate about enhancing the health care experience.

How do Advisors partner with UWMC staff?

Patient and family advisors help improve the care experience in several ways:

Council membership: Advisors work in partnership with staff, nurses, and doctors in the specific care areas where they have received care.

E-Advisors: By email, Advisors give their opinion about hospital policies, practices, and health education materials. This advisory role is ideal for those who want to do their volunteer work at home.

Program/policy review: Advisors design, implement, and evaluate health care programs and policies that help ensure the best possible care for patients and their families.

Committee membership: Advisors serve on committees and take active roles in helping with guidelines and processes. Examples include: patient safety, patient and family education, American Disabilities Act, welcoming environment, and Service League Board.

Teaching: Advisors teach staff and professionals-in-training, helping them learn directly from patients and families about the care experience.

Discussion groups: Advisors participate in one-time discussion groups focused on a particular department or service. Examples include creating a healing environment, assisting with facilities design, and creating a more ideal check-in system for patients in the Surgery Pavilion.

Contact Information

Patient and Family Education Services
1959 N.E. Pacific St.
Box 359420
Seattle, WA 98195-8420
Phone: 206.598.7448
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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