Become a Patient and/or Family Advisor

Patient and family advisors, volunteer patients and family members, share their stories, experiences, opinions and perspectives to help champion initiatives that create more patient-centric programs, operations, services and research. The goal is to improve the safety and quality of patient care. Advisors work in partnership with Michigan Medicine staff from the executive level to special councils. They also participate in focus groups and surveys, review patient facing materials.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Patient/Family Advisor?

Patient and family advisors are individuals who have experienced the care at Michigan Medicine as a patient and/or family member – and are willing to share their experiences, positive and negative, to help us improve care in our system. Our advisors range in age from teens to seniors, and each has a unique perspective and expertise that helps us continue to improve the care and experience for all patients and families at Michigan Medicine.

What is the expectation of this role?

Patient and family advisors help us improve by sharing their experiences and suggestions in a variety of creative ways. We recognize that each advisor has a different story, interest, and schedule, and so our volunteer coordinators work with advisors to find a placement that fits best for them. Some of our advisors serve on committees, others share their stories as speakers in educational settings, and others provide feedback virtually.

 What is the time commitment?

The variety of roles and placements available to our advisors means that there is an opportunity for everyone to participate – whether you have many hours per month to give, or are able to respond to an online survey once every few months! When you meet with a volunteer coordinator, they will talk with you about your interests and availability, and work with you to find the best match. We know that many of our patients and families live far away from our main medical campus, so we can work with you to find opportunities that fit best in your life.

 Will I receive any training?

Absolutely! Any advisor who will be participating in an on-site role will attend a training that covers both Office of Patient Experience information as well as all the information you need to be a safe and effective volunteer at Michigan Medicine. Trainings are offered monthly by our staff members and also allow you to meet other new patient and family advisors. Some of our advisor roles, such as peer mentors, require additional training – your volunteer coordinator will make sure that you have everything you need to succeed in this role.

If I am interested, how can I sign up?

We’d love to talk to you! If you are interested in becoming a volunteer patient or family advisor, please contact patient-experience@med.umich.edu with a little bit about you and your interest. We’ll connect you to the right volunteer coordinator, who will reach out to set up a time to meet and learn more about you so we can find the best fit!