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“There are no difficult families. There are only families in extremely challenging situations.”

That’s Karen Wayman’s mantra. As director of family-centered care at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Wayman helps families work as partners with their health care team so that their child receives the best possible care.

The core belief of family-centered care is this: You know your child best, and family input is critical to health providers caring for children with special health care needs.

A recent grant from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health has allowed Wayman to bring together 20 hospitals and pediatric units in California to share strategies, information and resources. While some hospitals have many years of experience implementing family-centered care, others are just starting.

The purpose of the project is to help hospitals “embed” savvy family advisors in hospital care settings and develop an effective family advisory council.

For more information about the family-centered care approach and about the training initiative, contact Karen Wayman at

Related Grants

A new article in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care from the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center discusses best practices for supporting diverse membership in children's hospital patient and family advisory councils and advancing the involvement of patient and family advisors in hospital-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion projects and initiatives.

This fact sheet summarizes the results of a survey of nearly 650 caregivers of CYSHCN about their experiences trying to access pediatric specialty care in California.