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Family Advisory Council

Changing the future of healthcare for families at Children's Hospital

The Family Advisory Council at Children's Hospital at Erlanger works to help improve the experience of our pediatric patients and their families. Our group consists of families with experience in our hospital who are motivated to help enhance the patient and family experience by providing feedback on Erlanger policy, programming, and decision making.

We bring information to our monthly meetings where we review and discuss opportunities to maintain and facilitate patient-centered care. The Family Advisory Council plays an important role in changing the future of healthcare for families at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

Parent mentors are trained, veteran, Children’s Hospital parents who are effective managers of their own child’s health care. They are part of the Family Advisory Council and participate in the Mentor Program. Parent mentors provide peer support, make suggestions for coping in a hospital setting, model effective partnering with the healthcare team, and offer suggestions for navigating the journey and parent’s role in their child’s care. Parent mentors are available to talk with families about topics like coordinating family life during hospitalization, working effectively with the healthcare team, bereavement (if needed), taking a child home, and normalizing life after discharge.

We Also Offer a Program for Erlanger Baroness Hospital

Our Health System also offers a similar program for Erlanger Baroness Hospital patients and family members. Learn about the Patient and Family Advisory Council at Erlanger Baroness Hospital.

Our Partners

Family Voices logoSiskin logo

Family Advisory Council Wish List

Clothing closet needs (from 2T to adult large):

  • basic knits
  • bottoms (elastic waist)
  • underwear

Food needs:

  • non-perishable snacks
  • evening meals for Children’s Hospital families

Other needs:

  • Angel Dear Lovies
  • Journals
  • Adult sized elastic waist pants
  • Burb cloths
  • Roll of quarters - $10
  • Small packs of gum
  • 8 oz. water bottles
  • Snacks – Individually wrapped
  • Granola bars
  • Crackers
  • Small bags of pretzels or goldfish
  • Crossword Puzzle Books
  • Sudoku Puzzle Books

Essential Items – all travel size

  • Facial Cleansing Wipes
  • Feminine Products
  • Shaving Cream & Disposable Razor
  • Contact Solution & Contact Cases
  • Lip Moisturizer

Bereavement Cart

  • Instant coffee, tea, hot cocoa
  • Travel coffee cups
  • Adult coloring books
  • Colored pencils
  • 8 oz. water bottles
  • Individual tissue packs
  • Snacks: granola bars, trail mix, pretzels, etc.
  • essential oils
Amazon Wish List

Items purchased will ship directly to Children's Hospital at Erlanger

Our Team

Family Members
Child Life
Medical Caregivers
UT College of Medicine Chattanooga pediatric interns and residents
Ronald McDonald House Charities Patient Coordinator

Parent Mentors


Heather lives in Ooltewah with her husband, Ryan and son Drew. Drew was born with Prune Belly Syndrome and has seen many doctors. After a major surgery at Children’s at Erlanger, Drew was in the PICU for 34 days.

Virginia McClary

Virginia is a dedicated wife, mother, birth support worker, and volunteer. Virginia resides just outside of Chattanooga with her high school sweetheart and husband of 15 years, James, and their four beautiful children. Her experiences with her own children inspired her to pursue professional certifications to educate and support other mothers during their childbirth year and breastfeeding journey. She owns her own business, Redeemed Birth Services, and currently serves on the board of the non-profit, Eve's Victory. In 2016 Virginia's third child, Quinn, who due to a maternal infection was born at 30.5 weeks, spent one month in the Erlanger NICU. This was a very trying time, but the Erlanger NICU team was amazing in their care of Quinn. He is now a healthy, growing boy!

The mission and purpose of the NICU Advisory Council is one with which Virginia identifies. She looks forward to the opportunities the NICU Advisory Council will give her to offer a loving, helping hand to other families walking the journey of the NICU.

Want to volunteer?

Commitment Expectation:

  • Complete Family Advisory Council at Children's Hospital volunteer registration process
  • 1 – 2 year term of service
  • 2 hour monthly meeting

How you can help:

  • Complete a survey based on your family's experience at Erlanger
  • Submit the online application (below) to join the Family Advisory Council at Children's Hospital
  • Attend monthly meetings