Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC)

Improving through experience

Who is the PFAC?

Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) is a group of community members who have been patients or family members of patients. We work with hospital staff to ensure the highest standard of comprehensive and compassionate health care. We use our experience and skills to help the hospital provide patient-centered care that considers cultural traditions, personal preferences, and values while encouraging partnerships among patients, their families, and their health care providers. We serve on the hospital’s various committees and working groups, including the emergency department, childbirth, radiology, and palliative care.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Council was formed in 2009. The Massachusetts General Laws Section 11 of c.305 requires all Massachusetts hospitals to establish a Patient and Family Advisory Council. Patient and Family Advisory Councils are based on the work of the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care.

Download the most recent PFAC Annual Report

How We Can Help You and Your Family 

The goal of the Patient and Family Advisory Council is to provide a more positive hospital experience for patients and their families. Council members advise the hospital on many concerns, including patient-provider relationships, quality improvement initiatives, patient education, and safety issues. By listening to patients and their families, the hospital gains a unique and valuable perspective on its current practices and how these can be adapted to best meet the needs of the community.

Join Us

If you have been a patient, or a family member of a patient, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital and would like to learn more about joining the Council, please download & complete a PFAC application and email to or mail to Volunteer Services, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust Street, Northampton, MA 01060-5001.

Cooley Dickinson PFAC Highlighted in Patient Safety Newsletter

Cooley Dickinson’s PFAC chairperson Cynthia Suopis and VP Operations Tony Scibelliis were highlighted in an edition of the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety’s Patient Safety Beat, an e-newsletter that reports patient safety news and progress in Massachusetts. The article focuses on how PFACs, “which serve as the patient voice at hospitals and accountable care organizations, are transitioning from COVID-related conditions to address ongoing concerns, including diversity and inclusion.”

Read the Patient Safety Beat article

Cynthia Suopis and Tony Scibelli