Patient and Family Advisory Committee

In order to maintain and improve the quality of care delivered, as of January 2018, the Canadian Forces Health Services Centre Ottawa, along with 1 Dental Unit Detachment Ottawa, implemented a Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC). The role of the committee is to improve the delivery of our care to better meet the needs of our patient community.

The PFAC meetings are co-chaired by senior representatives from CF H Svcs C (O), 1 DU Det Ottawa, and 1 patient or family member and will be held about 3 times a year at the Canadian Forces Health Services Centre Ottawa, 713 Montreal Road. Roles of the committee members include, but are not limited to, preparing and  actively participating in all meetings, while maintaining confidentiality of patient and organizational sensitive material. Please see enclosed Terms of Reference for the PFAC. Members of the committee  may also be asked to participate in other short-term projects within the clinic based on availability, interest, and experience.  Their participation and involvement will be acknowledged with an end-of-year letter to their chain of command for annual evaluation purposes.

For interested candidates, a selection process will take place by the two co-chairs to find those most suitable to participate and provide constructive feedback based on their experience with the clinics, their anticipated availability and willingness to get involved while ensuring  an appropriate diversity that represents our patient and family population. To assist us with the selection process of the members who best demonstrate the ability to fulfill the committee’s requirements, we kindly ask interested candidates to provide us with a short description of themselves, their experience with our health care services in Ottawa and inform us of the their ability to participate as a committee member. Interested candidates can send their names to

Terms of Reference 

Committee Objective

To ensure that the voices of patients and their families are at the heart of the provision of world-class care, exceptional service and compassion at the Canadian Forces Health Services Centre Ottawa. The principle of patient-partnered care represents the foundational framework by which CF H Svcs C Ottawa engages with patient and family partners.  These principles are:

  1. Promote respect: Proactively listen to, honour, and respect patient and family perspectives and choices;
  2. Share information: Communicate and share information with patients, families, and the chain of command in appropriate, useful, and affirming ways;
  3. Encourage participation: Patients and families are encouraged and supported participating in care and decision-making to the level they choose; and,
  4. Support collaboration: Health care leaders and providers establish a partnership with patients, families, and the chain of command to collaborate in areas such as policy and program development, implementation, design, evaluation, professional education and care delivery.


The PFAC will advise clinic leadership, healthcare providers, and administrative staff on policies, practices, planning, and delivery of patient-partnered care.  Specific areas of committee involvement may include:

  1. Advising on policies, practices, and the application of patient-partnered principles;
  2. Assisting in educating both staff and the public around patient-partnered principles and practices; and,
  3. Bringing a patient and family voice to advance patient-partnered care and patient engagement throughout the organization.

Committee Functions

  1. Promote collaboration between CF H Svcs Gp personnel and the greater community (including the chain of command) toward enhanced involvement of patients and their family members in the planning and delivery of care across the organization;
  2. Represent patient and family perspectives about their healthcare experience within CF H Svcs Gps and making recommendations for improvement;
  3. Work in an advisory role to enhance patient-partnered care;
  4. Identify and encourage best practices in patient-partnered care;
  5. Act as a sounding board when reviewing and supporting patient-partnered initiatives and activities;
  6. Evaluate the role of the PFAC in improving outcomes for patients and their families;
  7. Contribute to and support nominations to recognize outstanding staff efforts to support patient-partnered care;
  8. Encourage staff, patients, and family efforts to support healthy lifestyle and wellness initiatives; and,
  9. Review and provide feedback on patient focused communication strategies and education.


The Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC) will report to the CF H Svcs C (O) – medical and dental leadership teams, and will also liaise with the Canadian Forces Health Services Group (CF H Svcs Gp) Quality and Patient Safety Advisory Committee (Q&PSAC) when required.


Membership is for a one-year term.  Members missing more than 3 meetings will be contacted by the co-chair in order to re-evaluate their ability to commit to the PFAC. New members will be recruited as needed throughout the year to maintain membership. 

Other CF H Svcs C Ottawa staff maybe invited to attend as requested.  The Clinic Manager/Commanding Officer, Base/Wing Surgeon, and Dental Detachment Commander, Regional Quality & Patient Safety Officer, and Regional Surgeon will be ex–officio members of the committee.

Committee Members:

  • Co-Chairperson (Clinic Manager)
  • Co-Chair (dental)
  • Quality & Patient Safety Advisor
  • Administrative Assistant  
  • 8-12 Patients
  • 2-5 Family members

Membership roles

Chairperson (Alternate Chairperson role with the Co-Chair between dental/medical)
  • Communicates effectively with members;
  • Leads committee meetings and makes final decisions based on members’ participation;
  • Ensures that matters are dealt with in an orderly, efficient matter;
  • Brings impartiality and objectivity to meetings and decision-making;
  • Facilitates changes and address conflicts;
  • Plans for recruitment and renewal of committee management;
  • Ensures responsibilities of each member are carried out and are met as required;
  • Ensures that the committee functions are carried out properly, that there is full participation at meetings, that relevant matters are discussed and effective decisions are carried out;
  • Assigns members with initiatives/projects as required;
  • Represents members of the Patient Advisory Committee;
  • Develops and finalizes Agenda;
  • Invites guest speakers as needed;
  • Ensures that minutes are taken and kept as a permanent record;
  • Maintains oversight on membership;
  • Also, occupies the same role to those of the regular members; and,
  • Chairperson does not have voting privileges.
  • The Group is co-chaired by a representative from the medical or dental clinic.  This representative will ideally be a manager or supervisor.
  • Assists the Chairperson with all of his/her duties;
  • Provides medical / dental advice and expertise as required;
  • Also, occupies the same role to those of the regular members; and,
  • Co-Chair does not have voting privileges.
Quality & Patient Safety Advisor
  • Provides advice and shares expertise on quality improvement and patient safety;
  • Shares concerns based on patient feedback received and patient safety incident analysis; and,
  • Also, occupies the same role to those of the regular members.
Administrative Assistant
  • Prepares agenda (with support from the Chair and/or Co-Chair);
  • Records the minutes at each meeting (ensuring they are signed by the Chair);
  • Distributes minutes, agendas, documents and information to committee members as required;
  • Informs members of the next meeting;
  • Provides administrative support to the Committee; and,
  • Other responsibilities commensurate with the role and stated within the committee.
Patient and Family Committee Members
  • Membership of the Patient and Family Advisory Committee will consist of a maximum of 15 regular members: 8 to 12 patients and 2 to 5 family members (exclusive of CF H Svcs Gp Ottawa personnel).


  • Fulfill position for a one-year term which can be renewed upon request;
  • Have a variety of patient/family health service-related experiences or represented a special interest group (member’s family), within the past three years;
  • Bring diversity to the Committee with respect to their age, gender, rank, occupation, background, culture, and health care experiences;
  • Bring other skills, abilities, and experiences to help advance the work of the Committee; and,
  • Have a desire to work collaboratively with the medical clinic in improving the quality, safety, and experience of care.

Roles and Responsibilities of Members:

  • Attend all scheduled meetings;
  • Consider relevant data and evidence-based information for the purpose of advising on the implementation and evaluation the committee;
  • Bring their unique perspectives (e.g. site specific, cultural, rural versus urban) while respecting the input from others;
  • Participate on subcommittees/working groups as required;
  • Take on small projects/initiatives as required; and,
  • Be committed to improving care for all patients and family members. 

Expectations of all committee members

  • To maintain confidentiality of patient and organizational sensitive material;
  • To be positive and supportive of the Ottawa clinic’s vision; and,
  • Respect the collaborative process and understand that the final decision‐making related to care delivery and process improvements is the responsibility of the administration.

Selection Process

A ‘Call for Nominations’ process will be used when new members are required for the Patient and Family Advisory Committee.  The Nominations will be chosen and approved upon by the Co-Chairs.

The membership will strive to be reflective of the community which it represents. When nominating the Co-Chairs will ensure consideration is given to the geographical, linguistic and multicultural diversity of the Region.


The committee will meet at least three times per year and/or at the request of the Chairperson. Minutes will be maintained and distributed to all Committee members and posted on the local shared drive and/or other areas to be determined.

A minimum number of ten attending members is required to proceed with each meeting. If the minimum attendance requirement is not obtained, then the meeting will have to be rescheduled.


Consensus will be the preferred method of decision making. When a vote is required, each committee member will have one vote.  When necessary, decisions will be made by the majority vote (51%) of regular members present when consensus is not obtained.


Amendments may be made to these terms of reference at any regular meeting of the PFAC, by a 2/3 vote providing the suggested changes have been read at the previous meeting.

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