Becoming a Patient and Family Advisor

What Are Patient and Family Advisors?

The role of a Patient and Family Advisor is to work in partnership with the hospital to create a truly patient- and family-centred care environment and experience. Patient- and Family-Centred Care is an approach to the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among patients, families and health care providers (Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care, 2010).

Patient and Family Advisors provide important perspectives and have a direct impact across a wide range of hospital initiatives, programs, services and policies to improve the experience of care.

Patient and Family Advisors participate in ways that best match their interest, experience and availability. Some of the committees advisors participate in include: Quality of Care Committee, E-Health Steering Committee, Access to Care Steering Committee, Redesign Working Group, and Senior Staff Recruitment Panel.
Become a Patient and Family Advisor

We believe it is very important for prospective volunteers to clearly understand the program criteria to ensure a mutual match for both the advisor and North York General Hospital. Kindly review the program requirements and confirm you can meet the program’s expectations prior to beginning the application process.

Program Requirements

NYGH Experience
–- All Patient and Family Advisors are required to have had an experience with NYGH within the past two years, either as a patient or as a primary caregiver to a patient.

Time Commitment — All volunteers must commit to volunteering for a minimum of one year with a typical commitment of two years. We require that every Patient and Family Advisor be continuously involved with at least one committee or ongoing project. Please reflect on your availability and ensure this is a commitment you can make!
Note: The majority of our volunteer roles are between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. There are very limited volunteer roles available during the evenings or weekends.

TB/Communicable Disease Surveillance Program — NYGH is in compliance with the Public Hospitals Act (O. Reg. 965) which requires that hospital bylaws must establish and provide for the operation of a health surveillance program, including a TB/communicable disease surveillance program, for all persons carrying on activities in the hospital. Prior to placement, you must provide documentation from your treating physician to the Volunteer Services Department to ensure your immunization status meets the requirements of the TB/communicable disease program at NYGH. TB/communicable disease screening begins after a prospective volunteer has been accepted to the Volunteer Program.

Influenza Vaccination — NYGH is committed to providing the best care for our patients, our health care workers and our volunteers. NYGH's Influenza Vaccination Policy and Outbreak Management policy requires all staff, physicians and volunteers who work in patient areas to immunize or mask. Learn more

Language — Volunteers must have an advanced level of English in both speaking and writing.

Orientation — Once accepted to the Volunteer Program, you will be required to attend an orientation day where we will review hospital policies, procedures, communication skills and how to be successful in your new role.

What We Are Looking for

At NYGH, volunteers are committed to enhancing the experience of our patients, residents and their families. Prospective volunteers should:
  • Have a compassionate and respectful manner
  • Be professional, reliable and punctual
  • Be accountable and a team player
  • Be willing to learn new skills and follow direction
  • Be committed to making a difference
  • Be open to seeing beyond their own personal experience
Application Process

If you meet the program criteria, here are the steps to becoming a Patient and Family Advisor at NYGH:
  • Register for the next information session. (There are no sessions currently scheduled, please check back at a later date.) 
  • After attending the information session, prospective volunteers are provided with a NYGH Volunteer Application Package.
  • Review, complete and submit your NYGH Volunteer Application Package.
  • The Patient- and Family-Centred Care office will contact you to schedule an interview.
  • Provide a record of vaccination and undergo a TB test.
  • Undergo mandatory confidentiality training.
  • Attend an orientation day.
  • Specific training to your volunteer role begins; welcome to the team!


Contact the Patient-and Family-Centred Care Consultant
Phone: 416-756-6467