Updated on: Jan 10, 2024

Be an advisor and help transform the patient and family experience. Share you're voice... we're listening!

The purpose of Patient and Family Advisors (PFAs) are to engage and partner with staff to improve the patient experience through system redesign across the cancer journey. The cancer program is committed to hearing the voices of patients, families, and caregivers.

What does a Cancer PFA do?

As a PFA, you may be asked to:

  • Share personal cancer care experiences in a variety of mediums
  • Vocalize and provide insight into patient interests, needs and backgrounds beyond your own experience
  • Provide input and make recommendations based on your experience of the cancer care system
  • Advise on strategies for actively partnering with patients in designing, planning and improving health care services
  • Review evaluation methods to help define the success of system-level interventions
  • Assist with achieving clarity around the discussion topics and meeting objectives

How do I join?

Please fill out the form below and email it to: cancerPFAC@grhosp.on.ca

Fill out our Patient and Family Advisor application form

Contact Us

Email: cancerPFAC@grhosp.on.ca

PFAC Terms of Reference and Membership Criteria

All PFAs will be part of the PFA pool. Some PFAs may join the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). Council members are expected to participate in monthly meetings and discussions.


Our vision is that patients receiving care from the Waterloo Wellington Regional Cancer Program (WWRCP) will have a compassionate and supportive health care experience with the highest standard of care. To achieve this, the active and collaborative involvement of patients and family members through the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) is essential and is supported by the Grand River Hospital as the host site for the Waterloo Wellington Regional Cancer Program.


The PFAC is committed to enhancing the quality of patient care in the WWRCP through collaborative efforts with WWRCP and the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre (GRRCC) leadership and staff by:

1. Representing patient and family perspectives about their healthcare experience in the WWRCP and making recommendations for improvement throughout the cancer continuum.

2. Working in an advisory role to enhance person-centred healthcare in the WWRCP.

3. Identifying and encouraging best practices in person-centred healthcare in the WWRCP.

4. Acting as a sounding board, reviewing, and supporting WWRCP and GRRCC leadership and staff person-centred initiatives and activities including encouraging the use of patient experience surveys and quality indicators.

5. Evaluating the role of the Patient and Family Advisory Group in improving experience for patients and their families attending the GRRCC & WWRCP.

6. Participate in the completion of WWRCP work plans and regional strategic plans.

7. Contributing to and supporting nominations for outstanding staff and volunteer efforts for awards such as the annual Human Touch Awards sponsored by Cancer Care Ontario (CCO), Employee Award of Excellence sponsored by Grand River Hospital (GRH) etc.

Membership criteria & Responsibilities

  • Be 16 years of age or older
  • Be a patient, family member and/or caregiver of an individual who received or is actively receiving oncology care
  • Be a Patient and Family Advisor (PFA) within the WWRCP
  • Commit to serving a two-year term with the PFAC
  • Be able to attend orientation and training sessions
  • Be able to attend at least seven meetings per year
  • Be willing to provide feedback about personal experiences
  • Willing to be an active participant in either working groups or committees or focus groups or surveys (these meetings typically require daytime involvement)
  • Engage thoughtfully and constructively around the issues and ideas discussed during each meeting
  • Follow through with requests/action items communicated over email
  • Be respectful of the unique backgrounds and perspectives of each PFAC member
  • Be prepared, having reviewed agenda and material provided before the meeting

Interested in helping shape cancer care at a provincial level?

Cancer Care Ontario is now recruiting patient and family advisors from Waterloo Wellington region to join their community. Learn more here (opens in new window).