Updated on: Sep 09, 2022

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 will 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

Some PFAs may join the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). Council members are required to participate in an orientation, monthly meetings, discussions, focus groups and surveys. Others will join the PFA pool.


Our vision is that Grand River Regional Cancer Centre patients 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 is encouraged and welcomed by GRRCC’s leadership and staff members.


The Patient and Family Advisory Council is committed to enhancing the quality of patient care at the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre through collaborative efforts with GRRCC leadership and staff by:

  • Representing patient and family perspectives about their healthcare experience at GRRCC and making recommendations for improvement.
  • Working in an advisory role to enhance person-centred healthcare at the GRRCC.
  • Identifying and encouraging best practices in person-centred healthcare at the GRRCC.
  • Acting as a sounding board, reviewing and supporting GRRCC leadership and staff person-centred initiatives and activities.
  • Evaluating the role of the Patient and Family Advisory Group in improving outcomes for patients and their families attending the GRRCC.
  • Acting as a communication vehicle between this PFAC and that at Cancer Care Ontario.
  • Contributing to and supporting nominations for outstanding staff and volunteer efforts for the annual Human Touch Awards sponsored by CCO.
  • Encouraging GRRCC staff, patient and family efforts to support healthy lifestyle and wellness initiatives.
  • There will be a minimum of 10 meetings per calendar year. Additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the chair.


The PFAC will consist of 10-12 patient or family advisors representing the diversity of Waterloo Wellington Region, at least three GRRCC administration staff members and two front line clinical staff members. The PFAC will be led by a one Chair person who will be a patient or family advisor.

The Chair terms will be for three years, with the possibility of renewal through the re-nomination process. The Chair will lead each PFAC meeting and will communicate activities and recommendations of the PFAC to the leadership of the GRRCC.

Membership criteria

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Live within Waterloo Wellington Region
  • Be a staff member at GRRCC
  • Be a cancer patient and/or family member or caregiver
  • Be willing to attend an orientation and training session
  • Be willing and able to attend at least seven meetings per year
  • Be willing to provide feedback about his/her personal experiences at the GRRCC
  • Be willing to be an active participant in either working groups or committees or focus
  • groups or surveys Engage thoughtfully and constructively around the issues and ideas
  • discussed during each meeting
  • Be respectful of the unique backgrounds and perspectives of each PFAC member
  • Commit to serving a three year term with the PFAC, with potential to renew their term for an additional year at the end of their three year term.

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).