In 2017, the Center, along with the Department of Pediatrics, established the Pediatric Family Advisory Board in an effort to foster parent, child and professional partnerships to better meet the needs of families receiving care at Boston Medical Center. The engagement of the Family Advisory Board supports the broader goal of the hospital in ensuring that families are at the center of planning and development of innovative new models of care and is aligned with the adage “nothing about us without us.”

Since its launch, the Family Advisory Board has grown to 11 members and meets monthly: to provide insight, feedback and ideas to shape specific programs in the Department; and, to advise the Center as it designs the “Practice of the Future.” Most recently, the Board played an integral role in organizing the Healthy Holidays fair where 55 children received influenza vaccines.

In June 2018, we welcomed Shay Simmons into the role of Parent Liaison for the Family Advisory Board. Simmons has been a member of the Board since its inception, and we are pleased she will now take on a leadership role, networking between the Department, the Center and the Board to advance our shared goals. Simmons has been an active, motivated member in her community since she began working with Smart from the Start. Her dedication and involvement grew from there, as she began to work with other organizations such as the Family Nurturing Center and Union Capital Boston (UCB). In 2017, UCB acknowledged her service with the Community Leader Award. For her, having a hands-on role in connecting families to resources has been deeply rewarding.