Our Patient & Family Advisory Council

At the heart of patient and family-centred care at PSFDH is the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). Established in 2015, PFAC serves in an advisory capacity, providing input to, and making recommendations on, matters that impact the experience of patients and their families at PSFDH.

The role of the PFAC and the appointed “Advisors” is to identify current and future opportunities to improve the care experience for patients, family and caregivers. By building a formal and structured partnership between Advisors and the organization, PSFDH will be able to better identify and integrate the patient perspective in its planning and activities.

They ensure the perspective of patients, family members, or their caregivers is always considered and incorporated in organizational activities. We listen and learn from patients and family members.


Frequently asked questions about PFAC

  • Why does the hospital have a PFAC committee?

PSFDH is committed to providing patient-centred quality care. PFAC is a method by which the senior leadership and staff engage with patients/family/caregivers requesting their advice on the quality and delivery of care at PSFDH. This partnership is an important connection that is required to continually improve the patient experience. 

  • What is patient centred care?

Patient centred care is based on the belief that patients, their family and the healthcare team work together as partners to improve the patient experience and to achieve the best possible outcomes. Demonstrated respect for the patient/family, active listening to what is said, and patient and staff working together as a team are some of the key principles of patient centred care. It takes into account the patient’s individual abilities, their needs, preferences and outcome goals. 

  • What do PFAC members do?
PFAC members collaborate, advocate and provide feedback and ideas in a positive manner for hospital signage, information booklets, new initiatives, programs, and relevant policies that enhance, ensure and embrace the model of high quality patient-centered care at PSFDH. Through these constructive discussions and voluntarily shared perspectives the potential to improve the patient experience is evidenced. The work is carried out in committee meetings. 
  • What does PFAC not do?
PFAC does not take on the cases of specific patients, family members or special interest groups. It is important to remember that PFAC provides only advice and does not have the final say about how care is delivered. Fundraising activities are not expected. 
  • How to become a PFAC member?
To start the process of membership, provide us with a letter of why you are interested in joining our PFAC along with a completed application form located on this website. Your letter of interest and application form may be submitted by email or regular mail to Cindy Coutts. (contact information can be found below). If all Eligibility Criteria and Council Expectations are met (found in the Terms of Reference on this website) in addition to a successful interview, an advisor position on PFAC will be offered. If you require assistance with this application, please feel free to contact our Patient Relations Manager, Cindy Coutts. 
  • What is the time commitment of a PFAC member?

- PFAC has 10 monthly meetings scheduled during September to June (video conferencing/phone options are available). Additional meetings may be called throughout the year to deal with special projects such as working on a booklet that has a definite timeline.


- Members are asked to sit on at least one other hospital committee. Members input may be requested by email regarding a specific topic between meetings.


- The time commitment would average 5-10 hours/month.


- An initial commitment of 2 years is recommended. It is also understood that this commitment may need to be amended due to extenuating circumstances. 

  • What training and support is offered?

New members are provided with orientation to the committee. Educational sessions to enhance one’s knowledge of the workings within the hospital are part of regular meetings. Parking badges are provided to PFAC members. 

  • How do I find out more information?
If you have further questions about PFAC or becoming a member, please contact:


Cindy Coutts Manager of Patient Relations & Privacy

E-mail: cindy.coutts@psfdh.on.ca


Smiths Falls: 613-283-2330 Ext. 1149
Perth: 613-267-1500 Ext. 1149


Perth and  Smiths Falls District Hospital

60 Cornelia Street West Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2H9


***If you require assistance with filling out the application form or submitting the application, please contact Cindy Coutts.***


PFAC Orientation Handbook 2022 


PFAC Application 


PFAC Terms of Reference 


Read the 2022 Report of Patient & Family Advisory Council presented at the 2022 PSFDH Annual General Meeting.




 For more information about PFAC, please contact Cindy Coutts at cindy.coutts@psfdh.on.ca.