Patient & Family Advisor: Frequently Asked Questions


Am I qualified to be a Patient & Family Advisor?

In order to be a Patient & Family Advisor (PFA), you should be a past or current patient or have a loved one who is a past or current patient of Halton Healthcare, who wants to help improve the care we provide to our community. The ideal candidate has been a patient or supported a patient at Halton Healthcare within the last 5 years.

What is the difference between a Halton Healthcare Volunteer and a Patient & Family Advisor?

Our volunteers are members of our community who are highly visible throughout our three hospitals. They choose to volunteer in various areas, including providing customer service, working in both, non-patient and in-patient areas, as well as patient transport. Patient & Family Advisors are engaged in various opportunities to which they can contribute their patient/family perspective.

What will my role be as a Patient & Family Advisor?

Your role as a Patient and Family Advisor will be to collaborate with Halton Healthcare staff toward the goal to improve the quality and safety of the care we provide to our patients and families. This role provides you with an opportunity to share your experiences with the staff, ensuring they have an awareness from a patient and family perspective.

How will I know if I am ready to be a Patient & Family Advisor?

You are ready to become a PFA when:

  • You are willing to talk about your experience constructively,
  • You are willing to look beyond your own experience,
  • You are ready to collaborate with people who have different viewpoints, and
  • You are willing and able to maintain confidentiality about the information you receive

What is the expected time commitment?

Generally, the commitment is 2-4 hours per month, however this can change depending on what engagement opportunity you are working on or what committee you are a part of. Advisors may also be interested in being part of the Patient & Family Advisory Council; this committee requires a 4-6 hour commitment per month.

After submitting my application what are the next steps?

Quality and Patient Relations screens all applications. Due to the suitability of applicants, it is not guaranteed that every applicant will obtain an interview or placement. Those applicants most suitable for our current vacancies will be contacted. Following a successful interview, we may proceed with your references.

What are the immunization requirements?

If we are able to offer you a position, Volunteer Services will review the health screening requirements with you. This involves having a 2-step Turbeculin (TB) skin test done as part of your onboarding as a Patient & Family Advisor. There is typically a fee for this testing and Halton Healthcare is unable to cover the cost. As well, you will be required to provide proof of immunity of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), and Varicella, and complete COVID-19 vaccinations.

How long does it take before I can participate?

Within 2-4 weeks following the completion of the 2-step TB skin test you will be required to attend a three-hour general orientation and any additional role-specific training required.

Can I choose what I would like to participate in?

Absolutely. We will discuss your interests with you during the interview and inform you of all opportunities available to Patient & Family Advisors. As new opportunities arise we will reach out to all PFA’s to determine interest.

What opportunities are available for Patient & Family Advisors?

Patient & Family Advisors engage in activities that best match their interests, experience, strengths and availability. Some examples of engagement opportunities include:

  • Committees
  • Short-Term Projects
  • Patient Education Material
  • Document Reviews
  • Hiring Panels
  • Patient & Family Advisory Council

Do I need to pay for parking?

You will not have to pay for parking. Your identification badge will provide access to parking and the hospitals.

Who can I contact with further questions regarding the Patient & Famly Advisor Role?

You can contact Patient Relations at 905-338-4138 or email us at