Youth Advisory Council
The Youth Advisory Council (YAC), formed in 2013, is a platform that empowers teenage and young adult patients of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, as well as their siblings, to work alongside medical teams. Established by the hospitals’ child life specialists, the YAC supports young people as they advocate for themselves in their care, provide insight to medical professionals, connect with their peers for support and advise on decisions that will directly impact hospital life. The council is made up of patients from diverse backgrounds – representing various age groups, medical conditions and life circumstances – as well as child life specialists and medical staff. Through collaboration and communication, the YAC’s mission is to make hospital life a little bit easier.
What we do
The YAC works to improve all aspects of the patient experience. Members of the council advise hospital leadership and collaborate with staff to improve the quality and safety of care.
- Providing input and patient perspectives on care across UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals
- Educating care providers, including residents and nurses, about how young people experience hospitalization
- Planning and facilitating events for young patients, such as prom, teen lounge events and virtual groups
- Creating new initiatives and programs to support teenagers and young adults at our hospitals
Since its launch, the YAC’s accomplishments have included designing the teen lounge at our San Francisco hospital, participating in health care provider panels, improving the design of radiology scanners, creating educational videos about their experiences and improving signage around the hospitals.
Joining the YAC
The YAC is open to current or former patients of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in the age range of 14 to 22 years old.
Members of the council:
- Commit to one year of participation
- Attend meetings on the fourth Monday of each month (except July and December) from 6 to 8 p.m. (Meetings are currently held via Zoom.)
- Do not miss more than two meetings in a row
- Participate in various projects and events throughout the year
Recruitment takes place each fall, followed by interviews and new member training in January.