We put patients and their families first.

At Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, we know that providing the best care is a team effort—one that involves you. Patients and families play a vital role in the health and healing of children and adolescents, and sometimes families need care themselves. Our approach is grounded in the relationships between healthcare providers, patients and families. The best care happens when we work together, drawing from everyone’s expertise on the subject that matters most: your child.

Our approach is called Patient- and Family-Centered Care. It involves honoring patient and family choices, sharing information and encouraging full collaboration in care and decision-making. Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health was among the first children’s hospitals to practice Patient- and Family-Centered Care. The key elements include:

  • Recognizing that the family is the constant in a child’s life.
  • Sharing with patients and families, on a continuing and supportive basis, complete and unbiased information.
  • Honoring the racial, ethnic, cultural, spiritual and socioeconomic diversity of families.
  • Recognizing patient and family strengths and recognizing different ways of coping.
  • Encouraging family-to-family support.
  • Understanding the developmental needs of infants, children and adolescents and incorporating that knowledge into our care.
  • Supporting policies and programs that provide emotional and financial support.
  • Designing accessible services that are flexible, culturally competent and responsive to family needs.

How to Get Involved

No one understands the needs and concerns that come with caring for an ill child better than the families who have been through it. You can help us to improve the care experience for everyone by becoming a Family Advisor.

Your role can take several forms,  choose when and how to participate. Training and mentoring let you know what to expect and how to be effective. A few options:

  • Serve on councils and committees. Some groups, such as the Discharge Education Workgroup, are short-term. Others, such as the statewide Pediatric Patient and Family Advisory Council, and the Riley Patient Safety and Quality Council are ongoing.
  • Tell your story. Stories are a powerful way to help nurses, doctors, therapists, social workers and others understand what families experience. Some families tell their story to our coordinator of Patient- and Family-Centered Care, write it for publication in our newsletters or on our website or—as Family Faculty—tell it in educational settings.
  • Attend specialty events. Family Representatives show the results of excellent medical care by representing Riley at IU Health at events. Examples include Colts and Pacers games, conferences and dance marathons.
  • Help educate. Hospitals provide many educational programs for staff and families. As part of our E-Advisor or Focus Group Network, you can help ensure that the materials make sense and are useful.

If you are interested in becoming a Riley Family Advisor and would like to learn more, email the coordinator for Patient- and Family-Centered Care at rileyfamilies@iuhealth.org.

Resources for Families

The following resources are provided to help you navigate your family’s experience at Riley at IU Health and in the broader healthcare system.

Riley Resources

State and National Resources

  • Family Voices. This national grassroots network is a disability-services advocacy organization.
  • Indiana Association for Infant and Toddler Mental Health. This group, a subsidiary of Mental Health America of Indiana, seeks to “advance the conditions which provide an early start toward optimal mental health.”
  • Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care. This site provides detailed information on creating collaborative, empowering relationships among patients, families and healthcare providers.
  • MedlinePlus. This federal government site contains reliable, patient-friendly information on thousands of conditions, treatments, medications and other health topics.
  • National Health Law Program. This national nonprofit organization works for the health rights of low-income and underserved individuals and families.
  • Sunny Start. This initiative of the Indiana State Department of Health is focused on preparing children’s minds and bodies for the beginning of their school years.