Family engagement at the individual and systems levels is an important component of all programs that serve children and youth with special healthcare needs. Over the past decade, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau has recognized the importance of including the patient and family voice in the Pediatric Pulmonary Center’s (PPC) interprofessional team. This role is important because of the unique experiences shared by the family faculty with the other members of the team. At the University of Florida family-professional partnerships are valued. We recognize that the UF PPC has a role to play in enhancing the leadership skills of family/youth leaders so that they can be influential in all areas that serve children and youth with special healthcare needs, not just in healthcare. This is why we offer a family leadership training opportunity. The youth, parent or family member trainee will be mentored by the family faculty, while also learning from the other PPC clinical staff.
The Family Leader training program builds upon existing leadership and advocacy skills through participation in lectures, discussion groups, presentations, and projects. Family leader trainees will complete a similar set of training requirements as the other PPC graduate trainees and will also have access to a specific Family Leader Trainee curriculum that has been designed to address the unique needs of family/youth leader trainees.
In addition,the Family Leader trainee enhances the experience that other PPC trainees get through their traineeship because they share their lived experience and help the other trainees to “walk in the shoes” of the family. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for Fall, Spring and Summer internships. Family Leader internships are very flexible and recognize that families who have children with special healthcare needs have additional demands placed on their time. For further information about the Family Leader internship, contact Angela Miney.