Family Partnerships Network

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FamilY Partnerships Network



​​​The FamilY Partnerships Network (FPN) is an advisory group to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Board of Directors, which has a goal of developing and implementing a strategy to expand the opportunity for parent/family/youth input and participation in AAP activities and programs. The FPN was officially established in 2014, and is governed by a 7 member Executive Committee comprised of family advisors representing various interests, experience, and perspectives. While the FPN was more recently established, the AAP has a long history of engaging families in its programs/activities, starting in 1999 on medical home initiatives, as well as the establishment of the Parent Advisory Group under the Section on Home Care in 2007.

Members of the FamilY Partnerships Network include family advisors to AAP Committees, Councils, and Sections, and representatives from national family organizations. The FPN is designed to provide mentorship and training to family and youth advisors who are new to the AAP, as well as to provide a forum to family advisors to share best practices and lessons learned about partnering with health care professionals in change and improvement.


Mission of the FPN

The mission of the AAP FamilY Partnerships Network (FPN) is to represent family and youth perspectives, lead and facilitate youth and family engagement, and support ongoing youth and family involvement at the local, state and national level within the AAP and with other stakeholders.

The work of the FPN is guided by the AAP Principles for Family Engagement, which are as follows:

  1. The family is the principal caregiver and the center of strength and support for children.
  2. The AAP recognizes that perspectives and information provided by families, children, adolescents, and young adults are essential components of collaborative decision-making in the delivery of high-quality, safe, and compassionate care. Patients and their families are integral partners of the health care team.   
  3. The AAP recognizes the value of diversity among patients, families, and pediatricians. The delivery of care within the context of appropriate physician knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of cultural and population distinctions take into account families' experiences, beliefs, values actions, customs, and unique health care needs.
  4. Recognizing, valuing, and building on the strengths of individual children and families and empowering them to discover and communicate their own strengths, build confidence, and partner in making choices and decisions about their health care is vital to optimal health and development.
  5. To promote improved patient, family, and physician experiences and outcomes, the AAP encourages and supports family engagement in its core competencies of education, practice, research, and advocacy.

FamilY Partnerships Network Executive Committee

The FPN Executive Committee provides leadership and oversight to the FamilY Partnerships Network, and is made up of 8 family and youth/young adult representatives representing diverse interests and perspectives. Current participants of the Executive Committee include:

  • Betsy Anderson, Co-chair
  • Julie Beckett, Co-chair
  • Gred Schell​, MEd, Vice-chair
  • Michael Hannon, PhD, LAC, NCC
  • Tamela Milan, BA, MAPPA
  • Chrissie Blackburn, MHA
  • Siddhant Srivastava, Youth member
  • Open position, Youth member

Overview of FPN Goals and Activities

The FPN held a Webinar on Friday, December 4, 2015. During this Webinar, Executive Committee members provided an overview of the FPN, as well as additional information about activities that are being planned over the coming year. A recorded version of this Webinar can be found here.

We are interested in your thoughts about the proposed FPN activities, and whether you might be willing to get more involved and assist with specific activities. We ask that you provide your feedback via a brief online survey, which can be found here​.

Family Engagement in AAP National Committees

The FPN received funding from the AAP Friends of Children Fund to implement a 2-year pilot project. This pilot will focus on adding a youth/family liaison to 3 national AAP committees. Committees are Board appointed groups that develop many of the AAP policies and program and work to achieve the Academy’s goals and objectives. More information about national committees can be found here. The Committees selected to participate in this pilot were the Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine, the Committee on Hospital Care, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health.


Don't Forget the Dads! The Important Role of Fathers in Child and Family Health: Fathers have an important role in their child’s health, and their involvement benefits children, families, and fathers themselves. However, there are still instances when fathers are not included, or there are institutional biases that discourage fathers' involvement in their child’s health care. This archived webinar features 3 expert fathers, who share a summary of the research on this topic, as well as anecdotal experiences of dads.

Family Engagement Tip Sheet for AAP Chapters​: This 1-page fact sheet provides AAP Chapter with specific ideas for engaging families in their work.  ​

Understanding the AAP: A Guide for Families and Youth: This set of PowerPoint slides provides an overview of the AAP, and is designed to provide orientation to youth/families who are new to working on AAP initiatives.

7 Great Achievements in Pediatric Research: A campaign of the AAP that highlights seven groundbreaking therapies and technologies developed through research made possible by federal investments.


Contact Us

For additional information about the FamilY Partnerships Network (FPN), please contact AAP staff, Sunnah Kim at

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