USF Medical Home Transformation

In September, 2011, USF was selected as one of 20 pediatric practices across the state to participate in the Florida Medical Home Demonstration Project. With leadership provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the project is funded through the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA).

What is a Medical Home?

The AAP believes that the care of children and adolescents should be accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective. It should be delivered by well-trained physicians who provide primary care and help manage all aspects of pediatric care. The physician should be known to the child and family, and should develop a partnership of mutual responsibility and trust.

Family-Centered Care

USF is using the tools provided through the AAP Medical Home Demonstration Project to implement quality improvement strategies, optimize use of resources, and improve patient care. A key goal is to strengthen the way USF Pediatrics delivers family-centered care.

One of the first activities was to form a Family Advisory Council (FAC). FAC members can help ensure that care is centered on patient and family needs, strengths, values and priorities. Further, family-physician partnerships have been shown to:

  • Promote team work
  • Foster mutual understanding, cooperation, and respect
  • Result in efficient planning, and
  • Provide a mechanism for consumer input and feedback about services

Introductory Social

This past spring, the FAC held its first meeting at the Children’s Board in Ybor City. The group of 18 - a mix of teen patients, parents/ caregivers, and USF staff – spent some time getting to know each other before the meeting. Those who attended heard that FAC participation will provide them with opportunities to develop supportive relationships with other patients and families, learn about community resources, and become empowered to better manage their own care. Staff members also presented results from a recent USF patient satisfaction survey.

Discussion at the meeting concerned potential group goals, ideas to improve care at USF Pediatrics, and ways to engage more youth and families in FAC meetings and activities. Among the suggestions:

  • Develop an FAC web page that provides a venue for families to share resources and information (stay tuned!)
  • Organize events for teen patients
  • Explore ways to improve transition to adult health care

The FAC plans to meet quarterly during evening hours. To review meeting materials, download our Presentation and Minutes.



USF Pediatrics will attain the highest standards of Patient-Centered Medical Homes for our patients, including children with special needs, through the implementation of a rigorous, continuous improvement process.

For more information about the FAC, contact:
Cristina Pelaez-Velez, MD, FAAP
(813) 259-8752, or
Janet Hess, MPH, CHES, (813) 259-8604