Patient and Family Education Committee

Chair Doranne M. Donesky, PhD, ANP-BC, ATSF Napa, CA
Vice Chair Catherine Chen, MD Dallas, TX

The Patient and Family Education Committee (PFEC) provides oversight for the design, implementation, and evaluation of the Society’s patient, family and lay public‐oriented educational activities and products, including informational brochures and website materials.

The Committee performs ongoing assessments of ATS patient/public educational resources to assure that they are relevant, current, health literate, and cost‐effective. Based on these assessments, the Committee oversees the periodic development and modification of the Society's educational portfolio for patients and families and conducts periodic strategic planning aimed at continued improvement. It develops educational strategies to accelerate the translation of scientific discovery and knowledge to improve patient and family knowledge and skill about the prevention and treatment of pulmonary disease, critical illness, and sleep disorders. PFEC focuses on areas that improve clinician knowledge and attitudes for enhancing communication with patients and families, including topics such as health literacy, cultural competence, and use of patient and family educational materials in clinical practice. In addition, the Committee also explores ways to ensure that the patient and family perspective is incorporated into educational activities for ATS members and other professionals in the fields of pulmonary, critical care and sleep.

The committee works closely with the Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR) to develop collaborative goals regarding patient and family education. It coordinates its efforts, whenever appropriate, with multiple other committees and staff including the Learning Council, Documents Development and Implementation Committee (DDIC), Drug/Device Discovery and Development Committee (DDDD), Health Equity and Diversity Committee, the Associate Medical Editor for Patient Education, and the ATS Website team.

The committee provides expert guidance to existing and future public health initiatives to ensure their development, review and output is accurate, consistent with current public health and patient/family education standards, and coordinated with relevant outside organizations or teams.

Benchmarks, 2023-2024:

• Serve as a resource for ATS participation in the CDC/CMSS grant program to “Improve Adult Immunization Rates for High-Risk Adults,” including providing expertise, as requested by the Expert Panel, in the design, review and use of patient-centered educational materials aimed at pulmonary clinicians and their patients.
• Serve as a resource for the 2022 ATS website review process by providing content expertise (accuracy, currency, relevancy, literacy) of medically-oriented pages targeted for patients, families/support, and non-clinically trained audience.
• Update PGATS manual consistent with newer health literacy guidance, such as the statements from the VA and CDC, and include format, use of language, applicability to diverse target audiences (race, culture, religion, gender identity/sexual orientation, physical/mental health challenges etc.)
• Coordinate with various relevant assemblies/committees/PAR/PIO organizations to develop new and update existing patient/family and public health education materials, with emphasis on those related to infectious diseases (safe practices and vaccination) or key societal priorities, such as tobacco control, PFTs.
• Identify ways to include an evaluation component in patient materials, for example addition of a methods section describing patient feedback and health literacy assessment.
• Create a practical approach to educational piece selection, evaluation and assessment effectiveness of materials for patients, families, and healthcare providers to improve understanding of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine management.
• Develop a sustainable and effective strategy to utilize social media to promote educational materials for patients and families.
• Nominate a diverse slate of candidates for ATS Respiratory Health Awards.
• This committee is responsible for reviewing content it has previously posted to the ATS website to determine if it should be updated and moved to the new site or archived/deleted. Using parameters established by the ATS Digital Content Committee as a guideline, committee members will make necessary modifications to ensure the content is accurate and conforms with established ATS standards. Reviews are to be completed by December 1, 2023.