New case studies provide insight into how three leading health care organizations are incorporating patients and families in organizational governance and decision-making

WASHINGTON (February 6, 2020) – The Health Care Transformation Task Force (HCTTF or Task Force), a group of leading health care payers, providers, purchasers and patient organizations, along with Community Catalyst, a national non-profit advocacy organization working to build the consumer and community leadership that is required to transform the American health system, today released a case study report exploring what it takes for health systems to meaningfully engage patients and their families in governance and operational decision-making.

The new report, Organizational-Level Consumer Engagement: What It Takes, comprehensively details the efforts at three leading health care organizations that have made commitments to implementing consumer engagement strategies at the organizational level.

“While meaningful progress is being made among health care organizations to improve consumer engagement, there is a knowledge gap and activation barrier to achieving this change at an organizational level,” said Jeff Micklos, Executive Director at the Health Care Transformation Task Force. “These case studies capture the strategies, impacts, and lessons learned by three systems that have endeavored to actively engage patients and families in key aspects of health care governance and operational leadership.”

“Building a culture of health within health care systems requires that health care organizations actively incorporate the perspectives of the patients they serve in their operational decision-making. This project offers a roadmap for organizations committed to doing this work.” said Ann Hwang, Director of the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst.

The report describes the consumer engagement efforts at three organizations:

  • HRHCare Community Health, a federally qualified health center in New York,
  • Children’s Mercy, a children’s hospital in Kansas City, and
  • Trinity Health, including the work of member health systems Saint Joseph Mercy in Michigan and Saint Alphonsus in Idaho.

The case studies summarize the various strategies that each organization uses to engage with patients, families, and the broader community they serve, such as involving patient and family representation in formal governing bodies and advisory councils, operational improvement initiatives, and staff training and education. In addition to highlighting the impact of these efforts, the report also identifies the required resources and offers lessons learned for other organizations interested in doing this work.

“Our engagement efforts with patients, their families, and the broader community are central to our commitment to deliver high-quality patient-centered care. It takes dedicated time and resources to do this work but the positive impacts on both patients and staff cannot be overstated,” said Kathy Brieger, Chief of Patient Experience and Staff Development at HRHCare Community Health. “This report should be informative for other health care providers looking to expand their engagement strategies.”

“Trinity Health’s ongoing work to improve patient engagement and the patient experience across its 22 states is supported and driven by our leaders’ commitment to the effort. With support from executive leadership, we are establishing Patient and Family Advisory Councils at all of our member hospitals as a means to amplifying the voice of our patients,” said Prabhjyot Singh, Director of People-Centered Care Experience at Trinity Health.

“Patient engagement is difficult work and it takes time. And, sometimes, you get feedback that is very uncomfortable. But if you are willing to take the feedback, it can set you free as an organization and culture,” said Paul Kempinski, Children’s Mercy President and CEO.

This effort builds upon six HCTTF principles for addressing consumer priorities in value-based care, which include ensuring patients/consumers are partners in decision-making at all levels of care. The case study report is the first part of a two-part project intended to help spur adoption of meaningful consumer engagement strategies by health care provider organizations. The report will be accompanied by a change package identifying the key activities and resources necessary for effective engagement activities planned for publication later this year. Support for this research and analysis was provided in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.


Health Care Transformation Task Force is a unique consortium of patients, payers, providers and purchasers working to lead a sweeping transformation of the health care system. By transitioning to value-based models that support the Triple Aim of better health, better care and lower costs, the Task Force is committed to accelerating the transformation to value in health care. To learn more about the Task Force perspectives and members, visit WWW.HCTTF.ORG.


The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation (CCEHI) at Community Catalyst is a hub devoted to teaching, learning and sharing knowledge to bring the consumer experience to the forefront of health innovation in order to deliver better care, better value and better health for every community, particularly vulnerable and historically underserved populations. The Center engages in investments in state and local advocacy, leadership development, research and evaluation, and consultative services to delivery systems and health plans. For more information, visit


For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at