Kids Advisory Board Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Lurie Children’s Kids Advisory Board (KAB) gives a voice to patients at our hospital. We happily celebrate the 15th anniversary of the KAB and all their invaluable feedback and contributions over the years. A student council of sorts, but for the hospital rather than a school, members of our Kids Advisory Board share their unique and insightful perspectives about what is important to children, teens and siblings about everything related to pediatric healthcare.

The KAB played a vital role in planning and designing Lurie Children’s from the exterior design, to all of the destination spots and artwork within the 23-story patient/family focused environment.  Going straight to our patients for ideas, feedback, and critique helped us create a state-of-the-art facility that didn’t feel like a hospital, but was warm, welcoming and engaging upon arrival.  

“The KAB provides an opportunity for a group of Lurie Children’s patients to take an active role at the hospital and make a difference, while supporting one another through chronic illnesses,” says Lisa Mulvaney, M.Ed, CCLS, Arts in Medicine/Kids Advisory Board Coordinator, who started the Kids Advisory Board in September, 2006. “Members of the KAB provide integral feedback about every aspect of the hospital and their healthcare experiences to help us continue to make positive changes in the patient/family experience at every level.”

The mission of the Lurie Children’s Kids Advisory Board is to recommend change that positively affects patient care. This is accomplished by:

  • Providing kids an opportunity to voice their opinions, and help make the hospital more "kid-friendly"
  • Providing the hospital with feedback, suggestions and ideas about topics that are relevant to the hospital and patient care
  • Contributing to making the hospital an even better place for kids
  • KAB members feel extremely empowered because their suggestions and ideas have a real impact on the care and services that we provide

Current KAB and KAB alumni members reflect on what it means to be part of this group and the KAB’s contributions:

“I love being able to see my changes making patient lives better.” – Bella, 17

“What I love most about it is that I get to meet other teens that are struggling with life conditions like myself.” - Ginye, 13

“I like being able to change the hospital for the better.” – Michael, 13

“I enjoy learning more about others' experiences at Lurie because we tend to relate and agree on certain aspects, which helps us form new ideas for an ideal hospital environment.” – Meghan, 15

“The thing I love the most about being a part of KAB is the opportunities I have to help others through KAB.” – Amanda, 16

“I love being able to meet new people who understand what it’s like to go through the same things I do. It’s amazing to meet people who want to help change the hospital like me.” – Maddy, 15

“My favorite thing is the ability to give input on things that will actually affect people’s experiences.” – Reid, 17

“The thing I love about KAB is that I get to see kids that have gone through similar things I have, and we are able to change her hospital that we are in for the better.” – Dylan, 17

“I love the relationships that are formed between members as well as the change we are able to bring through the hospital TOGETHER as a board.” – Nathan, 19

“I love the activities we do and the emotional environment we are always in when we meet.” – Noah, 15

“Being able to give back to the hospital that has helped me through my chronic medical condition. As well as being able to meet new people and have new experiences throughout the year.” - Andrea, 18

KAB Alumni Members:

“I first joined KAB in 2010, a few years before the new hospital opened. To this day one of my favorite parts about having been on the KAB is knowing the impact that we had as a group on the inpatient experience for hundreds (thousands?) of kids that are treated at Lurie every year. From the design of the x-ray rooms to the Sky Garden, it’s incredible to know that KAB played a part in so many pieces of the new hospital. Hopefully the input we provided makes a scary experience just a little bit less scary for kids every day.”- Charlie, 27

“What I loved most about being part of the KAB, was that we actually saw our input come to fruition. One of my favorite examples of this is when we were given the opportunity to do taste tests then shortly later, our takes would be reflected on the in-patient menus. Us kids take our food seriously! I just really appreciated how we are listened to and how our feedback is so valued to the success of this hospital.” – Lauren, 23

“I loved having my input taken seriously. I could see my opinion mattered from the new food menu to the sky garden.” – Ellen, 29

“I love KAB because it made me feel less alone while dealing with chronic illnesses. Connecting with young people who understand me while working together to create better experiences for other young people meant a lot to me. In addition, KAB gave me the confidence to voice my opinion and socialize with peers when my illnesses made it hard for me to feel comfortable not only with myself but also with others.” – Danisha, 27

“The best part while on the board was giving back to the hospital after they have done so much for me. On top of that all the awesome people I have met and continue to meet as an alumni through the board.” - Bernie, 24

“I was a part of the KAB since it started back in 2006.  When I started, I was 13 and now I'm 29. The KAB showed me that my voice as a patient mattered and that my experiences could help other kids who come after me. It gave me a really positive purpose for some of my hardest life experiences and a group of friends who understood illness deeply at a time when I really needed both.” – Kendall, 29

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