Council Members

Together, the members of the Boston Children's Hospital Family Advisory Council have decades of experience navigating complex health conditions and pediatric care. They joined the council to share the expertise and insights they've gathered along the way — with physicians, nurses, hospital administrators and support staff, and other patient families. Their dedication and hard work helps make the care and patient experience at Boston Children's as excellent as possible for all patients, whether they visit once a year or dozens of times a year.

Interested in joining the council? Contact us at FamilyPartnerships@childrens.harvard.edu or fill out our online form for more information.


Natasha Aljalian

Member since: 2016
Experience/Areas of Interest: Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Dravet Syndrome/Neurology/Epilepsy/Rare Disease, Research, Clinical Trials, Emergency Department, Child Life.

Natasha Aljalian is mom to Gabriel (born in 2008) and Mary (born in 2013). Gabriel was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2013. He was cared for by the Boston Children’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Blood Disorders Center, in conjunction with Dana Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic, for the following 3 years while he underwent cancer treatment and care for after effects of treatment. Mary was diagnosed in 2015 with Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy, and is cared for by the Department of Epilepsy and Neurophysiology at Boston Children’s.

Natasha and her family are grateful that their children are receiving care at the best hospital in the country, and from the best doctors, nurses, and staff at Boston Children’s. Her children have been cared for by most every department in Boston Children’s. She considers herself fortunate to have formed partnerships (and friendships) with the caregivers at Boston Children’s, and to feel a valued and contributing part of their treatment plans. Natasha joined the Family Advisory Council to partner with Boston Children’s, help implement system-wide improvements to benefit other patients and families, and to provide valuable insight from a parent’s perspective. An attorney by profession, she is also a member of the Boston Children’s Virtual Advisors group.


Katie Baker

Kate baker member of the family advisory council at boston children's hospital

Family Advisory Council Member Since: 2019
Experience/Areas of Interest: Tracheomalacia, Bronchomalacia, Airway abnormalities, Antibiotic allergies, inpatient care, Emergency Department, airway clearance vest, home oxygen, portable oxygen

Katie is a wife, full time employee at a global asset manager and mom to Jack. Jack was diagnosed with tracheomalacia at 8 weeks of age and then hospitalized repeatedly at another Boston hospital before coming to Boston Children’s at the age of 2. Here at Boston Children’s, Jack was diagnosed with severe Tracheobronchomalacia (TBM). Jack also suffered from numerous arteries compressing his trachea which made airway clearance impossible and led to many more hospital stays. Since his diagnosis, Jack has had 2 major airway surgeries and has spent significant time at Boston Children’s receiving inpatient care. To complicate things further, Jack is allergic to most common antibiotics so when he is sick, which is very frequent, it’s a great challenge to safely and effectively treat his illnesses.

Katie joined the FAC because she wants to leverage her own experiences at the Boston Children’s and elsewhere to help improve aspects of the patient and family experience for others. Katie sees this as her opportunity to give back to a hospital that has been life changing for her own family.

Read more about Katie and Jack on our patient and family blog, Thriving.


Kate Bazinsky

kate bazinsky, member of the family advisory council at boston childrens hospital

Family Advisory Council Member Since: 2019
Experience/Areas of Interest: hemophilia, hematology, emergency department, laboratory and diagnostics, infusion therapy, home care nursing, care coordination, patient and family experience, patient safety and quality, patient advocacy

Kate is the mother of two children. In 2017, her sixteen month-old son was diagnosed with severe hemophilia A with inhibitors, a genetic condition for which there is no cure in which the blood does not properly. While hemophilia generally runs in families, approximately 30% of cases are spontaneous mutations, as was the case with Kate’s family. Kate is grateful for the outstanding care that her son has received from the Boston Children’s Hemophilia Treatment Center as well as the emergency department, inpatient, and surgical teams.

Kate is a Senior Consultant at Bailit Health and teaches yoga. Previously Kate handled health policy issues for Senator (then-Congressman) Ed Markey. Kate also serves on the Board of Directors for the New England Hemophilia Association and holds a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.


Michelle Domey

Member since: 2016
Experience/Areas of Interest: GI, Orofacial Granulomatosis, Crohn's Disease, Concussion Prevention, Multi-disciplinary Outpatient Coordination, Technology to enhance patient/provider care.

Michelle is the proud mom of Carson. Carson has been treated at Boston Children’s since 2012 for Oro-facial Granulomatosis (OFG), a chronic inflammatory condition of the mouth that is highly associated with Crohn’s Disease. Carson’s OFG progressed to Crohn’s Disease in 2015, affecting both his bowel and his mouth. Michelle has extensive experiences navigating the healthcare system and creating technology tools to help her do so. Since day one of her son’s diagnosis she has worked tirelessly to improve health systems and empower patients and families to be active partners in their/their child(ren)’s care. In 2014 Michelle, along with Carson, joined the fundraising efforts for Boston Children’s Hospital by creating “Carson’s Crew” and participating in the annual Walk for Kids. Their team motto is: "When life hands you lemons… Make a difference." And make a difference they have, recruiting large teams for Carson’s Crew and raising significant funds, year after year, to benefit Boston Children’s.

In October, 2014 Michelle was selected to be one of the keynote speakers at Boston Children’s Hospital’s “Hacking Pediatrics 2.0” and shared her top self-created technology tools that have helped her both manage Caron’s condition and bridge the gap between patients and and their care team. In addition to Michelle's experience with her son's chronic illness, she began her own patient experience journey in 2008 after suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury. Michelle's dual adult/pediatric experiences enable her to bring a unique perspective to the Family Advisory Council. Michelle lives with her husband Chris, and Carson, in Bellingham, MA. She owns and operates a corporate travel business, established in 2002, and serves the Commonwealth as a National Lancer in the Militia’s Ceremonial Cavalry Unit.

Read more about Michelle and Carson on our patient and family blog, Thriving.


Prisnel Dominique 

Member since: 2018
Experience/Areas of Interest: Neurology, Neurosurgery, ENT, Infectious Disease

Mr. Dominique is a father of 3 living in Sharon, Massachusetts. He works at a top law firm, Goodwin, in the Seaport District as a Director within Information Technology. Father to Jayden, Jasmine, and Arrivee, the Dominique Family went through a severely traumatic experience when Jasmine was diagnosed at the age of 7 with a condition called Pott's Puffy Tumor. Prior to coming to Boston Children’s, several different types of antibiotics were given to Jasmine to treat symptoms associated with a sinus infection. Prisnel’s wife, a nurse, noticed that her daughter's forehead was beginning to protrude and that she was not improving with antibiotics. A decision was made to take Jasmine to the Emergency Department at Boston Children’s. Within minutes of seeing a physician, they mentioned what they thought it might be and ran tests to validate that Jasmine had a Pott's Puffy Tumor. Because of the time that had elapsed during initial efforts to treat Jasmine the tumor had progress to a point where Jasmine required emergency surgery. Prisnel was impressed by how the Nurse Educator explained to Jasmine, in a way she could understand, what her surgery would entail. The conversation ended with the Nurse Educator explaining to Jasmine that she would sort of be like a unicorn with no horn. That seemed to make perfect sense to Jasmine! Jasmine’s procedure was successful and the care that she received enabled her to return to her normal activities following a recovery period. It’s this and 100 little positive stories nested within that have put Boston Children’s in a special place in Prisnel’s heart. Saving his daughter’s life wasn’t enough. Along the way staff made her happy, safe, and even helped her have a little fun along the way.

Read more about Prisnel and his daughter Jasmine on our blog, Discoveries.

Fiorella Downey

Fiorella downey, member of the family advisory council at boston children's hospital

Family Advisory Council Member Since: 2019
Experience/Areas of Interest: Oncology, advocacy, parent involvement, primary care.

Fiorella is a wife and mother of boy/ girl twins- Thomas and Stella. Fiorella was no stranger to Boston Children’s Hospital when her daughter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at 13 months old as she works as a Certified Child Life Specialist in the Boston Children’s Primary Care Clinic. Experiencing the hospital as a parent of a daughter who is medically complex made Fiorella see the hospital through new lenses and be a better advocate for her daughter and other families.

Fiorella and her family are eternally grateful to Boston Children’s Hospital for the care Stella received. Each step of the way, the Boston Children’s Hospital staff was professional, transparent, and kind which allowed Fiorella’s primary focus to be on her daughter’s well-being.

Read more about Fiorella and her daughter Stella on our blog, Discoveries.


Sabrina Dunlap

Member since: 2016
Experience/Areas of Interest: Rheumatology, chronic illness, care coordination, complex care, inpatient stays.

Sabrina lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their two daughters. At about 15 months of age, Sabrina's daughter was diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA) and has spent a significant amount of time at Boston Children’s in the years since her diagnosis, both inpatient and outpatient. She is overseen by several specialty clinics at Boston Children's, but her care is managed primarily by the Rheumatology Department.

Sabrina and her family are grateful for the level of care that her daughter receives at Boston Children's, particularly from her Rheumatology team, who are essential in managing a complicated chronic disease like SJIA. Sabrina joined the Family Advisory Council as a way to help other families and contribute to an institution that is so important to her and her family.

Sabrina is a lawyer in the health care field, serving as senior corporate counsel at a company that provides cloud-based services for medical practice management. She hopes to draw on her professional experience, as well as her personal experiences at Boston Children's, when working on projects for the Family Advisory Council. She is interested in working with families who also have children with rare or chronic diseases, as well as working on health policy/regulatory issues and technology projects. In addition to her work on the Family Advisory Council, Sabrina is Chair of the Juvenile Arthritis Committee affiliated with the Arthritis Foundation's Newton, MA office.


Steve Favulli

Steve Favuli, member of the family advisory council at boston children's hospital

Family Advisory Council Member Since: 2019
Experience/Areas of Interest: Congenital Hypothyroidism, managing chronic conditions, Milagros Para Ninos, transition of patients returning to school after extended absence.

Steve is the proud father of four wonderful children. He and his wife (Lauren) consider themselves incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to bring their oldest son to Boston Children’s Hospital when he was diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism at just five days old. As new parents, they were anxious and unaware of what this would mean for their baby boy and their family but knew that the best place to support him moving forward was Boston Children’s Hospital. At their first meeting in the Endocrine Clinic, Steve and Lauren were overwhelmed with the compassion and support of their son’s team. The time spent educating them, reassuring them and simply listening to their questions and thoughts is something that they haven’t forgotten.

Steve’s position on the FAC is one that represents his family’s appreciation for BCH and all that the hospital provides to families. At the same time, it is a way for his and Lauren’s passion for BCH to be shared with others.

Professionally, Steve works as an educator and is currently a program director at Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury, Ma. In addition, he runs an adult education program for English Language Learners at Worcester State University.

Read more about Steve and his son Adrian on our patient and family blog, Thriving.


Valerie Fleishman (Co-Chair)

Member since: 2012
Experience/Areas of Interest: Liver disease, GI clinic, radiology, emergency department, digital health, care coordination, patient and family experience, patient safety and quality.

Valerie is the mother of two children. In 2004, at just eight weeks old, her son was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare, chronic liver disease. He underwent immediate surgery at Boston Children’s, and continues to be followed there by the Gastroenterology and Transplant teams. Valerie’s deep connection to Boston Children’s comes from her family’s experiences with the doctors, nurses and other staff and the extraordinary care they have provided her son. She is passionate about advancing patient-centered care and working in partnership to improve the patient and family experience. 

In addition to serving on the Family Advisory Council, Valerie is executive director of NEHI, a non-profit health policy institute whose mission is to advance innovation in health and health care. Valerie also serves on the Board of Trustees for Hebrew Senior Life and Playworks. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband and two children.

Read more about Valerie and her son's transplant journey on our patient and family blog, Thriving.


Jennifer Frank

Member since: 2016
Experience/Areas of Interest: Celiac Disease and associated lifestyle issues, patient/family wellness, autoimmune diseases.

Jennifer is the mother of three girls. In 2004, her two oldest daughters were diagnosed with celiac disease, at the ages of five and three. She was pregnant with her third daughter at the time. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects primarily the small intestine and meant that her children could not digest gluten and had to change their diet and their lifestyle in order to remain healthy. Upon their diagnosis, Jennifer joined Boston Children’s Hospital Celiac Support Group as a Board Member. She worked in various roles with the group over the years, including providing support to newly diagnosed families. Her children have also been seen by other specialists throughout the hospital. Jennifer is grateful for the excellent care she and her children have received at Boston Children’s Hospital.

In Jennifer’s professional life, she has worked in both the non-profit and private sector in development and marketing. She is also a Certified Holistic Health Coach, a role she took on after her children’s diagnosis in order to help her family live a healthy, gluten free lifestyle. Currently, Jennifer is employed by Boston Children’s Hospital as a Family Partnerships Coordinator, focusing on creating and marketing wellness programming for patients and their families. She is also committed to working with both hospital leadership and employees as well as families to ensure that the family perspective is a priority across all areas and departments.

Learn more about Jennifer's daughters, Emma and Abby, in their Thriving blog post, "No gluten, no problem."


Serena Hadsell

Member since: 2014
Experience/Areas of Interest: ICU, ECMO, outpatient cardiology, high reliability.

Serena is the mother of two children, Julia and Sebastian. In late 2013, her daughter, then nearly four years old, was transferred to Boston Children’s Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU), where her breathing difficulties from RSV required advanced intervention. She spent six days on ECMO; the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenator takes over the function of the heart and lungs while the body heals.

Julia is followed in outpatient cardiology and Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program. In her professional life, Serena’s career as a dance/movement therapist has focused on emotional expression and the creative process. She has treated people dealing with mental health issues across the lifespan from preschoolers to the elderly. She has also been involved in the education of dance/movement therapy students as a clinical mentor and adjunct faculty.

Serena joined the Family Advisory Council in 2014, and has worked on the High Reliability Initiative, an effort to eliminate preventable harm to patients and employees. She seeks to bring to light the emotional needs of patients and families. She feels immense gratitude for the expertise and care Boston Children's offers. On the weekends, Serena can be found walking in the woods with her husband and children, listening to the woodpeckers and enjoying the stream near her house.

Read more about Serena and her story on our patient and family blog, Thriving.


Erin Lasker

Member since: 2018
Experience/Areas of interest: Polydactyly, Surgery, Oncology, Jimmy Fund Clinic

Erin and her husband Matt have been utilizing Boston Children’s Hospital since the birth of their son Ian (born 2012). Ian was born with a condition called polydactyly, where he had an extra digit on both hands and feet. At nine months of age, he underwent surgery to remove the non-functioning extra digits. When he was three and a half, his pediatrician recommended a visit to the Boston Children’s Hospital emergency department for concerns of dehydration after a weekend of fever, vomiting and not eating/drinking. After many tests, Ian was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and he remained in the hospital receiving intensive chemotherapy for a month and a half. He was treated at Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in collaboration with Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund Clinic for the following 2 years and continues to be monitored after his remission/end of treatment. Erin joined the Family Advisory Council to give back to the organization that was instrumental in Ian’s remission and has been a support for the family during his life. Erin and family are forever grateful for having a world-renowned pediatric hospital so close to home and have been amazed by the generosity and care provided by the staff. Professionally Erin is a licensed social worker providing care coordination services to youth and their families. Erin is also a member of the Boston Children’s Hospital Virtual Advisors Forum.


Katie Litterer

Member since: 2012
Experience/Areas of Interest: Chronic Lung Disease, care coordination, complex care, home oxygen, G-tube, home care nursing and equipment, feeding/swallowing/voice challenges, long-term inpatient stays.

Katie Litterer is the mother of identical twins, Sophie and Maddie. In 2008, Maddie and Sophie were born at 27 weeks gestation and had severe complications associated with their prematurity. Following the girls’ birth, Katie left her career to care and advocate for her daughters. As a result of Sophie and Maddie’s needs, Katie has extensive hospital and health care experience, both in- and outpatient, as well as home nursing care.

Katie began her volunteer efforts at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2009, while Maddie was still hospitalized. She served on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Family Advisory Council for two years and then joined the hospital-wide Family Advisory Council in 2012. In 2016, Katie joined Boston Children’s Hospital as an employee, taking on the role of a Family Partnerships Coordinator in which she seeks to extend and broaden the reach of the patient/family perspective throughout the hospital.

Katie lives with her husband, Paul, and their daughters outside of Boston. She is actively involved in her daughters’ school district and also serves as trustee of a charitable private foundation dedicated to supporting archaeological research of native peoples in the Americas. Most importantly, though, Katie continues to coordinate care and advocate for her girls as they navigate school, friends, activities, and their complex chronic illnesses.

Read more about Katie and her family on our patient and family blog, Thriving.


Emily Martins

Emily Martins, member of the family advisory council at boston children's hospital

Family Advisory Council Member Since: 2019
Experience/Areas of Interest: NICU, prematurity, complex care, inpatient stays, home care, necrotizing enterocolitis, surgery, and neurology

Emily lives in Franklin, Massachusetts along with her husband and daughter. Emily’s daughter became a patient at Boston Children’s Hospital when she was born prematurely and developed necrotizing enterocolitis at just five days old. In total, Emily’s daughter underwent four surgeries and was inpatient for ten weeks. She continues to receive follow-up care with various Boston Children’s specialties for needs resulting from her prematurity.

Emily and her husband feel eternally grateful for the care their daughter received at Boston Children’s Hospital, and feel confident that their daughter is alive and thriving because of the incredible treatment at Boston Children’s Hospital. Emily is honored to be able to give back by becoming involved with the Family Advisory Council. She is also a member of the Boston Children’s Hospital Virtual Advisors Forum.

Prior to having her daughter, Emily worked as an attorney practicing in civil litigation in Virginia. She was recently sworn into the Massachusetts bar. Emily continues to coordinate her daughter’s care and involvement in Early Intervention.

Read more about Emily and her daughter Olivia on our patient and family blog, Thriving.


Esterlina MacInnes

Member since: 2017
Experience/Areas of Interest: Integration care, kidney disorders, G-tube, feeding/swallowing difficulties, vision impairment, speech/AAC, home care nursing, complex care.

Esterlina is a mother of a young son named Ian. At 4 months old, he was diagnosed with Lowe Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that affects the eyes, the kidneys and the brain. Since her son’s first surgery at 5 weeks, Esterlina has spent countless hours navigating Boston Children’s Hospital, including inpatient, ambulatory, ER, as well as therapy services. She is grateful for the excellent attention and care she and her son have received at Boston Children’s.
    
As a result of her journey with her son, Esterlina decided to embark on a new career helping families going through similar circumstances. To complement her personal experience, in 2016, she completed the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and other Disabilities (LEND) program at Boston Children’s. This is a multidisciplinary, family-centered fellowship that covers health and cultural issues related to disabilities, public resources and policy initiatives. In 2017, Esterlina joined Boston Children’s as an employee, taking on the role of Family Partnerships Coordinator, concentrating her work on developing projects to support and empower Latino patient families who receive care here at the hospital.
 
Esterlina is a member of the Lowe Syndrome Association and the Region 3 Advisory Committee of Massachusetts Commission for the blind. She has also participated in advocacy activities at the state and federal level. Esterlina lives with her husband and son in Medford, where she advocates for her family within the education system, as well as community and social activities. But, especially, she continues coordinating the care of her son’s complex health condition.


Susan McCarthy

Member since: 2017
Experience/Areas of Interest: Complex medical care, pediatric palliative care, home care nursing, epilepsy, home parenteral nutrition program.

Susan lives in Walpole with her husband Joseph and three children, Matthew, Daniel and Caitlin. At the age of one, Caitlin was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease and, at the age of five, with Rett Syndrome. She is followed by Gastroenterology, Epilepsy, Complex Care, Palliative care, Neurology, Orthopedics, Endocrine, Home Parenteral Nutrition and the C.A.P.E team. Caitlin has spent a great deal of time at Boston Children’s, both inpatient and outpatient. Susan and Joseph are grateful to so many doctors and nurses at Boston Children’s for providing such great care for their daughter.

Susan was the director of development for a non-profit agency in Attleboro from 2011 until January 2017. In addition to becoming a member of the Family Advisory Council, she is also a complex-care family mentor.


Sarah Morris

Member since: 2012
Experience/Areas of Interest: Tracheostomy, G-Tubes, Long Term Care, Home Care, Home Nursing, Durable Medical Equipment navigation, NICU, Complex Care, Coordinated Care, Parent to Parent Networking.

Sarah Morris is the proud mother of premature twins, Drew and Emma, born in 2008. Emma has spent more than 400 nights at Boston Children’s Hospital. Emma has been diagnosed with a type 3 laryngeal cleft, lung disease and a primary immune deficiency that brings her in for monthly infusions to name a few.

Sarah has had to learn to manage home nursing care at its finest, from durable medical equipment to pediatric home nursing care, as well as making late night calls to Emma’s doctors to do critical thinking of how to keep her safely at home. Learning along the way, Sarah has become a strong advocate for her children and is able to adeptly navigate the medical world. Her nights have been spent researching diagnoses and organizing medical equipment and supplies. She feels as a caregiver she has been given one of the most amazing jobs and every day brings new surprises.

Giving back to Boston Children’s Hospital has been a priority for Sarah and her husband, Jon. Before joining the hospital-wide Family Advisory Council, Sarah served two years as a member of the NICU Family Advisory Council along with her husband. They both have found individual avenues of contributing to bring the parent voice into different areas of the hospital.

Read more about Sarah and her family on our science blog, Vector.

Read more about Sarah's NICU experience our patient and family blog, Thriving.


William O'Donnell 

Member since: 2012
Experience/Areas of Interest: Pulmonary Hypertension, Cardiology, High Reliability Organization.

Bill lives in Medford with his wife and daughter, Shannon. Shannon was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension in 2001 has been a patient at Boston Children’s ever since.

Bill feels it’s imperative to give back to the hospital that saved his daughter’s life. In addition to being a member of the Family Advisory Council, Bill and his family have been involved in several fundraisers including Shannon being a patient partner for marathons. Bill is an avid blood donor and encourages everyone who is eligible to donate.

Read more about Bill and his family on our patient and family blog, Thriving.


Erin Poirier

Family Advisory Council Member Since: 2019
Experience/Areas of Interest: Rare genetic conditions, autism, assistance with non-verbal communication, epilepsy

Erin Poirier is a wife and mother of two daughters, Lily and Elise. At very young ages, both girls presented with developmental delays, physical delays, epilepsy and were also non-verbal. For many years Lily and Elise were considered “mysteries” to their team in the Neurology department here at Boston Children’s. After 6.5 years of searching, both girls were diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called SYNGAP1. Currently, Lily and Elise are 2 out of 250 individuals in the world with this diagnosis and only the 2nd known sibling set. Erin and her husband, Andrew, are grateful for both the expertise and persistence of their Boston Children’s team for finding the answer to their question of “why?”

Erin joined the Family Advisory Council as a way to help other families on their journey at Boston Children’s and to have a voice in a place that matters most to her family.


Erin Sullivan

Member since: 2018
Experience/Interests: Cardiology, in- and outpatient visits, transition to adult care, Boston Adult Congenital Heart (BACH) and Pulmonary Hypertension Team

Erin Sullivan has been a patient at Boston Children’s Hospital since the day she was born. Erin had open heart surgery at three months of age and has been followed by Boston Children’s cardiology ever since, requiring the expertise that cardiologists trained in both pediatrics and adult cardiology can provide. 
Erin is grateful for the excellent that she has received at Boston Children’s Hospital. Erin volunteered at Boston Children’s Hospital during high school and college and joined the Family Advisory Council to bring her patient perspective to the group.

Erin has spent most of her career in healthcare research and education; she is currently the research director at Harvard Medical School’s (HMS) Center for Primary Care, holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine (HMS), and teaches in the Simmons School of Management’s Healthcare MBA program.  In her free time, Erin enjoys running, spinning, yoga and adventures with her partner, Matt, and miniature golden doodle, Sully. 

Read more about Erin and her journey on our blog, Discoveries.


Aimee Williamson

Member since: 2014
Experience/Areas of Interest: Spina bifida, complex care.

Aimee Williamson is the mother of two children, Colton and Lena. She and her husband, Rob, lived in Colorado when both children were born, Colton in 1994 and Lena six years later. While Colton experienced little aside from common childhood issues, Lena was born with a lipomyelomeningocele, a form of spina bifida occulta. After an initial detethering surgery at 7 weeks old to separate her spinal cord from the lipoma it was embedded within, the early years were relatively uneventful and related medical problems were well controlled.

In 2007, the family moved to Massachusetts and Lena has received care at Boston Children’s ever since. Initially, this just meant regular check-ups, but in 2011, Lena began experiencing symptoms that ultimately led to three more detethering surgeries over the next few years. Related losses of function and complications have required multiple surgeries, hospitalizations, and visits with many specialists and departments throughout the hospital. Despite these challenges, Lena is thriving. She is an involved student, serves as a member of the hospital’s Teen Advisory Committee, and plans to be a medical professional herself someday.      

Aimee is grateful for the dedication, kindness, and responsiveness of physicians, nurses, and other staff across the hospital. She joined the Family Advisory Council as a way to give back to the hospital for all the time and effort providers have given to her family over the years. As a public administration professor with work related to children’s issues and a board member of the Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England, Aimee has also found that the experience serves as a rewarding connection between her personal and professional interests. 

Learn more about Aimee's daughter, Lena and the Teen Advisory Committee on our patient and family blog, Thriving.
Read "My sister, my inspiration" - a blog post written by Aimee's son, Colton.


Hospital Leadership/Staff Members

Kristin Barton, MA, CHES

Kristin Barton is a certified health education specialist and project manager for Health Literacy/Patient & Family Education at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is also a system manager for GetWellNetwork, an interactive education and entertainment system that operates via the bedside television. Kristin works with clinicians to create easy-to-understand patient and family health education materials. She provides administrative and communication support for the Boston Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council.

Marcie Brostoff, MS, RN, NE-BC

Marcie Brostoff is Vice President and Associate Chief Nurse of Nursing/Patient Care and Clinical Operations at Boston Children’s Hospital. Marcie serves as the Leadership Co-Chair of the Boston Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council. In partnership with the Chief Experience Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, Marcie leads the Office of Experience.

Marcie works to transform pediatric nursing policy and practice through education and professional development as a teacher, mentor and leader. She provides strategic and operational clinical leadership in the selection, development, deployment, re-engineering and evaluation of technology, education and professional development of clinical staff.

Lisa Rubino, MBA

Lisa Rubino is the Director of Patient Experience at Boston Children's Hospital. Key components of her work include managing the hospital’s patient and family experience surveys and overseeing the Family Partnerships Program. Lisa also plays an active role supporting the Family Advisory Council, both from an administrative and communications standpoint.

Sara Toomey, MD, Mphil, MPH, MSc

Dr. Toomey serves as Chief Experience Officer (CXO) at Boston Children’s Hospital. Together with Marcie Brostoff, she leads the Office of Experience. Dr. Toomey is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and in the Division of General Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is a general pediatrician and health services researcher. Dr. Toomey is the Managing Director of the AHRQ/CMS-funded Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement at Boston Children’s Hospital. As part of the Center’s work she is also a member of the core team tasked with developing a measure of pediatric inpatient experience of care, the Pediatric Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (Pediatric HCAHPS) Survey.

Dr. Toomey serves as the physician liaison between the Boston Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council and the enterprise. She also currently practices inpatient and outpatient pediatrics.