Patient Activation Through Community Conversations (PACC):                       Where healthcare consumers can find and share solutions
A program of Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy.

Since 1996, Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy (CPSEA) has been speaking with groups of people about their experiences as patients or caregivers using the healthcare system.  In small or large groups, when people share their experiences, others learn. Pulse’s Patient Activation Through Community Conversations (PACC) program creates a forum for people to share their experiences, providing those in similar circumstances with insight and recommendations. PACC is not meant to be a “support group” but instead a learning group in which participants facing healthcare decisions may benefit from the group's conversations. 


A Community Conversation is meant to be a ninety-minute session hosted in someone’s home, with a religious community, a library or another quiet, private meeting space.  (Groups may also meet online, with face-to-face capabilities and interactions, as long as all participants have a computer-connected camera, a microphone and the ability to see the facilitator’s screen through a screen-sharing process. Please call for additional information about when the next online PACC will be.)  Groups should be no more than 12 people and no fewer than six, with a trained facilitator to lead the program.

  • Participants are encouraged to share their experiences following the guided questions and topics chosen by the participants at the start of the conversation.
  • Participants do not give advice or use words like “you should".  All discussions must be in first person. 
  • When someone shares an experience, others can explain how they dealt with a similar experience.  If no one has had a similar experience, the sharer can ask for advice, or the facilitator might ask if advice is wanted. 
  • No medical or legal advice is to be given otherwise.  If a professional attends, they will be sharing their own experiences as a patient only. 


"I went to the doctor and I waited for three hours.  I don’t want to do that again."
        Appropriate response from an attendee would be:
"I went to the doctor and waited three hours to be seen, so I left and found a new doctor."
       Inappropriate response:
"You should find a new doctor."

PACC discussions are appropriate for people sharing a similar diagnosis or illness, friends and family members mixed, or any community of people willing to share their stories and to learn from others in order to improve their own healthcare experiences.

To host a PACC contact Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy at (516) 579-4711 or e-mail


PULSECenter for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy