Families Illness Collaborative Healthcare (FICH) Program

Fellows 2014






CCFH’s innovative Families, Illness & Collaborative Healthcare (FICH) Program offers an array of educational opportunities designed to meet the unique training needs of health and mental health care professionals. This program is designed for physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and allied health professionals who work with couples and families facing serious illness, disability, and loss. Individual training options can be tailored to fit diverse professional disciplines, work settings, and levels of experience. The program faculty offers a wealth of expertise in working with families in a range of healthcare and social service organizations. This program is coordinated by John Rolland, MD.

Read in more detail about our Doctoral Fellowship in Families, Illness, and Collaborative Healthcare and our other training, public education and counseling offerings.

Traditionally, professional services to assist people with illness and disability have been limited by a narrow focus on the individual, on the terminal phase of progressive diseases, and on family deficits or “dysfunction.” To transform the culture and experience of illness, disability, and loss, the CCFH model is based on:

  • A family systems orientation with focus on couple and family relationships
  • A developmental perspective on illness, disability, and families
  • A normative view that promotes family resilience
  • A collaborative approach including patients, family, and health care providers

Our approach depathologizes painful and disruptive experiences and builds on family strengths and resources, empowering healthy functioning and the wellbeing of all members. The Center’s resilience approach helps families with major health conditions seize opportunities to repair troubled relationships, and to live and love well in the face of physical limitations and threatened loss. The program teaches a collaborative approach that includes as equal partners: the biomedical and psychosocial providers, patients, their families, and other caregivers. Caring for families in a way that focuses on prevention and maximizes their own resources is ultimately more successful and cost effective.

Families, Illness, and Collaborative Healthcare Program goals:

  • To develop and provide access to services that help families recognize their strengths, be aware of normal challenges and changes, remain hopeful, and heal.
  • To train professionals in a family-oriented, strength-based model of working with families facing chronic illness, disability, terminal illness and loss.
  • To train leadership within service delivery systems to affect changes in their institutions to address the needs of families.