Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford Leader Earns Top Certification as Patient Experience Professional

Certification from Patient Experience Institute offers first formal designation for patient experience professionals

Christine CunninghamSTANFORD, Calif. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and Stanford Medicine Children's Health announced today that Christine L. Cunningham, director of the Office of Patient Experience, has earned the credential of Certified Patient Experience Professional (CPXP) by the Patient Experience Institute (PXI), a subsidiary of The Beryl Institute. Cunningham is among the first in the country to receive this certification, following a rigorous exam, as more healthcare organizations are recognizing the importance of making patient experience a focal point of care.

Cunningham launched the Office of Patient Experience in January 2012, after her own daughter's surgery as an infant reconfirmed her belief that patients and families needed advocates within the healthcare system. Cunningham decided to leave her career as an executive in medical device marketing to join Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford as its first director of the Office of Patient Experience and has since grown the department to 25 employees.

With a mission to amplify the patient and family voice, facilitate hospital navigation and restore the human connection to healthcare, the Office of Patient Experience, under Cunningham's leadership, launched organization-wide efforts to enhance the patient experience. These efforts were specifically designed to remove obstacles to care, to incorporate patients' feedback, and to train employees to improve patient experiences.

Programs such as nurse leader rounding, discharge phone calls, Corporate Partners, MyChart, Experience Intelligence and "patient navigators" within each department are among the initiatives now implemented through the Office of Patient Experience. Cunningham is also responsible for leading PCARES, the hospital's unique program for guiding communication and behavior between staff and patients and among staff to create a welcoming environment with the goal to deliver more compassionate care. Additionally, she has been an advocate and voice of patients and families during the planning and execution of a 500,000-square-foot hospital expansion set to open in 2017.

In addition, Cunningham is active in the Experience Innovation Network, a patient experience collaborative of 35 hospitals that meet to share ideas and best practices in the area of patient experience. She has presented nationally on topics related to the patient experience.  

“As the patient experience movement grows, we recognize the important contribution professionals attaining certification as CPXPs will have. This designation is significant as it underscores and reinforces the critical focus on the patient and family experience in today’s healthcare environment,” said Jason A. Wolf, President, Patient Experience Institute. “The recipients of this certification represent a visionary, thoughtful and committed group of individuals focused on changing the landscape of healthcare for the better.”

CPXP certification is an international designation intended for healthcare professionals or other individuals with a commitment and interest in patient experience improvement. Development of the patent experience professional certification exam followed a rigorous and standardized process, engaging the voices of over 1,000 members of the patient experience community globally, according to the Patient Experience Institute. The process adhered to the Standards for Education and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, & NCME, 2014) and Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs (NCCA, 2014).


Robert Dicks
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About Patient Experience Institute

The Patient Experience Institute (PXI) is an independent, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization committed to the improvement of patient experience through evidence-based research and professional development efforts including certification and continuing education. PXI’s focus is on providing a framework for supporting the development of the field of patient experience in conjunction with its sister organizations, The Beryl Institute and Patient Experience Journal.


About Stanford Medicine Children's Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at