The dominant framework for inpatient cancer care prioritizes treatment of the individual patient, with families enlisted as co-pilots in this effort. Providers easily recognize that when families are unduly strained or at variance with the medical team, a crucial resource is lost and patient care suffers. Families are more available for engagement during hospitalization, but meet a system that is more complex, less coherent, and involves more providers than in outpatient oncology care. A survey of inpatient nurses and social workers at MSKCC indicated that the most common family-related challenges were addressing anger, unresolved family conflicts, poor teamwork, and disagreement on goals of care. Also evident was a strong interest in training. On this basis, and as part of a larger goal of bringing a family focus to a tertiary-care setting, we mounted a new curriculum for inpatient oncology nurses and social workers on how to align with, and support the family as a caregiving system. Pre- and post-training assessments were used to evaluate the program and examine impact on providers. This presentation will explore challenges and lessons learned in implementing this program, and will review preliminary outcomes. Our focus on cultivating family-oriented care skills in ‘first-line responders’ who are interfacing with families at a time of acute stress is part of our initiative of building sustainable approaches to collaborative care.