Patient Voices Network Blog

Annual Symposium Sets the Stage for Patient-Researcher Collaborations in 2015

On Monday, November 3rd, the CERTAIN Patient Advisory Network held its second annual symposium, on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. The CERTAIN Patient Advisory Network Annual Symposium brings together patients and researchers interested in working together to shape a new course for collaboration in medical research. The goals of the event were to 1) provide concrete examples of patient-researcher partnerships, 2) discuss ways to improve and expand patient-researcher collaborations within the community, and 3) stimulate and encourage networking between patients and researchers who have common interests.

To facilitate networking and coordinate dedicated time for small group break-out discussions, we asked people to RSVP and include the perspective they primarily represent (i.e., patient, researcher, etc.), areas of health research of interest (see table), and questions they find most compelling regarding patient-researcher collaborations. Fifty-nine people attended the meeting, with the breakdown of attendees being 18 patients, patient advocates or caregivers; 31 researchers or researcher-clinicians; and 10 other healthcare staff (e.g., research project managers, quality improvement staff, community health workers, etc.).

The 2.5 hour-long meeting included an invited panel of researcher and patient partners briefly presenting their experience collaborating on research projects, followed by a panel-audience Q&A session discussing topics including effective ways for patients to identify opportunities for involvement and ways researchers can connect with patient communities; strategies for effective partnership; creating clear roles and expectations for involvement; and tools and resources that improve communication and collaboration. The Symposium ended with dedicated table discussions on a range of topics providing a great forum for people to meet and connect on areas of common interest. As the CERTAIN Patient Advisory Network moves into 2015, we will continue work to identify and fill gaps to facilitate and supporting patient-researcher partnerships in research.

To read more about key discussion points during the meeting, and to learn how this year’s meeting activities will inform the CERTAIN Patient Advisory Network’s work moving forward, read our Symposium summary.

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