Karen Wernli is a researcher at Group Health Research Institute and a key partner in the CERTAIN Patient Advisory Network's INSPIRE initiative to support patient-researcher partnerships. For the past 3 years, Karen and her team have been working on a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute-funded study about the use of mammography and breast MRI in women who have finished active treatment for breast cancer. SIMBA, which stands for Surveillance Imaging Modalities for Breast Cancer Assessment, aims to shed light on the important questions that these women and their doctors face: what are the costs and benefits of using mammography alone versus mammography plus MRI to look for new breast cancers that could develop?
Karen and her team of other researchers, patients, and other stakeholders have developed extremely successful partnerships during the course of their project, and SIMBA has benefited greatly from involving people from many different perspectives in shaping and directing the course of the research. As SIMBA comes to a close this year, Karen and her team developed a video highlighting the contributions patients in particular have made to SIMBA over the past 3 years and how the SIMBA team was so successful in developing and sustaining patient-researcher partnerships. The 5-minute video is a great introduction to how patient-researcher partnerships can positively affect research and sheds light on what some of the "secret ingredients" are to creating great partnerships on research teams.