The CERTAIN Patient Advisory Network began in 2012 as part of a research study focused on peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Our initial goal was to invite patients who have experienced PAD to give us advice on recruiting and retaining study participants. Thanks to patient advisor input, our study participant retention rate in that study was 90%.

In 2013, we built on this success by focusing on growing and building relationships with members of the community— both individual patients and patient advocacy organizations— to inform other research within CERTAIN. In 2016 and 2017, we launched an initiative focused on cataloging tools, resources, and other opportunities to support patient-researcher partnerships. The INSPIRE Research Portal was launched in May 2017 to provide easy access to partnership support resources.

Our Mission

The CERTAIN Patient Advisory Network seeks to improve research by providing a way for patients to work in collaboration with researchers throughout the research process, from the identification of research questions to the communication of the results.

Staff Bios

Danielle Lavallee

Danielle is director of the CERTAIN Patient Advisory Network. Her goal is to broaden collaborations between researchers and patients to ensure the most important questions are addressed (and solved) to improve healthcare. Born and raised in Kansas, Danielle left after completing pharmacy school and has now lived on both coasts. She moved to Seattle from Baltimore in 2012 with her husband, Ben, and English Bulldog, Clancey. She quickly adopted the Pacific Northwest lifestyle of hiking, biking, and spending as much time outdoors as possible, rain or shine. In 2014, Danielle and Ben welcomed their son, Nicholas, into the family. 

Sarah Lawrence

Sarah is the senior project manager of stakeholder engagement for CERTAIN. In this role, she works to successfully engage all of CERTAIN's partners in meaningful conversations that help direct CERTAIN activities. Originally from Kentucky, Sarah has bachelors degrees in sociology, political science, and women's studies from Western Kentucky University. She also holds a master's degree in social sciences from The University of Chicago. She has lived in Seattle since 2007 and currently shares her home with her husband Jeff and son Theo.