Unique event puts funding decisions in the hands of patients

Unique event puts funding decisions in the hands of patients

Patients’ Den 2019 awards $15,000 in funding for patient-oriented research in New Brunswick

On October 3, 2019, a diverse group of students, clinicians, researchers, and other stakeholders participated in the Patients’ Den 2019, pitching projects to five Patient Panelists for the chance to win up to $5,000 in funding to support their research.

The event was co-hosted by the NB PIHCI Network and the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU), and facilitated by the Federal Minister of Health, and Member of Parliament for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, the Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

Competitors first submitted an application outlining their research project, which was reviewed by a panel of research experts. If successful at this stage, they were invited to present their projects to a panel of patients and caregivers.

“To our knowledge, the Patients’ Den is unique in Canada. The participants have a very short time—approximately 7 minutes—to convince the judges that their research project warrants funding. The final decision about which research gets funded is made entirely by the panel of patients and caregivers,” explains Krystal Binns, Program Coordinator for the New Brunswick SPOR Network in Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations (PIHCI).

This year’s Patient Panelists were Heather Hogan, Jennifer Taylor, Hannah McGee, David Wells, and Mireille Blanchard.

“The Patients’ Den is truly patient-oriented. Patients helped to create the event and, by making decisions about which teams are funded, they are setting research priorities,” adds Lauren Cook, Clinical Research Assistant, Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit.

Reflecting on her experience, Patient Panelist Heather Hogan, says, “Being engaged in research provides me with knowledge, input, and the ability to learn about how the health care system works as well as the gaps that exist. Participating in the Patients’ Den gave me the opportunity to see innovation, passion and creativity from enthusiastic problem-solvers.”

Now an annual event, the Patients’ Den switched up the format for this year’s competition. Held at Université de Moncton, the event was fully bilingual for the first time. Participants were encouraged to pitch in either English or French, with live translation available.

The Patients’ Den 2019 also offered two student prizes worth $2,500, in addition to the two $5,000 prizes available for researchers and teams.

“The event attracted a range of presenters, such as undergraduate and graduate students, doctors, nurses, kinesiologists, health economists, psychologists, and others—working on an array of health-related challenges in New Brunswick. Importantly, this model allows us to support homegrown solutions that fit with patient priorities,” said Dr. Shelley Doucet, Research Lead of the NB PIHCI Network.

In between pitches, the audience had a chance to watch video updates from last year’s winners and learn how their research is progressing.

Congratulations to all the competitors on their excellent presentations, and to all those who were successfully funded.

The Patients’ Den 2019 Winners

Research Teams

  • Claire Johnson, Université de Moncton, The exploration of organizational practices in family physicians’ offices by timely access to care in New Brunswick
  • Dr. Kathryn Weaver, University of New Brunswick, It’s Not About Food: Peer-to-peer support for eating disorders recovery on campus

Student Awards

  • Margaret Holland (PhD candidate), The geographies of health and well-being: Examining access to primary care in New Brunswick
  • Poppy Jackson (Undergraduate), Using readers’ theatre as an innovative knowledge translation approach for health research

Unique event puts funding decisions in the hands of patients