The Patient Expertise in Research Collaboration centre (PERC) aims to promote and support the meaningful and appropriate engagement of patients in primary health care (PHC) research in Ontario. PERC provides expertise, resources and tools, and methods support to build capacity in patient oriented PHC research. PERC supports researcher partnerships with patients, families, caregivers, citizens, and communities, to conduct research that addresses patients’ needs, preferences, values, and priorities for their health and health care.
PERC’s Advisory Board includes eight patient-partners with expertise in patient and community partnerships in health research and health services design and delivery. Each person brings unique lived experience as patients, family members, and/or caregivers. PERC’s Advisory Board is gender-diverse, racially diverse, geographically diverse (rural/urban), and reflects disparate experiences with chronic and life-limiting conditions, including arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, dementia, and mental health challenges. Some of PERC’s patient advisors are very experienced in research partnership, while others have more recently become partners.
The Advisory Board is also comprised of researchers recognized for their expertise in patient- and community-partnered research. Dr. Ganann is Co-Scientific Director of the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit and Co-Lead of the McMaster Collaborative for Health and Aging (i.e., the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit’s centre on aging research). Dr. MacNeil has expertise in patient engagement, technology, seniors’ health and wellness, and policy. Drs. Ganann and MacNeil recently served on the MOHLTC’s Evaluating Patient Engagement Working Group to support implementation and evaluation of patient engagement in health services design and delivery in Ontario. Dr. Vivian R Ramsden (RN, Professor in the Department of Academic Family Medicine, University of Saskatchewan) is internationally recognized for her expertise in primary health care and participatory research methods to achieve meaningful change for people and communities.
PERC’s activities include providing access to expertise, timely support, resources and tools, and strategic advice in response to consultation requests. PERC engages with researchers funded through the INSPIRE-PHC research program and evaluates patient engagement within INSPIRE-PHC. PERC’s activities serve to extend the reach of the group locally, nationally, and internationally to enhance patient engagement in primary health care research.