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Partnerships and Collaborations

PERC TUTOR-PHC Patient Engagement in Primary Health Care Training Fellowships

PERC provides support (funding & structure) for TUTOR-PHC (Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research in Primary Health Care) trainees, who wish to integrate patient perspectives, experience and/or expertise in their research focused on primary health care. This opportunity builds on and extends the TUTOR-PHC training program with opportunities to strengthen trainees’ patient-oriented research capacity.


  • To build capacity in patient-oriented primary health care research provincially and nationally
  • To provide opportunities for PERC Advisory Board members to share their expertise and lived experiences with the next generation of PHC researchers
  • To provide support to SPOR-aligned research initiatives
  • To provide an embedded learning experience in patient engagement by attending quarterly PERC Advisory Board meetings and contributing to PERC deliverables

PERC TUTOR-PHC Patient Engagement in Primary Health Care Training Fellowship

Bio: Peter Sheffield (he/him) is a Social Worker and PhD student at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, and the recipient of one of the inaugural PERC/TUTOR-PHC Patient Engagement Fellowships. His research interests are interdisciplinary primary care, how providers and patients conceive of thriving and well-being, and how healthcare organizational policies and practices protect against provider burnout.

PERC TUTOR-PHC Patient Engagement in Primary Health Care Training Fellowship

Bio: Julie Vizza is a fourth year PhD Candidate at Ontario Tech University. Overall, her research interests surround utilizing the experience of patients to improve the delivery of care across various levels of the health care system. Julie’s current dissertation research explores patient engagement among older adults with multimorbidity and within team-based care settings. She is co-supervised by Dr. David Rudoler (Ontario Tech University) and Dr. Agnes Grudniewicz (University of Ottawa). Julie’s lived experience as an individual with complex care needs has strengthened her conviction that understanding the perspectives of patients is a necessary component of supporting improvements to health outcomes.


“The PERC TUTOR Fellowship offers extensive immersion with a longstanding group of Patient Advisors, where interested trainees can build and apply their patient-oriented research capacities over the course of their TUTOR tenure. Opportunities like this ensure the next generation of Canadian primary care researchers have the skills and experience to conduct patient partnered primary care research for years to come.”

Amanda Terry, Director, Centre for Studies in Family Medicine, Western University

Judith Belle Brown, Chair, Masters of Clinical Science and PhD Programs in Family Medicine, Centre for Studies in Family Medicine, Western University


“Involving patients and community members in all aspects of research is vital. PERC worked with POPLAR, the Primary care Ontario Practice based Learning and Research Network, on devising the inaugural structure for our Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) and consulted on training and compensation. This ensured that the Patient Voice was integrated into the conception and launch of the PAC. PERC’s materials were very helpful and are being used for PAC. This represents an excellent example of collaboration between different organizations, in the benefit of patients and the public.”

Michelle Greiver, Lead – Primary care Ontario Practice based Learning and Research (POPLAR) Network

PERC supports the core work of the INSPIRE-PHC Network. PERC has strengthened patient engagement in primary care through partnerships and strategic advice to researchers affiliated with POPLAR, OPEN, MUSIC, PICHIN and PACE primary care researchers from universities across Ontario (e.g., Departments of Family Medicine at Queen’s, McMaster, Ottawa). Representatives from PERC also support the TUTOR-PHC research trainee network, mentoring the next generation of primary care researchers on how to meaningfully engage patients in their research.