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Volunteering has never been so satisfying. After two days of lively conversation among medical researchers, patient advocates and health system stakeholders as an application reviewer, I’m brimming with gratitude and ideas. Bringing to bear my full career—corporate and nonprofit, my passion for fixing the health care system and my life long curiosity to unpack how things work, I’m also spent.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, or simply PCORI, was founded on the simple idea that patients are critical to good outcomes. It’s my simplistic definition of the industry buzz words: patient engagement or patient activation. These aspirations are possible only with good information, something that is woefully lacking in many patient scenarios. Gratefully, the funding that PCORI offers has spurred innumerable creative studies where patient-researchers are instrumental in shaping the focus and monitoring the results—and stakeholders and scientists are gaining valuable inputs through actively listening and collaborating.
I believe in the power of patient engagement. I want to live in a world where I make good sound decisions about my health and my health care—based on my life and my history. PCORI is playing an important part in realizing that vision.