Welcoming 2018 with a sense of pride

Sharon Gabison

From the desk of Sharon Gabison, Research Family Engagement Committee (RFEC) Co-chir

As I reflect back on the winter months, I continue to remain in awe of the incredible work that the Research Family Engagement Committee (RFEC) continues to engage in.

The RFEC has initiated a monthly journal club facilitated by the Bloorview Research Institute (BRI)'s scientists, whereby families have been able to hear about the exciting research being conducted at the BRI. These journal clubs are a wonderful experience and opportunity for the RFEC, whose members continue to work hard with staff to develop lay summaries for the research happening at Holland Bloorview. This is important so that families outside of the RFEC will have easy access to this information. We recently had the opportunity to participate in a journal club led by Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou in which the RFEC was provided with a brief session on randomized controlled trials.

The RFEC continues to remain a source of expertise in many initiatives throughout the hospital and research institute, which has far-reaching impact across the province. As Holland Bloorview moves towards implementing and rolling out a permission to contact platform that will engage more families in research, the RFEC continues to remain central to the consulting process. Additionally, families along with Holland Bloorview staff are working hard on the development of a client and family centred care educational tool that will include simulations for BRI staff and students. Further, the RFEC’s presence at the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) Patient Engagement in Research Community of Practice provided a valuable source of information for other research institutes that are exploring ways to engage families in research.

As we welcome the spring season with a sense of renewal, I continue to remain in awe by the level of commitment that the BRI has made to ensure that the family voice remains at the centre of the work that is done. The ability to experience this level of commitment from the time that families walk through Holland Bloorview's doors and during their journey is what inspires me as a family leader to engage in our important work.