This blog post was submitted by: Brian Bankes, PREPARE NOW Co-Investigator.
On October 30, 2017, I and several other PREPARE NOW team members were in attendance for the PCORI Third Annual Meeting in Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, Virginia with over 1,000 members of the healthcare community that convened for two and a half days of updates on how scientists, patients, caregivers, clinicians, payers, and others are working together to make health research more useful and relevant.
The theme this year, "Delivering Results, Informing Choices," and it set the tone for what was an exciting conference. I heard about the results from PCORI’s earliest-funded comparative clinical effectiveness (CER) studies and efforts to promote the use of those important findings in practice.
Being a PCORI Ambassador I was able to meet with other Ambassadors to share ideas for future research opportunities that will help patients and those who care for them make better-informed healthcare decisions. I made some good friends from all over the USA, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Utah.
The gentleman sitting next to me (Bruce) is from Iowa and we became close friends. We had meet in Baltimore for the ICCH & HARC Convention and we were glade to get back together at the PCORI Conference. We were like two peas in a pod. If you thought I could talk you need to meet Bruce. We had a blast together.
The Opening Plenary Session. address by current Joe V. Selby, MD, MPH PCORI Executive Director. The topic was “Access to Results That Matter” Summary of the topic. This session explored from the patient’s point of view and how we can produce a more-relevant evidence for patients and other healthcare stakeholders, and get it to them in more user-friendly formats.
The second session, we were introduced to a wonderful Keynote speaker.
Freddie White-Johnson, MPPA. I was inspired and touched by the words of Freddie White-Johnson, Founder and President Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation.
Wednesday’s morning Opening Session was the best. We were greeted by Alan Alda for the Breakfast Plenary, “Improving How We Talk to the Public about Science and Health." He spoke with passion and with great humor about the need to improve communication among patients,
The last day Opening Plenary Session was Trent Haywood, Chief Medical Officer of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and he closed out our last Plenary by humorously and elegantly reminding us that there are decisions and choices to be made in health care by patients, their clinicians, and their health plans. That we can only make them wisely if we are communicating and understanding each other clearly.
Other key note speakers were former US Representative Phil Gingrey of Georgia, an obstetrician-gynecologist who founded and led the GOP Doctors Caucus.
Harlan Krumholz, a PCORI Board of Governors member and Yale cardiologist and outcomes researcher, who urged us to remember that the core of PCORI work is challenging and the assumptions about what is accepted as the best course of treatment. He also emphasized the importance of having access to data, especially one’s own healthcare data—for personal decision making and, if desired, for research.
To close, this was my second Annual PCORI Meeting and it was the best. I was inspired by the key note speakers and was able to meet some wonderful people and make some new friends.
I look forward to attending the next PCORI Annual Meeting.
ASN Kidney Week Highlights
The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) hosted the Annual Kidney Week Meeting from Tuesday, October 31 - Sunday, November 5, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Drawing more than 13,000 kidney professionals from across the globe, this premier meeting provides a unique opportunity for kidney disease researchers and clinicians to exchange knowledge (via oral and poster presentations), and to nurture professional relationships. This year’s Kidney Week meeting also featured some new events!
On Friday afternoon, Principal Investigator, Dr. Boulware moderated a session on “Patient and Stakeholder Engagement in Advancing Renal Research and Improving Renal Outcomes” and PREPARE NOW team member Dr. Diamantidis moderated another session on “Context is King: Neighborhood and Social Networks as a Risk Factor for Chronic Disease.” The program committee selected Boulware and Diamantidis to moderate these sessions because of their reputation as thought leaders on these topics. During the Neighborhood and Chronic Disease session, Diamantidis highlighted an on-going investigation by our group on the role of psychosocial factors and chronic kidney disease outcomes within the Jackson Heart Study (JHS). She noted that the ASN community was very intrigued by the topic of social networks and chronic disease.
One of the exciting new events at this year’s Kidney Week was the Communities Lounge, which ASN introduced to foster engagement, collaboration and connection among ASN members and Kidney Week participants. We are looking forward to attending next year’s Kidney Week meeting, which will be held in San Diego around the same time!