Patient & Community Engagement

At Women’s College Hospital we are committed to engaging patients, caregivers, families and community members in every aspect of our work. Women’s College Hospital is an international leader in health for women, health equity and health systems solutions and our research focuses on diverse topics including cancer, aging, gender-based violence, virtual care and sexual and reproductive health.

We strive to engage patients, families and community members in our research to ensure that our work centres and benefits the people and communities we serve. We believe that inclusion of patients at every stage of the research process leads to greater innovation, impact and patient and community benefit.

Patients, families and community members are typically involved in research in one of two main ways at WCH:

As a study participant

This may involve taking part in surveys or interviews, donating a biological sample, letting researchers track the progress of your care or treatment or taking part in a new study evaluating a new drug, medical device or treatment. You can find out more about active studies that you may be able to participate in here.

As an advisory member of the research team

This may involve assisting the researchers with; identifying research questions and priorities, developing the plan for how the research will be done, collecting data, analyzing research results and their impact and disseminating the new knowledge to communities and the wider world.

Involving patients, families and community members as a part of the research team is newer than patients participating in research studies and WCH is committed to doing this more extensively across the organization by creating impactful and mutually beneficial partnerships.

Our approach to patient engagement in research:

  • Create welcoming and respectful spaces where patients and community members are actively involved in all stages of the research process from idea generation all the way through to knowledge transfer and implementation.
  • Ensure patients and community members who contribute to our research are appropriately valued and empowered when they engage with our research projects.
  • Education for our researchers, patients and community members on how to develop and maintain productive and mutually beneficial working relationships.
  • Support for our patients and community members who engage with us on our research projects.
  • Embed equity, diversity and inclusion principles in all aspects of patient engagement at Women’s College Hospital.