Citizen Engagement in Research: HQP Voices

Project HQP Paige Fernandes is currently working on two CFN funded projects: one that began in October 2016 and the second in April 2017. She shared that, “being a part of CFN and developing research skills has helped [me] realize the importance of involving residents, families, as well as staff in projects. It has also taught me…the importance of capturing multiple perspectives when looking at health care issues and capturing all voices in decisions.”

Current IFP Pamela Hewston began her training with CFN as a Project HQP in 2015 and later applied for our IFP. Despite not being able to accept the CFN award due to other awards she received, Pamela chose to participate in the fellowship program. Of her experience, she said, “As a Fellow I recognize that CFN is now placing emphasis on building: (1) ‘soft’ skills essential to becoming a successful professional; (2) partnerships in the community; (3) engaging citizens in all levels of research; (4) ambassadors of frailty (i.e., educating others and raising awareness); and (5) products for knowledge dissemination/translation to reach stakeholders.” The impact of the CFN Training Program is clear when she said: “I used to believe that research was all done in the library or lab. However, since becoming involved with Dr. Kaasalainen’s team I have learned about Participatory Action Research. Using this approach to research ensures that staff in long-term care build direct-care skills, are actively involved in the intervention design, delivery, outcome measurement and are therefore empowered to carry on effective interventions after the research study is completed.” Patricia worked as a Project HQP on Dr. Kaasalainen’s study when she began her CFN training experience.