There is a story behind every treatment, health policy, and clinical protocol breakthrough that we have today. The story begins with a patient and an unanswered question, an observation leading to research, and a discovery that is translated into clinical practice.
There are however many unanswered questions that research is yet to answer. For too many patients, treatment options are either not available or not accessible; but we will never find the answers if we aren’t asking the right questions. To give us the best chance of providing patients with timely access to treatments and health services, we need to ensure that we, as researchers and clinicians, are listening to the issues that patients are facing and clinical trend, to give us clues and direction for research and health service development. The Centre For Community-Driven Research provides a platform for this to happen, for patients and their families to be heard.
It has been a great honour to provide a closer connection between the research and health industries and the communities that they aim to benefit. At the Centre, our definition of community includes patients, carers, clinicians, researchers, policy makers, industry, and all stakeholders that have a role to play in improving our health system and advancing medical research. It is less about ‘us and them’ and more about what we can do as a community that values the experience of patients and their families, the expertise of clinicians and researchers, and the contribution of industry.
From a small, local charity in Australia, we are now becoming a global health initiative to extend the value of our work globally and provide a place for people and organisations in various geographic location to connect and learn from each other. However, we can not do any of this work without patients and families that give their time to share their experience with us, and to those people we sincerely thank you.
Chief Executive, ICCDR