Written By: Genevieve Polk, MPH, Assistant Director of Dissemination and Implementation for The PATIENTS Program
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Helping Hands stories authored by School of Pharmacy faculty, staff, students, trainees, and alumni who stepped up to assist their family and friends, colleagues, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PATIENTS Program is a national leader in patient-centered outcomes research and serves as a bridge between the communities that encompass West Baltimore and researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. With COVID-19 preventing us from meeting with our community in person, we have gone online to stay connected to them virtually. On Thursday, May 21, we launched “Ms. BJ’s Corner” on Facebook, a program dedicated to sharing knowledge about health and research. The first program reached 414 individuals and received 280 views.
Ms. BJ is a senior program specialist with The PATIENTS Program and a nurse. During this Facebook Live event, she shared her many years of knowledge as a nurse and researcher. She explained the fear that many communities have regarding research due to past, negative experiences. For example, participants in research should be referred to as “clients,” not “patients,” as “patients” implies a state of illness. Ms. BJ clarified that clients in studies are compensated for their time and travel. She also shared how important clinical research is for increasing awareness about treatments for illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, and for vaccines such as the flu vaccine and the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The PATIENTS Program continues its efforts to bridge the gap between research and the community we serve during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch “Ms. BJ’s Corner” here and be sure to follow The PATIENTS Program on Facebook for more information about other upcoming events.