Can-SOLVE CKD was founded in 2016 with one very clear goal in mind: to advance patient-oriented kidney research in Canada. To support this mission, the network established a committee that could create valuable training resources to advance patient-oriented research. Fast-forward to today, and it’s evident the group has made significant strides.
The Training and Mentorship Committee (TMC) consists of researchers, patient partners, Indigenous partners, and Can-SOLVE CKD staff. Early during its inception, the committee helped deliver CIHR’s “Foundations in Patient-Oriented Research” training curriculum to network members. But the group decided to go beyond this initial effort, to conduct its own surveys and identify new ways of achieving its mission.
The survey revealed five gaps remaining for network members after the initial Foundations training. The TMC then set about collaboratively developing the five programs corresponding to each gap, which are referred to as “learning branches.”
Over the years, the group has collaborated closely to develop the innovative programs. With in-person meetings on an annual basis in Montreal, and plenty of coordinating in-between, the group has formed a unique bond and shared passion for their work.
“This is one of my favourite committees to work on,” says Leah Getchell, a TMC member and Can-SOLVE CKD Patient Partnerships and Training Lead. “Because we’ve worked together now for four and a half, five years, across timelines and across experiences, we’ve really grown together and have really developed something special. I’m proud of all of the modules that have come to life.”
As a TMC member, Getchell has contributed to all five learning branches in various ways. The fifth and final module, Telling Stories with Impact, which will launch this year, was a particularly important project for her to work on.
“My mom was a professional storyteller, and I know that humans connect through stories,” she says. “Sharing stories is a really powerful tool, and so I was really glad to be able to weave that into the work that we were doing within the network and to support patient-oriented research.”