Mary’s Fund was established to honor the memory of founding CERTAIN Patient Advisory Network Patient Partner Mary Roberts Scott, who passed away unexpectedly in July 2016. Mary was a strong proponent of patient involvement in research and healthcare delivery. She strengthened our work and taught us so much through her partnership and friendship. To honor Mary, a memorial fund was established within the Patient Advisory Network’s administrative home in the Department of Surgery at University of Washington. The goal of Mary’s Fund is to provide financial support for patient partnership in research. This year, we offered one award of $500 that would go to support patient involvement in research, which could include funds to support travel, training, or time spent working on research activities.
The Patient Advisory Network Steering Committee received and reviewed 4 applications for the 2017 Mary’s Fund award. We are happy to announce that Brian Do, Patient Partner to the University of Washington mPOWEr initiative was selected as the first Mary’s Fund award recipient! mPOWEr is a mobile app for tracking symptoms of infection before and after surgery by allowing for easy and secure communication between the patient and the surgical team to minimize hospitalizations for infection and increase infection surveillance. Brian began working with the mPOWEr team nearly 2 years ago, after he was approached by an mPOWEr team member while recovering in the hospital from his own surgery. He used an early version of the mPOWEr app and saw an immediate connection in the work of mPOWEr to his own interests as an undergraduate student at the University of Washington studying human-centered design and engineering. Over the past 2 years, Brian has taken an active role on the mPOWEr team, ensuring the app’s design and evolution remains patient-centered and helping the team to evaluate how patients are using mPOWEr and where the app can be improved.
With the award from Mary’s Fund, Brian will be focusing on linking and reorganzing patient education materials that are made available to patients at different clinical sites using mPOWEr. Patient education materials are very important to improving patient understanding of how to use the app as well as how to prepare for their surgery and care for their surgical incisions after surgery to avoid infection. Of this work, Brian says he is excited about the opportunity to work on a real-world project that lets him see human centered design engineering principles that he is studying in the classroom every come to life.
Also as part of his award funding, Brian will be starting a regular blog series, focused on his experience as a patient partner and what he’s learned along the way. We’ll be hosting this blog on the Patient Advisory Network blog, so stay tuned! We’ll include Brian’s post in our Patient Advisory Network newsletters as well.