Annette McKinnon is a graduate of the PaCER (Patient and Community Engagement Research) Course at the University of Calgary, a partner on several research teams, a Founding Member of the Patient Advisors Network (PAN) which is a Community of Practice for patients and caregivers, and a Steering Committee member of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance (CAPA). As a person who lives with chronic disease, Annette brings a patient voice to research (through her work on research teams and her PaCER experience), and to healthcare decision-making tables (through her work at PAN).
Below, Annette shares her experience within a clinical trial as a participant that she describes as a “turning point”.
“Fifteen years after my rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnosis a clinical trial helped with my ongoing anxiety. Being in the trial was reassuring because I felt that someone had a global overview of my RA, and it was unremarkable. The trial drug did not work [for me] but the experience was a turning point. Through the advice of one of the trial nurses I was spared visiting the doctor every week for an injection I learned I could do myself, and because of an encouraging comment by one of the trial doctors I was inspired to start taking Pilates lessons.”