Patient and Public Perspectives at the CTO Conference

The CTO Clinical Trials Conference, hosted by Clinical Trials Ontario, is a leading Canadian forum to drive innovation in clinical trials, including leaders from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, academic and healthcare leaders, representatives from patient groups, health charities and research institutions. This annual event provides a unique opportunity for members of our multi-stakeholder sector to collaborate to advance clinical trials.

Each year, members of CTO’s College of Lived Experience attend the conference for the opportunity to connect with the clinical trials community, learn and exchange knowledge.

The College of Lived Experience brings valuable perspectives to current clinical trial conversations, with a diverse membership that includes patients, caregivers, and other members of the public. The College provides insights into CTO-led initiatives and partners with investigators and sponsors to help improve trials by learning from and incorporating the experiences of patients, caregivers and the public.

CTO spoke with a few of the members of the College of Lived Experience who attended the 2023 Conference in November. They shared their thoughts on the conference, what they enjoyed, what they learned and what they hope to see in the future.

Members of the CTO College of Lived Experience share thoughts on the CTO Clinical Trials Conference

To learn about their experience at the Conference, CTO spoke with Kham Keochanh, Charlotte Munro, Trinity Lowthian and Kimberly Mitchell, all members of the College of Lived Experience.

Kham Keochanh said, “I found the conference intriguing. I did not know too much about the research world before attending. This conference brings it all together as they look to address challenges and discuss their successes over the past year.”

Kham felt she was able to get an “insider look” into the world of clinical trials. She commented that “it seems we are now progressing towards a more efficient system for clinical trials and that there is a lot of work going into that effort.”

Charlotte Munro also felt she learned a lot at the conference. “It was a new world for me to enter. I was able to meet different people, chat and learn about their roles,” Charlotte commented.

Kimberly Mitchell said that “it was great to be a part of this conference and I was so glad to be involved and learn about important issues.”

Trinity Lowthian, who presented at the conference shared that “it was a conference with diverse subjects that really opened my mind to research, but it was evident that patient partners are novel in that space and most researchers are not clued in about us.” Trinity participated in a session at the conference where she shared her perspective as a youth patient partner on research teams. “I would really like to see patient partners presenting alongside researchers at conferences like this,” Trinity continued.

Charlotte, who said she enjoyed Trinity’s presentation, agreed. She hopes in the future to “hear from more projects that have patient partners.”

Kham continued that “the premise of the CTO Conference is getting the whole community together to be more collaborative and see the bigger picture. From the comments I heard from attendees and presenters it seems like the community is trying to get more involvement from patient partners, which I hope to see.” 

CTO would like to thank Kham Keochanh, Charlotte Munro, Trinity Lowthian and Kimberly Mitchell for attending the conference and sharing their experience in this #TalkClinicalTrials blog. #TalkClinicalTrials is a campaign led by CTO with the goal of building awareness around clinical trials. Explore more stories from the series and join the conversation on social media using #TalkClinicalTrials.


#TalkClinicalTrials is a campaign led by CTO with the a goal of building awareness around clinical trials. Why? Because clinical trials matter to all of us. They help to generate better treatments and technologies and ultimately help shape the future of medicine. Explore more stories from the series and join the conversation on social media using #TalkClinicalTrials.