Project Summary

The effective engagement of prospective patient-participants by health researchers depends upon knowledge and skill, acquired through well-designed and well-delivered curricula. At present, there are no standardized programs of education and training to satisfy these convergent needs on the part of health researchers and prospective patient-participants. Learning to Engage and Be Engaged: Two Intersecting Curricula, a project designed to fill this gap, will be led by F. Daniel Davis, PhD, a bioethicist by training and institutional leader for patient engagement initiatives at Geisinger, an integrated healthcare system nationally recognized for clinical innovation. The aims of the project are to design, develop, produce, and evaluate two curricula—a Patients to Partners Curriculum for patients with a keen interest in substantive, integral involvement in research, innovation, and quality improvement and an Engaging Patients Effectively Curriculum for health researchers and staff in clinical innovation and quality improvement who wish to enlist patients as study or project team members or as members of advisory or oversight bodies. The long-term objective is to make patient-engaged learning the default, rather than the exception, at Geisinger and beyond, in other healthcare organizations. These aims and this objective will be achieved through the following sequential activities: the initial design and development of draft curricula (including topics and content, specific learning objectives, and methods of teaching and learning); the review and revision of the draft curricula based on input from two focus groups, one comprised of prospective patient-participants and the other of health researchers; the delivery of the two curricula to two “inaugural classes” that will, at key junctures, meet together for co-learning; and, the evaluation of the delivered curricula, based on feedback surveys from the members of the inaugural classes and interviews with curricular faculty. The ultimate yield will be two tested programs of education and training for advancing the engagement of patients in the full range of learning activities, from research to quality improvement. Geisinger patients have been engaged in the project since the development and submission of the original letter of intent—and will remain so throughout all phases. Two patient-consultants are members of the project team and will be integrally involved in every aspect of the project, from initial curricular development to evaluation. One of the two focus groups will be comprised of Geisinger patients, some with experience as members of study teams, advisory councils, and oversight bodies. Twenty Geisinger patients will be recruited as members of the inaugural class for the Patients to Partners Curriculum and, in addition to their role as learners, will also be a source of insight in evaluating the curriculum. The project’s overarching goal is to build the engagement capacity of individuals (i.e., patients and health researchers) and of Geisinger and other healthcare organizations.

Project Information

F. Daniel Davis, PhD
Geisinger Clinic

Key Dates

25 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: November 10, 2022