Opportunities - Patient Advisory Council for Optimizing Rheumatoid Arthritis Care

Patient Advisory Council for Optimizing Rheumatoid Arthritis Care

University of Calgary


Project Background

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that affects over 320,000 Canadians over the age of 16. Treatments can be effective in limiting the damage caused by RA or the symptoms experienced by patients. However, there is no cure for the disease so providing care that is matched to the needs of RA patients is very important.


Engaging patients as partners in research projects and in clinic-based projects to improve the quality of RA care is a key part of working towards this goal. Dr. Claire Barber is a practicing rheumatologist and researcher in the Division of Rheumatology (the Division) in the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and is building a program of research focused on improving the quality of care for RA patients.


Recognizing the importance of engaging closely with patients, Dr. Barber is initiating  the Patient Advisory Council with the aim to have patients with lived-experience of RA inform and advise the initiatives related to their care. The goal is for the Council to help represent perspectives and needs of RA patients receiving care in Calgary-based clinics.


Roles and Responsibilities

A single 3-hour working group meeting to engage with RA patients will be the first step in establishing the Council.

This meeting will involve some brainstorming and visioning exercises to capture ideas about what the possibilities could be for membership, roles and responsibilities, and expectations about how the group will function over time.

  • Participants can expect to take part in whole-group discussions and facilitated activities. It is expected that this will require participants to contribute ideas, as they feel comfortable doing so, based on their own experiences as a person living with RA and receiving care in rheumatology clinics in Calgary.
  • A Terms of Reference will be developed. This collaborative document will describe the purpose of the group, the roles and responsibilities of members, and what a meeting schedule will look like over time.
  • Those who participate in this initial session will have the option to join the group once it is defined.


Time Commitment

The initial 3 hour working group meeting will be held in Spring 2020 in Calgary.



Reimbursement for parking or transportation costs to attend this event will be provided.

Breakfast or lunch (depending on the time of day) and a nutrition break will also be offered.


Project Team Contact Information

To learn more about this opportunity or if you want to get involved, please contact:

Victoria Bohm, Research Coordinator