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PVN Members Launch the First Patient-Led Podcast about Patient-Oriented Research

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Categories: Improving Health Care, My Experience

We’re excited – and proud! – to announce that patient partners Lisa Ridgway and Beverley Pomeroy have launched the first patient-led podcast on patient-oriented research. They’ll use their experience to host conversations with health care researchers and academics, health care decision-makers and other patient partners. In this post, Lisa talks about their motivation to create the podcast and how you can participate.

In a world of noise and fact-checking, there’s only one way to get a message across: start simple, be authentic and tell the truth. That’s what we do on SPORcast, an independent podcast launched by Bev Pomeroy and me, Lisa Ridgway. SPORcast is a weekly podcast that aims to inspire patients to get involved and create their own impact through patient engagement in patient-oriented research to help health care research be more relevant and meaningful.

Bev Pomeroy and Lisa Ridgway.Creators of SPORcast podcast BC.2019
Bev Pomeroy and Lisa Ridgway, the creators of SPORcast, the first patient-led podcast about patient-oriented research

We’re patient partners – and this is our story

Bev Pomeroy is no stranger to the world of hospitals and health care in BC. She was parent, caregiver, and so much more to her daughter Sophia, who was born with a rare complex genetic condition that encompassed the majority of her organs and systems. For 16 years Bev fought to get and to give care for her daughter, until Sophia died on January 1, 2017, at the age of 16.

My brother Mark had blood cancer. I was his bone marrow donor twice, but the transplant only worked once. When my brother died, I folded like a deck of old cards. My mental health took a deep dive. I heard the words “treatment-resistant depression” too many times. But the health care system here in BC threw me a lifeline and slowly, slowly I’m coming up for air.

From crushing stories to a podcast – how did that happen?

Bev and I work hard every day to write a story of recovery and hope, and that narrative has its roots in the Patient Voices Network and the BC SUPPORT Unit. We went to a conference in Alberta hosted by the Alberta SPOR Support Unit and, sitting at a table talking, we laughed aloud at the Sickboy podcast. Bev said, “hey, we could do that,” and I said, “yeah, let’s call it SPORcast!” And that was it! The Eureka moment – a simple idea to talk to people about patients being involved in health care research – SPORcast was born! Now we roll out an episode once a week and there’s a line-up of people who want to help – as guests, as mentors, and as people who contribute to better health outcomes and experiences for patients across BC and Canada.

You’re invited to collaborate with SPORcast

Bev and I took a risk with SPORcast and, yes, it took 100 hours of work to launch. But we’re patient partners and we’re stronger together. Do you have an idea about how to improve health care in BC? A small project or a groundbreaker thought to put patients, safety and quality improvement first? Call us, tweet us, send us a message about our podcast! Or just listen.

Because we’re authentic, we started small and we want the truth. You’ll hear conversations with health care researchers and academics, health care decision makers and, sometimes, all three at once. But the most important voice you’ll hear will be yours; because we’re patient partners too and together we’re SPORcast!

Listen to SPORcast

Four episodes of SPORcast have been launched so far! Visit the SPORcast website to listen to them and learn more about the podcast and its hosts.

Lisa has previously written another blog post for PVN! Click here to read Successful Partnerships: A Patient Partner’s Experience in Health Research. And if you, too, would like to collaborate with our blog, just send us a message with your idea and will be happy to get in touch!

Author: Lisa Ridgway

Lisa Ridgway is a patient partner and a lawyer. After UBC Law and 15 years of wearing a suit and heels, she became an advocate for patient-oriented research and mental health issues. Lisa co-leads a patient-led research project and collaborates with UVIC, Island Health, the BC Support Unit and PVN. She's on Twitter at @LisaRidgway8

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