Client Partners Help to Guide Research
Client partners are involved with VHA’s research initiatives in a number of ways. Some have helped hire new members of the Research team and others have been involved in decisions for VHA’s Junior Researcher Development Award and the internal fellowship program. “Client partners review the applications alongside the Research staff members. We discuss the applications and make decisions together,” says Sonia Nizzer, Research Associate at VHA. “This is a collaborative process. Client partners have an equal voice to staff members in these decisions which means they are having a
big impact on our research going forward,” adds Nizzer.
“Some clients have told us that they think research is hard to understand and involves confusing language. We want to bring down those barriers as much as possible. We want people to feel comfortable participating, and to get excited about research. When clients who have never been involved in a research project tell us what a positive experience they had, that makes us feel that we are doing something well.”
A new project VHA Research is working on with client partners is called Parent Home Hacks. It is an online resource for parents of children with medical complexities. The website is a hub for parents to share ‘hacks’—homemade short-cuts or innovations—that they’ve created at home to solve practical care challenges for their children. Visit www.parenthomehacks.com to search ideas, add your own, and share with a caregiving community.
VHA’s Research team is always looking for more client partners to participate in various projects. If you’re interested in becoming a research client partner or getting involved with research at VHA, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.