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Aware for All - Chicago
MRN connects with patients

On Thursday, October 26th, we attended CISCRP’s Aware for all Chicago Event.  MRN was a sponsor of this program which helped to make it free for the public and patients to attend.   

What is Aware for All?

AWARE for All is a free program that aims to educate and empower the public in making informed decisions about clinical research participation. This event includes free health screenings and food, informational exhibits that feature community organizations and research centers, local physician and patient speakers, and a reception to honor clinical research participants. The AWARE events are sponsored nationally by EMD Serono and regionally by local organizations and research centers.

The first presentation by Great Lakes Clinical Trials provided an excellent overview of clinical research, why it’s done, how it’s funded, risks and benefits, and important considerations when volunteering to participate in a clinical trial. 

The panel discussion featured presenters from various backgrounds in research. We heard from a Nurse Navigator running oncology trials, two young patient participants who are currently enrolled in trials, PIs from local clinics and local universities, a protocol writer from Abbvie, and Dr. Graham Wylie, MRN’s CEO.  All panelists encouraged patients to talk to their doctors to learn what trials are available to them and get the information they need to be well informed of what’s involved.

Dr. Wylie discussed the idea of patient centricity in clinical trials and what that means for trial participants. Not only are MRN services supporting patient centricity by placing a nurse in the home but also, sponsors who include patients in protocol development, mobile devices such as wearables and much, much more that we are now seeing the industry adopt. He offered an encouraging message to the audience, letting them know they have a voice and the industry is listening and is continuing to evolve based on patient input.

During the Q & A session that directly followed, we learned even more about patients and their questions about clinical research.  Here are just a few:

  1. Would my preexisting conditions exclude me from trials?
  2. Do all clinical trials involve taking drugs?
  3. How many studies can I participate in at one time?
  4. How much time should I spend reading the informed consent?
  5. Should I notify my insurance company that I’m participating in a clinical trial?

All of these questions have given us insight into the public’s current understanding of clinical research and where we need to further educate.  Thankfully, there are programs like Aware for All which focus on helping the public learn about and explore the clinical trial world.

In addition to all of the education CISCRP provides, they also recognize participants who have helped to further medicine – honoring “Med Heros”.  MRN’s Dr. Wylie is pictured below, thanking trial participants for their contribution.


CISCRP stands for The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation.  CISCRP works to engage the public and patients to work as partners with researchers.  As part of its mission, CISCRP provides a variety of award-winning resources, programs and services that are designed to assist clinical research stakeholders in understanding public and patient attitudes and experiences in research as well as improving volunteer participation experiences and satisfaction.

Posted by:
Laura Campbell
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