A Report by Brenda Andreas

Bright and early, Tuesday, October 3. It’s time to take our conference poster out of its tube and pin it to the board. It’s my first time presenting solo but I’m excited to share it.

Shaneel Pathak and I are representing the Canadian Primary Research Network (CPCRN) Patient Council at the 2023 Northwest SPOR Collaborative Forum on Patient-Oriented Research, hosted by the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit. It’s an in-person meeting, so the room is filled with new colleagues and familiar faces. It is a welcome sight.

The day’s schedule is filled with panel sessions, workshop presentations, networking activities, a poster session, and oral abstract presentations. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn, to connect and, of course, to share our poster about relational equity and the CPCRN’s Patient Council.

Brenda Andreas and Shaneel Pathak in front of their poster.


Dr. Bukola Salami opens the conference, speaking passionately about her work within the immigrant community and the innovations she developed to engage community members. She is joined at the conference by community partners, Yar Anyieth and Yawa Idi, who watch proudly in the front row.

Lunch is the time to review posters and to meet with the researchers. It is hard to give all 19 posters the time and attention they deserve. They are all are worthy of a discussion and a second look. One that stood out for me was from a family physician working in downtown Calgary. It’s not an easy task, but she expresses an admirable sense of pride and dedication to her work.

Shaneel joins Dr. Ewan Affleck—a member of the Order of Canada for his work on electronic medical records—on a panel about data regulation. It is difficult to describe how proud I am to watch a fellow Council member sitting on this panel. As for Dr. Affleck, it is not often I see a leader share his platform and speak with humility and curiosity.

Sheneel Pathak speaking on the panel.

The takeaway

This year’s theme, Your Stories: Creating Impact Through Patient-Oriented Research, reflects the value of relationships and connection to community. It was something we could feel all day. Alberta delivered.