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Patient Engagement Studio


The structure of the Patient Engagement Studio consists of a Director and a Core Team in the leadership roles, Patient Engagement Panels, Advisory Boards, and Students.


Leadership of the studio is charged with daily operations and implementing the strategic vision. The director has the final decision-making authority.

  • The studio is led by a director — a faculty member at the School of Medicine Greenville.
  • The Core Team is comprised of:
    • The Director
    • Scientific leads of the Patient Panels
    • Three appointed represenatives from the Patient Engagement Panels

Patient Engagement Panels

The Patient Engagement Panels review projects and can act as co-investigators in projects. The panels consist of a Main Studio as well as Condition and Population Specific Patient Panels. The Main Studio initially reviews all projects prior to the creation of a condition and population studio. Individuals who join the Patient Engagement Studio are trained in communication, research methods, ethics and the PCORI approach to research. These trained individuals are given the title of patient expert and are compensated for their time. All patient experts in every studio must be:

  • Willing to hold meetings confidential (and sign a confidentiality agreement).
  • Available for meetings.
  • Willing to speak up and share insights not only about personal experiences but be willing to think beyond their own circumstances.
  • A good listener.
  • Work respectfully with others.

To date, our main steering committee has only seen the attrition of one patient expert in more than three years; this loss was because of a decline in our patient expert’s health status.

Patient Engagement Panels are facilitated by a scientific lead who also sits on the core team and include compensated patient experts, clinicians and relevant community and health system stakeholders.

All Condition and Population Specific Patient Panels are grant-funded. The Main Studio is financially supported by the university and is awarded grants.

Advisory Councils

Advisory Councils are volunteer positions, and they offer advice and support to leadership. Councils include:

  • Patient and Stakeholder Advisory Council: One or two representatives from each Patient Engagement Panel and one or two representatives for each of the health sciences center partners. This council assists with strategic planning for PES and is invited to one to two meetings per year. 
  • Executive Advisory Council: Senior level administrators, executives and patient engagement experts. This council assists in outreach within its institutions, PES publicity, fundraising, national and international visibility and grant applications where applicable. It is invited to attend one yearly meeting.

Student Involvment

Part of our engagement efforts focus on training the next generation of researchers, as this is a vital part for future sustainability. The PES integrates students from an array of educational levels from undergraduate, graduate to medical students to gain research, management and responsibility experience. Students have fulfilled the following positions:

  • Graduate Assistant (paid position through the university for a semester or longer)
  • Research Assistant (working on a time-specific research study)
  • Student Interns (longer term position, help with a wide variety of projects)   

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.