The PATIENTS Professors Academy

PATIENTS Professors Academy Promo

Want to incorporate community engagement in health research? Check out this short video to learn how in the PATIENTS Professors Academy!

The PPA logo with a cartoon person wearing a graduation cap and holding a piece of chalk.

Graduates of the PATIENTS Professors Academy play an instrumental role in lending their lived experience to research. Many graduates have gone on to serve on stakeholder advisory boards, present at industry conferences and events, and more.

Communities are tired of helicopter research – when academic and other research institutions “helicopter in” to a community for data or biospecimens, then fly away never to be seen again. The PATIENTS Program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy provides a successfully proven approach to continuous engagement in patient-centered research.

We want to build upon our success in conducting patient-centered research and replicate the nationally renowned work the PATIENTS Program has conducted in Baltimore in other cities and rural areas across the United States.

Why PPA?

Hear from our PATIENTS Professor Academy graduates about the PPA. Hear from them about their experience in this innovative, free, online, 5-week program and how it prepared them to engage their communities in research. 

What You’ll Learn

Our PATIENTS Professors Academy will teach the PATIENTS Program 10-Step Framework for continuous patient and community engagement. This framework equips patients, communities, and care providers to drive health care research in their communities.

The 10-Step Framework instructs the learner how to incorporate patient-centeredness and their communities into a research plan.

How the Academy Works

The PATIENTS Professors Academy will bring together patients, caregivers (both informal and professional), government representatives, researchers, pharmaceutical representatives, and more to learn from each other on how to conduct patient-centered and community-engaged health research guided by the PATIENTS 10-Step Engagement Framework.

The PATIENTS Professors Academy is a FREE 5-week program that is completely online with interactive components led by our patient advisors and content experts.
  • Coursework is weekly, with a 90-minute weekly online interactive seminar taking place on Monday evenings. There are also two other opportunities each week to further engage in deeper dive sessions with our seminar leaders.
  • Each week, you’ll write a reflection on what you learned. You can think about how what you learned can be applied to your community. “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” – Peter Drucker
  • In addition to the one-hour weekly interactive seminar, our patient advisors and content experts will recommend essential readings on our topics.
  • You will also have a chance to interact with PATIENTS Professors alumni and your fellow participants through social hours and online message boards.

Graduates of The PATIENTS Professors Academy will be able to advise companies, government agencies, community-academic partnerships, and other entities on ways to make clinical and translational research more relevant, appealing, and diverse.

At the conclusion, you will be a part of efforts with our team, our sponsors, and your fellow participants to create advisory positions in research studies.

Click on the topics below to learn more.

↓ Learning Objectives

At the end of the PATIENTS Professors Academy, PATIENTS Professors will be able to do the following:

  • Be able to represent, teach, and apply the 10-Step Engagement Framework in working with clinical researchers.   
  • Demonstrate the value of patient-centered outcomes research through evidence-based engagement strategies.
  • Find, learn about, and create ways for patients and communities to share their voice and concerns in clinical research.
  • Support patients, community members, and researchers in creating a common language to address community concerns in research.
    • Bridge gaps, understand unique perspectives, and identify common goals of patients and researchers.
  • Exercise cultural humility to create mutually beneficial research partnerships.
  • Gain the tools to understand research design and protocols applied within their communities.

↓ Student Experiences with the Academy

Hear PPA graduate Sandy Powell talk about her experiences with the PATIENTS Professors Academy.

Headshot of Gail Graham

Gail Graham
PATIENTS Professor with the PATIENTS Professors Academy

"I believe through my relationship with the PATIENTS Program, I have been able to make a difference in my community, while educating people about HIV and other health care issues that impact my community. The PATIENTS Professors Academy will help encourage, teach, and connect people from all walks in life so that they too can make their communities a better place."

Brian Gutierrez headshot

Brian Gutierrez
Patient Advocate - Spina Bifida

“The PATIENTS Professors Academy gave me the foundation of having a patient-centered perspective on how to best serve and advocate for the needs of the Spina Bifida community that I have been blessed to be a part of.”   

↓ 2023 Summer Roundtable Series

The 2023 Summer Roundtable Series  is sponsored by The PATIENTS Program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.

Check out last year's roundtable sessions.

The Summer Roundtable Series is a series of free, virtual roundtable discussions with content experts. Roundtable topics will range from health equity initiatives to the role of religious leaders in community health to how you can be a patient consultant to clinical researchers.

These roundtables complement and expand on curriculum of the PATIENTS Professors Academy. The PATIENTS Professors Academy is a free, 5-week program that is completely online with interactive components from our patient advisors and content experts.

Please register and share the full list of roundtables with your networks.

↓ Purpose Statement

Our purpose is to learn from each other how to conduct community-engaged health research.

Together, we advance health equity by transforming how research is done to:

  • Honor, value, and incorporate patients' and communities' lived experiences and advice.
  • Respect diverse cultural perspectives and acknowledge historical and current research misconduct.
  • Protect patients from harm.
  • Build trustworthiness by ensuring that patients are integral to research decisions.
  • Increase diversity, recruitment, and retention in research participation.
  • Share what we learn with patients and the public and embrace bidirectional learning to improve health and maintain trustworthiness.
  • Provide value for both patient and research communities through mutually beneficial relationships.

↓ 2024 Course Topics

  • Health Equity and research techniques to help reach it such as patient-centered outcomes research and community-engaged research 
  • The PATIENTS 10-Step Framework for Continuous Patient and Stakeholder Engagement 
  • Steps 1-3 - “Planning:” Engaging Credible Messengers and Communities to Develop Research Partnerships 
  • Steps 4-7 - “Doing:” Co-developing Research with Community/Patient Partners 
  • Steps 8-10 - “Delivering:” Following through on Commitments, Dissemination, and Continuous Engagement 

↓ Important Dates for the 2024 Academy

Upon your acceptance into and registration for the PPA, we will help you prepare to make the most of this opportunity. Orientation sessions will be held June 24-28 and July 8-11 to prepare you for the PPA. Accepted students will receive the full schedule and link to select an orientation. 

Monday, July 15 – online kick-off with featured guest speakers

Monday, July 15 – August 17 – online training dates for the PATIENTS Professors Academy

Monday July 15, 22, 29, and August 5 and 12 – dates of the hour-long online interactive seminar taking place in the evening as part of the weekly coursework

Monday, August 19 – online graduation with featured guest speakers

Health Equity Proposition

The lack of trust, diversity, and inclusion in clinical research reduces participation in research, contributes to health disparities, and results in poor health measures.

We offer a solution: authentically engaging patients’ communities in research. In doing so, we can rebuild trust and redesign clinical research to be more patient-centered. We can achieve better recruitment, greater diversity, and faster translation of results into clinical practice.

Graduates of the PATIENTS Professors Academy can impact research design and make clinical research more relevant, inclusive, and impactful to improve the health outcomes of all communities including those who would distrust research. Our graduates can make research results more understandable and share it widely, making it of greater value to their communities.

These future PATIENTS Professors will apply acquired skills to take leadership roles as consultants and advisors who can guide community-engaged clinical research and patient-centered outcomes research across a variety of public and private sectors involved in healthcare research, delivery, and policy.

↓ Advisory Board

The PATIENTS Professors Academy is informed by an Advisory Board, which includes other stakeholders who influence patients’ health care decisions, such as community health care providers, community leaders, or policy makers.

  • Jennie Flanagan, Member at Large, 2022 PATIENTS Professor Academy Graduate
  • Gail Graham, Director of Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church HIV/AIDS Ministry-Outreach Services and HIV/AIDS Activist
  • Brian Gutierrez, Patient Advocate, 2022 PATIENTS Professor Academy Graduate
  • DeJuan Patterson, Advisor, Advocate & Social Impact Consultant

↓ Frequently Asked Questions

How much will the Academy cost?

The Academy and online learning are free of charge.

How much work do I have to do each week?

Each week, our Seminar Leaders will ask you to put in 3-4 hours of work. These 3-4 hours can include:

Attending the Monday night seminar.

Attending a “Deeper Dive” into the topics discussed on Monday.

Reading or watching items selected by our Seminar Leaders to help you prepare for the seminar.

Completing a short, weekly assignment.

Who are the Seminar Leaders for this course?

PATIENTS Professors and trusted PATIENTS Program advisors and staff.

What if I can’t make a Monday Night Seminar?

We understand that life comes at you fast, and you may not be able to attend our main seminar on Monday night. We have opportunities during the week for you to make up your missed seminar. Our seminars will be recorded and shared with the PPA cohort. We want to be flexible so that you don’t miss a moment!

Will I be graded?

PPA graduation will take place on August 19, 2024. The deadline to complete all assignments is August 23, 2024.   

I don’t like school. Is this like school?

Nope! It is an opportunity to learn from people who are doing the work of community-engaged research and patient-centered outcomes research. Our seminars will have brief presentations and rely on small group discussion to learn from each other.

Have questions?


Thank you to our 2024 sponsors!

We are grateful for the support of our 2024 returning sponsors Associated Black Charities and Sanofi. We welcome our new sponsor Genentech. Their support signifies their commitment to patient-centered research. 

Logos for Genentech, Sanofi, and Associated Black Charities.

The PATIENTS Professors Academy has equipped all of us with the tools necessary to bring the message of the patient to the work; to value the patient voice and represent those who cant speak for themselves.

Wynette Sims, PPA graduate class of 2023, patient advocate, Johns Hopkins Health Virtual Advisor and Social Entrepreneur

Information on web page current as of 05/16/2024.