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.

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.

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.


From Patient to Professor

Recent PATIENTS Professor Academy (PPA) graduate Brian Gutierrez shares his experience with his disease and journey through the PPA. The PATIENTS Professors Academy teaches the PATIENTS Program 10-Step Framework for continuous patient and stakeholder engagement. This framework equips patients and care providers to drive research in their communities. 

What You’ll Learn

Our PATIENTS Professors Academy will teach the PATIENTS Program 10-Step Framework for continuous patient and stakeholder engagement. This framework equips patients and care providers to drive 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 one-hour weekly online interactive seminar taking place in the evening.
  • Each week, you’ll write a reflection on what you learned and read the reflections of other participants in the Academy so you can hear other perspectives.
  • In addition to the one-hour weekly interactive seminar, our patient advisors and content experts will recommend essential readings on our topics.
  • We will be creating a number of ways for you to interact and ask questions of our patient and clinical advisors through a series of roundtables and discussion panels. A full schedule is forthcoming.

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 research to:

  • Honor, value and use the lived experiences and advice of patients and communities.
  • Protect patients.
  • Build trustworthiness with research.
  • Increase diversity, recruitment, and retention in research participation.
  • Share what we learn with patients and the public to improve health in an effort to establish and maintain trustworthiness.
  • Provide value for both patient and research communities.

2023 Course Topics and Scope of Program

We will discuss a wide range of topics including:

  • Health equity
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice
  • Patient-centered outcomes research
  • The PATIENTS 10-Step Framework for patient engagement in patient-centered outcomes research
  • Community engaged research and engaging communities
  • Training diverse advisory boards to be a crucial part of research teams

Important Dates for the 2023 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 from June 19 through June 29 to prepare you for the PPA. Accepted students will receive the full schedule and link to select an orientation.

Monday, July 10, 2023 – online kick-off with featured guest speakers

Monday, July 10 – August 14 – online training dates for the PATIENTS Professors Academy

Monday July 10, 17, 24, 31, and August 7 – dates of the hour-long online interactive seminar taking place in the evening as part of the weekly coursework

Monday, August 14 – 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.

  • Cynthia Chauhan, Patient Advocate
  • Yvette Davis, Clinical Program Consultant for Quality Improvement and Health Equity/ 2022 PATIENTS Professor Academy Graduate
  • 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
  • Joshua Harris, Founding Partner of Harris Branding and Associates
  • Elita Hill, Anti-Racism Advocate, ASL Interpreter, 2022 PATIENTS Professor Academy Graduate
  • Anil Kochhar, 2022 PATIENTS Professor Academy Graduate
  • Aurelia Laird, Former Director of Clinical and Community Research at Bon Secours Health System  
  • Dwyan Monroe, Program Coordinator for Community Health Worker (CHW) Initiatives at the Institute for Public Health Innovation  
  • DeJuan Patterson, Advisor, Advocate & Social Impact Consultant
  • Del Price, Community and Stakeholders Relations Consultant and Owner of DLP Communications
  • Jeff Wells, Patient Advocate
  • Terri Winston, Patient Advisor Ontada Study, 2022 PATIENTS Professor Academy Graduate

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?

You be assessed on your attendance of weekly seminars and completing weekly assignments. If you attend all of the seminars (or attend substitute events for the seminars) and complete all weekly assignments, you will graduate with honors and receive a certificate of completion for the PATIENTS Professors Academy. PPA graduation will take place on August 14, 2023. The deadline to complete your work will be August 18, 2023.

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 2023 sponsors!

We are grateful for the support of our 2023 returning sponsors Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, and CareFirst. We welcome our NEW sponsors McKesson/Ontada, AbbVie, Amgen, and Associated Black Charities. Their support signifies their commitment to patient-centered research. 

Thank you to our 2023 sponsors! 

Logos for Novartis, Bayer, AstraZeneca, Janssen, PhRMA, and Lilly.

The PATIENTS Professors Academy (PPA) provides patients and caregivers a tangible approach to integrate patients/caregivers, and their inputs, into the development of healthcare research studies. In addition, the PPA created a forum for patients/caregivers to collaborate and build more momentum towards developing a patient-centered healthcare system.

Anil Kochhar, caregiver and lead medical device reviewer

Information on web page current as of 02/20/2023.