The 50th Annual Meeting of the DIA is right around the corner! Today we're excited to kick off our promotion with a guest blog from our friend, Lani Hashimoto. Lani is an expert in global patient recruitment and retention with 19 years of clinical trial experience within global pharmaceuticals. In this post, Lani tells us about the Exhibit Hall Guide volunteer program she has coordinated at this year's Annual Meeting in an effort to facilitate networking opportunities between Patient Fellows and the pharmaceutical industry. So far, we've recruited two BBKers to volunteer and hope that you and your colleagues will participate, too!
Tell us more about the DIA Patient Advocate Fellowship Program…
Patient organizations are key stakeholders in helping the DIA achieve its mission and vision. Each year, approximately 20 patient representatives are chosen through a competitive process to attend the DIA Annual Meeting to learn about medical product research and development, including where in the process their input may be practical and valuable. They take part in all facets of the event, including speaking on panels, attending sessions and town hall meetings, roundtable discussions, and networking events. Through the DIA Patient Advocate Fellowship Program, the DIA is working to ensure that the "voice of the patient" is heard globally in the lifecycle management of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and related healthcare products.
The voice of the patient is important to us, too. Tell us more about how you’re involved.
At last year's Annual Meeting in Boston, I had the pleasure of meeting most of the participants in the DIA Patient Advocate Fellowship Program. Their energy and passion inspired me to volunteer to help the "Class of 2014" to network and integrate even more into the meeting and what better way to do that than in the Exhibit Hall? I remember my first DIA Annual Meeting and how daunting it was to navigate the Exhibit Hall by myself. No doubt it would have helped to have a more "seasoned" attendee to assist me in navigating the masses of people and booths that seemed to be never-ending. So, I came up with the idea of "Exhibit Hall Guides."
Exhibit Hall Guides! What an interesting concept. Who are they? What do they do?
Exhibit Hall Guides are volunteers who are planning to attend the DIA Annual Meeting in San Diego from June 15-19. Each volunteer will be paired with a Patient Fellow to ease their orientation around the Exhibit Hall, introducing them to contacts and facilitating networking opportunities. Exhibit Hall Guides must be registered to attend the Annual Meeting and be willing to devote 20-30 minutes each day to a paired Patient Fellow.
What qualifications and experience are you looking for in an Exhibit Hall Guide?
There are two important qualifications: interest in supporting a Patient Fellow to make the most of their experience and flexibility to spend time in the Exhibit Hall with a Patient Fellow on their schedule.
Why should DIA attendees volunteer?
The DIA Patient Fellows are investing their time to learn more about our industry from our perspective so let’s take this opportunity to connect with them. I guarantee that your support and engagement with the Patient Fellows will be both memorable and inspiring.
OK, we want to volunteer! How do we sign up?
We still have room for a few volunteers and wouldn't mind having a few extra! If a Patient Fellow doesn't feel they need a guide, some of our volunteers may not be paired. You will be appreciated though! Send an email to Elizabeth Lincoln at Elizabeth.Lincoln@diahome.org to sign up.