Consumer & Community Health Research Network
Governments, funding bodies and research organisations across the world are increasingly recognising the importance of including the ‘lived experiences’, values and priorities of consumers and community members into research policies and practice. This supports an aim of increasing translation of research evidence to improve health outcomes. The Consumer and Community Health Research Network support consumers, community members, and researchers to work in partnership to make decisions about health research priorities, policy and practice.
The Consumer and Community Health Research Network facilitates and develops numerous events, workshops, meetings, training programs and resources for researchers, consumers and community members alike.
The Consumer and Community Health Research Network has devised a range of strategies, systems and methods to successfully involve consumers and community members in research and gain insight into community needs. Such involvement will help to shape research priorities and ensure the research undertaken will lead to improvements in health and healthcare from the community’s perspective. Furthermore, actively engaging consumers and community members assists in research advocacy, dissemination of research information and the translation of results into policy and practice.
The Consumer and Community Health Research Network was initially established in 1998 through The University of Western Australia, School of Population Health and the Telethon Kids Institute (Founding Partners) in response to community concerns and interests regarding the utilisation of linked data for health research purposes. Over the past 19 years, the initiative has evolved into a state-wide platform that is recognised nationally and internationally as a good practice model.
Lotterywest has provided funding (2016-2019) to expand on the existing program and develop the Consumer and Community Health Research Network across all of the WAHTN partner organisations.
The Consumer and Community Health Research Network is led by Anne McKenzie AM. Anne has extensive experience in health consumer advocacy and in 2015, was appointed to the Order of Australia for service in this area. As Head of the WA Consumer and Community Health Research Network, her task is to establish and implement the state-wide platform that facilitates consumer and community involvement across WAHTN’s partner organisations.