UK HealthCare

Are you a patient or caregiver? Share your experience with UK researchers

SeventyFour, iStock / Getty Images Plus.
SeventyFour, iStock/Getty Images Plus.

The University of Kentucky Public Relations & Strategic Communications Office provides a weekly health column available for use and reprint by news media. This week's column is by Gia Mudd-Martin, Ph.D., professor in the UK College of Nursing and director of the community engagement and research core of the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 25, 2024) — If you have experience as a patient, caregiver, or community member with significant experience with a health condition, your perspectives could help ensure that health research is designed to address the problems that you deal with every day. 

The University of Kentucky’s new Participant Engagement for Equitable Research (PEER) Program will build a network of patients, caregivers, and community members called PEER experts who can guide research efforts by sharing their experiences with health conditions. After a short orientation process, experts will meet with researchers in facilitated conversations called PEER Studios, which are either in-person or virtual. 

We are now inviting people who are interested in serving as a PEER expert to complete a brief interest form at

What’s the goal of the PEER Program?

Involving patients, caregivers and community members in the research process is crucial to guiding research efforts that are responsive to the needs of people with various health conditions and experiences within healthcare systems. 

What are the benefits of being a PEER expert?

While serving as an expert, you could learn more about health research related to your condition or experiences, talk to people leading the studies, and possibly shape the focus of research. Participants might also get to connect with other patients and caregivers with similar experiences. While serving as a PEER expert, you should not expect to receive medical advice. 

PEER experts will receive an honorarium (financial compensation) for each orientation and studio session they attend, and mileage will be reimbursed. 

What's expected of PEER experts?  

  • Attend an orientation session (either virtual or at UK)
  • Attend a PEER Studio if invited (either virtual or at UK)

Who can apply to be a PEER expert?

Ideal qualities include:

  • Willingness to share opinions and aspects of their personal experiences
  • Curiosity about health research and new ways to address health and health care problems
  • Commitment to confidentiality 

The PEER Program is led by the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science, whose mission is to accelerate discoveries that improve health.

UK HealthCare is the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky. But it is so much more. It is more than 10,000 dedicated health care professionals committed to providing advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients from the Commonwealth and beyond. It also is the home of the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for the tiniest and sickest newborns, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and Kentucky’s top hospital ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

As an academic research institution, we are continuously pursuing the next generation of cures, treatments, protocols and policies. Our discoveries have the potential to change what’s medically possible within our lifetimes. Our educators and thought leaders are transforming the health care landscape as our six health professions colleges teach the next generation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals, spreading the highest standards of care. UK HealthCare is the power of advanced medicine committed to creating a healthier Kentucky, now and for generations to come.