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B.C. Health workers who contracted COVID-19 are now research participants

A new online portal called REACH BC is matching British Columbians who have had the disease with medical professionals conducting clinical studies that will inform patient care.
By: Heather Marie Connors
October 05, 2020
Photo by Ben Nelms/CBC

Jaclyn Robinson, 42, and Beverley Pomeroy, 50, are among the more than 800 British Columbians who have signed up to participate in clinical studies, via REACH BC, a new online portal aimed at increasing patient-oriented research throughout the province.

Robinson, a nurse at Vancouver General Hospital, contracted COVID-19 in March and ended up on a ventilator in what she describes as the scariest chapter of her life. She is now participating in several clinical studies, and is a patient partner in a post-COVID-19 interdisciplinary care clinic, where she helps medical specialists develop specialized care for those who have been hospitalized.

Beverley Pomeroy is not only a patient partner, but part of the research team at the B.C. Academic Health Science Network. A cardiac episode landed her in an emergency ward in the spring, caused by a presumed case of COVID-19. While she waits for serology test results to determine if she had the virus, Pomeroy is participating in patient research, including with cardiology experts.

"It's a small number of people who've had COVID, or have tested positive for COVID here in B.C., so these researchers are all clamouring for these patients," Pomeroy told CBC.

Patient partners, like Pomeroy, do not have to have tested positive to participate in the research, and not all of the 31 active projects are related to COVID-19.

Source: CBC British Columbia

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