Who is PaCER?

In our quest for sustainable and effective care, the Patient and Community Engagement Research (PaCER) unit at the O’Brien Institute for Public Health (University of Calgary) is working to transform the role of patients in health and health care delivery in ways that are breaking new ground.

PaCERs are patient researchers, citizens with a variety of health conditions trained in qualitative health research, who are creating a new collective research voice by patients, with patients and for patients.


"The health care system of the future will be one in which patients and their families have much more say and are a stakeholder in health care. And, we will become a new social movement as patients."  

Dr Nancy J. Marlett,               
PaCER Director


Our mission

Working in collaboration with medical researchers, health systems, and community organizations, PaCER is committed to finding better, stronger, and more creative ways of engaging patients in health care. This means building new partnerships and roles for patients.



is committed to finding better, stronger and more creative ways of engaging patients in health care.

For me this was kind of a foreign concept, because I am a health services researcher, and we hadn’t engaged patients in this way before, and it led me to believe that this is a completely new science, … This is going to have a huge impact on health systems in the way that we define what care needs are, in the way that we deliver care, and furthermore, in the way that we think about research in general. We are at the very beginning of an embryonic science. We who study health care systems … can learn from patient engagement researchers to figure out what are the best ways to transform the system that is there for them.
— Health Researcher, 2014