Profile – Anna-Louise Smith

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Anna-Louise Smith

Job Title:

Research Engagement Manager

Place of work / study:

Alzheimer’s Society

Involvement with dementia research:

Passionate about involving people affected by dementia at every stage of research, Anna manages the Alzheimer’s Society Research Network. This ground-breaking network of over 270 people affected by dementia throughout the UK, all have an active involvement in the Society’s biomedical and healthcare research programmes. Anna is the patient and public involvement lead in research at Alzheimer’s Society and also provides advice to external researchers and organisations, national and internationally, on how to successfully and meaningfully involve patients and the public in health research.

Tell us a little about yourself:            

I have been working in the field of patient and public involvement  for 6 years and have seen perceptions change in a really positive way. Initially the concept was considered a “nice” thing to do and consisted of researchers delivering a talk to a group of patients and/or the public. While this is important, it is a one way conversation as opposed to a collaborative relationship based on mutual learning. So I have worked with researchers and volunteers to build relationships and create meaningful roles for patients and public to work in partnership with researchers to discuss, design and shape vital dementia research.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:            

I am a keen surfer and head to Devon and Cornwall at every opportunity to hit the waves.

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