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Blog: Talk NERDY to Me Program Trains Patient Advocates

December 17, 2020   |   Alliance for Aging Research Team   |   Patient Advocacy, Talk NERDY
Screengrab of students in virtual Talk NERDY to Me training.

Last month, the Alliance for Aging Research’s Talk NERDY (Nurturing Engagement in Research and Development with You) to Me training proudly graduated its fourth class of patients and family caregivers.

The 2020 Talk NERDY to Me training was held virtually for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic over six weeks in October and November 2020. Two Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) representatives, five esteemed researchers, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) representative, and 13 members of the Talk NERDY to Me Advisory Council aided in the training of 41 patients and family caregivers.

Since 2016, with support from PCORI and the Talk NERDY to Me Advisory Council supporters, the Alliance has held the annual Talk NERDY to Me training to educate older adult patients and family caregivers on patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). At the conclusion of each training, the Alliance helps the new class of graduates get involved in PCOR opportunities.

The Talk NERDY to Me training has been highly successful. Previous graduates of the Talk NERDY to Me classes of 2017, 2018, and 2019 have become involved in several PCOR endeavors including: becoming patient representatives for the FDA, becoming PCORI Patient Ambassadors, engaging at the local and state level with patient advocacy organizations, and creating their own support groups and online list servs.

The fifth Talk NERDY to Me training is planned for mid-to-late 2021.

The Alliance wishes the best of luck and congratulations to the graduates of the 2020 Talk NERDY to Me training!

Talk NERDY to Me Testimonials

“Patients, their families, and advocates all benefit from an improved understanding of the drug development, approval, and reimbursement process. The Alliance for Aging Research’s Talk NERDY to Me training provides the patient community with the tools needed to engage with policy- and decision-makers, helping to ensure their perspectives are considered when medical interventions to treat their conditions are under review. Amgen is proud to support the important advocacy of the Alliance for Aging Research.”

– Zac Wessler
Amgen USA Inc.

“The Talk NERDY to Me training is incredibly valuable. Training patients and caregivers on the research process makes them even more powerful advocates. The transformation in understanding from the first to final Talk NERDY to Me session was remarkable!”

– Dr. Matthew Peters
Johns Hopkins Medicine

“Thank you for the opportunity to participate in incredibly important, evidence-based PCOR through the Talk NERDY to Me training program. Each week has been a gift of increased understanding of important terms we often hear, only in passing. Each week has offered a broader picture of incredible information, we are experiencing on our journeys. Again, what a gift!”

– Mary Margaret Lehmann
2020 Talk NERDY to Me graduate

If you’d like to hear from past advocates about why they found value in the Talk NERDY to Me training, or learn more about the Talk NERDY to Me training in general, please visit

Talk NERDY to Me is made possible with generous support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

The Alliance for Aging Research thanks the corporate supporters of the Talk NERDY to Me Advisory Council:
Amgen USA Inc.
Biogen Inc.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Edwards Lifesciences Corporation
Johnson & Johnson
Omnicom Health Group
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Pfizer Inc.

Candid Platinum Transparency 2023 Seal

The Alliance for Aging Research is a proud recipient of Candid’s Platinum Seal of Transparency.

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The Alliance for Aging Research is proud to be rated a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator.

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