Interview with: Elizabeth Unni, PhD
Touro College of Pharmacy

Elizabeth Unni, PhD, has been an active ISOQOL member since 2013 and in summer of last year was elected to serve as a Director-at-Large on the ISOQOL Board of Directors. With her term having begun at the Annual Conference in October, ISOQOL would like to give a warm welcome to Dr. Unni and thank her for her service.

In an interview with QualityTALK, the Director-at-Large talks about her experience with the Society and lets members get to know her better.

Can you tell a little about your journey to becoming an ISOQOL board member? 

Elizabeth Unni (EU): As I started attending ISOQOL from 2013, I also started volunteering in various committees and I enjoyed the work and the collegiality. Few years into it, I was grateful to be elected as the Chair for the Patient Engagement SIG. 

Working in that position, gave me a better idea of the ISOQOL leadership and their commitment towards HRQL research. So, when the BOD position opened, I was excited to put in my nomination. As a current board member, I enjoy the learning opportunities it is providing me, from strategic planning to budget decisions to negotiations.

What does serving on the ISOQOL Board of Directors mean to you?

EU: Being able to serve a community and society that mean a lot to me, both personally and professionally. I also feel I am representing a minority in ISOQOL, the pharmacists.

What is your favorite thing about ISOQOL?

EU: The closeness and intimacy of the society members, as it is a very specialized research area. Each time I attend the annual meeting, I always have time to connect with old friends and make new friends. This is in addition to the joy of learning the science of QOL.

What does being an ISOQOL member mean to you? 

EU: Being a part of a society that means a lot to my work.

Why did you join ISOQOL? 

EU: As I am a researcher who works on patient’s self-management of chronic diseases, I was always interested in patient’s HRQL. And when the meeting was in Miami in 2013, I decided to try it out. And I loved it and have been a regular attendee since then.

What do you love most about HRQL research? 

EU: In a clinical world, where everything is mostly about clinical outcomes, it is important to be patient centric and ensure that their HRQL goals are also met.

What’s your biggest (or one of your biggest) professional accomplishment(s) so far?

EU: The decision to move my family from Utah to NY (2000 miles away) so that I can get out of my comfort zone and learn new things.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

EU: Don’t give up. The results of your work will eventually show up.

What’s one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month? 

EU: Using VRTs to teach clinicians to develop empathy while counseling a patient.

What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

EU: I am a passionate dancer.

Is there anything else you would like to share with ISOQOL membership (e.g., current projects you are working on)? 

EU: Two ISOQOL projects – 1) guidelines for using PROs via telehealth and 2) need for patient education in completing PROs.

This newsletter editorial represents the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ISOQOL. 

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The International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) is a global community of researchers, clinicians, health care professionals, industry professionals, consultants, and patient research partners advancing health related quality of life research (HRQL).

Together, we are creating a future in which patient perspective is integral to health research, care and policy.