Meet a Public Partner

Kamil Sterniczuk

Tell us a bit about your background

I am originally from Poland and I moved to England for work. By education, I’m a teacher of English as a Foreign Language but I’ve had many other jobs. I worked as a sales rep (my best job so far), car refurbishment technician, account manager, handyman, just to name a few! Currently, I’m employed as a part-time postie and self-employed as a Polish interpreter. You could say that I’m easily bored and I’m already planning where to work next. Since 2018, I’ve been a lay contributor to medical research due to my lived experience of chronic conditions. Over the years I have been receiving exceptionally good care that I’m very grateful for. Then one day, after my liver transplant, I learnt about Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) from a hospital newspaper. It could be my chance to give back.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy trying new things: food and experiences (e.g. driving different vehicles) and improving myself. These days I spend most of my spare time studying maths.

How did you get involved in the Fuse public partner network?

The opportunity had been advertised online on and I applied for the role. I have already applied for one project, which I’m currently discussing with a researcher. I have high expectations for Fuse.

What areas of public health research are you particularly interested in?

I am especially interested in:

  • Multimorbidity - this means more than two illnesses or diseases occurring in the same person at the same time
  • Autoimmune diseases - these are conditions in which your immune system mistakenly damages healthy cells, tissues and organs in your body
  • Health literacy - understanding healthcare information
  • Continuity of care, and anything that sounds interesting.

Have you been involved in research before?

Yes, in different capacities and it has given me a lot of satisfaction. I started with reviewing documents and participating in focus groups. Eventually, I had a chance to speak at a conference, review research proposals for the NIHR, and write for the NIHR blog amongst other tasks. I have been a participant in clinical trials too thanks to my research-savvy consultants.

Why is having your voice heard in public health research important to you?

I want to share my experience of living with ill health to improve medical research. This will allow for designing studies that have the best chance of success and yielding meaningful results, which can, for instance, be translated into new treatment. Working with like-minded individuals is also mentally stimulating.

What one piece of advice would you share with someone curious about public involvement and engagement?

Try it yourself. You may like it, and you can decide to what extent you want to be involved and how much time and effort you can spare.

Last modified: Tue, 27 Jun 2023 14:16:59 BST