May 2022 – Preemie Org Highlight

International Children’s Advisory Network, Inc. (iCAN)

Website Address
Year Established 2014
Type of Outreach International

Organization Focus

Special thank you to Deb Discenza and Jennifer Degl for leading the iCAN Parent Chapter as co-Chairs to help support sharing the parent perspective for all children from any where, including our vulnerable population of infants and other children that are unable to speak for themselves. At iCAN, our mission is to foster greater global understanding about the importance of the pediatric patient and caregiver voice in healthcare, clinical trials, and research. Through our network of 34 chapters, including one virtual chapter, iCAN continues to build on our global consortium of Youth Advisory Groups working together to provide a voice for children and families in health and research.

Background or Creation of Organization

Founded by Dr. Charlie Thompson, Global Lead, Pediatric Center of Excellence in 2014, iCAN was created as an organization dedicated to supporting the expertise of children, many of whom are living with rare, chronic, and complicated conditions. With our official launch on June 22, 2015 at the first iCAN Summit, Dr. Thompson’s passionate approach provided a new opportunity to support all patients, regardless of their age as an effort to improve clinical research trials, innovation in medicine and medical devices, and pediatric healthcare. Today, iCAN is led by a diverse group of Board of Directors and Advisory Board Members with backgrounds in science, medicine, finance, and pediatric innovation, and continues to lead the way as a collaborative in providing projects and opportunities that engage all stakeholders to ensure all pediatric work includes patient representation. At iCAN, we believe that youth members and parents are the experts.

Other Submission Details

Now in our 8th year, everyone is invited to attend the upcoming “2022 iCAN Summit Presented by Jumo Health” from July 11th – July 15th, 2022 to be held in Lyon, France. This event provides our youth members with an invaluable opportunity to learn from one another, and to network with leading professionals from around the globe. In turn, the iCAN Research & Advocacy Summit offers the scientific community an opportunity to engage directly with children and parents, so that they may learn about the value and the significant importance of the influence of children on research, medicine, and innovation.

Since the inception of iCAN, an annual iCAN Research & Advisory Summit has been offered to provide young people an opportunity of working with medical professionals, community leaders, scientists, and researchers in medicine, science, health, advocacy, and technology to improve the health and well-being of children with chronic conditions and rare diseases.

Who should attend?

  • iCAN Youth members, ranging from 8-18 years of age
  • Young adult leaders, interested in pursuing degrees in healthcare, science, pharma, business, and advocacy
  • *Parents and legal guardians/caregivers of attending youth members
  • iCAN Chapter leaders and youth advisers
  • Representatives of government agencies (the FDA, Senate, Congress, Health Canada, National Institutes of Health, and many other national and international regulating entities)
  • Medical professionals (pediatricians, nurses, child life, researchers, interns)
  • Industry (pharmaceutical, biotech, device, and clinical research organizations)
  • Patient advocacy groups
  • Community partners
  • Investigator groups
  • Academic institutions
  • Anyone interested in the Health of Pediatric Patients

iCAN aims to continue to expand the global network and opportunities for our youth members, as well as increase the success of the Summit each year through partnership with community and sponsoring partners. To learn more or to register, visit We hope to see you in Lyon!