A/Prof Tracy Merlin
INAHTA Board Director, 2017-2019
For me, INAHTA is like a family. It is a group of people I enjoy seeing or corresponding with each year, and who – like me – have a commitment towards serving the public good. I have been a member of INAHTA since 2006 (when the meeting was in Adelaide) and have attended seven of the nine meetings since then and, even when absent from the meeting, have tried to actively contribute throughout the year. This occurred, firstly, as a member of the Quality Assurance Working Group (QAWG) by co-producing the 2007 revision of the INAHTA checklist; secondly, as co-Chair of the QAWG by conducting and analysing three surveys of INAHTA members to develop definitions for different HTA products that were endorsed by INAHTA; and, thirdly, by developing the INAHTA Product Type (IPT) mark system, whereby agencies can instantly recognise the key methodologies and content underpinning the HTAs produced by another member agency. Finally, as Chair of the English Editorial Board of the HTAi/INAHTA HTA Glossary, I lead a group of individuals who are responsible for recording and defining the language of HTA and keeping it alive and accurate.
I run an HTA agency and interact daily with Government and so have a good appreciation of the business and practical matters that affect the production and implementation of HTA. I am also an educator and so have a strong commitment to capacity building, mentorship and training. These activities demonstrate my interest in developing and supporting harmonisation and quality assurance (resource-permitting) between INAHTA member agencies. INAHTA is the only place where primarily not-for-profit agencies can come together and safely share many of the issues affecting our government and health systems. It makes sense to develop tools and approaches to make that sharing easier, to help us cope with what we are increasingly asked to do, and to also make us the first place people go to for advice on how to conduct HTA properly. We need to find ways to gather up our collective wisdom and use it to support each other and, in turn, support the health of our communities.
Tracy was previously an INAHTA Board Director for the following term: 2015-2017.