iCAN is a worldwide consortium of children’s advisory groups working together to provide a voice for children and families in health, medicine, research, and innovation through synergy, communication and collaboration.

iCAN’s chapters work both locally in partnerships with their local children’s hospitals and communities, and collaborate together network-wide to have a global impact. Through our chapters, youth-led councils, committees and focus groups, we address needs of pediatric clinical research and healthcare, influence state and federal regulations, and advocate for pediatric patients across the globe. Our goal is to educate the world about the importance of children’s involvement in the development of research trials, and to provide our children and families with resources and opportunities to provide their feedback and input into studies and products intended for children.




Together, we can improve the future of pediatric medicine!


Ways to get involved

  • Start a chapter, or join an existing chapter near you
  • Engage our network to receive feedback from kids and families on research studies, documents, products, and more
  • Make a donation to help our kids make a difference!


iCAN is spotlighting ‘World Sickle Cell Day’ on June 19th. Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited anemia in which red blood cells take on a sickle shape. With 200,000 cases diagnosed each year, patients experience a variety of symptoms from fatigue, pain and infections. Our International Children’s Advisory Network understands the need for early detection and prevention. To inquire about how iCAN can support pediatric medicine, research and innovation, contact us today!


"On their own, it may be hard for local young person’s research advisory groups to see the contribution they can have on global healthcare beyond their own communities. iCAN is the energy that bridges this divide and allows individuals to see the results of their efforts in a tangible way."

Vivian, KidsCan (Vancouver)

"iCAN has been a great opportunity for me to learn more about my health, become more involved in medicine and research, and make new friends from all over the world! iCAN believes that it is important for children to be considered in medical studies regarding them, as they are the people who will be affected by its results.  iCAN has made it possible for teens to have a voice, and I greatly appreciate everything that they do."

Katelyn, KIDS Florida

"iCAN is exceptional in that it provides children and families with invaluable and enriching opportunities to advocate for themselves and others and to participate in medical research. This is important for advancement in providing comprehensive and innovative treatment to pediatric patients internationally, and for this reason, I am thankful to be apart of it."

Lydia, KIDS Georgia

"iCAN has allowed me a platform to not only express my views on medical care, but to also help other kids within the medical community. I feel incredibly honored to be a part of this groundbreaking organization that has improved many lives through advocacy and innovation. As a patient, iCAN’s impact is not only purposeful, but also personal. Together we do great things."

Reece, KIDS Michigan

"iCAN is a unique global initiative that motivates young people to get involved with research and become leaders in their communities. It is very exciting to be a part of a new generation of scientists, healthcare workers, and innovators who strive to make a difference for the patients of the pediatrics community."

Jessica, KidsCan (Vancouver)

“'Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.' iCAN has the unique advantage of bringing together young people from across the globe who are passionate about improving healthcare. Building on excellent national initiatives, when working together with iCAN, we are able to work together to share experiences, support each other, and make the world a brighter and healthier place."

Simon, Generation R

"Engaging children, youth, and families in pediatric medical research provides a crucial “consumer” perspective which is necessary to improve pediatric healthcare. iCAN allows young persons advisory groups from around the world to connect, share ideas and collaborate on projects to enhance the impact of the pediatric healthcare sector."

Sarah, KidsCan (Vancouver)

"As someone whose life is directly impacted by research, I have a great appreciation for the work iCAN accomplishes.  It can be difficult for researchers and medical professionals to hear the utterly important voices of the youth, and iCAN helps those voices to not only be heard, but to make an impact on pediatric research.  It is incredible that an organization like iCAN can make such a difference across the world, and the fact that so much of its work is executed by youth is astounding.  I am so honored to be a part of this extraordinary organization, and to be able to advocate and fight for kids and teens like me."

Elizabeth, KIDS Michigan

"Involving youth in research is crucial for the improvement of medicine as it is important to include their voices in the development of clinical research. iCAN offers invaluable opportunities for youth to be exposed and educated about such topics to become ambassadors of patient advocacy around the world."

Siaw Yee, KidsCan (Vancouver)

"iCAN means everything to not only myself but to kids around the world.  For the first time, we have a way to express our needs as patients and to help share the importance of clinical research for even the smallest patients.  I’ve battled chronic illness all of my life and understand how important it is to not wait for a cure - but to be a part of each step that leads to a cure.  With iCAN, we can make it happen!"

Olivia, KIDS Michigan


“I think this is a great way to help us to create more operationally feasible trials. Getting the perspectives of children will help us to pay special attention to details prior to startup. I think having a standard ‘KIDS advisory panel’ prior to the kickoff of any study would be good practice and would help with the implementation of our studies.”

Development Operations Specialist, pharmaceutical industry

“Active patient participation in medical product development and in healthcare in general is a major, positive trend. iCAN is unique in bringing the voices of children into the health arena. It is a special organization, global in reach, lead by children, and will (and is now already) having a real impact on how we think about pediatric clinical investigation and child health needs.”

Dr. Stephen P. Speilberg, MD, PhD, Chair, iCAN Scientific Advisory Committee, Former Dean, Dartmouth Medical and former Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco, US FDA

“Thank you so very much for the survey monkey; the results confirmed some things as well as provided a glimpse of the different perspectives between children and adults; this information will also assist with my approach in an upcoming projects”

Pat Day-McCray, M.I.R.A.C.L.E. Online Books

“As I was driving up from New York City to meet a group of K.I.D.S. kids, I was wondering how to present my ideas for creating a new kids version of my book, Write for Life: Communicating Your Way Through Cancer. I was hoping this group of kids ages 9-17 could give me some feedback on what works for kids coping with ALL kinds of stress in their life, whether they are sick, dealing with a sick family member or friend, or simply trying to make it through another day of their crazy teenage life. See, I figure that writing can help just about anyone—with anything. If you can write about what’s bugging you, you’re halfway towards figuring it out. If you write down what you want to say to somebody first, it makes it a whole lot easier to get the words out of your mouth in person. Whatever your reason may be, expressing yourself and communicating with others is a key to making the most of your life, and this is what Write for Life is all about. The kids of K.I.D.S. were terrific—willing to experiment, articulate with their responses and enthusiastic about learning new things. They participated in a sample mini-workshop, writing responses to prompts like “I AM,” “My To-Do List,” and “Personal Geography.” After each of the exercises, they shared what they wrote and their thoughts about the questions and prompts, themselves. The feedback was very helpful as I move ahead with the book. I look forward to working together at our next meeting in April. As for Write for Life: For Kids—By Kids, stay tuned!”

Mr. David Tabatsky, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul's The Cancer Book and Write for Life

“We all were proud of them, as we all know how difficult and intimidating it can be to stand up in front of a room full of adults and make a 10 minute presentation! Hadleigh and Hunter both have a bright future ahead; their presentation skills, communication skills and their professional presence were amazing for teenagers… Again, thank you so much for bringing the children’s perspective to our meeting. ”

Ms. Suzanne Grillo, Director of Development, Institute for Pediatric Innovation

“A central tenet to the work of NCD Child is youth engagement. These types of interactions can take many forms, but the most effective are naturally moments when we, as representatives from the coalition, are directly seeking input from young people. We strive to have a mutually beneficial partnership with several stakeholders, including youth (along with clinicians, civil society organizations, governments, etc). Our experience at the 2015 iCAN Summit is a perfect case study of taking the message directly to the beneficiary. While the overall focus of our session was to obtain feedback on a draft chapter on NCD prevention and treatment, the larger objectives went far beyond our round table discussions. We learned about the youth, why they were involved in iCAN, and how they planned to positively effect change. We recorded chapter feedback we had not previously heard – both from the youth and the parent volunteers. We spoke with the young people, not to the young people. While this is central to our mission, it is not always easy to do. NCD Child greatly appreciates the opportunity to work with so many distinguished, influential young adults. Certainly, we look forward to future collaborations and strongly encourage attendees to contact us should they want to get involved with NCD Child.”

Kiran Patel, MPH, Program Manager, NCD Child Secretariat | American Academy of Pediatrics

“Dear Hunter and Hadleigh, thank you so much for coming to our meeting and explaining your activities in the KIDS network. We found your commitment very inspiring and a number of our guests commented that they do too. At least one of our participating hospitals said that they may wish to start a KIDS chapter for their institution. Great job! ….and great contribution”

Mr. Don Lombardi, CEO, Institute for Pediatric Innovation