One of the most challenging things about my job as Communications Manager for ImproveCareNow is trying to take a Network that is as vast, as diverse, as groundbreaking as ImproveCareNow, and distill it down into a single clear message that means Paul Patient, to Prudence Parent, to Carrick Clinician, to Igor Industry, to Harold Healthcare. I think about this a lot. I talk about it with my colleagues. My husband actually asked me to stop talking about it with him.

One day I found myself talking about it with one of the fabulous parent partners who volunteers her time and brilliance to help ImproveCareNow transform care, health and costs for all kids with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis - and she highlighted for me how I'm failing at my job. Yup. I already knew that.

But, guess what, she let me know that she's struggling too. She's tried many times to explain what ImproveCareNow is, and what we do, and each time has been met with a "huh?".  Actually, it's not the first time I've heard this story. I think many of us have tried to explain what ImproveCareNow is and been met with "huh?", because we're trying to squeeze the WHOLE story in. I get it. There is so much great work going on in ImproveCareNow; it's irresistible to try and cover it all.

ImproveCareNow heart-shaped word cloud

But, let's go back to failure for a moment. In our network we know failure is really just opportunity in disguise. An opportunity to learn something new, to change the way we approach something, to make an improvement.

So, on that note, I've been thinking about opportunities to Improve Communications Now. And I've decided it is not my job. Wait, did I just fire myself?! No. It's not my job because, like so much of what we do in ImproveCareNow, I can't do it alone. It is going to take a village.

And and then occurred to me. The village exists! There's Steve from the Research Committee. Melida from the ICN Exchange. Sarah M. from the Quality Improvement & Executive Leadership teams. Jamie from the Parent Working group. Jennie & Sami and all the PACers from the Patient Advisory Council. There's Noel from the Psychologist/Social Worker group. Michael who is a psychologist, researcher and a parent as well. And more. And they are all here on LOOP.

Ok, so we've got the village. Where do we go from here? Well, I think we should expand the village. Bring more storytellers into mix. In fact, I think you should consider being one of those storytellers. How will you begin? A great way to start is by asking yourself "what is my ICN story?" Write it down. And send it to me.

As for me, I'll just sit back and let you do all the work. I'm just kidding! I'll be here, helping you along the way. I'll work with you as your editor, your collaborator, your writing coach. My job is to help you share what ImproveCareNow is through your story. And it's also to take your story, and the stories of many others, and showcase them together so they reveal the bigger picture. And that is how we will go from stories, to the WHOLE story. That's how we'll go full circle.

- Sarah

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