It's no secret on this blog that Jennie and I both adore Taylor Swift, but I perhaps admire her liner notes more than any particular lyric. One in particular inspired me to share my story, even when I felt like I had nothing worth sharing:

"There is a time for silence. There is a time for waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you'll know it. I don't think you should wait. I think you should speak now."


Jennie and I have a secret theory that T Swizzle is an ImproveCareNow supporter all the way. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is just too easily about a colectomy. Alas, we are currently without any proof to back up our theory, but like any of her songs, it's quite obvious Taylor wrote the above quote with inflammatory bowel disease and ImproveCareNow in mind.


Taylor was writing, of course, about the Healthier Together campaign. She - and we - want you to speak now. Every family connected to an inflammatory bowel disease patient has a story to share - and we want need to hear and share those stories.


Networks like ImproveCareNow are leading the way to ensuring innovation, quality, safety, and value for every patient, every time. We're all about engaged care, empowering patients, families, care teams, and researchers to work together and share information seamlessly to drive improvements in the care of kids and teens who deserve a fantastic quality of life and a cure. It's not just your doctors and nurses who are the catalysts for change. It's all of us - little and big. When we work together, kids with IBD get better, faster.


Healthier Together is a movement to support ImproveCareNow and other collaborative health care networks.Healthier Together is a movement to support ImproveCareNow through the collection of 1,000 statements of support by September 15, 2013. What can you do? If you are a patient with IBD, a family member or friend of a patient with IBD, a clinician, a researcher, Taylor Swift, really ANYONE, you can (and should!):

    1. Visit and share


    1. Write a letter (or even just a sentence or two)! Why do you believe it's important for patients, parents, care teams, and researchers to work together in a learning health system like ImproveCareNow? Short, long, poetic, epic - anything goes!


    1. Create a video! Let us hear your story. Make it a collaborative effort and interview your care team. Gush about your dreams for IBD care and how learning health systems like ImproveCareNow can help make them a reality.


    1. Draw a picture! Too young to write? Are you an artist at heart? Not sure how to put your thoughts in words? Show us your vision for collaborative care and why it matters for inflammatory bowel disease patients and families.


    1. Take a photo! Hold up a sign, show us a memory, or let your smile speak for itself.

All letters and media can be submitted at Photos can also be tagged with the hashtag #healthier2gether on Instagram (follow us @healthier2gether, too!)


Jennie and I share our stories all the time, but it's not enough. We need the little stories, the big stories, the crazy stories, the boring stories - because no story is ever unimportant. Write it or draw it or speak it into a video camera or post it on Instagram, but whatever you do, I don't think you should wait.


Bonus points to anyone who can get Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) to submit a post to the Healthier Together campaign.



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