As 2015 ends I can say the year was nothing short of remarkable. The Parent Working Group (PWG) grew, accomplished and got stronger. The fall Community Conference was a high point for parent participation. My first conference was in October 2012 where 18 parents attended. This year our numbers swelled to nearly 50. Participation on our monthly calls has increased 50% in six months. This growth speaks directly to the partnership between the ImproveCareNow Network and parents.

Just about 18 months ago we began to move away from being a ‘support group’ to creating a group which supports parents in ImproveCareNow. Part of this transition was establishing committees where parents can be involved. This year we’ve really seen our committee structure mature and we ARE supporting the network. In the last three months we’ve created guidelines for selecting new leaders, created an operating manual and successfully transitioned from one leader to the next.

All of this work was completed with one goal and aim in mind. Next year the PWG will begin offering “Innovation Webinars”, which will be across ICN and will feature stories of successful partnerships between parents and their care centers. These monthly innovation webinars will serve to educate and inspire parents across ImproveCareNow and hopefully spur more partnerships and projects.


Beginning in January these webinars will be open to ANY PARENT at ANY ICN CARE CENTER.

I need your help in two places.

First, please invite families at your care center to sign up for the PWG email list. This mailing list is how we will send call information for the webinars. Here is the link to sign-up:

Webinars will be scheduled for the second Sunday of every month at 7:00 pm ET. Please share this invitation with all of your patients and families.

Secondly, I am looking for ideas for webinars during 2016. Please email me ( with ideas on partnerships between parents and care centers.

Having a sick child is overwhelming, at times frightening, and a struggle. Having a network which not only welcomes parent input, but asks for it, is priceless. The future is bright because of the partnership between all of us and all of you.

We are all looking forward to a fantastic 2016 with substantial growth and many more partnerships.

Best Wishes,

Justin Vandergrift

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