It’s been a busy week in the ImproveCareNow community, and it’s not over yet. As one of the “official” leaders of this community, I’m sitting back for a few minutes and reflecting (as I often do) on how many people from across this community have become contributors and leaders in their own right; collaborating across roles and across the miles.  Not every week looks the same in ImproveCareNow. Some weeks, our momentum slows a bit and centers look inward and focus on their own vital improvement activities. But this is one of those weeks when you see the power of community fluctuate not just day-by-day, but hour-to-hour and down to the moment. In these moments, you realize, you are witnessing a truly incredible burst of collective energy. And nearly all of this work is happening virtually—by phone and online—with participants from across the US and beyond.


So I wanted to share a few of the things that can happen in this type of collaborative improvement community, when people with good ideas step up, identify needs, and find ways to fill them together. These are people with very busy full-time jobs at their care centers, or who are living with IBD on a daily basis, and are nonetheless sharing their time and talents with this community because they know it takes all of us to improve health and care. This list is by no means exhaustive, and I ask that as you peruse it you think about how small but important moments like these can be nurtured in your communities.

So far this week:

  • The ImproveCareNow Strategy Council, led by a physician and a parent of a child with IBD, met to discuss how to best ensure both adequate representation within this group by the various ImproveCareNow stakeholder groups, as well as to talk about leadership succession planning. I was delighted to hear the Strategy Council leaders start the call in true quality improvement fashion by sharing community responses to the question “What can we do better?”
  • The ImproveCareNow Psychosocial Professional Group, comprised of psychologists and social workers from a number of ImproveCareNow’s 95 centers, met to talk about their current projects, of which there are many. They reflected on the recent interest from across the community in their new tool for patients and families called “Finding a Mental Health Provider for your Child or Teen with IBD” and brainstormed about next tools to develop, including scripts to help clinicians explain the psychosocial aspects of IBD.


  • The ImproveCareNow Registered Dietitian Group had a conference call in which they discussed their time and resource constraints. They drafted a new mission statement for the group and set realistic goals for the work they’d like to do to support one another. I love this brief snippet from their draft mission statement, which is all about generously sharing their time and expertise: “The group welcomes new RD members into the community, they participate in an active listserv related to nutritional issues, and they provide feedback to ICN projects and activities that relate to improving care for pediatric IBD patients.”
  • Exciting new tools were shared seamlessly in the ICN Exchange community commons for other centers to steal shamelessly, including a slide set from Lucille Packard’s Community Engagement Night titled “Mind Body IBD Treatment.”


  • A wonderful dialogue has begun on the ICN Exchange as we prepare for a community co-design session at our April Community Conference. We posed the following Discussion Question, and ideas are beginning to roll in from patients, parents, and clinicians:


  • Finally, our Community Engagement Team began working on the agenda for our first ever ImproveCareNow “Virtual Community Conference” planned for mid-May. Stay tuned for more details!

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