Health is not just the absence of disease but a state of overall wellbeing.” - World Health Organization

I started my career in health care nearly 20 years ago as a chiropractor specializing in orthopedic rehabilitation and sports injuries. With a background in physical therapy, I spent about nine years focused on post-acute therapy and rehabilitation. Throughout my career, the view of health as described above by the World Health Organization framed my approach to care.

As I strived to help my patients achieve their optimal state of health,  I grew frustrated with the system I was a part of – one that required my patients’ conditions to worsen to a threshold of pain or disability before insurance would cover more treatment. Unless they could pay cash out-of-pocket, I was not able to give my patients the care they deserved when they needed it.

I began to embrace the importance of adhering to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) adage (though I would not become familiar with the organization for some time) of asking, What matters to you?, rather than What’s the matter with you?. I observed that the conversation changes when patients and families are at the center of the care model, not a single cog within it.

After nine years, I left private practice and moved to Asia. There, I had the unique opportunity to learn more about healthcare delivery in other areas of the world, while viewing our own system from afar. This experience heightened my resolve to find a way to change my home system – there had to be a better way to treat patients; not as a specific set of symptoms or disease conditions but rather as complete and complex individuals. 

Upon returning to the US, I found myself in Cincinnati, OH - home of the James M. Anderson Center for Healthcare Excellence at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. It was there that I discovered Learning Health Networks and their approach to care. The collaborative and inclusive care model resonated with me and spoke to all my past experiences as a patient, a provider and healthcare consultant.

ImproveCareNow is one of the most advanced examples of a Learning Health Network and is doing amazing work to improve the care and health of young people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I am humbled and thrilled to be a part of such an amazing team working on behalf of our community.


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