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PAC Body Image Toolkit

Body image is a topic that Inflammatory Bowel Disease patients don’t often talk about due to the embarrassment and fear associated with opening up about their experiences with their Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

It can be incredibly frustrating to feel like you have no control over how your body works or looks, especially given all the messages we receive from the media about how a body ‘should’ look and behave. We wanted to create the Body Image Toolkit as a way to express our experiences, provide tips, and start conversations about body image & IBD. It’s important to know that we’re not alone in our feelings, and that there are so many people who understand what we’re going through! 

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But it is hard for others to see.

When I’ve sat down to write about ImproveCareNow over the past decade, I’ve had the luxury of time. Time to reflect on our recent data and progress, time to tell the neat stories about patients and parents working together, and time to try and try again to put my finger on just what it is that makes this community so special…what gives it it’s spark. And while I think many in the ImproveCareNow community appreciate what makes it special—and also what can make that hard to describe—I realize those outside looking in can still find it hard to grasp. So, I often find myself thinking about several lines of William Stafford’s poem The Way it Is:

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Let’s test it now…

Quote from Lexa Fenster, PAC member and Co-Designer of Digital Tools to Support Your Team

I looked around the breakout room at our recent Community Conference, at the group of people learning together about using digital tools, and was pleased to see 90% of the room had whipped out their cell phones and started downloading a new app that had just been talked about. I thought to myself only at an ImproveCareNow Community Conference can you find an entire room ready to try out a new tool together. These moments - whether they are at an in-person conference, on a webinar, or in clinic - epitomize the often used ICN slogan “share seamlessly and steal shamelessly.”

First, we share and steal, then we test!

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Perspectives

Have you ever taken one of those silly photos that attempts to distort your perception of a landmark or scene? For example, you might make it look like someone is holding the Eiffel Tower by its point or a friend is standing in the palm of your hand. Those photos are all about your point of view or your perspective. Perspective affects a lot of things. Perspective can affect your focus, opinion and even your advice. Recently, as I attend my first ICN Community Conference, the concept of perspective was with me throughout.

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Hi, I'm Pam

I’m Pam, and I’m a member of the ICN Parent Working Group (PWG). My husband Kraig and I have three teenagers, and I became involved in ICN soon after our oldest son was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. He first started having symptoms in the fall of 2015 and was diagnosed in March 2016.

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PAC Social Media Week Recap - CC18F

ICYMI – PAC hosted another Social Media Week leading up to the Fall 2018 ImproveCareNow Community Conference. Social Media Week is one way we get excited for the Community Conference! It consists of PAC members putting together a series of personal and highly-focused quotes, pictures and stories, which we share widely to raise awareness of ImproveCareNow and IBD. In the past, we’ve answered questions like: "What is your IBD story?" "What or who motivates you to keep on fighting?" and "How do you/or the PAC raise awareness for IBD?" and in the Spring members shared what the ICN Core Values meant to them. For the Fall CC we wanted to share stories and examples of how we are Better Together.

These are our stories:

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Like Friends Do.

When one thinks about a large international health improvement and research network of 109 care centers, the word “friend” may not immediately come to mind. But recently, as I attended my approximately 18th ImproveCareNow Community Conference in 11 years, it was this word that kept coming to my mind throughout.

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Triumph Cords

Hi everyone, my name is Natalie and I just graduated from the University of Cincinnati (UC) this August with a degree in Environmental Studies and minors in Psychology and Biology. On my own time I am a health & environmental advocate and enjoy fighting for awareness & understanding of things people may not be educated on (like Crohn’s disease, which I also have).

Thanks to the UC journalism department, I was prompted to write a short piece for a video and article I was featured in for my school. It was about overcoming adversity and making it to graduation, and I wanted to share it with you.

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Fall 2018 Community Conference – Better Together

ImproveCareNow Community Conferences happen twice a year. While our community works together across the miles throughout the year, these in-person conferences provide an opportunity to work on developing and spreading QI and research skills and approaches; fueling our Network's use of data to drive and evaluate QI efforts; and developing partnerships that will lead to improved care processes and outcomes in pediatric IBD.

September 13-15 we will welcome patients, parents, clinicians, researchers, improvers, collaborators, and friends to the Fall 2018 Community Conference in Chicago, Illinois and we hope you’ll join us too.

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Nationwide Children’s video series shares accurate, understandable, patient-friendly info about IBD

Getting accurate, understandable, patient-friendly information about IBD is not always easy. But what if other kids who actually have IBD told you about IBD anytime you wanted, and would only give you information that IBD experts felt was accurate? And what if the information they shared would only take a few minutes? That would be great, right? 

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