David Suskind, MD is an IBD clinician and researcher, as well as physician leader of ImproveCareNow at Seattle Children's Hospital. At our Fall 2022 Community Conference, Dr. Suskind shared the Professor NiMBAL comic, which presents important information about Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in a way that is easy to digest and feels less scary. Read more about how the comic came to be as Dr. Suskind answers our Challenge, Choice, Outcome interview questions.

Challenge: what did you want to change?

Every patient; every family is different. This may seem obvious, but it is also central to everything we need to keep in mind as providers of care to other people. Learned experience combined with cultural traditions, communication preferences, and language barriers all affect the way we absorb information. After many years of practice, I realized that I needed to communicate helpful and crucial information in a fun and digestible (no pun intended) way using a medium that was accessible and innovative.

Choice: what action did you take?

I wanted to help my IBD patients, and their families feel more at ease by presenting what is typically a scary diagnosis differently. I created a comic book that incorporates all of the major points that I normally cover during a 1st clinic visit. I also wanted to empower decision making by patients and their families through education.

To ensure that the comic reached as many patients as possible, I asked gastroenterologists around the world to both hand it out for free and translate it. Currently, the Professor NiMBAL comic is available in 12 languages (in addition to English). I am very proud of this comic and the feedback I received from both colleagues and patients.

Outcome: what happened as a result of your choice? How can others be inspired to act?

The Professor NiMBAL comic has been a great success. We give it out to every IBD patient we see at Seattle Children's Hospital. In addition, it has been translated into 12 languages and is available for free worldwide.

Download the Professor NiMBAL comic in a language of your choice 📚

Thinking outside of the box and putting yourself into your patients' shoes yields great insights. The result are improved care that is accessible and culturally appropriate, and positive outcomes that reduce risk and ultimately create healthier people. This is why we are in the business of healthcare.


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Put in your time and energy on behalf of someone else. No effort is too small, because everything we do in ImproveCareNow is magnified by the efforts of thousands of other improvers, and together we bring about a better quality of life for many. Here are some actions you can take, or invite others to take, to get involved with ICN:
  • Invite someone to stay #InTheLOOP with IBD stories on the ICN blog "Sharing stories and experiences is affirming and validating. Our stories reach others and they help, which is the most wonderful part of being involved with ImproveCareNow." - Quint 
  • Invite a patient (14+) to join the Patient Advisory Council - "Being part of the PAC helps me remember that I'm not alone in this journey." - Rhea 
  • Invite a parent or family member of a child with IBD to join the Parent/Family Advisory Council - "I was astounded by the instant bond established with parents I had never met. Every conversation provided me with strength. It ignited another purpose in my life." - Maria
  • Invite someone to download free, co-produced IBD resources - "Physical resources provide patients with actions that we can take toward bettering our quality of life, as well as our current and future care." - Quint
  • Invite someone to Join Our CIRCLE - "Resources we found in CIRCLE eNews do not just focus on physical health, but also on critical areas like social-emotional needs, nutrition, back-to-school planning and mindfulness. These are valuable tools for my son to remain healthy." - Lisa

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