ImproveCareNow Jill_horan


A Thank You Letter to Jill Horan

Let’s all stop to take notice of one of the truly wonderful people around us: Jill Horan. The following reflection was written by incoming parent co-leaders, Heidi and Ildiko, as a celebration of the dedication, creativity, passion and kindness that Jill has brought to her careful tending of the ImproveCareNow Parent Working Group (which has announced a new name, by the way). 


The Spark That Set The Flame

I was a reluctant participant - I was perfectly content to let others lead the way. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, I just didn’t think I had anything of significant value that I could share. That’s not false modesty, I was literally fumbling through trying to understand what it meant to have two kids with a chronic disease that had no cure. That was until I began to partner with my local IBD care center and the larger ImproveCareNow community. 


Growing Our Engagement Community – A How To Manual

The MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) Parent/Patient Advisory Team (PPAT) was honored to be selected for an ImproveCareNow (ICN) Patient and Parent Innovation Fund award in the fall of 2017. As a team of parents, patients and healthcare providers, this award enabled us to work together to provide valuable educational programs aimed at increasing and family knowledge of IBD, and much-needed opportunities for patients and families to network with others to share information, knowledge and know-how.

As a team, we have chronicled our collaborative, year-long journey of working together to increase the number of participants enrolled in our PPAT engagement group and formalize a model that others across the ICN Network can steal shamelessly. Our project has culminated in a “How to Manual”, which we are excited to continue sharing across the ICN Network at our upcoming Virtual Community Conference. This manual shares our lessons learned, challenges, tips, and strategies to achieve success in growing a local engagement program that will connect, support, and engage IBD patients and their families. Our hope is that the manual will serve as a catalyst to help other centers achieve similar partnerships, which will result in improved IBD care and outcomes.


A thief in the night

Our IBD journey began over five years ago with our oldest daughter. It presented itself more like a thief in the night rather than a bold, coming out. For three years prior to diagnosis, there was a sense that something was not right, but the clues left were random and independent of each other. Add in a misdiagnosis and it would take someone highly skilled to assemble the clues and uncover the mystery.


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