ImproveCareNow Parent_partners


How to begin doing research with ImproveCareNow

The ICN Research committee encourages everyone to submit research proposals even if you think the research process might be too intimidating or difficult. Because when we ask and answer questions about IBD together as a community, we can get even better results.


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. 


IGNITE - Creating a Family

Do you need an IBD family? Martha knew instinctively that she did, from the moment her family first started their journey with Crohn's disease. So, she volunteered to start a pediatric family support group at her local care center. It took some time for the group to gain traction - nine months, in fact. But thanks to Martha's "pleasant persistence" and the active involvement of their pediatric GI provider, the group is now thriving - supporting and encouraging each other (both the parents and the kids), working side-by-side with patients and providers to better care, and offering newly diagnosed families a safe and welcoming place to find their footing surrounded by people who truly understand. As Martha puts it, "I had no idea who I would meet or how we would all interact, but I knew that if I needed an IBD family, others did, too."

Be inspired by Martha's #IgniteTalk 🔥 


IGNITE - Taking the journey together.

Heidi's #IgniteTalk is a powerful reminder that while IBD may be part of your life, you don't have to do it alone. There is value in connecting with others to give and receive support, in #TalkingAboutIBD because every story matters and has the power to change someone else's story, in offering what you have learned on your journey in the hope that it can help another person outsmart IBD.

Be inspired by Heidi's #IgniteTalk 🔥 


Innovation Update – IV Sweatshirt prototype is comfortable and efficient

Ella and I want to thank you all for your incredible response to our first blog post where we introduced the IV Sweatshirt Project! If you haven’t read our story yet, we encourage you to start there – in it we share about Ella’s diagnosis with Crohn’s disease, our journey to find a treatment that worked for her, and how her experience ultimately led us to create something together to help kids like her stay warm and comfortable while getting infusions.

After a few trials and some delays due to COVID-19, we are excited to share that we have received a solid prototype of our IV sweatshirt design and have been able to test it at our infusion center!


FAQ about the Shared Decision Making Toolkit for IBD Surgery

At April’s Live Online Community Conference (LOCC), Dayton Children’s introduced the Should I have IBD surgery? shared decision-making webtool and Dear Ostomy video. These resources are key components of an IBD Surgery Shared Decision-Making Toolkit that the Dayton team created using an ImproveCareNow (ICN) Innovation Fund award, made possible with support from the Clare Foundation. The toolkit generated a lot of excitement and questions, so project leaders, Dr. Kelly Sandberg and parent Shellie Doub took some time to answer to the most frequently asked questions.


Staying warm and comfortable during infusions

Hi, my name is Ella and I am 12 years old. I am currently a 7th grader who likes spending time outdoors and hanging out with my friends and family.

When I was nine years old, I started feeling sick. I was nauseous all the time, had trouble eating without pain and was so tired I could barely get through the school day. By the time summer arrived, I couldn’t even walk an entire block without feeling ill. We didn’t know how serious it was until I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 10. By then, I had stopped growing and was severely underweight. It was very difficult for me, especially in the beginning. The first rounds of medication were not successful; I couldn’t tolerate them. In August of 2017, I began receiving IV infusions (Remicade) at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. I am now in remission and feel great but going for IV infusions as often as every four weeks, as well as taking oral medications, is my new “normal” and the inspiration for an innovative project I’m working on.


Navigating Empathy and Emotional Labor with Patient Advocates

My name is Catalina - I’m a current co-chair of the ICN Patient Advisory Council, a social/clinical research assistant at the University of North Carolina and will be starting medical school soon. I recently gave a presentation at the Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence about emotional labor, empathy and how to navigate these concepts when working with patient advocates. I wanted to share some of my talking points with you here.


I will never forget the day my son’s symptoms began

My name is Ann, and I will never forget the day my son's symptoms began. There were six of us. We had all gone out to enjoy a Chinese dinner. The time was the summer of 2009. Later that night, Richard who was 8 years old, started vomiting. We thought he probably was reacting to something in the restaurant food, but none of the rest of us had a problem. This was the start of Richard’s trouble with Crohn’s disease.


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