ImproveCareNow Patients_&_families


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 🔥 


Connecting thousands of IBD patients and families

My brother was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when he was in high school. This was before ImproveCareNow and he had almost no access to resources or connections. He felt alone and I felt paralyzed by my inability to help him. Today, it’s my job to think about the thousands of patients and families living with IBD every day, and how to connect them with each other and the information and resources they need.


Engaging our IBD Community in the Time of COVID-19

In these turbulent times, with the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19 unfolding around us, the IBD team at Stanford Children’s Health has continued to prioritize community engagement; making the shift to offering virtual events and interactions that have provided their patients and families with uninterrupted clinical care, reliable sources of IBD-related information, and the ability to stay connected, ask questions and develop valuable coping skills to help navigate this unpredictable time successfully.

Their community engagement work was previously shared during our Fall Live Online Community Conference and will be highlighted again during our December 2 Virtual Community Conference (RSVP to join). Alison Kotzen RN, MSN, C-PNP, wrote the following about her team’s engagement efforts during the time of COVID-19.


With IBD, I’ve gained a lot of empathy and perspective and learned a lot about privilege

My name is Seth. I am 17 years old and a rising high school senior.  I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in sixth grade. I had a relatively typical path to my diagnosis. After a few years of worsening symptoms (stomach pain, constipation, and vomiting), I went into the hospital, where I had a gastric emptying scan and upper endoscopy, and then labs, a CT Enterography, and finally a colonoscopy. After a few weeks on Prednisone, I started IV Remicade, which I have been on ever since. Outside of Crohn’s, I play trombone and tennis. I’m also very involved in politics, and I was recently an intern for two congressional candidates in Ohio.


Fall 2020 Live Online Community Conference: 2020 Vision - Better Together

On Thursday, September 24 & Friday, September 25, ImproveCareNow will host their second LIVE Online Community Conference (LOCC). Sessions begin on September 24 at 12:30 PM ET (11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT, 9:30 AM PT) and continue through 5:00 PM ET when a causal Engagement and Social Hour begins. Sessions resume again on September 25 at 10:30 AM ET and continue throughout the day, with a wrap up scheduled for 4:35 PM ET. 

All are welcome to join us for this interactive, online event where we plan to all teach and all learn about topics including diversity & equity, patient & family engagement, the effects of COVID-19 on health and care, and our path forward with new ICN leadership.


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!


Never stop sharing your story!

Recently, I sent my Grandfather from out of town a surprise package. I took the time to search through all of the wonderful LOOP posts made by PAC members and pulled out all the posts I have written. I compiled them into a word document and attached the pictures as well. I made the font decently big and separated each article to make it easy to read. I printed a copy, wrote my Grandpa a note and sent the package on its way to Pennsylvania.


Information about the novel coronavirus (COVID -19) for IBD patients and families

SARS-CoV-2

image credit: NIAID-RML

Many IBD patients and their families are concerned about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the impact it may have on their lives, their care and their wellbeing. Please note: IBD patients and families seeking specific information about the novel coronavirus and their medical care are advised to communicate directly with their care team. While ImproveCareNow is not in the business of providing direct medical advice, we are in the business of connecting people, learning together and sharing information seamlessly. We'd like to share some information that may be useful to you:


Spring 2020 LIVE Online Community Conference - Pathway to the Future

On Friday, April 3, ImproveCareNow will host a LIVE Online Community Conference (LOCC). The LOCC will be preceded by a late breaking session on Telemedicine in Response to COVID-19 at 9:30am ET (8:30am CT, 7:30am MT, 6:30am PT) and the main event will begin at 10:30am ET (9:30am CT, 8:30am MT, 7:30am PT). 

All are welcome to join this free online event where we will be exploring ImproveCareNow's Pathway to the Future and how we can all continue to work together to transform health, care and costs for all children and adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.


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.


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