ImproveCareNow PFAC


IGNITE - I made a conscious choice to become a part of something

Ignite Talks have become a tradition at ImproveCareNow Community Conferences. There is always so much enthusiasm for these brief and breathtaking personal narratives. And we continue to feel gratitude and awe for the improvers who speak from their hearts and share their real life experiences with pediatric IBD. We are grateful to Tomiyo for her story about caring for her daughter with severe IBD and the emotional toll it had on her. Speaking to a live audience was an act of real bravery for this introverted parent, and it represents a promise that Tomiyo kept to herself to be involved and to help other caregivers who might be suffering like she did. Tomiyo's ignite talk highlights the importance of support, community and advocacy for IBD caregivers and the power of stories to drive us all to create a better for future for those who need it most. 

Be inspired by Tomiyo's #IgniteTalk 🔥


The story of our new PFAC logo

My name is Maria and I'm the ImproveCareNow Parent/Family Advisory Council (PFAC) Connections Co-Lead. Recently, I had the pleasure of collaborating with the ICN Communications team and PFAC leadership, to create the very first logo for the PFAC! Our new PFAC logo symbolizes the incredible strength and unwavering unity of parents and caregivers who nurture and support children with IBD.


I am the incoming Chair of the Board of Directors of ImproveCareNow

My name is Missy Ketchum, and I am the incoming Chair of the Board of Directors of ImproveCareNow (ICN). I have served on the Board for five years, an experience that has deepened my admiration for ICN’s mission. I begin my new role as Chair on July 1, 2023.


Finding my way to mindfulness meditation practices that resonated

Diagnosed at age 15 with severe IBD, my daughter’s journey with illness was bumpy, but manageable, until the summer after her sophomore year of college. Her colonic health had been on a slow decline for some months, and that’s when cDiff took advantage. Though her health worsened over the summer, she was able to convince her doctor to let her go back to college in the fall. There, cDiff continued to recur and stopped responding to all medications. An oral fecal microbiota transplant finally shut down the cDiff but sent her into her worst flare ever. She was hospitalized on the opposite coast from where we live. I flew out to be with her, thinking it would be for a few days and ended up staying a couple of months until she was stable enough to get her home to California, where she was admitted to a hospital there. Of all the challenges we’ve faced over the course of her illness (she’s now 27), the time we spent on the East Coast, far from all our supports was the most difficult. She was on an adult ward there, and they didn’t seem to understand why I insisted on staying with her.

It was the first time my stoic child became depressed. And I found myself overwhelmed, afraid, and alone.


IGNITE - A Parent's Perspective on Healthcare Learning Networks

Ignite Talks are a true highlight of ImproveCareNow Community Conferences - whether we are meeting in-person or live online. This spring, at our Live Online Community Conference, we were honored to listen as Jane Weyer shared her personal story as parent to a child diagnosed not only with Crohn's disease, but also Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) - an autoimmune liver condition affecting around 30,000 people in the US. Jane, and her daughter Nicole, didn't have the information or resources they wanted at the beginning of their PSC journey. So, they rolled up their sleeves, leaned on the strong foundation of connection and improvement built by the ImproveCareNow Learning Health Network, and together with other visionaries founded A-LiNK (the Autoimmune Liver Disease Network for Kids). A-LiNK Connections, the caregiver/patient community, was established to collaborate, advocate, support, and educate families on this journey with them.

Be inspired by Jane's #IgniteTalk 🔥



Episode 34 of the imPACt podcast - Patient Engagement Guru, Sydney B

We've been getting to know ICN staff members through our imPACt ImproveCareNow network series (last time we talked with Chris Keck about why storytelling matters). In this episode, join Caitlyn, Vanessa and I (Fionna) for a chat with Sydney Bogardus who supported the PAC and the PFAC (Patient/Family Advisory Council) for several years before taking on another role in ICN.


I wanted to share my family's experiences and see how I can help other IBD families

My name is Stacy and I am Co-Chair of the Children's Mercy IBD Patient Family Advisory Council (or "IBD PFAC" for short). I have twin boys and one of them is a patient of the Children's Mercy IBD Clinic. An interesting fact about me is that I am also an RN and I have worked for the Veteran's Hospital Administration for the past 17 years.


Our top 10 blog posts of 2022

LOOP is an important place for our community to keep #TalkingAboutIBD. It’s a place where #StoriesMatter - where they connect us, build confidence, validate our experiences, remind us we are not alone, and motivate us to continue improving together.

So far, in 2022, 41 stories have been published by patients, caregivers, clinicians, collaborators, researchers, staff & leaders from across the ICN community sharing their unique perspectives on and experiences with IBD. Our top stories this year have covered a variety of topics, including: research on diet and fatigue, innovative IBD projects, new member introductions and top tips for newly-diagnosed patients, conversations about medical trauma, collaborating with IBD caregivers, and gratitude for leadership and learning together so we can all improve the health and care of people living with IBD.


IGNITE - IBD is a marathon AND a sprint

Inspiring, honest and motivational. Those were the words used to describe IBD parent, Ildiko's #IgniteTalk. In it she reminded us all of the critically important and unique perspective that parents and caregivers of young people with IBD bring to the discussion. She asked us to remember that while we collaborate on the big challenges that IBD presents, there are also small things we can do to make a difference right now (like watching our language). And she issued a call to action for us to work together to make truly meaningful progress in outcomes for kids with IBD and also to really believe that radical, transformative progress is possible.

Be inspired by Ildiko's #IgniteTalk 🔥


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