ImproveCareNow Pwg


Our involvement with ICN has been a family affair

Hello Fellow Improvers! I am Nicole and I have been part of the ICN Community for four years. During this time, I’ve been grateful to enjoy several Community Conferences and have been an active participant in improving care both at the national level with the ICN Parent Working Group (PWG) and locally as the Co-Lead of the Parent/Patient Advisory Team (PPAT) at my care center in Massachusetts. I'm pleased to introduce my family to you!


IGNITE - Find your purpose and help others

NO ONE can prepare a parent to hear that their child has to live with a lifelong medical condition and that there is NO CURE.- Maria Lester

Maria has lived through this twice. The first time was when her oldest daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 4-years-old. Then, nine years later her youngest was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis at 6-years-old. After each heartbreaking diagnosis, Maria remembers reassuring her children that everything would be OK. And in those moments, she found her purpose – she was going to do everything in her power to make sure it would be OK. She dove in headfirst, connecting with disease communities to get support and learn all she could about these diagnoses. She said yes to opportunities to partner - to contribute her time and talent to improve the lives of not only her children, but other families walking the same path she has walked. Through this she has learned a powerful lesson – “that when you find your purpose, you realize there is a cause bigger than yourself and shows you the strength you never thought you had.”

Below is Maria’s full #IGNITETALK from our Fall 2019 Community Conference. As you read her words, ask yourself: what is my purpose?


Making lemonade

Our son, Grant was an extremely active 13-year-old who played lacrosse and tennis, mountain biked and skied. It was hard to believe he had a disease when he looked and acted so healthy. What caught our attention was an abscess that would not heal. After three surgeries, a series of tests, and a colonoscopy, it was confirmed Grant did, indeed, have Crohn’s disease.


What should I do first?

The first question new parent partners often ask is: What should I do first? One of the first projects I worked on with my team was to create “CHOC’s Guide for your IBD Road to Wellness” – a handbook for newly diagnosed families.


It was a journey of the senses...

My name is Heidi. I’m thrilled to share a bit of our journey…

When my husband & I traveled to India to adopt our kids, 15 plus years ago, it was a journey of senses: taste, smell, touch, sound, and sight. I have learned that parenting a child with a chronic illness is also a journey of the senses. When our 19-year-old son, Stephen, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis the summer before his junior year of high school, we had no way of knowing where that journey would take us.


Stanford's IBD Cooking Night

My name is Mary and I’m head of the Stanford Children’s Hospital Parent Working Group. In 2017 my team and I received an ImproveCareNow Patient and Parent Innovation Fund award to host a fun and interactive cooking class to teach members of our center how to cook healthy meals for people with IBD. Through this project, we hoped to build self-management skills and help strengthen our center’s sense of community.


Fierce, like a dragon!

Hi, my name is Jen, and my 11-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in late January 2019. Thankfully, a family friend recommended Seattle Children’s and mentioned that they have been successfully using the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) as all or part of many patients’ treatment plans. Because nutrition therapy was something we were interested in, we decided to make an appointment there right away.


Predictions

Remember potty training your precocious toddler?

Remember running to the bathroom to teach your child the proper way to use the potty? Now, imagine potty training your recently diagnosed IBD toddler. Who would have ever predicted that we would be dashing to the bathroom about 20 times in ONE day? This was our introduction to the world of Crohn's!


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.


Helping to make a difference in the IBD community

My name is Erin, and my daughter Caroline was only 9-years-old when she started losing weight, stopped growing and was exhausted all the time. As she grew sicker, she could not keep up with school, play with her friends, or participate in the activities she loves most: soccer and ballet. It took us almost 18 months to arrive at a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease.


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