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Stair Steps

This is story about the jacket painting of TomEvans, MD.   If you read Tom’s biography you’ll see many accomplishments in his long career.  He has succeeded at so many things.  He is President and CEO of Iowa Healthcare Collaborative.  He has a BA, MA and MD to his name.  He was the Chief Medical Officer at Iowa Health System.  He was on the board of the National Patient Safety Foundation and is currently working with HEN’s in the Partnership for Patients Initiative. But today we are going hear about Tom’s failure.    This is Tom’s jacket: “Stair Steps.” Tom is the eldest of nine children.  So like many large families they were arrayed as stair step order in family portraits.  In this painting you can see Tom, his father and all of his siblings in descending order. Here is Tom telling story that inspired this painting: “This story is about my…

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Patients as Brand, Advocates

I love earPlanes. Do you know what I am talking about?  earPlanes are these little earplugs that were created by Cirrus Healthcare products to reduce ear pain when flying.  The device consists of a silicone earplug and a ceramic pressure regulator.  As a frequent flyer, I use them on every flight. They cost $8.00 a pair and are worth every penny. Before I found out about these nifty little things, I was suffering frequent ear infections post flight and could not hear very well due to ears that would not “pop” for days.  This was quite a problem.  It is hard to speak well if you cannot hear well.  Also as a person with high co-pays and no prescription coverage treating the subsequent ear infections was getting to be quite expensive. I posted my problem on Facebook and one of my friends alerted me to the wonder that is earPlanes. …

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Mother's Helper: The Tale of Henry Lent

Recently my new friend Mindy from Greeting Card Universe emailed to let me know their company not only makes hospice cards; they also make non-traditional Mother’s Day cards.  They make Mother’s Day cards for single Dad’s.  Which made think about of another non-traditional role: that of the Mother’s helper and the respect we should show them on this day. When my son Freddie entered kindergarten at Murch Elementary nine years ago he made a very special friend named Henry.  This quiet calm child was the opposite of rambunctious Freddie but they really enjoyed playing together.  Kindergarten was a hard year for Freddie but Henry was definitely the bright spot.  So at the end of the year when the other parents were requesting particular teachers for 1st grade, we requested Freddie be placed in the same class as Henry. Throughout third grade Henry and Freddie were great friends, then Freddie went…

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Seek and You Shall Find

On April 15, 2013 I enjoyed my first visit to Austin, Texas!!! I was super glad to visit another gem of a quirky town after spending 3 years in Lawrence, Kansas in the late 90s. (I hope some day to make it out to Boulder, Colorado as well.)  Kyra Hagan, VP of Marketing at Medseek, afforded me this golden opportunity. Last fall she enquired about the possibility of me presenting at their user group in their April Client Congress.  Krya has a personal background that is strongly focused on patient safety and Medseek‘s focus is on patient portals, so I jumped at the chance to speak there. Medseek works with 1,000 plus hospitals in the US and concentrates on website design and portal functionality.  Their sole focus since 1996 is patient engagement and they work with many of large EMR companies.  They integrate and collaborate and that is music to…

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Keeping it Real

This is my second year painting an image that represents the wonder that is Medicine X at Stanford.  The painting this year is called “Such as These.”   The title is a literary reference to the New Testament passage where Jesus chides the disciples for turning away messy and exuberant children.  I thought that a powerful concept as we reflect on an event that invites all of us to the table. I focused on children this year.  In the world of art, when children are depicted at all, they are often depicted as adults in miniature.   But children are far more than that.  They are flexible in limb and mind.  One moment a child’s face can break with sorrow as tears freely fall and in the next moment a peal of laughter will fill the room.  Children show such a range of emotion even though within our culture they are usually…