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The Web We Weave

On January 29th, 2014 I was honored to present at the 1st Health Informatics Tri-State Summit on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville.  The room was filled with energetic folks with interesting questions.  I was honored to present and paint.  This was of those venues where I painted in the front of the room and occasionally threw out questions to the speakers whilst painting. At the event, I painted this piece entitled: “The Web We Weave.” Gabriela Wilson began the day by greeting us warmly.  Peggy Graul explained the schedule of the day.  She even mentioned the twitter hashtag: #hitsusi and that made me very happy.  You can see it archived on Symplur. While they spoke I painted a swirling winter sky. As they explained the foundation upon which they plan to build future conferences, I painted the new earth ready for seeds.  Then I put…

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Tomorrow

On November 26, 2013 I arrived in the city of Saskatoon in the province Saskatchewan, Canada.  It was close to midnight when I passed through security.  The agent looked at my passport and asked about my business in Canada.  I told her I was speaking at the university.  She asked for proof.  I was taken aback as I have never had to prove what I was doing before on a speaking engagement.  I responded, “Are you asking to see my speaker’s contract?” She smiled a tight smile and said, “Yes, unless you want to come with me to the back office.”  Fortunately, I print out my speaker’s contracts and take them with me on trips.  So I handed over the correct papers. Then she noticed I had declared that I had tools with me.  She asked what type of tools.  I responded paintbrushes, as I am an artist. She looked…

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Companionable Silence

This coming week is Valentine’s Day.  It is a holiday for couples, so I feel somewhat out of place in its celebration.   As a single Mom, I get used to going to Cub Scouts and watching the other two-parent families play.  I get used to school forms addressed to the Parents of Isaac Holliday or Frederick Holliday III. I get used to a lot, but Valentine’s Day is not one of those things. This holiday reminds me of those inexpensive heart necklaces we wore as children.  You know the type you gave to your best friend?  The necklace consisted of two parts: two jagged sides of one heart.  You supposed to wear one and so was your best friend; thereby representing the friendship was forever. These simple necklaces and their jagged edges were an astute metaphor: when you lose your best friend all that is left is a heart torn…

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Tip Jars and Sustaining Members

In my line of work and type of advocacy, I get a lot of requests for pro bono work.  I support my life’s mission and a family on the money I earn from painting and speaking.  Though I am always trying to add to the public good, I can only agree to a few pro bono gigs per year.  Some of the venues that ask me to present are small hospitals, non-profits or universities that can only afford to pay travel, lodging and my babysitter’s fees.  I work with these folks because I so deeply want to help their mission as it aligns with my own.  We want to help patients have better lives and end of lives.  We want medical professionals to have joy in their work as they help others. Some venues don’t have any money for patient speakers.  They cannot afford to pay for travel or lodging…