On April 15th, Nebular Health Tech had the great honour to host Regina Holliday for a screening of 73 Cents and an introduction to The Walking Gallery. The idea was to bring together our patient voices and health IT endeavors to talk change. Recently, Allison Peacock, one of our community members wrote a bit about the event on her blog which I’d like to share here: _______________________________________________________________
I’ve decided to declare it patient advocacy month for White Horse Medicine! Continuing on the thread of my last blog on embracing our scars I want to celebrate some of the amazing patient advocate connections I’ve made in my efforts over the past few months to launch an innovative new patient-centered clinical model of care with Doctor Julie.
Not unlike Doctor Julie did, patient advocacy powerhouse Regina Holliday seems to have had our first meeting foreshadowed by the sudden appearance of peacocks. When we met for dinner one night during her trip to Austin she mentioned being really moved by some paintings of peacocks that were hanging on the wall when she dined with her Livestrong friends after a presentation at the foundation’s Austin headquarters. She felt compelled to take a photo of them and she whipped out her phone to show them to me after we met later that day. She even included this in her blog post about her trip.
I met Regina just a few weeks after the Harvard event at a meeting of Nebular Health Tech when she was in town to speak at a symposium on health technology and Nebular hosted a viewing of her documentary short, 73 Cents. Regina and many of the other attendees at this meeting shared one powerful thing in common: they had each found a way to turn a life changing patient experience into something positive. Just like Regina had with her mural painting and patient advocacy efforts, many of the developers of medical apps were inspired by the need for something unique for themselves or a loved one. Several had taken up the banner of advocacy and activism to soothe the losses and traumas of a system that had failed them in some way.
Although we hadn’t come together to specifically share our stories, organizer Erin Gilmer had the wisdom and generosity to end the screening with an opportunity to let everyone introduce themselves and tell us what had brought them to the meeting. One by one, each person displayed amazing vulnerability and courage.
From the mother who had challenged a doctor over his cancer misdiagnosis in her child, to medical device failures, to mental health challenges, each attendee extended the bonds of partnership-in-arms to the others in the room as they shared their personal stories. I was moved beyond measure. Although it didn’t come as a surprise to me after the fact, I was surprised at the spontaneous nature of what I was witnessing. I was gifted with something very powerful.
I’ve witnessed the power of storytelling for decades. First as a designer interpreting my clients’ needs and desires into the medium of physical spaces, and then as a professional storyteller hired to tell other people’s stories. Year after year I’ve seen what the process of unearthing and recording personal stories can do. Whether of professional missions or philanthropic legacies the effect is the same: it is the process and power of being seen and heard that changes us. (ital. added) …
For the rest, head over to Allison’s site at White Horse Medicine and learn about all her endeavors in health and health CARE. Thanks to Allison for the beautiful description of the importance of our event and to contributing to the health tech community in Austin.