Archive for the ‘Blog & Bloggers’ Category
Men’s Health Month is celebrated each June. In honor of it, the Kaiser Permanente Care Stories Blog is highlighting stories from some of their members. Stories include men who benefited from preventive screenings as well as those who made positive behavior changes to improve their weight through a healthier lifestyle.
This video highlights the story of Ray Territ. A a life-threatening aortic aneurysm was discovered during a preventive ultrasound screening Ray underwent.
For more, visit the Care Stories Blog and check out the other stories featured this month.
TEDMED’s Jay Walker and Kaiser Permanente’s Philip Fasano Talk Imagination and the Future of Health Care
In March of this year, TEDMED’s Jay Walker and Kaiser Permanente Executive Vice President and CIO Philip Fasano had a conversation about imagining tomorrow’s health and medicine at Walker’s Library of Human Imagination. Recently, the tables were turned, and in a first for the Center for Total Health Blog, Fasano conducted his own Q&A with Walker – about his library’s collection, his role in TEDMED, and what he thinks about when he contemplates the future of health care.
Watch a video of Walker’s conversation with Fasano below, and read on for Fasano’s follow-up Q&A with Walker.
Your Library of Human Imagination is impressive. For people unfamiliar with the library, can you briefly describe what it is? Where did the idea come from and how did you bring that vision to life?
The Library is a 3,600 sq. ft. wing of my home containing about 30,000 books as well as maps, charts, artworks and a wide variety of historical objects. Everything in the Library was selected or created to illustrate something about human imagination…from a Gutenberg Bible page to one of the original 1957 Russian Sputnik satellites (a backup that was never launched). The room combines traditional architecture with high-tech art, sound and lighting, plus unusual design features such as floating platforms and an invisible glass bridge. The whole look and feel was inspired by the paradoxical spaces of M.C. Escher.
What prompted you to get started collecting?
About 15% of the human population has the collecting gene. I’m one of them. After I’d been collecting for several years, I asked myself, what is the common theme that runs through all these incredibly diverse items? I realized that every book or object appealed to me because it was an example of imagination at work. So about 12 years ago when we built our new house, I made sure to include this Library as a showcase to promote understanding of human imagination and, hopefully, inspire a sense of wonder and curiosity.
Also, my wife said I had to keep all my stuff in one room.
If you had to distill your library down to one or two items, what would they be and why would you select them?
Tough assignment! One thing I usually show visitors is the Harmonia Macrocosmica by Cellarius. This 1660 atlas included the first published heliocentric depiction of the solar system – a map that divides the Age of Faith from the Age of Reason. So it’s a dividing line between two highly imaginative ways of looking at the universe.
For people in the health field, I like to show the “flayed angel,” published in Paris by the anatomist and artist Gautier in 1745. This painting is considered by many to be the Mona Lisa of anatomical artwork. It’s a three-foot-high, color portrait of a nude, seated woman, viewed from the back with her face turned in three-quarter profile. Her back is slit open up the spine, and her skin and muscles are peeled aside on both left and right to reveal the ribs beneath. It sounds grotesque but it was created for educational purposes and the image is actually quite beautiful.
What motivated you to become the curator of TedMed?
I have been an enthusiastic member of the TED community, the “ideas worth spreading” conference, for 25 years and have served on TED’s brain trust for many years as well. When I was invited to speak at TEDMED in 2010, I fell in love with it and so did my partners. We believed TEDMED could become a great vehicle for progress in health and medicine, a place where people make the unexpected connections that lead to new thinking and unusual collaborations. We also saw TEDMED as a safe meeting place to have the kind of multi-disciplinary dialog around wellness that everyone says we need, but which just isn’t happening anywhere else. So we got involved and, together with the growing TEDMED community, are doing our best to support all of that.
What prompted your interest in health care?
I have always been passionately interested in the sciences, including medical science, even though I am not an MD or a PhD. I see health care as an important facet of the much larger field of health and medicine generally. It’s the one subject that directly impacts all of us. It’s also the place where so much of today’s intellectual excitement of discovery and invention is happening.
Where are you making investments that are technology and health care related today?
TEDMED itself represents a major investment and we’re investing in more ways to serve our community, with support from generous sponsors and partners. For example, this year TEDMEDLive expanded the simulcast of our Washington, DC conference stage program to 50,000 people in 87 countries and the U.S. We’re also investing significant time and resources in several concepts and ventures that we believe will leverage technology to serve public health in innovative ways. But it’s a bit premature to go into detail at this point.
When you think about the future of health care, what comes to your mind?
I think about the fact that the consumer is just arriving at the party in a serious way for the first time and that, no matter what health professionals or policymakers expect or want, in a free market and in a democratic society the consumer is going to drive the direction of health and medicine.
I think about the fact that new technology and wearable biosensors are going to connect all of us to the network. When the day comes that every organ has its own IP address and is providing real time feedback to our doctors 24/7, our behavior will change and how we interact with the health care system, our environment, our food, our employer and our health insurance will change. Radically.
I think about the fact that there are unlimited opportunities for business acumen and imagination to be applied to create products, services and businesses that not only make healthy revenues, but that also make America healthier in the process. And, I believe business has a social obligation to make this happen. Prevention, for example, should be a trillion-dollar industry in this country. And someday it will be, hopefully sooner rather than later.
So there is a revolution coming in health and in health care, a very positive and constructive revolution; and for all the change we’ve seen in the past decade, this is only the beginning. Hang on because it’s going to be an incredible rocket ride.
You can see a virtual tour of the Walker Library of Human Imagination here.
During the month of May, Kaiser Permanente’s Care Stories Blog is focusing on women’s health. One anecdote highlighted comes from their San Diego region and tells the story of Wende King — a KP member who discovered, when 23 weeks pregnant with twins, that complications required her immediate hospitalization and stay until her babies’ birth. In this video, King shares what she went through at the time, as well as the important role of coordination in the care of her premature infants.
The blog includes other inspiring stories of women’s health and care. You can read and watch more here.
Tomorrow, March 30, 2013, is National Doctors’ Day. It’s a time to pause and consider the physicians who have dedicated their lives to helping us stay healthy and to getting us well when we are not.
In honor of the holiday, Kaiser Permanente is profiling a few doctors from within its organization on the Kaiser Permanente News Center. Interviews and stories about these physicians are also accessible through this article.
Another group of doctors worth celebrating today are physicians who donate their time and services to populations, both domestically and internationally, in response to natural disasters and health crises. Kaiser Permanente’s “Dispatches from…” is an award-winning blog where caregivers share their stories of volunteering their talents across the globe.
The latest ‘Dispatches’ entry is an interview with Hernando Garzon, MD, who is the director of Kaiser Permanente Global Health Programs, an emergency room physician at Kaiser Permanente Sacramento, and the medical director of Sacramento County’s Emergency Medical Services. Garzon was one of the first doctors on the ground in Haiti following the massive and devastating earthquake in January 2010.
Garzon was interviewed recently shortly before leaving for his latest mission in Central America. Here is an excerpt from that interview:
In your experience, what roles do doctors play in disaster relief efforts beyond providing medical care?
During relief efforts, people may come for medical attention and also ask, “Can you help me find my cousin?” or, “Can you help me find my sister?” In the spirit of humanitarian relief, we do whatever we can. Frequently, we build contacts with not just the health care, but everything else. Depending on the organization we work with we get involved with other programs—water sanitation, distribution of non-food items, those sorts of things. We try to meet the other needs as well. Every disaster has been different.
During the earthquake in Pakistan in 2005, I felt very much like an ambassador for the United States. Pakistanis were shocked that we would come to help them. So we also serve a peace-building, ambassador-type of role.
You can read the rest of the interview here.
HISTALK INFLUENTIAL BLOG GIVES KAISER PERMANENTE’S GEORGE HALVORSON ITS 2013 HEALTHCARE IT LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Health information and technology blog HISTalk has named Kaiser Permanente chairman and CEO George Halvorson as its 2013 HISTalk Health Care IT Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. The award recognizes Halvorson’s career-long body of industry work.
The annual HISsies awards are based on an open nomination process, selected by the blog’s readers. A final ballot is then sent to 9,000 of HISTalk’s readers.
Kaiser Permanente is also HISTalk’s 2013 recipient of the Best Provider User of Health Care IT Award.
“Mr. HIStalk,” which is a pseudonym for a health IT professional who has authored the blog anonymously since its creation in 2003, says the vision and execution involved in Kaiser Permanente’s KP HealthConnect project have earned the respect of readers for its impact on patient outcomes and research.
“I was not surprised that Kaiser Permanente won the Best User category again this year, but I didn’t necessarily expect readers to name George Halvorson as the Lifetime Achievement Award winner since he doesn’t work solely in health care IT,” he said. “Readers obviously recognize that Mr. Halvorson made KP HealthConnect a high-profile organizational strategy, and in doing so created a model of ideas and practices that is diffusing to the benefit of patients everywhere. I think readers respect that when everybody was just beginning to talk seriously about future IT-enabled health care excellence, Mr. Halvorson and Kaiser Permanente just went out and did it.”
For more information, read the press release on the Kaiser Permanente News Center.
We are in New Orleans this week, blogging from the 2013 conference for the Health Information and Management Systems Society. You can follow us, and all the health IT social media conversation, via hash tag #HIMSS13.
What are you most looking forward to hearing about at this year’s meeting? Mobile Health? Interoperability? Technology-enabled care delivery? The blog will be working from Kaiser Permanente’s booth. We’ll have a few announcements, interviews, and updates on a promotion that actually rewards you for all the walking you’ll be doing anyway this week.
So drop by booth #1563 in Hall B, and tell us what’s on your mind. While you’re here, pick up a pedometer and begin tracking your steps!
One of the most difficult things about New Year resolutions is sticking to them. Inertia is a powerful thing, and changing habits can feel nearly impossible. Often, the thing that spurs a person to make — and maintain — radical changes in her life is a health scare. Enduring a health crisis, or even hearing news of a potentially serious health problem, can provide the motivation needed to effect real change.
One such story, highlighted recently on Kaiser Permanente’s Care Stories blog, is that of Stephanie Bedwell. After being diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer, Bedwell underwent a lumpectomy and radiation. Wanting to regain some control over her health as she went through treatment, she began doing Pilates, juicing, and eating all-organic foods. The changes found her feeling mentally clearer and physically stronger. According to Bedwell, breast cancer helped her take stock and reevaluate how she walks in this world.
Check out Bedwell’s story in this video.
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