About Susannah Fox

Susannah Fox is the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Cystic Fibrosis For One Day

Boy wearing nebulizer mask and his momI shadowed a mom and her 5-year-old with CF from afar for 24 hours.

It taught me more than I could have imagined about living with a life-shortening disease — and about myself.

This “empathy exercise” was organized by Smart Patients, an online community where patients and caregivers learn from each other. Continue reading

Speak up: The network is our superpower

I have a new post up on Medium, illustrated with this gem from a 2012 post:

Fred Trotter: Citation Needed

Thanks to Fred Trotter for adapting this xkcd cartoon

An excerpt:

We can’t let misinformation—or worse—go by without comment.

I think it’s time for more people to speak up in health care.

More pediatricians should express their measles outrage.

More people should chronicle the reality of living with chronic conditions.

Continue reading

What if?

Times Square

Quick explanation: I tweeted “What if this Pew Research GIF was played on a loop in Times Square?” and my friend Mike Lee made it happen (in our Photoshopped dreams).

Pew Research: U.S. Population by Age, 1950-206

What if every conference displayed it on a screen, so that every public conversation in every industry was framed by the context of the coming age boom?

What if we look at this data and ask, as Ai-jen Poo urges us to do:

What joys could getting older and caring for one another bring?

How else might we prepare?

Study up:

Join the discussion:

What health care can learn from Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel

Google is upgrading health search…again.

In 2010, I was inspired by Animal Farm to write that Google saw some health sites as more equal than others. This time I turned to Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton.

Cover of children's book: Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton

Continue reading

Slow down

Slow Down Health Axiom

Juhan Sonin and his team at Involution Studios capture essential health messages in cards — actual, physical cards that you can stack in a deck or lay out across a table. The front is an arresting image and the back lists evidence and tips. The cards are tactile, delightful artifacts of an ongoing conversation that Invo is holding with the world.

I contributed to a recent newcomer to the deck: Slow Down. I was inspired by Fahd Butt‘s “slowgrams” — the sketches he produced instead of trying to capture life moments with a camera.

Poetry is my personal slow-down hack. I never leave for a trip without tucking a favorite book of poems into my bag. Grace Paley, Billy Collins, and Vera Pavlova are currently seeing a lot of the country.

Because even as I relentlessly gather, share, and create evidence for why peer-to-peer health care will transform our lives, if we let it, I know that my own health and happiness must come first.

For the full Slow Down story, please read: “How a Health Axiom Card is Made.”

Snow day

I’m taking advantage of the “snow day” to share what I have been reading, watching, listening to, thinking about — and I invite you to join me, even if you don’t have a snow day. (Truth be told, DC only got a couple of inches and a 2-hour delay, but humor me.)

Snow day in New York City, captured by Anna Dorfman on Instagram

Anna Dorfman (doorsixteen on Instagram) posted this lovely shot of Columbus Park in NYC. I thought umbrellas-in-a-snowstorm was just a DC thing. Curator credit: New York Times.

Legitimacy through public service: The New York Times lifted their pay wall so non-subscribers could follow their storm coverage. I love when legacy media companies are aware of the responsibility — and opportunity — embedded in moments of public need. How might we infect medical and scientific journals with the same sense of responsibility and opportunity? Continue reading

Find your people

Look Beyond Face Value: Moebius Syndrome Awareness DayLongtime readers will recognize this story, but I’m posting it again here–and on Medium–to honor Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day:

When Burt Minow was born in 1922, his disability — partial hearing loss and complete facial paralysis—was immediately apparent. His mouth was frozen in a sort of frown, and he could not suck on a nipple to get milk. Doctors advised his parents to put him in an institution and forget about him. Continue reading

Weekend update

Last Saturday I posted a round-up of what caught my eye during the week and my friend Andre Blackman (@mindofandre) created this awesome graphic:

Susannah Fox's Weekend Update - credit: Andre BlackmanThus encouraged, here’s another round of what I favorited on Twitter this week:

Nancy Stein (@SeniorityMatter) shared an opinion piece by Rob Lowe about long-term care planning. He’s promoting his partnership with a financial services company, but it’s a good article. I wonder what effect a celebrity can have on this topic. For some, the financial frame might be a good hook. For others, an appeal to intergenerational responsibility might focus the mind: “Take care of Mom the way she took care of you.” We sure need something to break through the denial wall. Continue reading