This is my public declaration of priorities.
Put another way, it’s my answer to “What are you doing now?”
I am boosting the signal for peer health advice at every level of our health care system. If you are curious about what that means, here’s my Harvard Business Review article about chronic-disease patients who are innovating together online.
During the pandemic, I’ve been collecting examples of how people living with the virus are contributing to patient registries and tapping into peer networks to solve problems. Please comment on one of those posts if you see other sources of data and stories related to peer-to-peer health care in the COVID-19 era.
Vicky Rideout and I are working on an update to our 2018 national survey of teens and young adults. We added questions about how the pandemic is affecting young people’s emotional well-being, social media use, and digital health engagement. Look for the report in March 2021.
I’m continuing to advise Alladapt, Article 27, Atlas of Caregiving, Before Brands, Ciitizen, Equip Health, FasterCures, and the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at Smithsonian Institution. I recently added IBM to my client list, a company I’m proud to work with for many reasons, including that my father worked at Big Blue for the majority of his career. I serve on the boards of directors for Cambia Health Solutions and Hive Networks. I also maintain virtual office hours for a network of rebels, community data organizers, and action-oriented dreamers. My time is divided pretty evenly between start-ups and legacy companies, playing the role of ambassador and connector.
I chose to listen to the audio version of Ibram X. Kendi’s book, HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, because I wanted his voice in my head as he shared his personal — and our national — story of power, ethnicity, culture, color, class, gender, sexuality, and survival (a sample of the topics covered).
I expected to be (and was) deeply moved and educated. I did not expect the punch of Chapter 18, which chronicled his and his wife’s cancer diagnoses and treatment. A quote:
Instead of wallowing in the chronic discomfort or asking the doctor to ease the chemo, I found ways to make myself more comfortable. Pain is usually essential to healing. When it comes to healing America of racism, we want to heal America without pain but without pain there is no progress.
Let’s answer Dr. Kendi’s call to saturate the body politic with the therapy of antiracist policies. Let’s work to detect, believe in, and treat the metastatic racism that riddles our nation.
Featured image: “In Dark Times Shine Your Light Brighter” by Ted Eytan on Flickr (who inspired me to start keeping a Now page)
Past Now pages: January-June 2020; June-November 2019; March-May 2019; November 2018-February 2019; September-October 2018; June-August 2018; April-May 2018; Feb-March 2018; January 2018; December 2017; November 2017; September 2017.
Inspiration: The /now page movement, by Derek Sivers.