This is my public declaration of priorities.
Put another way, it’s my answer to “What are you doing now?”
I’m on a self-imposed retreat for a few months while I focus on how I can boost the signal for peer health advice at every level of our health care system.
I’m keeping a public pilot light on by continuing to post to my blog and Twitter. And I can’t resist learning about (and contributing to, when I can) projects that increase people’s access to the information, data, and tools they need to solve their own problems related to health & well-being.
For example, my former colleagues from the Office of the CTO at HHS asked me to serve as a volunteer judge for the KidneyX: Patient Innovator Challenge. This prize competition is an outgrowth of the HHS Invent Health initiative, which I built while serving in the Obama Administration.
I’m continuing to advise Article 27, Atlas of Caregiving, Before Brands, Ciitizen, Faster Cures, and the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at Smithsonian Institution. 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.
Esther Perel‘s podcast, How’s Work?, is so rich and beautiful I had to stop listening on a speaker and put in headphones so I wouldn’t miss a word.
Around minute 30 of an episode about two fighter pilots who go into business together, she captures what it means to be truly seen by your colleague or by a peer: You are less alone. You can unfurl and be creative.
Imagine the equivalent for a patient or caregiver. When they find peer support they can unclench, ask questions, and start giving back to the community they have found.
And yes, I see the power of peers everywhere!
Featured image: “Don’t stop believin'” — captured on the campus of Wesleyan University, my alma mater.
Past Now pages: 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.