Thank you for the warm welcome I’ve received since the announcement of my appointment as President of ICHOM. I am humbled to join this esteemed community to lead its next decade of leadership and impact on global value-based health care. I’d like to take the opportunity to share a bit about myself and my emerging vision for this great organization and the community it represents.
I reside in Alexandria, Virginia with my husband and three teen/college-age children, but I grew up mostly overseas as a military family member. That experience widened my appreciation of different, yet interconnected, history, culture, and perspectives. And, I remain an enthusiastic traveler and learner. My core values also include service and advocacy. I’ve served my community for over 20 years as an election judge, and currently serve as Board Chair for Mental Health America, one of the oldest patient advocacy organizations in the U.S. that champions better mental health for all. Beyond my working life, I find restoration through good books, better wine, cooking, hiking, beach walks, and my one addiction: competitive rowing. After over 25 years, millions of meters, and many wins and losses, I’ve learned a lot about teamwork, discipline, balance, fortitude, rest, and fun, and how all are equally important ingredients for success – especially when the water is rough or the competitors are bigger (or former Olympians).
Over thirty years ago, my family and I learned first-hand about bad health outcomes in breast and kidney cancers, and their linkage to gaps in access, diagnosis, medical error, and poor clinical support. That experience was my first education about the importance of patient and family advocacy, the interconnection of mental health and social supports with clinical care, and the importance of scientific inquiry and innovation. My career since has focused on the intersection of advocacy, policy, and science, with a core belief in the expertise of lived experience, and a commitment to value for the patient and family. I’ve been fortunate to learn from patient leaders, caregivers, clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and scientists on many issues that are foundational to value. My work has consistently prioritized and upheld transparency, trust, equity, integration, and patient leadership in science and policy as a result.
Most recently, I’ve led an organization focused on value assessment – a discipline that while far more mature outside the U.S., continues to struggle with how to include data about outcomes and impacts that are relevant to patient and family needs. From that vantage, I’ve watched policy and practice change occurring in the U.S., in particular, that often overemphasizes defining the problem. The most intriguing voices and leaders today are the regulators, payers, clinical leaders, researchers, and employers who are leveraging their power (of voice and purse) to focus on health outcomes, and are allying themselves with patients and beneficiaries to ask “what matters to you?” So, I believe it is a natural evolution of my purpose and passion that has brought us together. I’m excited to help accelerate ICHOM’s mission and vision for value on a global scale.
As I prepare to take the helm, the immediate priorities are clear:
- We have a phenomenal conference program for October 9-11 in Barcelona that includes diverse faculty, interactive learning formats, and the opportunity to network and celebrate in a regal setting. Early bird registration ends today, so take action to ensure you are part of this community event.
- We’re making progress on new and updated outcome sets on breast cancer, obesity, (soon) trauma. We’re also preparing for our first learning collaborative focused on breast cancer.
- We’re poised to disseminate a suite of tools that accelerate and smooth the implementation of outcome sets into practice – this includes ongoing efforts to refine pragmatic (prioritized) outcome sets, digitize them to facilitate upload to EMR systems, and mapping terms across outcomes sets (digitized term bank) to support standardized implementation.
I look forward to learning from the Board and my dedicated colleagues to shape our longer-term strategies for change, and sharing those with you later this fall. In the meantime, there are many ways you can support ICHOM’s next chapter today:
Implement – Apply the ICHOM Outcome Sets to your work and in your institutions if you’re not doing so already. Communicate with ICHOM about the impact by submitting case studies or abstracts for the ICHOM 2023 conference. Contact us about participating in the Breast Cancer Learning Collaborative or talk to us about an implementation project where our support, through offerings like Accelerated Insights, can be useful.
Interconnect – A network of this size and global reach has the capacity for further growth with your help. Share information about ICHOM’s conference and our work with your networks and colleagues. Connect us with patient communities and organizations you’re empowering to expand our expert working group community. Communicate with us about ways we can support global learning and progress that meets your needs.
Invest – Whether you’ve been part of ICHOM from inception, or are the newest colleague, being part of this community is a proposition for action. Embrace the notion that “we are all ICHOM” by investing as a Partner, Conference Sponsor, Learning Collaborator, or Expert Working Group Contributor. One immediate way to invest: register for the ICHOM 2023 conference and encourage colleagues and partners to do so the same. Consider sponsoring the conference to elevate your visibility at this world-class event.
I’m honored to be part of ICHOM and I can’t wait to meet you and work alongside you.