As we prepare for #ICNLS

Fall 2014 ImproveCareNow Learning Session cover photoAs we prepare to bring together people from across the ImproveCareNow Network for our Fall 2014 Learning Session, I wanted to take a moment to share a few things with you.

Why we do what we do:

What’s in store for Learning Session attendees: LS14F Final Agenda

And how can you join @improvecarenow and follow all the #icnls action on Twitter: 

If you are joining us at the Learning Session and will be tweeting, type your Twitter handle in the comments so we can be sure to follow you!


The PAC is Ready for ICNLS! Are YOU?

It seems like just yesterday the Spring Learning Session was around the corner! We’re just FOURTEEN DAYS away from the 2014 Fall Learning Session – can you believe it!? As usual, the Patient Advisory Council (PAC) is excited, thankful, and busy preparing for the opportunity to contribute to the LS. Once again, the PAC Leadership is gearing up for busy and productive collaborations and presentations, and this time, we get to personally introduce two new PAC Scholars – Isabelle Linguiti and Bianca Siedlaczek!

14 days to go, 3 incredible days in Chicago, 2 amazing new PAC Scholars, and 1 fantastic session. Are you not excited yet!?


PAC representatives showing off their gutsy spirit at the Spring 2014 Learning Session!

Just in case you aren’t bursting with gutsy energy yet, we wanted to give you a preview of what to expect from our two new Scholars. These young ladies are intelligent, creative, passionate, and spunky. We asked them to tell us (and YOU!) a little bit about themselves and their ideas:

Isabelle, 19, Philadelphia

“I’ve been frustrated with communication between patients and doctors because I feel like they can often turn stressful when we already have enough to deal with. Rather than sitting there with my frustrations, I feel like ImproveCareNow gives me the ability to do something to change that.”

Favorite Candy: Dark Chocolate

If I could travel anywhere, I would go to….Iceland! That was my one wish, and I got to go!

In my free time, I like to….get creative and do art projects!

My role model is….my boss at CHOP. She herself has dealt with a lot with her health and is very successful. She wanted to help me succeed and has guided me every step of the way. She is very nice, and giving with her talent and time.

My ideas? “My vision for the Communications Task Force is to use it to create a program that allows patients to have a direct role in educating doctors on helpful listening and communication strategies when working with patients.”


PAC members working hard at the Fall 2012 Learning Session (Back when we only needed half a table!)

Bianca, 15, Michigan

“I love that ImproveCareNow is more than just a collaborative effort between doctors and nurses; it involves patients, too!”

Favorite Candy: Sour Patch Kids

If I could travel anywhere, I would go to….Italy!

In my free time, I like to….take my dog on walks.

My role model is….my maternal grandpa. He is incredibly strong. He survived World War II before relocating from Italy to the United States and making a living for his family.

My Ideas? “Nurses have a lot of helpful knowledge and experience that would be helpful to PAC. Becoming more collaborative with the nurses of ICN can give the Advocacy taskforce another perspective for projects.”

Hi, I’m Steve and I am a Hoosier.

Steve Steiner is a pediatric gastroenterologist, hoosier and cochair of the ICN Research Committee For those of you unfamiliar with the term ‘Hoosier’, it is used to describe a native of Indiana. No one really knows who came up with it, but I do share the distinction with John Dillinger, James Dean, John Mellencamp, Michael Jackson, and David Letterman. My mother is a nurse, but there was never a doctor in our family until I graduated from med school.

I was always fascinated by nutrition and the intestines, from gross anatomy through physiology and pathology, and eventually during my clinical rotations. When I rotated through Riley Hospital for Children, I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician. In fact, I feel that I was called to serve the children of Indiana by working at Riley. I’m fortunate that my passions for GI and pediatrics were married in this unique specialty – pediatric gastroenterology. I have been on faculty at Riley for 10 years now, and am blessed to work with outstanding colleagues.

I became involved with ImproveCareNow as Riley was preparing to join the network in 2011. With a special interest in treating kids with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as some experience doing clinical research, I was asked to be our physician leader. It took several years, but now I feel that Riley is a strong contributor to and beneficiary of ImproveCareNow. I have been able to volunteer some of my time as co-chair of the ImproveCareNow Research Committee at what I believe is turning point in the growth and development of this network. My experience has been a fascinating and rewarding ride so far, but I think we are only beginning to tap the incredible potential of ImproveCareNow.

ImproveCareNow has a culture of sharing. It is part of what makes this network unique and incredibly successful. As co-chair of the Research Committee, I plan to share with you the progress we are making in helping to facilitate the work of many people interested in learning more about pediatric IBD.

The ImproveCareNow Research Committee brings together physicians, nurses, improvement coordinators, and parents. We continue to add new members who have an interest in pediatric IBD research and learning. I would characterize us as a dynamic and well-rounded group of individuals that bring varying perspectives on how research and learning can and should be done in the ImproveCareNow Network.

New challenges and opportunities are just around the corner. Stay tuned!

[Editor's note: We are working on getting Steve set up with his own contributor account here on LOOP. Until then, we'll just publish his posts using the ImproveCareNow account and be sure to forward all your great comments right to Steve for reply!]