Making Health by Design with Everyone! (#makehealth)

Reposted from Health Design By Us

We Make Health Fest Flickr Group
We Make Health Fest: Flickr Group:

We’ve been busy. And it shows. It’s TIME! This is the last week before our first inaugural We Make Health Fest! We keep adding new information to the website, almost daily. Today it was the speaker list and agenda. Tomorrow perhaps the exhibitor list? Who knows.

What I can tell you is that it is amazing. There are so many exceptional people coming to show or tell about such fascinating projects. The Open Source Mosquito Trap? It’s August. I need one of those! The wheelchair that climbs stairs? I was talking about it at the local Farmers Market, to someone who knows those people already! The comic book about autism? It turns out there is more than one person around town working on projects along those lines. Maybe they can meet each other at the festival. I hope so.

I hope that many different kinds of people come to the fest and meet each other. I hope that meeting each other helps people find solutions to problems, and helps people find interesting challenges on which they can collaborate. That is my “secret” reason behind all of this. I want to see people discover each other and help each other.

A little before Joyce and I started talking about the idea of this project, I was reading a book that was saying many of the same kinds of things, but much more eloquently. The book was Design for care: innovating healthcare experience by Peter Jones. He talked a lot about getting everyone at the table for making healthcare a better experience and a better place. He also talked about how can we use the principles of good design to connect people, process, and outcomes. Here’s just one of the quotes that particularly inspired me.

“A user-centered perspective risks isolating a single aspect of use and interaction, when nearly everything involves more than one of the primary participants: consumers, patients, and clinicians. If we take an empathic view, it becomes clear that users and even patients are names of impersonal convenience.” Jone PH. Design for care: innovating healthcare experience. Brooklyn, NY: Rosenfeld Media, (c)2013, p.viii.

It’s true, isn’t it? We have all these names for roles of people involved in different parts of the process of giving and getting healthcare. Doctor, patient, and nurse are just a very few, but even those few carry a lot of assumptions and emotional baggage that sometimes get in the road of making change. When you get down to it, we are ALL part of the process. Making it better, making it work, is going to take all of us. Hopefully, the We Make Health Fest will contribute in some small way to getting many perspectives around the questions and challenges, and to connecting many voices in a broad open conversation about what we can do, each and every one of us, to make health better not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors, communities, and beyond.

This week, each day, we’ll try to add a little more information about the event, share a bit more about what to expect, introduce a few of the folk you might see at the event, and perhaps contribute a few provocative thoughts to inspire. It’s a We Make Health kind of week, after all. Who would you like to meet? Who would you like to help?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s