This is a request for modest financial help, directed to my hospital colleagues.
In recent years, we have seen a burgeoning of small patient-run organizations. They are working hard to improve the quality, safety, and responsiveness of the health care system. Many of these organizations arose out of personal tragedy or injury, like Linda Kenney's MITSS. A common characteristic is that the founder has been able to get past the trauma and anger of his or her medical experience and has devoted time and effort to education, training, and advocacy.
But many of these organizations are tiny and do not have the financial wherewithall to reach their potential. So a small group of us have decided to try to help, under the auspices of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Here's how it will get started. IHI wants to invite 35 to 50 patient advocates to its Annual Forum this December in Orlando, FL. The invitees will attend a special session at the beginning of the conference, and then they will attend the entire Forum as the week progresses. Their conference fee and travel expenses will be completely borne by IHI.
Our hope is to provide these folks with a terrific educational experience, but also use this first get-together as an organizational session for a "trade association" of patient advocacy groups. With planning and luck, we think we will be able to build an organization that will provide technical, educational, and marketing support to these small non-profits.
Here's the pitch. We need about $100,000 to get this up and running, and I am asking hospital CEOs across the country to consider making a contribution of $5 or $10 thousand from their hospitals towards the cause. BIDMC will do its part, and I am hoping that ten or twenty others of you will do the same. This is surely a good way to demonstrate our commitment to patient-run organizations.
If you are interested in joining in, please contact Sara Kolovitz at skolovitz [at] smithbucklin [dot] com. Thanks for considering this.