In my experience nurses often “get it” about patient engagement, which I’d bet (from my own personal experience) can be traced back to the nature of their work: it starts with engaging with the patient, in a caring-based relationship. (Of course I love great doctors too! Here, I’m talking about nursing.)
So it’s not a surprise that one of my most rousing ovations ever (standing O from 4,000+) was from nurse practitioners at their annual convention in Nashville last year. One of the key forces behind that engagement was Deb Kiley DNP, ANP, FAANP, of Anchorage, and she believes in it so much she went back and has been engaging people in the idea in her state. Her intense, committed approach to this work reminds me of Martin Luther King’s famous line “the fierce urgency of Now” in his I Have a Dream speech, which he delivered 52 years ago last week.
Deb’s view is shared by her colleague Kathe Boucha, who’s been in healthcare administration for decades – a sense that patient engagement and empowerment is coming, and not like “sounds like a good idea,” but like “Come on, let’s do this!”
They have, on their own, without grants or a day job paying them for their time, nor staff, done all the work to organize a ten day speaking tour for me in Anchorage and Soldotna. They did all the recruiting, found all the sponsors, managed all the relationships. They really want this movement to spread, and they’ve inspired the additional work that’s being done by others to produce the event at each location.
Not surprisingly, they’ve also organized a public event, in addition to speeches and dinners and breakfasts with primary care clinicians and numerous specialist audiences. It doesn’t do much good if one half of a partnership starts thinking differently and the other half doesn’t – right?
The event’s at UAA, which Anchorage people know is University of Alaska Anchorage.
South Central Alaska folks, invite anyone! And thanks to Deb Kiley and Kathe Boucha for their leadership, dedication, and months of work.