this is what partnership looks like

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It is a privilege and an honor to be asked to speak.  Take the opportunity to commune with other human beings.  –Dan Pallotta

I was honoured to be asked to speak at the 6th International Conference Neonatal and Childhood Pulmonary Vascular Disease in San Francisco that was held last week.

The audience was a distinguished group of physicians, nurse practitioners, other health professionals, researchers, and families and patients – all from the world of pulmonary disease.

My talk was about partnering with families in health settings.  I spoke about why families are often rotten partners (because of fear, stress, sleep deprivation, information overload, and hopelessness), and how the health professionals caring for our children can help us be better partners.

I spoke of seven things:

  1. Compassionate disclosure of diagnosis
  2. Celebration of the birth of our baby
  3. Connection with other families
  4. Positive clinic experience
  5. Build confidence in our abilities
  6. Human Touch
  7. Hope

I had a super response to this talk, and I was once again taken with how deeply caring health professionals are, and how important it is to always mix data with stories.  Kudos to the conference organizers for asking a family rep to speak, and for organizing an impressive family panel the next day – that featured three family speakers, and one patient (a young lady with Down syndrome – hurrah!).  I may well have left a piece of my heart in San Francisco.

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