Shared decision making is the heart of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation and we believe it should be just as critical for health care as a whole. While we are extremely passionate about our work to make shared decision making a routine part of care, we understand it isn’t the most romantic of topics. This Valentine’s Day though, we’d like to share a story of how shared decision making brought two people together in the name of love.
Jill, a young woman who had just moved to a small town in Oregon, was feeling fairly lonely in this town she now called home. She had relocated from Pennsylvania for an opportunity to assist in shared decision making implementation at Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN), a Foundation-funded demonstration site. One day at work Jill shared her feelings of loneliness with one of her coworkers, a nurse. This wonderful nurse immediately thought of her cousin Jared and decided to introduce the pair. Jill was fairly hesitant; so instead of going out on a date with Jared they started hanging out as friends. Fast-forward to New Year’s Eve 2011 where a romantic spark ignites between the two and the rest as they say, is history.
Last year, Jill was invited to speak at the International Shared Decision Making (ISDM) conference in Lima, Peru. Instead of going just for the conference, Jill and Jared decided to take the opportunity to explore Peru for two weeks before the meeting. Although their travels led them to many very memorable places, one will surely stick out in their minds. One morning just around dawn, the couple arrived at the historic Machu Picchu. Just as they were crossing an Incan bridge, Jared got down on one knee and proposed to Jill with a reed grass ring. Jill, though completely surprised, immediately said yes! Later at the conference, Victor Montori, co-chair of of ISDM 2013, made a toast to the newly engaged couple at the formal evening event.
Jill and Jared are getting married this July and Meg Bowen, our implementation manager who has worked very closely with each of our demonstration sites, will be in attendance. Jill is a strong believer is shared decision making and is thankful that it brought her and her fiancé together. “I wouldn’t have met Jared without SDM, and we wouldn’t have gone to Peru without SDM,” says Jill.
Happy Valentine’s Day!