On July 19, 1989, Jack Wennberg and Al Mulley co-founded the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, with help from Michael Barry, our current president, and Jack Fowler, our senior scientific advisor. As many of you know, the seed for the Foundation was planted in the research that Jack (Wennberg) had done on practice variation and solutions for these variations, starting in 1967. Back in 1989, the Foundation was just a few people in a small office in Hanover, New Hampshire working hard to bring attention to the issues surrounding practice variation and the lack of the patient’s voice in health care decisions. Today over 30 individuals fill our two-story office in downtown Boston, continuing to work hard to promote shared decision making (SDM) and the vision that Jack and Al had 25 years ago. “Shared decision making has gone from being a mere philosophical concept to playing a central part in public health policy, like the Affordable Care Act and the requirements for Accountable Care Organization. Our work over the past 25 years has played a crucial role in this evolution,” Michael says.
We will be celebrating this momentous anniversary with many fun activities throughout the year. At the end of January we will start a 25 week segment leading up to our actual anniversary called “25 Silver Keys to the Foundation’s History.” This segment will feature a weekly reflection of the Foundation and our work over the years through pictures, videos, fun facts and quotes. Throughout the year we will also be sharing general facts about 1989, from pop culture to health care. At the end of the year we will take a look at how much the world has changed by comparing these facts to how things stack up in 2014. Finally, during Shared Decision Making Month 2014 this March, we will be publishing a list of 25 individuals we’d like to recognize as shared decision making champions. We look forward to sharing their work and their stories with you.
Of course this anniversary celebration would not even be happening without the support of people like you; so a big thanks to everyone who has followed and supported our work over the years. We hope to continue advancing SDM for the next 25 years and beyond.
Be sure to connect with us on social media and follow #Foundation25 to stay up to date on our year-long 25th anniversary celebration.