We are now more than 2 months into our merger with Healthwise, and we’ve made enormous progress over that time. A spirit of intense collaboration permeates the combined organization as we develop strategic and operational plans for the months and years ahead. The first meeting of our distinguished combined board will be June 16-17 in Boise and will represent an important milestone in our new history. We’re also looking forward to our combined summer meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the birthplace of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation. Staff, medical editors, and board members from the combined organization will join together to celebrate the Foundation’s 25th anniversary and to plan for the next 25 years as a combined and even stronger organization.
The Foundation will continue to maintain its identity as the research and policy arm of Healthwise, so we have been hard at work on our strategic plans for research and advocacy. Ben Moulton and Leslie Kelly Hall are leading the advocacy and policy efforts to transform the health care system into a truly patient-centered system. Advocacy efforts in the short run will focus on patient decision aid certification, promoting national and state policies supportive of informed and involved people facing health decisions, and penetration of shared decision making into new markets. Carrie Levin is heading the research efforts, with expert support from Jack Fowler and the rest of the research team. The evolving research strategic plan focuses on projects to improve decision-support and behavior-change solutions, projects to improve solution implementation, and projects demonstrating the value of these solutions in health care. As these projects unfold, we will be building a research infrastructure, developing clinical partnerships as collaborative “laboratories,” and further sharpening and standardizing key outcome measures.
Healthwise has a long tradition of working in cross-functional teams. Advocacy and research efforts will benefit from similar collaborations. I look forward to continuing to update you as our plans and work unfold!