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SPM member Regina Holliday is known for her “Walking Gallery” of painted jackets, each telling one person’s healthcare story, which she relates in an accompanying post on her blog.

On Tuesday she became the latest e-patient to testify at a meeting of NCVHS, the National Committee on Vital & Health Statistics. The slides she presented are so potent that I think everyone involved in health policy should study them, and I mean everyone.

They speak to the meeting’s topic – Measures that Matter to Consumers – but she did it in a way that’s decidedly unconventional: she wove together her past paintings, current thoughts, and quotes from Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” into a potent narrative about what matters. Look, read, listen:

Her blog post, with far more information about the meeting and her thoughts, is here.

A closing note:

In some of the earliest meetings I attended in DC years ago, repeatedly I heard well-educated multi-degreed people express earnest skepticism about whether the ordinary patient had the ability to comprehend these health policy issues. At one of them Regina, who had just made some potent point, addressed that question by saying “I’m not [a college graduate] – I’m a high school graduate.”

These slides have finally made me lost all patience with the earnest skeptics who have greater faith in their education than they have in the consumer’s experience, and my sentiment is now: Shut up until you have listened to what those people are saying. Until then, you have no idea whether your learned self is even close to getting the job done in reality.

The patient’s reality.

And I say that with the deepest respect for all of you whom I’ve met, and all the work you’ve done to earn your position. Still: just shut up until you’ve listened.  It’s the best advice I can give you. It’ll help you cut through a lot of smoke and murk.

Please: study these slides, and be in awe of how articulately Regina speaks for us.


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