PXL Family Well-Being Work Featured on MedCity News

How might our healthcare system create and support conditions that enable children and their families to be well?


This is exactly the question our Patient Experience Lab Family Well-Being team has been exploring in Dallas, in partnership with Children's Health (as you well know if you've been following our project page blogs and Twitter feed). 

In an exclusive interview with PXL Lab Director, Leigh Anne Cappello, innovation consultant and Creating Health Collaborative founder Pritpal S. Tamber dives deeper into our approach to and learnings from our Family-Well Being work. The interview implicitly explores the challenges — and, importantly, the benefits — of employing a user-centered business model innovation process, to re-imagine how healthcare systems might nurture the well-being of families and communities.

Below is an excerpt from the interview. Head over to MedCity to read the full article!

PST: So if I understand you correctly, you’re saying you believe the challenge is to create the conditions for well being, rather than creating well being, as such?

LAC: Yes. The idea is not to ask our health care system to try and directly tackle, head-on, some of the daunting challenges plaguing our country, such as poverty and economic disparity, but rather to facilitate the opportunity for families to help themselves be better than they are today. Our large institutions have to leverage their resources, connections, and capabilities to move upstream in the health care conversation, and help create the conditions necessary for families to thrive. For example, rather than flying in with pre-canned wellness programs, what if they provided the resources, guidance, and support for families to start their own wellness initiative in their community?

PST: So where has this thinking got you?

LAC: We are experimenting with two concepts, both stemming from our theory of change. The first is ‘What’s Cookin’ Dallas?’. It provides families with the opportunity to conceptualize, design, and execute a Mobile Healthy Eating and Nutrition program. The families were given a van, mentors in all areas of program design and management, and the support from community agents to take ownership over a peer-to-peer learning and discovery experience around shopping, cooking, and nutritional information. The second is ‘Your Best You’, which takes teenagers, many of whom have the potential to be change-makers for their families, through a hands-on learning and discovery program to help them acquire the skills necessary to tackle any challenge life may throw their way, such as addressing broken systems that fail to serve their needs, or tacking emotionally charged conflicts and more.

PST: Fascinating. On the face of it, just another nutrition or teenager service but clearly part of something deeper.

LAC: Yes, precisely. We’re seeing parents, kids, neighbours, even strangers, banding together to make a difference in their community but our process is iterative. We observe, learn, and iterate, and will continue to do so throughout. The goal for these projects is to better understand the conditions necessary to affect the kind of change that helps families keep moving towards well-being. In the process we’re also looking for new business models to help families become more powerful agents of their own care, with the support, tools and guidance of the community in which they live, including the healthcare system. We know new business models are key to sustainable change. The work we have done here provides the foundation for this next step of work currently under consideration.

PST: Brave work, Leigh. Stay in touch; we’d love to learn where this approach leads.

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