Re: My Walking Jackets – Couple of Asks from Regina Holliday

National Diversity and Inclusion 33740
National Diversity and Inclusion 33740 (View on

I hope you see you again soon. Meanwhile,

1. Do you have a story you want to share about any actions or changes that resulted from you wearing your Walking Gallery jacket in public?

2. I am creating Pinterest board to make our stories easier to find, so I will be linking your blog posts about your jackets there…


When I look back at my almost 5 years of being part of the Walking Gallery (I have two jackets, you can read about them here: My Walking Gallery Jackets, #147 (2012) and #11 (2011)) I realize that I wear them to empower others, and empower myself when needed.

The photograph at the top of this post was taken on November 22, 2013 on a day I needed a little extra courage, because I was going to introduce a room full of colleagues to people that medicine has had difficulty learning about and caring for. I took a deep breath, put on the jacket, and let the people tell their own stories, which they did beautifully.

In 2015, I wore my jacket as the first man (barely) at 2015’s XXinHealth (see: And I was the man (barely): XX in Health 2015).

XX in Health 2015 53175
XX in Health 2015 53175 (View on

When Robin Strongin (@disruptivewomen) asked me to explain what the jacket meant to the women there, I hurriedly captured this snapshot of the jacket and my story to explain it to the audience. One thing I have learned – when wearing the jacket, have the story handy, you will be asked to share it.

I guess, then, the actions and changes happen when I’m wearing the jacket – I reinforce to myself and the people around me who I am and the people/ideals I am doing things for.

If I forget, I’m reminded by a co-worker, a friend, a stranger, who tap me on the shoulder while I’m wearing the jacket. Each tap is a reminder that as much as we think people aren’t engaged (in health, life, the world around them), they are, in the kindest way.

I generate at least one, if not several referrals to Regina from every “wear event.” And I see that Robin herself just recently received her very own jacket 🙂 . The Walking Gallery is a very contagious innovation.

EBW Partners 17790
EBW Partners 17790 (View on

I once got to show the namesake of my first jacket, Regina Benjamin, MD, the jacket itself, which was exciting.

The jackets have also introduced me to a wonderful community of people who believe everything is possible, because it is. I willingly signed up in 2012 for jacket #2 (to me, #147 to The Walking Gallery) knowing that it would be the story of me versus the story of someone else. I was ready then, and I’m ready now, to bring all of myself to to the times where it’s helpful to show that people matter and the human spirit is limitless.

2012 American Hospital Association Meeting and Jacket Presentation 11907
2012 American Hospital Association Meeting and Jacket Presentation 11907 (View on

Such a magical thing that some fabric, paint, and a brilliant artist can make happen…

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Philadelphia and Mid-Atlantic Bio Informatics 23107 (View on

I wore my story too. #diversity #inclusion

A post shared by Ted Eytan (@tedeytan) on

Walking Gallery IV: #Artscape2014 Baltimore, MD, USA

I’ve never missed a yearly Walking Gallery of Healthcare event, now in its fourth year, phew!

This year’s was especially cool because it was sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States (@KPMidAtlantic) at Baltimore, MD’s Artscape 2014 (see: Regina Holliday’s Medical Advocacy Blog: The Walking Gallery at #Artscape2014). This kind of support may seem like the obviously cool thing to do in 2014, however, I remember the days when people asked me, “how did you meet this Regina Holliday person again?” and the reaction being a mix of surprise and impressed-ness when the answer wasn’t “at a medical meeting somewhere.”

Now I am joined by doctors and nurses (and their children) in walking. Witness Michael Dias, MD, Permanente surgeon and Baltimore Physician in Chief for Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States (@KPMidAtlantic), whose daughter Olivia painted a beautiful jacket with her health story.

Since last year, the event itself is smaller, but the movement is not.

There is as much interest in my walking jacket(s) today when I wear them as there was when I first got them. People who see me remember my jacket from the last time they saw me, sometimes a year before. They are still among my most prized possessions – the other funny quote I remember from way back when was when someone said something to the effect of, “so you lost a jacket in this whole painting business,” and I was thinking, “I actually gained my best jacket in this painting business.” You can read about my jackets here.

I wore my jacket when I gave this talk just a few months ago: Presentation: Being a Transgender Ally and Unconscious Bias | Ted Eytan, MD. This demonstrates to me that the work to involve and respect the people we serve keeps changing and is at the same time ever-present. It will never go away, and that’s fine with me. What else are we here for in health care 🙂 .

I get to partner with my colleague Carol Cain, PhD (@ccain) to give a guest lecture at the Stanford University Division of Bioinformatics next week (Stanford University Biomedical Informatics 207), and in putting that together, have been looking for examples where HIT improves health for people, communities, and society. I was reminded in Baltimore about the need for Health IT to improve health and health care not just by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, but by lowering anxiety, fear, information divides between physician/health system and patient/society. What else are we here for in health information technology 🙂 .

#TheWalkingGallery : Stories in Video

These are the stories of The Walking Gallery, painted by Regina Holliday (@ReginaHolliday), told in 11 second segments. Pick your story.

Have you ever felt like you are in the right moment, in the right place, in the right part of history? This was like that, albeit with a little bit of terror, as I uploaded each video in real time, and it mostly worked. Life is one big prototype here in our nation’s capital.

Twitter handles of our storytellers (please add yours in the comments if I wasn’t inclusive): @fredtrotter , @tedeytan , @motorcycleguy , @Lygeia , Isaac Holliday , @kymlmartin , @RossMartin , @2HealthGuru , @BenMarion1 , @HealthcareWen , @jess_jacobs , @drnic1 , Courtney , Joan Holliday , @joshcrubin , @kcmackrn , @gilmerhealthlaw , @kaitbr , @kaitbr , @ctorgan , @goodmanwood , @MsWz , @EnBloomMedia , @lindseybh , @iowastater , @ryukirby , @thepatientsside , @kenonhit , @susanchull , Jon , @reginaholliday , @susannahfox , Everyone , @craiglipset , @claudiawilliams , Moira , @ReginaHolliday , Everyone

The Walking Gallery 2013

For those of you who could not attend this year’s The Walking Gallery, we made sure to take plenty of photographs, and also this year, we innovated by collecting short (11 second) video testimonials, which are posted to the social network of the future,

Click here to see the video testimonials on I’ll post some of them separately.(note: Posted Here (added July 21, 2014)>

The reason I regularly support this event is because I value the opportunity to walk in the shoes of our patients. As I mentioned previously, my medical ancestors stood at the side of their patients at a time when this was not the norm or even acceptable to their medical professional colleagues. This still happens sometimes today, so it’s good to keep walking and learning together.

Enjoy the photos below. Note that the art piece depicting Regina Holliday’s (@ReginaHolliday) brush with Fred’s doctor was placed near the snacks. A hint of closure, perhaps? 🙂

73 Cents, The film starring…Regina Holliday

On a mission

I saw the 73 Cents film for a second time this weekend, at Our City Film Festival, in Washington, DC. Hard to believe that we are almost at 4 years since the mural was started. And still really really hard to believe that Regina (@ReginaHolliday) started painting within a week of her husband’s death.

Check out the the film, it’s kind of a whirlwind around the influence that a person can have, if they are dedicated.

More photos from my time with Regina below. It was a cool moment when, during the Q & A, a member of the audience asked, “Have you had any impact.” 🙂

We continued to contemplate some non-compliant scheming afterward. I love that she can talk, think, and paint at the same time. How does she do it?

Photo Friday: Activist Ignites A Movement For Patients Through Art And Story – Kaiser Health News

What could a patient possibly spot in a record that a doctor or nurse wouldn’t, the doctor asked.

Holliday told him about how Fred’s doctors had ordered a walker for him but it never arrived. Had she been reading the record, she could have asked about it. She told him about how Fred’s record indicated he needed a catheter and how he never received one. She would have noticed.

Okay, said the doctor. But this is easy for us to imagine, sitting here with our college degrees. What about less educated people?

I don’t have a college degree, Holliday fired back. And she changed his mind.

via Activist Ignites A Movement For Patients Through Art And Story – Kaiser Health News.

This week’s photograph was taken in DC, but not this week:

Sarah Barr (@barrmsarah), Kaiser Health News, interviewing Regina Holliday, May 6, 2012View 2012 American Hospital Association Meeting and Jacket Presentation 11902 on

Great story today.