“I’m Glad You Were Here….” at the Commonwealth Club

On the day before the Health2.0 Conference began, I was delighted to sit on a panel about “Health 2.0” with experts Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, who operates the Health Populi blog, and Amy Tenderich, who operates Diabetes Mine , a resource for patients, both thought leaders in Health 2.0. The panel was moderated by Sarah Varney, who is well known on her work for the California Report.

The quote in the title of the post was the comment that I made to Amy afterward, at which point she made the exact same comment back to me. I knew a little about The Commonwealth Club from their About page..

The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum, bringing together its more than 18,000 members for over 400 annual events on topics ranging across politics, culture, society and the economy.

Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club has played host to a diverse and distinctive array of speakers, from Teddy Roosevelt in 1911 to Erin Brockovich in 2001. Along the way, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Bill Gates have all given landmark speeches at The Club.

..and as I walked to the studio, I actually said to myself, “Jane and Amy will be there with me, they will make sure this goes smoothly – they’re the experts.” This is because of the scope of the audience (unknown, in person and on the radio) and the questions, based on Sarah’s experience and audience interests, could be anything. As I am still gaining comfort with the size of Kaiser Permanente’s reach in this area (this will be an ongoing theme for quite awhile), both aspects of the situation made me less uncomfortable because of Amy and Jane’s presence. And sure enough, their experience and knowledge in the industry and among patients is significant.

I was surprised to hear Amy and Jane echo the same sentiments to me that I had in my mind. My conclusion – we need each other, and isn’t that a metaphor for health care.

Thanks again to the sponsors of this event, the California Healthcare Foundation for bringing us together to learn this, live, in front of Californians.

The show is scheduled to be broadcast on KLIV on November 6. I’ll post a link when it’s available.

Ted Eytan, MD