Another Millennial Blogger

Something like that :)

I am a health care innovator with a goal of making health care accessible, equitable, and personal. Isn’t that what we all want? To wake up in the morning, able to seize the day in a body supporting us. Unfortunately, this very basic desire and need does not look the same for everyone.

Our health care experiences are just as unique as our DNA. In the United States alone, people in the same room could have completely different relationships with the health care ecosystem. Consider these scenarios:

  • Person A is a chronically ill patient, old enough and disabled enough for two hour bus rides to and from doctor appointments to create more wear and tear on his body. He has Medicaid, so much of his health costs are covered. But the nearest health care providers do not have the specialists and equipment necessary to meet his needs. He is lucky enough to be in a city with other hospitals, but the transportation system was not built in a way to support low income neighborhoods.

  • Person B is an expecting mother who recently moved to Chicago to live with family members. She does not have health insurance but she researched and found a clinic that would still provide services to her despite her inability to pay. She actually loves her nurses and OB/GYN. The clinic has been known to be one of the local favorites for quality health care delivery and employs people within the community to serve the community, a rare characteristic. She is able to speak her native language to her care providers and is on track to a healthy pregnancy.

  • Person C turned 26 last year, the new age of adulting when you get kicked off of your parent’s insurance. They are a member of the “gig economy” with several streams of income supporting them, but not enough to pay out-of-pocket costs of health care services. Turning to the Marketplace for help was a starting point but ultimately they did not see the need to pay a monthly premium for services they would rarely use. They recently received a diagnosis that will require costly treatment to manage the condition.

All of the aforementioned scenarios are derived from a patient interview project I conducted in 2017, but they likely sound similar to your own situation or those of your close family and friends. My personal relationship with the health care system reached its peak when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2013 (Read the full story here).

While we all have different needs and goals for our health, we can all agree that the system should be supporting us along the way. The average American should not be utilizing crowdfunding sites to pay off a medical expense that could potentially bankrupt them or not starting a pharmaceutical drug that could improve their condition due to the cost

My goal is to crack the code in figuring out how to make the health care system work for us, not the other way around.

This blog will serve as a starting point in that goal. As I begin telling my story, I hope to continue listening and understanding others’. Our stories contain essential elements in understanding what’s required to live our best lives. Stay tuned in how I go about creating an environment where thriving is as seamless as breathing.

StorytimeJazmin Branch