Is It Enough to Mean Well? The Importance of Empathy

A few weeks ago, I was helping to lead a client message training session for an amazing group of female philanthropists. These women are leading incredible global health initiatives, from addressing gender-based violence in Honduras and Trinidad to transforming sanitation…

Considerations for a New FDA Commissioner

The Senate, in an 89-4 vote, confirmed Dr. Robert Califf as the new Commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees the regulation of about one-fourth of the U.S. economy. With several “Holds” put on the nomination by more…

10 Things We Know About the U.S. Presidential Candidates and Healthcare

The 2016 presidential election keeps rolling along with fewer candidates and many more primaries and caucuses. While issues like immigration and economic justice have dominated the debates and media coverage so far, healthcare continues to pop up fairly frequently. For…

Why Do Democrats Keep Fighting Over Healthcare?

“In short [my opponent] offers a flawed trillion-dollar plan that will cost the American people even more in the long run." "[My opponent] abandoned that fundamental Democratic principle of basic health care for all Americans.” You may think these quotes…

What a Difference a Year Makes: Three Observations from the JPM Healthcare Conference

Hotel room rates in San Francisco have resumed being just expensive, not uber-expensive. Union Square is crowded, not overflowing. Sports talk in bars and restaurants is more likely to be about real football – the Super Bowl, Monday morning quarterbacks,…

Keeping Score: The State of Healthcare in Obamaland

One of Washington’s favorite parlor games is to dissect major speeches by the President to see what signals he might be sending to the American people. How long was the speech? What topics got the most attention? The least attention?…

Five Things to Watch for at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

San Francisco’s population is swelling, but the rising wave of people, much like the bay at high tide, will ebb. The flow of people into the city, specifically Union Square, is an effect of the 34th Annual J.P. Morgan (JPM)…

Kentucky: Microcosm for National Healthcare Debate

Kentucky has always been the best state in America for bluegrass, horse racing and bourbon. But Kentucky is also gaining national recognition in an unexpected area: becoming a microcosm for the national debate over Obamacare. On Tuesday night, voters elected…

The Coming Storm

A sizzling summer of media coverage of rising drug prices – fueled by the made-for-TV news about Turing Pharmaceuticals’ 5000% price hike for Daraprim, a drug approved by the FDA in 1953 to treat malaria and toxoplasmosis – is turning…

What Really Scares Me This Halloween

Halloween’s calling, and my heart’s in the right place—for a person living with Type 1 diabetes, that is. You see, despite my compliance to carb-counting and almost hourly blood tests, I’ve deep-rooted affection for this holiday of camp and kitsch…

Back to the Future Kind of Had it Right

We’ve arrived at the future. Or, at least the one that film classic Back to the Future Part II predicted would happen today, October 21, 2015. It’s not easy to predict the future. That’s probably why we’re so bad at…

A Healthy Debate – What the Candidates Are Saying

U.S. presidential candidates from both parties have now held at least one nationally televised debate and healthcare played a prominent role in both. We ran a quick analysis of the most current Republican and Democratic debate transcripts, and some of…

Can Technology Bridge the Gap Between Knowing and Doing?

Chronic disease prevention isn’t sexy. Its core tenets induce eye rolls with their basic simplicity: “Eat better. Exercise more.” Ugh, how boring. Isn’t there some pill I can take to stave off a heart attack or cancer? A one-time shot…

The Five Healthcare Issues That Will Dominate the 2016 Election

Is Donald Trump’s hair real or fake? Is Hillary Clinton’s server clean or not? We’re as fascinated by these questions as anyone else and will debate these questions and more in our next blog post. As we trudge through September,…

Speaking of Health – How the 21st Century Cures Act Impacts Healthcare Communications

The pace of change in healthcare is breathtaking. There are new ways to treat, new ways to research, new ways to pay for care, new ways to access care and new ways to communicate about it. Yet, in too many…