In Which I Become a Spokesperson

Today, the Health Council of Canada releases their latest report called “How Do Sicker Canadians with Chronic Disease Rate the Health Care System?” This is not the first report they have released - their mission is to "[t]o report on the renewal of Canada's health system, focusing on best practices and innovation." I love this country.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I was contacted by someone I know at The Arthritis Society wanted to pass my name along to the Health Council. The Council was looking for spokespeople to put a human face on the facts of the report and before you knew it, I was at their offices in front of a camera. Looking only slightly like a deer in the headlights...

Normally, I prefer being behind the camera, but this is important enough that I got over my stage fright and went for it. However, not before I turned the tables and took a picture of the other side of the room. Meet Cameraman Michael Strange, Media Specialist Terry Glecoff and Senior Policy Analyst Sukirtha Tharmalingam who was involved in preparing the report.

The report is based on results from the 2011 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Sicker Adults and if you're interested in the details, you can download the report in PDF format here. It discusses a number of aspects related to the way people with chronic illness interact with the healthcare system access to care, affordability, timeliness, coordination and patient engagement.

I often have opinions about the invisibility of people with chronic illness and disability, but today, thanks to this report, we are out there, telling our stories. Six Canadians who live with chronic conditions are writing guest blogs about their experiences for the Health Council this week - you can read them here.

And then there was that thing in front of camera. Three of us met last Monday and one after the other, were interviewed by Terry. This is Jordan Bruce, writer of In the Stroke of Time.

One of the things I learned from this experience is that writing is a completely different way of communicating been talking on camera. Sure, I've always known that before, but in theory. I like to publicly thank Terry for guiding me through it and for helping me re-start my brain when it got stuck halfway through. Thankfully, he edited that part out (if there's ever a DVD release, it'll no doubt be on the gag reel).

This is the video (also available on the Health Council ofCanada’s YouTube channel). It's awesome.



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