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Honored to be named “champion of shared decision making”

The Informed Medical Decisions Foundation has named 25 Shared Decision Making Champions, and I’m honored to be one of them. The Foundation wrote:

Throughout the 25 years of the Foundation’s history, we have been fortunate to work with, and along side, many noteworthy individuals to advance shared decision making. While we can’t recognize every single individual who has provided a wealth of inspiration and guidance for our work, we would like to recognize a few.

In honor of the Foundation’s 25 th anniversary and Shared Decision Making Month, our staff has selected 25 individuals they believe are Champions of Shared Decision Making. These individuals have spent their life’s work and passion in supporting, promoting and engaging in shared decision making. Without their contributions, shared decision making would not be where it is today. This is not a top 25 list, merely a list of 25 individuals our staff wanted to recognize.

Slide 21 in the following slide set states:

Gary has greatly helped improve standards for reporting health news and decrease the extent to which medical interventions are inaccurately portrayed and oversold.  He also helped develop early decision aids at the Foundation.

Indeed, I’ve always seen a common mission between my work to improve media messages about health care and the Foundation’s dedication to helping people make better health decisions.

I don’t view this as an advocacy stance. “Championing” shared decision making, to me, is the same thing as championing excellence in health care journalism The goals are the same: giving people accurate, balanced and complete information. What I learned during my time at Dartmouth when the Foundation was based there – from people like Jack Wennberg, Gil Welch, Elliott Fisher, Steve Woloshin, Lisa Schwartz, Al Mulley, Jack Fowler, Michael Barry and many others – has made me a far better journalist.

I worked for the Foundation throughout the ’90s.  Later, the Foundation was the sole financial supporter of this web project from 2005-2013.

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