I cannot believe that it has been months since I posted. It has been a whirlwind since July 30th when I started as President & CEO of the American Liver Foundation. I have traveled almost 15,000 miles learning and listening to staff and volunteers in our 16 chapters around the country so that I can do the best job possible on behalf of the 30 million people in the U.S. ( like me) affected by liver disease. During one of those trips I also had the privilege of doing an Ignite presentation at the Stanford Medicine X Conference as an e-patient scholar. Thank you, Stanford Medicine X planners, for inviting and integrating 35 e-patients rather than the customary 1 or 2 at most meetings.
Top of mind for me was and is, what does a Next-Generation Non-Profit look like? How do you create one? How do you transform a last-generation traditional non-profit into one? Thank you to Sarah Krug, Executive Director of Cancer 101 and President of the Society for Participatory Medicine for sparking many of these discussions.
Since this was a tech-y, design type crowd I kept my slides to a single number and spoke from there. Next Generation Non-Profits in Numbers_cryer
Here are my numbers decoded.
10, 792 = Days since my initial diagnosis with ulcerative colitis. 10, 792 days ago I became a patient.
18 = years since my liver transplant. I consider myself blessed to receive this gift of life.
16,036 = number of people on the waiting list for liver transplants. Only about 6,000 people receive transplants each year.
100 = types of liver disease. Babies are born with genetic/metabolic disorders, teenagers can develop autoimmune conditions, the CDC recommends every Baby Boomer be tested for Hepatitis C
25,000,000 = people living with at least one chronic condition. This is not a liver-specific quandry.
11, 473 = Twitter followers of @epatientDave ( on that date) — one measure of online patient advocacy. Note the large gap between the number of patients and the number of epatients. I see opportunity there.
42 = Patient advocacy groups that meet the standards of the National Health Council, the umbrella group for traditional nonprofit organizations from the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, and a leader in policy around chronic disease and medical research
5 = minutes, less now, to make the argument that uniting the energy of epatients with the structure and reach of the traditional patient advocacy organization we can do a better job of creating patient-defined and patient-driven change in healthcare
36= The American Liver Foundation, my organization, is 36 years old. The oldest and largest patient advocacy organization in the liver space.
1 = I am the first patient to be CEO of the Foundation and one of the only patients to lead a major patient advocacy organization (Take a moment. Think about it.)
2= questions comprise the new strategic filter for everything we do as the Foundation — (1) does it solve a problem for a patient or a patient family? (2) are we solving the problem in the most innovative and effective way possible?
20 = number of Board members I needed to convince that these were the right questions to be asking, the right direction to go in. And just to explode any misconceptions that next-generation non-profits is about age, or even the sole province of patients, my biggest supporter has been practicing medicine as literally as long as I have been alive. Next-generation non-profits are about impact.
8 = active partnerships between the Foundation and other associations
14 = pilots pending with academic medical institutions
3 = satellite sites for the patient-centered advocacy forum we held to get insights directly from patients to form the basis of our policy agenda
4 = government or quasi-governmental agencies ( pop quiz — name them in the comment section!) with new (past 2-3 years) patient/stakeholder engagement positions that we invited to the forum to interact with our patients
82 = corporate partnerships being pursued across sectors from food (fatty liver disease) to medical imaging to pharmaceutical
16 = chapters around the country, because at the end of the day it is about meeting individual needs, often face to face, or based on the specifics of the community
10, 792 = days from now I hope that there is no American Liver Foundation because we would have been so successful in eliminating liver disease. My vision is that next-generation nonprofits are not about their own self-perpetuation, but about meeting their mission. I hope that 10, 792 days from now no one else’s little girl becomes a patient.