The Canvas of Health: Preparing leaders to design with patients, populations, and systems for a healthier future.
The Kuna Indians in Panama, my nation of birth, weave intricate layers of fabric and thread together to create beautiful displays of art called a Mola. Some, are geometric and abstract in design while others intricate scenes of nature, all displaying symbols and features unique to Panamanian culture, health, and everyday life.
Stephanie Gingerich, DNP, RN, CPN
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota School of Nursing
Teddie M. Potter, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP
Clinical Professor, University of Minnesota School of Nursing
The Kuna Indians in Panama, my nation of birth, weave intricate layers of fabric and thread together to create beautiful displays of art called a Mola. Some, are geometric and abstract in design while others intricate scenes of nature, all displaying symbols and features unique to Panamanian culture, health, and everyday life. Each piece is vibrant and unique. Each piece is hand stitched. Even the smallest details contribute to the overall beauty found within each piece of art.
Canvas of Healthcare
Health care is like a Mola. Each of us is unique with our own backgrounds, experiences, ideas, and drive. Each of us is hand stitched with our values and morals, which makes us who we are. Each of us contribute in many small ways to the health of patients, families, communities, states, nations, planet, and systems. Each of us is connected to aspects of life and health around the world.
As we envision the future of healthcare, not only do we need to consider the intricate details, or each stitch along the way, we must also consider the larger picture, the overall canvas and the connections made to make the piece whole. In doing so, we must consider our unique contributions as well as the contributions of our partners. Together, we can impact systems to improve health. From the granular level to the macro level, change in health care is needed.
Partnership for Innovation
At the University of Minnesota, the future of health for individuals, populations, and the planet are a focus of interest and academic preparation. Nurses can pursue a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Health Innovation and Leadership where they will engage in a community of learning to enhance leadership skills in order to pave the way for the future of health care. Students learn how to lead effective and meaningful change to impact the whole system with actions as small as a single stitch to larger actions at the policy level. LINK to the DNP in Health Innovation and Leadership specialty.
Another opportunity for students to advance their leadership and innovation skills is to obtain a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Health Care Design and Innovation (HCDI). This 18-month interdisciplinary program is a collaboration between the School of Nursing, the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing, and the College of Design. The goals of this program are to integrate the science of health care design and principles of optimal healing environments to prepare students with leadership skills needed to design and inspire change for a healthier future. LINK to HCDI certificate program.
What is our work?
With emerging crises, constantly evolving technology, new research, as well as everyday challenges in health care, the future depends on us to reimagine how healthcare exists and how to support healthier lives. So how can we do this work? Consider the following:
- Innovate in partnership with people and systems instead of for them
- Develop meaningful, attainable, and measurable change
- Expand knowledge with global perspectives. Continue to explore knowledge from around the world and connect with those in other disciplines, and ways of life.
- Listen. Listen to the stories of the people, systems, as well as the planet. Each story tells you about unique needs and ways of being. Each story will guide you. Listen and do so with intent to truly hear and understand.
As we navigate the future of healthcare, we each contribute in our own unique ways. Take hold of your own power and add to the canvas of health, one stitch at a time.