July 2014 Man of the Month: Josh C. Rubin


July’s Man of the Month, Josh C. Rubin, is a true visionary and revolutionary in health care. Rubin was recently appointed as the Executive Program Officer for Research and Development activities related to the Learning Health System (LHS), a new university-wide initiative headed by Charles Friedman, University of Michigan School of Information professor and director of the University of Michigan’s Health Informatics Program. Today we talk to him about his work and efforts to transform health care through the LHS.


Q: In layperson’s terms, what is the Learning Health System or LHS?

Before I begin, thank you so much for asking me to be Disruptive Women in Health Care’s Man of the Month.  So many of the men and women you’ve recognized on (more…)

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Adventures in Co-Parenting: Inner Resolution, a Revolutionary Thought

Amber Coleman-MortleyJealousy is a real and natural part of life.  To believe that adults should suppress these types of raw emotions or that feelings of jealousy should be reserved for children is unreasonable.  Rather than suppress these emotions, analysis of these feelings helps get to the root of the problem.  I’m not usually an envious person, but I can get jealous when I believe something is not “fair.” Ideally, life should be even and fair and like most people, I never want anyone to have an advantage over me.  As a former college athlete, I often have to consciously step back and realize that in many situations, there is no score. This kind of competitive spirit has no place in most real life situations because the focus is on the situation rather than potential solutions.  But in reality, you struggle.  You want things to be fair when a relationship has gone sour and you find yourself picking up the pieces and moving on. Misery loves company.  (more…)

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Lava Mae

The United Nations states that access to sanitation is a basic human right.  Yet, in the United States the homeless are often forced to go without access to showers. San Francisco is a prime example of this deficit where there are only 16-20 showers to service an estimated 4,500 homeless person population. Today, DW interviews Donnice Sandoval, creator of Lava Mae, a sustainable mobile shower for the homeless in San Francisco. She shows us that sometimes it truly is the simple things that are the most disruptive. 

How were you inspired to create Lava Mae?

Homelessness is an issue I’ve cared about for a long time. I live in a neighborhood that was once predominately middle class African American families. The dramatic gentrification that has overtaken the city has changed that. We’ve watched too many of our neighbors move from their homes to their cars and then the street. I wracked my brain for what we could do but could never figure out how to end or stem the tide of rising homelessness. Then one day I passed a young woman on the street who was homeless and crying, feeling that she’d never be clean. (more…)

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Unintended Consequences: Sensors & the Rise of Ransomware

It's MeAs I was surfing the news on my wifi-enabled airline flight this morning, I saw an article describing how hackers have now figured out ways to hijack mobile phones by getting control of Find My iPhone accounts and holding hostage those account owners who want control of their phones back. For all of us who have set up this feature to remotely identify where we left our iPhones, we may now realize the unintended consequences of remote tracking: tech hijackers can steal password data, remotely lock iPhones and iPads and then send messages to users saying their iPhones and iPads will be unlocked — after they send $100 to a PayPal account. (more…)

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My Heart Breaks for Your Child

Autistic HoyaTrigger warning: Brief homophobic/heterosexist quote, and extensive quotes and descriptions of ableist and eugenicist rhetoric.


“I don’t want a handicapped child.”

I read that line in a mother’s story of her disabled child’s birth and first few weeks, and it gave me that awful, wrenching feeling–you know, the one where your insides kind of shrivel up and your breath catches somewhere in the back of your throat, hinging on tears or gasps or other sounds of enervated shock. (more…)

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Has Patient-Centered Health Care Run Amok?

Trudy-Lieberman -- biggerBeginning with the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) landmark Quality Chasm report in the late 1990s, the health policy establishment, the medical profession and the American public began to hear a new and disconcerting message: American health care was not patient-centered.

The IOM prescribed a number of recommendations to redesign health care delivery, one calling for patients as the source of control over their care. “Patients should be given the necessary information and the opportunity to exercise the degree of control they choose over health care decisions that affect them,” the IOM recommended, noting that patients should have access to their medical (more…)

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Rewind, Play, and Pause: My Weight Loss Journey

Photo: I put in some work this here evening.  2 mile jog followed by 15 minutes of a cardio circuit with resistance bands focusing on back and triceps. No breaks in between sets. And a 10 minute cool down walk. Even my arms were sweating tonight! She is gets it in!! #workingout #healthy #healthyliving #fitness #strong #strengthtraining #jog #walk #beats #nike #fuelband #teamhealthy #itsalifestyle #teamgetlean #fattofit #biggirlscanruntoo #100lbclubRewind: July 2, 2011

I had the pleasure of being the Maid of Honor at my sister’s wedding. It was a beautiful day all around. Well, aside from the fact that my knees hurt and my back (the lower region of the back) was on fire the whole night from standing and walking around. But, despite the pain, you couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t cute in my custom dress and professional makeup! After the wedding, I checked some of the pictures that my cousins posted on Facebook. I was speechless! There was no way that the chick in that picture with the quadruple chin and back fat was me! It was simply no way that she, a high school and collegiate athlete looked like that. It was that day that reality hit. I was not just a big girl anymore, I WAS FAT!! (more…)

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Delete Blood Cancer: What You May Not Know About Bone Marrow Donation

Terri Prof Headshot 0412We all know about blood drives and the importance of blood and platelet donations to save lives. And millions of people are registered organ donors (usually when they get their driver’s license). But did you know that there is another renewable, life-saving resource you could give?  It’s your blood stem cells/bone marrow. Only 11 million Americans are registered with the National Marrow Donor Program to help save lives if their blood stem cells match a person fighting any one of 70 blood cancers and diseases. (more…)

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Tech Will Transform the Doctor-Patient Relationship

The doctor-patient relationship lies at the heart of much Western thinking about health. But only a few centuries ago, most people in the UK never saw a doctor.

During the 19th century, the greatest strides in health and life expectancy came from improvements in nutrition, sewerage and water supply rather than the medics. But by the 20th century, doctors were much better informed about how to treat and prevent a number of illnesses. (more…)

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Eliminating Telehealth Barriers Briefing Recap

7.18Yesterday, Disruptive Women was on the Hill to host a briefing that looked at the need to accelerate the use of telehealth. Through telehealth we have the technological know-how to remotely bring the doctor to the patient, but because of current barriers it cannot be used to its fullest extent.

Telehealth allows physicians to monitor vital signs and symptoms remotely and conduct consultations over the Internet. It can improve the quality of health care delivery while also making it more cost efficient.   Additionally, it has the potential to address the growing shortages in the health care workforce. So with all these benefits why isn’t telehealth being deployed to its fullest extent? The panelists at yesterday’s briefing discussed the various barriers and why it is critical to address these barriers as soon as possible. (more…)

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The Incredible Work Of American Nurses

” Anyone that spends time in a hospital, realizes how incredibly important nurses are, how hard they work, and how under appreciated they are.”- Katie Couric

Check out this clip from the Katie Show where Couric interviews documentary film maker Carolyn Jones about her recent film “The American Nurse”.  Within the film, Jones lets us get a first hand glance into the  healing power of a nurse’s touch.   In an exciting twist, Disruptive Woman Diana Mason was also on the show! There she discussed the need for nurses’ voices to be heard, especially in the boardroom, and  tips to ensure you receive the best care. (more…)

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In Observance of Jessie Gruman

jessie-gruman picOn July 14th, 2014 we lost a truly outstanding woman to her battle with a long time illness. Jessie Gruman was the president and founder of the Center for Advancing Health. A true patient advocate, she promoted not only patient engagement but the use of evidence-based medicine to support the adoption of healthy behavior.  In addition to her professional career, Gruman defined herself as a musician, avid reader of poetry and interested in foreign policy, the media and global health. She was a true disruptive (more…)

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Waiting Like I Am

The line on the pregnancy test this morning is only faintly positive and in a way I’m glad it isn’t the same bold line that we celebrated with champagne seven months ago.

That night, grinning ear to ear, sugar plum babies dancing in our heads, Jen and I felt like the luckiest lesbians in the world to have gotten pregnant on our first attempt.   “Guess what?” I sent in a text to Kate the next morning.  My best friend from high school and Jen’s best friend from college, Kate was responsible for us getting together five years earlier and had been following our baby-acquiring progress ever since.  A year ago, she was home from Colorado for a week to visit her Dad, and I had her read the string of facebook messages in which we had asked Michael to be our donor– (more…)

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Patient Engagement: Here to Stay

jessie-gruman picA few years after my treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma finally limped to its end in the mid-1970s, I looked back and was amazed at my casual approach to that devastating, life-changing diagnosis: At times I had been completely absorbed by it, every moment governed by the demands of the treatment and illness. At other times, well, the contingencies of life intervened, and I went dancing. Or to class. Or on vacation, with little regard for the risks, the medications and all my doctors’ directives.

How could this be? Why would I take such a chance with my own health, my own (more…)

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Who Will Take Care of You at Home if You’re Seriously Ill?

It turns out that the hilarious British spoof on the horrors of the Man-Cold might be truer than we ever imagined. The joke reality here is that when a husband gets sick, his wife is naturally expected to become his doting caregiver, but when a wife gets sick, she may feel distinctly on her own.

A study presented last month at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America actually reported that the risk of divorce among married couples rises when the wife – but not the husband — becomes seriously ill. (more…)

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