CONSORTIUM MONTHLY BLOGS

NO. 1: JUNE 2018

WELCOME TO THE CONSORTIUM WEBSITE

Everyone expects a display of excitement at the birth of a baby. So most of us will show new moms and dads a little indulgence when they seem to view their newborns as the center of the world, and even when they fail to comprehend why not everybody in the world might see it just that way.

As the founders of the Northeast Ohio Consortium of Independent Health Care Practitioners, we hope you’ll extend a similar grace in our direction if we sound extra enthusiastic about the launch of our website. No cigars, please—we’re all pretty health-conscious. But the fact is, we are genuinely proud and excited at the official birth of our not-for-profit group. We think we’re riding a great idea whose time has come (if it’s not in fact long overdue), offering a valuable service for consumers seeking a different style of health care, and just maybe laying the groundwork for a national revolt—even a full-scale revolution—in the way individual care is managed in this country.

We can perhaps be forgiven any crowing about our baby even more readily than the average parent. In our case, the gestation period occupied more than three years, not nine months. We worked patiently and rather doggedly in our spare time to put together the content of the site, find language that conveyed our thinking with clarity and passion, and formulate the practical policies and procedures of the organization. We then had much back-and-forth with our out-of-town web designer to mold the site into something accessible, esthetically pleasing, and easy to navigate.

Navigating the Site

We think our navigation scheme enables easy access to whatever part of the site you might be searching for, or just to browsing the whole thing in a way that flows logically from page to page. But to help provide as effortless an experience as possible, here is a little orientation to how we’ve set it up, along with a couple of tips on the best ways to enter it.

If you’re a health care consumer looking for a better, more personalized encounter with a practitioner, go to the left side of our home page logo and click the Patients tab. The first menu item opens a page titled “How We Approach Patient Care.” There you’ll be able to review a succinct summary of the way Consortium members practice, and to see whether that credo compels your interest.

The rest of the menu in the Patients tab takes you to a list of the counties comprising the territory of the Consortium’s founding chapter in Northeast Ohio, and to our member directory. Click on any member’s name or photo, and you’ll open up a profile page that contains credentials, practice specialties, time spent in new and follow-up appointments, and other useful information, as well as a personal statement of that practitioner’s philosophy and approach to treatment.

If you’re a practitioner interested in learning about our group and potentially in joining it, click on the right side of the home-page logo. The menu that pops up shows three tabs, of which the first two open into sub-menus.

The About Us tab brings you first to a page titled “Who We Are,” which gives an overview of what the Consortium is and is not. If that piques your interest, you might want to move on to our mission statement and explanation of the group’s purpose and structure, and possibly peruse the brief rationale for our iconography (our choice of logo and navigation icons).

If all that continues to draw your attention, go on to open the Membership tab. It contains all the information needed to pursue a membership, including a statement of the practice criteria required for one to qualify, the procedures we follow in deciding whether to approve a membership request, and the application form itself.

Whether you are a patient or a practitioner, check out the information that’s geared to the “other half” of our intended audience if you want to gain a broader understanding of what we’re about. You can do this conveniently by going to the bottom navigation bar and clicking “About Us.” The two menu choices that appear are “How We Approach Patient Care,” which is the opener designed for consumers, and “Who We Are,” which opens all the practitioner-oriented material.

We expect to refine and improve the product as we go along and find time and means to tweak it. But we think our site works well enough to take its first steps, and hope you’ll welcome the new baby into your field of awareness about what’s available, and possible, in individual health care.

The Consortium Prospect

Our family tree is indeed just a sapling right now. We hope this website will serve to water the sapling and help it grow many more leaves and branches–and eventually, perhaps, to pollinate a forest.

We aren’t in a rush, though. We plan to add to our numbers slowly, judiciously, and organically. We’re not aimed at expanding rapidly with the aid of artificial fertilizers or growth hormones. Above all, we do not plan to compromise our principles to expand our membership. Just like the Marines, we are looking for a few good men and women.

Part of how we’ll expand is by proactively inviting people to join who we think would make a great fit. But you don’t need to wait for us to make the first move. If you’re a practitioner who feels a resonance with our mission statement and goals, and you believe your approach to practice synchs up with ours, feel free to complete a membership application and submit it. We’ll accord every submission due consideration and respond as promptly as we can.

And if you know a practitioner—either as a colleague or a patient—who seems to fit the bill, let them know of our website. The more the word is spread, the more likely we are to forge a solid, united corps of patient-centered practitioners across many health care disciplines. Such an evolution would clearly benefit patients seeking such services, and practitioners wishing to sustain their patient-focused practices.

So, welcome to the Consortium website. We hope it will serve everyone seeking better health, and better health care. We also hope it will hearten dedicated practitioners who may feel they are toiling against the economic pressures of modern health care economics. Perhaps such professionals will derive the sense that they have found a community of like-minded souls, and the fortitude to keep treading, or even switching to, the challenging path of patient-centered care.

With enough such practitioners to form a critical mass, in time we might even hope to see a revamped practice model influence the prevailing tenor of health care in America.

–Peter Geller, L.Ac., L.O.M.P.
Founding member and secretary of the Consortium