Author Archives: Christine Nieves

Personal Health Data Goes to the Doctor

Jul 9, 2014, 9:15 AM, Posted by Christine Nieves, Steve Downs

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Since the advent of the stethoscope, information-gathering technology has been helping doctors and other medical professionals improve patient health. Over the past decade, RWJF has funded a series of projects that suggest helping patients track and share data with their clinicians can strengthen the patient-clinician partnership and improve health outcomes. It makes sense that giving clinicians access to patient-tracked health data can improve the health of individuals and communities. As simple as the concept may sound, though, unlocking personal health data for clinical purposes has proven quite challenging. 

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Princeton Students Study Health Care in Urban New Jersey

Dec 9, 2013, 12:30 PM, Posted by Christine Nieves

Princeton students at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen Princeton students at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. From left to right: Emma Tucher, Lawrence Chang, Colleen O'Gorman, Gwen Lee, Richard Lu, Daniel Kim, Mina Henaen, Azza Cohe, Justin Ziegler, Arfan Sunny and Jordan Shivers. Photo by Richard Lu.

Recently, I heard through our grantee at Princeton University that a group of students was organizing a weeklong trip to meet with people working to improve health care in urban New Jersey. The students asked to meet with program staff at the Foundation to get recommendations regarding people to meet and key questions to ask, and we obliged. After their trip, we wanted to hear how things had gone, so I reached out via email. I found their curiosity energizing, and hope you do, too.

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Engaging Top College Students in Transforming Health and Health Care

Jul 25, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Christine Nieves

Christine Nieves, program associate

College students have been the visionaries behind a number of game-changing innovations in recent years, from Facebook to RWJF grantee Health Leads (if you aren’t familiar with Health Leads, I highly recommend you check out their model). So if the next big idea that completely transforms health and health care in this country comes from someone under the age of 22, we here at Pioneer won’t be surprised.

And we’re doing our part to speed things along. I’m thrilled to share that we recently awarded a grant to Princeton University’s Keller Center, whose mission is to educate leaders for a technology-driven society. The Center will use this funding to offer courses on health care entrepreneurship, as well as to partner with Woodrow Wilson School's Center for Health and Wellbeing on a Global Health Policy Scholars program.

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User-Centric Innovation

Jul 10, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Christine Nieves

christine_nieves_hz_1_c Program Associate Christine Nieves

Determined to increase my productivity and keep my desk free from clutter, I recently read an excellent book that several friends recommended to me called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. We at Pioneer talk quite a bit about what it takes to change behavior – what kinds of innovations can we support that will help more people embrace healthy habits? Implementing this book’s recommendations reminded me just how stressful change can be – even change that’s designed to reduce stress! And it got me thinking about how important it is to base any innovation on a real understanding of the people it effects.

I recently spent the day at the MedStar Institute for Innovation -– at Pioneer, we’re always interested in learning more about other units within large organizations that are focused on innovation (and we love to play host, too). Anyway, the folks at MedStar spoke quite a bit about human factors engineering. If you aren’t familiar (I wasn’t), human factors engineering is about accepting the fact that humans will inevitably make mistakes, and designing environments and tools that take that inevitability into account, so that the impact of mistakes is significantly decreased. Human factors engineering often goes hand-in-hand with extensive usability testing.

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Dispatches from Datapalooza: Day 1 Highlights

Jun 4, 2013, 10:00 AM, Posted by Christine Nieves

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From: Christine Nieves

To: Paul Tarini, Beth Toner and Thomas Goetz

Date: June 4, 2013

Why didn't you warn me that this conference is so enormous? Wow! As a first-time attendee, it is hard to believe that Health Datapalooza started just four years ago with 40 or so participants in one room. On Monday, more than 2,000 people gathered under one roof to advocate for the same cause, and I am enjoying learning from so many of them.

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