Examples From My Work

This sampling of recent projects provides a taste of the kinds of work I do. How can I help you and your organization?

Presentations that captivate. How many of you plan conferences and convenings? Eager for an alternative to the classic panel discussion? Look no further than this compelling video. Working with the Center for Care Innovations on Kaiser Permanente’s Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes Every Day community initiative, I help design and run rave-reviewed, 100-person convenings twice a year. We now use brief, TED-style “15 Minutes of Fame” talks, and I coach presenters like Douglas Frey to create compact, story-filled presentations. Result? A huge hit with attendees, funders, video viewers alike.

Great storytelling, from the shower.  A Los Angeles-area clinic wanted to connect more of their homeless patients with medical, dental, mental health, and case management services. Hundreds of clients came through their free showers program, but weren’t accessing other services. Thanks to Cedars-Sinai and the Institute for High Quality Care, Saban Community Clinic embarked on a comprehensive effort. When it was time to share the project with the entire organization, they made a PowerPoint: lots of data—and no heart.  As a result of my in-person storytelling workshop and follow-up coaching, Saban talked to their shower program staff and found a heart-warming story of a homeless man who turned his life around thanks to the clinic. The video, shown at their gala, raised a substantial sum, and became a point of pride for the whole organization.

A brand and a plan. When a statewide nursing nonprofit received a grant to create a new business plan, they knew communications was crucial. Together, we created a new brand for the organization—complete with new name and roll-out strategy to energize and reassure stakeholders. I also created a ready-to-implement communications plan (everything from newsletters to letterhead to staffing), technology recommendations (social media tools, relationship management software, you name it), and messaging. As a result, the whole team increased their understanding of communications, led a successful launch of their new brand, and identified new lines of business—moving the organization forward.

Better presentations for engineers and the colleagues who love them. When eBay invited me to teach storytelling and skills for effective presentations, I put together a whole session of tips for better PowerPoints and how to “own” a room. But what really landed was the idea of gearing presentations to an audience—what they care about.

How a toothache can help with diabetes. Chapa-De Indian Health Center had the smart idea that when patients come to their clinic for dental care, it’s the perfect time to make sure the patients are getting the medical care they need—and that chronic conditions like diabetes are being addressed. But first the medical and dental teams had to work together in new ways—which is where I came in. Through consulting, coaching, and training, I helped the teams find commonalities, open lines of communication, and create new systems that allowed this effort to succeed.

Improving quality, one coaching session at a time. “Quality improvement” is a key concept in healthcare, and an important part of my portfolio. It’s trying something new and doing something better—whether it’s patients seeing their own provider, helping diabetic clients quit smoking, or speeding up how long it takes to see a specialist. Through Cedars-Sinai, Kaiser Permanente, the Institute for High Quality Care, and the Center for Care Innovations, I train and coach teams to plan, test, and implement changes—building skills and confidence. My interactive webinars and in-person presentations teach how to tell a compelling story, communicate effectively, and get key stakeholders on board. My coaching enables teams to get more buy-in, have better meetings, and implement changes without scaring colleagues. My clients build new systems, help more patients, strengthen relationships—all part of improving quality.