Happy holidays! In what seems like the blink of an eye, three months have passed by and the Fellows are now headed home for their winter break.
Each Fellow is proudly returning to their respective corners of the country, however whether we’re truly going home is a complex question. Although family and friends may reside in different cities, we have worked hard to build ourselves a second home in the company of one another during the first few months of the Fellowship. This second home has no true geographic location and needs no physical structure: its strength is found in the bonds formed in conference rooms, along winding hospital corridors, on late night flights across the country, and everywhere in between.
With the Fellowship’s framework based on human-centered design, we have quite often discussed how the small moments outside of an individual’s management of type 2 diabetes truly define who they are and how that shapes their emotions and behaviors. Turning that lens onto the Fellowship, more than anything, what makes Health for America a second home for us all are the small things we do for one another and the inside jokes shared.
The list of these individual moments is long, but some of the highlights have included warming up for brainstorming session by pretending we’re the expert of something completely random, sharing cat-related public service announcements about diabetes, and switching podcasts mid-road trip from non-fiction to fiction but not having anyone realize the difference for close to two hours. These are the moments that extend the social impact of the Fellowship from the external to the internal and make the distances travelled by each Fellow worthwhile.
This is not to say that we are islands unto ourselves. Each of us came to the Fellowship with different personalities, skillsets, and worldviews. Getting four very unique individuals to not only sit in the same room, but also enjoy each other’s company is no small feat. As such, the Fellows would like to recognize our leadership, Megan and Ellen, as the primary reason for our success thus far.
Leaders, mentors, friends—no matter what the situation has called for, Megan and Ellen, have been there for us every step of the way. We can’t emphasize enough how much the creation of a second home within Health for America has been a result of everything they have given us.
As a result of the support provided by Megan & Ellen, Kapil & Madhura, MedStar Health & 1776, and countless others, we return home for the holidays with our heads held high. We do so with hundreds of ideas brainstormed, encyclopedias’ worth of information learned, and many new connections in healthcare and the startup world made. We also round off 2015 with a dozen of our ideas prioritized for further investigation and a handful of new friendships made. Where these friendships and ideas will lead us when we return to our Health for America home after the holidays is anyone’s guess, however we look forward to continued growth and success in the new year.