By: Christian John Lillis
After nearly a year of hard work, we are delighted to share our new strategic plan, “Educating Locally | Advocating Locally,” with you.
Four years after Peggy’s death, we have had enormous success in raising awareness of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections, about which we’re very proud. But, unlike many other healthcare associated infections (HAIs), which are declining, C. diff continues to exact a growing toll of death and harm in the United States.
There are many players in the fight against C. diff, from government agencies, to physicians researchers, to journalists committed to covering the epidemic, and, of course, individual advocates and nonprofit organizations. A primary focus of our strategic planning process was assessing this landscape and determining where we could have the greatest impact.
In pursuit of that goal, we engaged the National Executive Service Corps (NESC) to serve as our guides. NESC conducting wide-ranging research and interviewed an array of experts and C. diff survivors. The consultants from NESC then led a core team of PLMF stakeholders in assessing our organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. From there, we developed a list of goals and objectives that we will pursue over the next three years. That initial plan was shared with our experts for feedback and refinement.
In addition to setting out goals and objectives, we embraced a new vision for our work, which we defined as “a world where C. diff is rare, treatable and survivable.” You may wonder why our vision isn’t “a world where C. diff has been eradicated.” This is for two reasons. First, given that C. diff is a naturally occurring bacteria found in soil and a variety of animals, eliminating it completely may not be possible. Second, as we learn more about the ways in which bacteria interact with our bodies in ways that keep us healthy and sometimes cause illness, we’re seeing that wiping out a certain bacterium may lead to unintended health impacts down the line.
In pursuit of our vision, we have developed a new mission statement: Peggy Lillis Memorial Foundation is building a nationwide C. diff awareness movement by educating the public, empowering advocates and shaping policy. We hope that everyone reading this blog post will join us in our movement. If you want to stay informed of our progress, you can subscribe to our e-newsletter. (We promise not to spam you!)
We are extremely proud and excited about our plan, which will guide our work and drive our impact through 2016 as we redouble our efforts to fight C. diff.
We want to thank everyone who gave so generously of their time and expertise to help us develop this plan. In particular:
- PLMF’s Strategic Planning Core Team: Vicki Amari, Helen Beigel, Hans Johnson, Liam Lillis, Alicia Skovera, and Chris Young
- NESC Consultants: Diane Blum, Steven Fuchs, Bill McAndrews, Av Rivel, and Jerry Schiller
- Physicians and Scientists: Dr. Martin Blaser (author, Missing Microbes), Dr. Clifford McDonald (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) and Dr. Moshe Rubin (New York Hospital)
- Patient Safety Advocates: Lisa McGiffert (Consumers Union Safe Patient Project), Patty Skolnik (Citizens for Patient Safety), and Julie Reagan (HAI Focus)
- C. diff Survivors: Chris O’Neal (author, C. diff: A Patient’s Guide) and Joan Hardin
We are also grateful to all those who have supported our work over the years, the volunteers for our annual FIGHT C. DIFF Gala, C. diff survivors and those who’ve lost a loved one, and our family and friends, without whom we’d not have made it this far.
Please share your feedback with us in the comment section below, or email us. We’d love to hear from you.