Anne-Miek Vroom

anne-miekVision with action can change healthcare

Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it. (George Lucas)

I dream of healthcare without borders. Borders – mostly built of status, tradition and fear – exist in the minds of some people and can cause a ‘Stop’ sign. They stop people to reach out to each other, dare to see each other and therefore they stop people to make healthcare the best possible.

Healthcare asks for compassion, courage and a ‘Yes’ mentality, from patients as well as healthcare practitioners.  Only vision combined with action can change healthcare. This should be facilitated by technology. Technology breaks down borders; it is unbounded. But technology cannot be of service without spirit or a fundamental basis. A basis consisting of dreams, hope, trust and the inner will to make the world a better place. Technology cannot work without care.

I dream of healthcare musketeers; shoulder-to-shoulder, working together for one goal: make people feel better and get better. I hope patients will get the change to help break down borders and show healthcare professionals what they really need. At first: just by being. So professionals can catch their stories by really listening.

I speak from experience because of my own congenital illness, the brittle bone disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which acts as a lifelong university in healthcare, people, and life in general. Mahatma Gandhi said: ‘Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will’. Life only demands from us the strength we possess. Thanks to a catalogue of more than 60 fractures, operations, several years of clinical rehabilitation and an extended scoliosis renovation, which resulted in what I have labeled as an ‘iron spine’, I know what resilience is.

I developed professional skills  in University; Consultancy and Medical Sociology (MSc). With this cocktail of experiences I became a professional healthcare musketeer. In May 2012 I started my own business: Social Consultancy for Participatory Innovation. I personally feel and see what needs to be done. I have an immense passion for healthcare and my head is full of ideas. I am convinced that a people-centered vision and use of the knowledge that patients have make healthcare cheaper, safer, more caring and even fun.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: ‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how’. This insight fits exactly in Simon Sinek’s vision. In 2011 he spoke on the first TEDxMaastricht conference. I was so inspired by his words about trust. He said: ‘It is all about the handshake’, and I feel every day  that this is so true. The video ‘First why and then trust’ is a must to watch.


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