Partner Spotlight: Mike Stroh – Starts With Me

Mike Stroh is a true patient leader who is fighting to improve the lives of his members and the greater mental health community. He has built Starts With Me into a champion of youth and teen mental health awareness and continues to create opportunities for young people to have their voices heard and empowered. He’s pushed his own personal limits to fight for this cause. We sat down with him to hear more about Starts With Me and the personal story that drives him.

If you’d like to make sure Mike has the resources to continue this amazing work, find out how you can support Starts With Me.

PC: What work does Starts With Me do? What’s your mission?

MS: What we are doing with Starts With Me is trying to create spaces for conversations about mental health that change lives. We do that through public speaking appearances, monthly events, and different programming in high schools and universities. We also just started a youth mental health and innovation festival for high school students called the State of Mind festival. Our mission with all of this is to create opportunities to have honest dialogues about mental health with younger people and those who interact with [...] continue the story

The First Cheque for Starts With Me

A big milestone for us is handing over the first cheque to a group.

The first cheque signifies a chance to give organizations like Starts With Me the ability to push the limits of their impact. A chance to unleash the creativity and passion of someone like Mike Stroh to benefit the mental health community. The challenges of capacity and funding can compromise the mission of those who have chosen to better the lives of the people around them. Patient Commando’s mission is to eliminate these hurdles for Starts With Me and all of the patient groups that we support.

If you too are someone who uses prescription drugs, you can choose a pharmacy that will support your cause. Starts With Me and all of our groups are on an ambitious trek to change the future of healthcare and improve the lives of patients. You can join by choosing to use your purchasing power to have a positive effect on the diseases and conditions which have chosen to affect you.

Keep up the good work Mike!

SIGN UP and support Starts With Me.

Why Richard Branson Needs More Patient Commando

Richard Branson recently joined a growing group of venture capitalists investing in online pharmacies. The one he chose is from New York City called Capsule, and as he explains they are “tackling the consumer pharmacy experience from the ground up.” From Branson’s blog post about Capsule: It is no secret that going to the pharmacy is painful. Customers can wait on average an hour or more, almost half the time the pharmacy is out of stock, and there are unexpected costs. Add the embarrassing interactions with staff without a private place to discuss your medications with a pharmacist. Customers go to the pharmacy once a month but take medication every day. It is the most frequent healthcare experience and if it is fundamentally improved then the entire system will benefit. Capsule removes the aisles of sweets, fizzy drinks and greeting cards and focuses on prescriptions. They swap expensive retail rent for delivery, and they’re building the first brand to engender emotions in the space and to retain customers and drive better health outcomes.

His description of a pharmacy reads like an infomercial showing someone cutting tomatoes just before they’re enlightened by the magic of slap chop. Many new online pharmacy start-ups are telling us [...] continue the story

The Doctor who Supports Patient Choice – to the Very End

Maclean’s- “I actually felt I had done the right thing for my patient.” Gordon had gotten what he wanted, and what Buchman had done simply felt to him like helping. “It was so peaceful and loving that I said, ‘This can’t be inconsistent with who I am as a doctor’.” Dying is as much a part of living as laughing is, but we clearly don’t embrace the former quite like we do the latter. Now with legislation allowing people to make a choice about when they die, patients and families and physicians are faced with making and respecting what can be difficult choices.

What we learn from the story about Dr. Sandy Buchman in Macleans, is that dying and living are well connected within the context of a person’s life. For healthcare professionals serving an individual at the end of their life, assistance in dying is merely another tool to treat a person’s pain and suffering. If providers are to respect what is important to the people they serve, then providing this assistance when a patient has made a clear choice, should be considered as following the care plan agreed to by the patient.

Its often been said that dying is no laughing [...] continue the story

The Type 2 Diagnosis: Emotions

By Kathy Kastner with Zal Press First, you grieve A diagnosis of Type2 Diabetes means the end of life as you’ve lived it. Adding to the shock is the perception: Type2 is the ‘bad’ diabetes. The one you’ve brought on yourself by your overindulgent lifestyle. Type1 is seen as the ‘good’ diabetes: beyond your control.

Rarely is this the case: Type2 Diabetes is most often ‘written in the genes’, thus confounding even the most diligent of health efforts.

Lori became an advocate as a result of seeing the impact of this condition on her father and nephew, which evolved into her becoming a resource and Opinion Leader.

With a Type2 diagnosis, going through the stages of grief is not uncommon: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and eventually – hopefully – choosing to accept. Anger and denial Even for those in ethnicities at high risk of T2, acceptance of a diagnosis can be devastating. Heather is a nurse and Opinion Leader who, on a whim – and well into her career – decided to test herself: Being as she was in the hospital on the Diabetes unit. That was in 1989.

Aida (who gives an infectious giggle as she explains,’ it’s pronounced like the Opera’) is slim and fit and is [...] continue the story