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STEPS to Value Podcast Episode #67:The Value of Engaging Pediatric Patients in Design Thinking

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.   When Henry David Thoreau wrote that in his journal on August 5th, 1851, he may have been talking about the ingenuity he found in nature’s boundless creativity as he spent his days in overserving Walden Pond’s thriving ecosystem.  That boundless creativity Thoreau described over a hundred sixty years ago can be found today in unlikely places. An unusual example is aa children’s cancer ward at Davies Award-winning Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.  

Welcome to STEPS to Value, HIMSS’ people, process and technology podcast.  In this episode, we learn how pediatric patients at Lucy Packard and other hospitals are leveraging participatory design techniques and tools, like maker spaces, to engage  themselves, their families, and their providers in socially collaborative design projects.  We talk to Gokul Krishnan, Director of Maker Therapy at WestEd, about the impact maker spaces have had on the wellbeing of chronically-ill pediatric patients battling diseases such as cancer and cystic fibrosis.  In our interview from HIMSS18, Gokul describes the impact that giving pediatric patients design tools has on increasing their activity, improving their mental health, and reclaiming the right to be a child in an environment that demands that they  grow up way too fast.  Gokul shares the story of the high school student who inspired this ground-breaking work, and the responsibilities all healthcare providers have to engage spirit as much as the bodies of the patients in their care.     

This Episode’s Guest:

Gokul Krishnan

Director of Maker Therapy at WestEd

Connect with Gokul