Yesterday in my Design and Governmentality class, we had Randall Mark, Director of Policy Analysis for Cook County Bureau of Health Services. We had to present to the undergraduate design classes because of scheduling conflicts, but Randy was great. I asked some of the students later and they said he was cool. We organized the session as a introduction to the topic, a Q&A with Randy, a discussion of the pilot project we did last summer, and then Sara Bassick led in the discussion of the cervical cancer vaccine for girls.
I was very happy with the Q&A. I was going for a Charlie Rose/James Lipton vibe with tables and chairs. One of my students, Jeremiah commented on the set up and said it reminded him of Charlie Rose. Its great when your intentions are carried through in such a way.
Again, Randy was such as wonderful host I have been looking at health policy for a while, but it was great to get Randy's perspective of the relationship between the multiple layers of government and how the Medicaid issues affect us all. We talked about the tools and information that he uses (mostly websites which send in digests and notices) and the role of design. Unfortuately, the current budget crises has resulted in the elimination of their communications staff, but hopefully we can work together to provide design strategy services for the bureau.
I had presented on the future work we were hoping to do with the Bureau, but the students were engaged with the previous pilot study (the research, the use of plain language, the placing of information in context based on the different users). It made me feel good about the approach we took. So there is a Robert Woods Johnson grant due at the end of the month, hopefully we can get it and do significant work.