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Feb 27 2009

Some background on the Valeo Initiative (Vvaleo)

Published by at 9:24 am under Networked theory of goodness,Valeo,VistA

In the late 1990’s I was involved with a group called Vvaleo formed by Dee Hock (founder of Visa International and proponent of “Chaordic” organizations) Rob Kolodner (then of the VA), David Cooperrider (CASE, founder of Appreciative Inquiry), Tom Garthwaite (head of VA health care), Heather Wood Ion (then CEO of Visiting Nurses Association of Orange County), Don Lindberg (National Library of Medicine) and others.

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Heather Wood Ion and I were seeking to apply Jonas Salk’s ideas about creating an Epidemic of Health (this was the last paper he edited before he died.)  Reframing health care to the positive – creating a viral expansion of positive, health-inducing and supporting ideas, activities, technologies, and support structures is a fundamentally different framework than seeking out what’s wrong and how to fix it.  This was my first exposure to David Cooperrider’s notion of Appreciative Inquiry (Thanks David), and it really rang trRob Kolodner at initial Vvaleo meetingue to my thinking about what I called “benegnosis” (a way of understanding by what is positive) in contrast to “malgnosis” (a way of understanding by what is failing). The Vvaleo group had a few interesting meetings and support from the VA as well as the Fetzer Institute.  David also invited me to the Images and Voices of Hope meeting at Peace Village in Haines Falls, NY.

We developed an Appreciative Inquiry Living Dialog to Support Health Care to support the ideas.  The idea petered out in time (a story in itself – coming soon).  But I think it is a good framework upon which to rethink health care reform ideas, and to lift our thinking above the “disease industrial complex” which is so prevalent in today’s climate.  I think that this also has a lot of relationship to the National Health Information Network, an effort now headed by Valeo founder Rob Kolodner.  After 30 years of tilting windmills with Rob in the VA VistA (then DHCP), then Vvaleo, and now the National Health Information Network, I think he is in a unique position to understand the role of Information technology and how it can lead, rather than follow, organizational reform.

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