Oct 15 Chat – What healthcare discoveries are you thankful for?

HCLDR Thanksgiving and Columbus Day

Post by Colin Hung

This weekend is a holiday long weekend in both the United States and Canada. In the US, Monday is Columbus Day while in Canada it’s Thanksgiving weekend. Columbus Day in the US is a celebration of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Thanksgiving in Canada is a time to celebrate and be thankful for the year’s last harvest – or in modern day terms – a time to reflect and be grateful for the past year.

I thought it would be fun to have an #HCLDR tweetchat this week that combines the spirit of both holidays: the concept of discovery and being grateful. So this week we’re going to talk about the healthcare discoveries that we are most thankful for and how we can encourage more discoveries in the future.

Last weekend, the Marketing Team at Nightingale Informatix (the company where I work – which for full disclosure is a #HealthIT company that builds a cloud-based EHR) hosted our clients at the annual Nightingale Connects user conference. The theme for this event was the roaring 20’s – an era of fun and innovation. As we were preparing for this event, we were surprised to learn that many world-changing healthcare discoveries were made in the 20’s:

  • Penicillin was discovered by Dr. Alexander Fleming in London, 1928
  • Insulin was used to treat diabetes for the first time – discovered by Dr. Frederick Banting and Charles Best in Toronto, 1922
  • Band-Aids made their first appearance in the United States, created by Earle Dickson a Johnson & Johnson employee
  • The BCG vaccine was first used in humans in 1921 against Tuberculosis
  • The back-open, side-tie style of patient gown started to be in hospitals in the 1920s

As a side note, bubble gum, sunglasses and frozen food were also born in the 1920s.

We live in a time when the pace of healthcare innovation has never been faster. There are new technologies, techniques and treatments emerging every day. With so much happening around us, I am curious to learn from you, the #HCLDR community, which healthcare discoveries you believe have had the most impact and which you are most thankful for.

For me, I am thankful for the discovery that radiation can be used for diagnoses and treatment. I have many friends who have had their lives extended because their cancer went into remission because of treatment. My father was able to enjoy a higher quality of life during his cancer battle because of radiation treatment.

I am also thankful for the discovery of IVIG which was used to help treat my daughter’s bout of Kawasaki Disease.

Topics for this week’s #HCLDR:

  • T1: What healthcare innovations or discoveries are you most thankful for and why? (ex: penicillin, insulin, CT scanner)
  • T2:What can we, as healthcare leaders, do to encourage innovation at work & in the healthcare community?
  • T3: What areas of healthcare would you like to see more efforts made to improve through technical or clinical innovation? (ex: access to care, rare diseases, communication, technology)

Join us Tuesday October 15th at 8:30pm Eastern Time (North America) for our weekly #HCLDR chat.


“Kawasaki Disease” Boston Children’s Hospital http://www.childrenshospital.org/health-topics/conditions/kawasaki-disease

“Transformational Healthcare Ideas” Johnson & Johnson http://www.jnj.com/about-jnj/company-history/healthcare-innovations

“The Roaring Twenties – Science and Technology” http://library.thinkquest.org/C005846/categories/science/science.htm

“The Discovery of Insulin” NobelPrize.org http://www.nobelprize.org/educational/medicine/insulin/discovery-insulin.html

“Alexander Fleming Discovery and Development of Penicillin” American Chemical Society http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/flemingpenicillin.html

Image Credit


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