What Matters to You

What Matters to You is an awareness-building effort developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in response to Michael Barry and Susan Edgman-Levitan’s 2012 New England Journal of Medicine article challenging clinicians to ask their patients not only “Whats the matter?” but also “What matters to you?”. ICI and its then-president and CEO, Maureen Bisogano (now President Emerita and Senior Fellow), advocated for the inclusion of the What Matters to You concept at the heart of all healthcare interactions.

The Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation (IMCF) in Santa Rosa, CA is leading the effort to bring awareness of the What Matters approach to both community agencies and health care organizations in Northern California. IMCF has begun work to build a collaborative group of community organizations interested in exploring ways to integrate a What Matters to You approach into their work. We will share ideas, challenges, opportunities, and materials that help organizations make this simple but profound idea a reality.

We believe that the What Matters to You approach has the potential to transform the experience of both service providers and their clients. Our hope is that as more and more organizations in Northern California use the question “What matters to you?” to engage those they serve, individuals will experience services that are more responsive, and therefore more effective.

“IMCF’s work to engage organizations with What Matters to You is unique among the ‘What Matters’ efforts because of the emphasis on engaging individuals in the community. This approach meets individuals outside of the health care system in a way that may expand their thinking beyond what matters medically. The information, of course, can be used to bridge what health means to an individual with health care’s role in supporting the best possible health for the individual. We are excited to see how this approach and the IMCF Imagine YOU® project can make a difference in health and health care.”
Christina Gunther-Murphy, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Executive Director

To learn more or to join the community effort to integrate What Matters to You into your work, please contact Dr. Ellen Barnett at drbarnett@imcfound.org or 707-284-9225.