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Episode Flyer for #82: Humanizing Healthcare
Episode Flyer for #82: Humanizing Healthcare

Guest: Jamey Edwards      Guest Title: Chief Executive Officer

Date: November 15, 2017            Guest Company: Cloudbreak Health     


[Intro music]


Debra:                     Hello everyone. You’re listening to or watching Human Potential At Work. Today I have a guest on that I just think that the work he’s doing is very important and I think you’re going to really enjoy learning more about him. Our guest today is Jamey Edwards, and he’s the CEO of Cloudbreak. He and his team have taken on the challenge of humanizing health care which I love that idea and it certainly needs to be done. Jamey, tell us more about you and why you care about humanizing health care and more about your company, too.

Jamey:                     Yeah, well first Debra, thank you for having me on. It’s always a pleasure. For us, humanizing health care, I really came about it in a real grassroots fashion. And by that I mean my initial career was investment banking and private equity. Over time I had an uncle who was a physician and I started doing some consulting for him. He was an ER doctor, one of the first guys to come out of ER residency when it first became a specialty back in the ’70s. And so, he’s seen the specialty kind of expand from the ground up. He’s been in the health care system for 30 plus years, 40 plus yeas now I should say.

                                    In working with him I ended up leaving banking to help him grow his company and in working with him on the front lines of health care and seeing what the issues were, we noticed a few things. We noticed that as the health care system was evolving, patients felt very entitled to their care. Health care is a right, right? That’s something that we hear a lot about these days and there’s a good heated debate over it that’s happening as we speak.

                                    And I saw physicians who had become doctors for very specific reason, that they wanted to help people, come out of school with all of this debt and watch their pay go down and watch them being asked to do more with less. And see more patients because population’s getting bigger not smaller. We’re seeing more diverse people than we’ve ever seen before in our health care system. And the emergency department because of the way insurance companies have kind of in managed care have said, “Hey you know what? We don’t see the doctor anymore once a year like we used to.” So the emergency departments were getting all this primary care as opposed to being emergency physicians. What I saw was doctors getting burned out. There was a recent Mayo study that said doctors are the largest burnt-out workforce in the United States. 49% of physicians suffer from burnout and what’s the main symptom of that burnout? They treat patients like objects instead of people.

                                    And so our goal as a company was to bring technologies into the health care marketplace that made the physicians life easier. Everyone’s talking about being patient centric these days and that’s a really important thing but the fact is the health care system’s made up of more than just patients. It’s made up of patients, physicians, caregivers and for it to work the way it should work all that stuff needs to be in balance and they all need to have satisfaction from their jobs and that’s what’s going to drive at least their willingness to care and all the passion that they want to put into what they do every day which is care and treat patients.

                                    Our goal as a company was to humanize health care. It was for patients to treat their providers like people. For providers to treat their patients like people and one of the key part to that is communication and storytelling. So our first venture into doing that was to help solve the health care disparity around limited English proficient and deaf and hard of hearing patients. And so our first product was bringing interpreters to the point of care so that we could empower those patients to take control of their care. And it’s been a really exciting run. We’re doing this at 700 hospitals across the country now over 75,000 times a month.

                                    And we’ve also added other services to the platform now so language interpretation services was the initial one. And then we ended up moving to telestroke, telepsych  and other telemedicine services as well all on a single platform.

Debra:                     So I’m going to ask you questions that I know some of the answers to but I just … I know that when I went to your website, I was looking at the statistics you had out there about physicians and physicians leaving the field. And you know just from personal experience, my one doctor we had this doctor we were with forever. We loved him to death. He was 88 years old but brilliant. Brilliant and supposedly he wanted to retire. So I guess you get to retire at 88. So then we went with another woman and she was terrific but I saw the burnout in her. I saw the burnout in her and we stayed with her practice for about a year and then she resigned. She actually went into a part-time position in concierge’s medicine.

Jamey:                     Oh yeah.

Debra:                     And which interesting and so then I start looking around. I got to have a physician, a family physician and it was so hard. Finally I found one and then turns out my insurance doesn’t take it but my daughter’s does and my husband’s do. So I had to leave that one and go to another. Wow. And I have a chief accessibility officer, Rosemary Musachio who … she has cerebral palsy and she can’t communicate in a traditional way.

                                    She’s had so many issues when she goes into the hospitals with the communications and I would just say this. So, I was so impressed with your work but it seems to me also when we have doctor burnout besides all of the things that the problems with their own health. The family problems. Just because if you’re burned out all the time it’s going to affect your other relationships, but also you’re going to be more prone to make a mistake too.

                                    I’m walking some stuff with my husband right now. It’s very complicated. And what I’ve done is I’ve tried to become a real advocate for my husband and not treat the doctors like they’re the problem. Really just to be there to be supporting them but it seems like things have gotten even more complicated and more confusing. I really do feel bad for our health care professionals especially our doctors.

Jamey:                     Yeah, you know doctor’s don’t want to be treated like a commodity because they’ve studied so long and hard to hone their craft and to be able to figure out how they can best serve people. And when you’re in a situation where the health care system’s become so overwhelmingly complex, right? We were … I was doing a talk the other day and I asked people to raise their hands in the room if they knew where they were on their deductible, right? And no one could tell. The health plans themselves are like what’s a division of financial responsibility? They don’t know what’s covered, what’s not covered. And it’s become a really difficult thing for the patient to do. And we’ve seen the evolution therefore of almost a new industry of people that are called patient navigators to help them navigate this-

Debra:                     I just hired one. I just hired one.

Jamey:                     There you go.

Debra:                     It was so confusing.

Jamey:                     Right. And how sad is it that our health care system is so complex that we need advocacy in it, right, for this very basic thing that people should have access to? It’s a challenge. It’s absolutely a challenge. So, again, our goal and everything that I’ve seen … We implement a lot of design thinking in what we do and a lot of it’s just centered around how does the provider work? How does the patient want to be seen? That work tells us that simplicity is really the key. Ease of access and simplicity and that’s something that we try and do every day.

Debra:                     So Jamey, talk a little bit more about some of the programs that you are helping implement. You mentioned it a little bit for patients that deaf but tell us more because I know you’ve got very innovative ideas.

Jamey:                     Yeah, the first service line for us was how do we resolve this major health care disparity that happens when a deaf or hard of hearing patient or a limited English patient shows up to a hospital. By law the Office of Minority Health directives and Joint Commission Accreditation, they’re entitled …  and CMS guidelines, they’re entitled to an interpreter resource. That typically in the past was provided over the phone. It was provided … we don’t have the benefit of sight obviously. It was provided with in-person interpreters which are considered the highest quality but not always accessible and very expensive. When you’re looking at a health care system that’s consistently looking at cutting costs, there are challenges associated with that.

                                    And then there’s agency interpreters and so you could call them in from an agency so they’re not full-time staff members and again, high quality interpretation results. But at the end of the day you have to wait two hours for them to show up on site so you’re slowing care for the patient and you might just need a 15-minute interpretation and hospitals are paying two-hour minimums and travel cost and all that stuff. So again, it doesn’t turn out to be very cost effective.

                                    So, video sits at the crosshairs of quality, access, quality. I said quality again, I’ll say it again, and cost and efficiency because you can hit a button on the screen of one of our devices and within 30 seconds have your interpreter resource. And we do it in over 60 languages in video, 250 in audios. So if there’s a language of lesser diffusion that we don’t have a staffed video interpreter for we’ll bring in an audio interpreter.

                                    But at the end of the day what we’re trying to do is speed care. Empower the patient to take control of their care because hospitals are scary places, right, Debra?

Debra:                     Yes.

Jamey:                     I mean when we walk in the door even when you speak English there’s a lot of stuff the doctor is saying that we simply don’t understand. Imagine not being able to speak the language or being in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language and you’ve been in a car accident and you show up, how terrifying that must? And so our goal is to ease that anxiety. Empower the patient to communicate so they can understand the care they’re being given. And help the provider actually make the proper diagnosis because when a provider in an emergent situation has to rely on testing instead of communication, they call that practicing veterinary medicine.

                                    And what a crude way to talk about how we’re treating people when communication is the number one diagnostic tool that they have. So, that solution is what really spurned our growth. It really drove it going forward but as we built the platform out we realized a few things. We connected to our client’s over our own private broadband network so we’ve actually built one of the largest private broadband networks optimized for telehealth in the country. We built a very robust video contact center platform that was one of the first in the country to route a video call the same way an audio call gets routed in a call center environment. So things like hold queues. Things like direct dials into targeted routing, bulls eye routing. The quickest way to get the resource that you need. That platform inherent to it, built in something that we call video interoperability because it’s standards based. We can interact with any Polycom, Cisco, Skype for Business or Vidyo type of system and we’ve just recently integrated Zoom as well.

                                    Because we didn’t want to have to go into hospitals and say pull out your existing hardware. We wanted to use what you have. Our goal is not to sell hardware, it’s to break down silos between these facilities. The technology itself is a silo. If one type of technology doesn’t speak to another, you can’t collaborate over that platform so our goal was to solve that problem.

                                    And then we realized that we had this marketplace of hospitals who were willing to buy or consume services to help solve these other type of health care disparities. So medical deserts exist not only in rural environments which is where everyone thinks the biggest aspect of telemedicine can really be applied. There are some of the biggest nation’s biggest medical deserts are in urban environments in the middle of Los Angeles.

                                    An example of that is a health care system here called Avanti Hospitals which is an inner city high Medi-Cal, high Medicare type of health system and they have four hospitals that are about 100 beds each in Los Angeles. When you’re competing for physicians to come to these hospitals and you’re competing against Cedars and UCLA these Taj Mahal facilities, it’s the hospitals who really … the doctors who really care about the community, that stay in those communities to service them. But that doesn’t mean that they can find a neurologist. It doesn’t mean they can find a cardiologist and all these different types of people to be on a call panel so when someone presents to the ER with a problem, they have those resources accessible.

                                    And so what we do is we’ve added things like telestroke to our program. So Avanti is now contracted with University of Southern California and we brokered this deal and set it up so that they could get Tier 1 academic stroke consults for the communities that Avanti serves so those patients could stay in their community. Because studies have shown that if you can stay in your community, your outcomes are going to be better because you have your local support network. Your family is close by. Your friends are close by. All those different types of things.

                                    So that was a solution that we’re really, really proud of and we’re doing the same things now with telepsychiatry. We’ve innovated on a telesitting app that actually integrates artificial intelligence to identify when a patient is in a bed or chair and might be at risk of a fall. Or using facial sentiment analysis to see if they’re in pain. Those are the types of really exciting things that are coming down the pipe right now.

Debra:                     That’s very exciting. I know that as you know Jamey, I travel a lot internationally and I got sick once when I was in Thailand. And I was in Bangkok and I was sick. I needed to go to the hospital. I had no idea what to do and my … one of the people I was with said, “Just take a taxi to the hospital,” and I thought I don’t want to do that. Luckily I did not have to do that. My … one of the hosts that had brought me there, they actually took me and drove by multiple hospitals and said, “No, as an American you want to go to this hospital.”

Jamey:                     Was it Bumrungrad? Was this in Bangkok?

Debra:                     It was in Bangkok. I don’t remember the name of it but I … it wound up being a very interesting experience but I was terrified. I didn’t speak the language. I didn’t know what the rules were. I didn’t know where to do, what’s the difference. Yeah, so, that’s … so I’ve been in that. And I’ve also been in the opposite where I’ve had friends come over from other countries and have to go to our emergency room and just think, like you said, sometimes … One of them he was Spanish and he didn’t speak English. So I’ve experienced some of this myself. Getting good care even right now my husband walking some you know health problems I’ve talked about him on the show before.

Jamey:                     Yeah.

Debra:                     We went to his neurologist the other day and the neurologist … I came in as a good patient advocate with all my homework and everything and he said, “You know Debra, I think it’s just to the point now where I need to refer you to another doctor.” And I said well I was told to go to Mayo and he said, “Well but the problem, everything’s right with Mayo but the problem for you is that that’s 12 hours away.”

Jamey:                     Right.

Debra:                     But in the University of Virginia which is where we’re going to go, is 45 minutes away and it just goes right back to what you were just saying, Jamey. It’s a big difference between being here in our community and making sure my husband’s getting the support he needs and this very complicated, costly, confusing industry.

Jamey:                     Yeah. I was just down at the Exponential Medicine Conference earlier this week which is a conference down in San Diego that is thought leaders from around the world. And it’s all about things like AI and virtual reality, augmented reality and all the amazing things that are happening in health care today. And there’s two pieces of innovation in the health care world that drive it forward and one is this kind of moon shot thinking around exponential technologies. But the other is how can we use some of the existing things we have today and focus on process and make the process better for people.

Debra:                     Right.

Jamey:                     And so when we look at that, we look at things like we’re innovating on something right now that we call precision care teams which is actually assembling a care team over telemedicine that fits the unique needs of that exact patient. Patient has congestive heart failure, is diabetic, has a foot ulcer and has X, Y and Z type of symptoms. We can actually find the people from around the country who have treated these exact cases, right, and bring them together. Those are the types of things we’re working on trying to do right now that we think are going to change the game in a very systematic way.

Debra:                     Wow, it’s such powerful work. I know that we had you on AXSChat.

Jamey:                     Yes.

Debra:                     And you were … everyone was so impressed with the work that you are doing globally and I thought you’ve got to come and talk on this program because we’re being listened to or watched in over 80 countries which is very exciting.

Jamey:                     Amazing.

Debra:                     Yeah, it’s amazing and I think what we’re learning here in the States with the work that you’re doing to humanize and I know that you’re talking about this globally. I just gave an example of that.

Jamey:                     Yep.

Debra:                     I think it is very powerful because I don’t think we meant to make things so complicated for our health care to be so expensive and confusing. But it is and then you start walking a traumatic experience like you said anytime you go into the hospital, it’s usually going to be traumatic.

Jamey:                     Yeah.

Debra:                     It gets very complicated and on top of it, Jamey, sometimes we don’t feel good. That’s why we’re at the hospital. So we’re not thinking clearly. And maybe we weren’t as organized as we should have been with our information and our … so there’s a lot of moving parts. I’ve walked this with my mom too. It’s funny as you were describing the patient a little while ago, that could have been my mom. Congestive heart failure. She has very serious diabetes. She’s kidney problems. She has a lot of health problems. What she does is she tried to avoid going to the hospital at all cost which is not always in her best interest.

                                    But she finds it’s just very complicated. And she’s always afraid that … she is afraid that her rights might get taken away from her and she might get labeled as demented or something like that so she’s actually a little paranoid of our medical system too.

Jamey:                     Right. Yeah. Yeah.

Debra:                     And there’s some truth to her fears. I can’t totally say, oh come on, you know?

Jamey:                     Right. Well no and it is a little bit sad and when you take a look at … if you were going to, I think we actually spoke about this on AXSChat too. But if you were to take a look at our health care system today and just say take all that clay and burn it to the ground and say, “You know what? Let’s rebuild this system,” it would not look like what we have.

Debra:                     No.

Jamey:                     So what you fight and a little of this is the inertia that happens in the status quo because there’s powerful lobbies in Washington for the insurance companies and the hospital and everyone’s angling for position as opposed to taking a step back and say, “Hey you know what, we have a real problem here to solve.” And so when companies like I do and what these companies at exponential medicine and conferences like that try and do is create that change from the inside out. To learn from what other industries have done but to really say, you know what? Health care is a little bit unique and when we say that that’s a problem because all of a sudden we’re giving an excuse to why we’re not moving forward in the way that we want. 

                                    And so that uniqueness tends to be a little bit of an obstacle but what we’re seeing right now and we saw this when there were a lot of Silicon Valley’s that tried to fix health care from the outside and it hasn’t exactly worked out the way they wanted to. But there’s some great companies from inside health care who are trying to push that ball forward and really innovate. And a lot of the new case studies that are coming out, again with artificial intelligence, taking a look at imaging and being able to diagnose a stroke more quickly than a physician could and all those different types of things.

                                    Those are really exciting and they should bring a lot of efficiency to the system. But I think the only way the system really evolves the way that it should is at the end of the day if our government because the government’s the largest payer, right, in the United States?

Debra:                     Right.

Jamey:                     And they’ve got to take a leadership role here in helping do it. And that’s why it is such a hot topic right now on the national scene. There was a article that came out on I think it was CNN and they did a exit poll and it was like what was the number one … and we’re going through some elections right now here in the United States for those of you who are abroad. The number one issue on the exit poll for voters was health care.

Debra:                     Yep. I believe it. And we just voted in Virginia and I’m just going to say I’m a happy person today.

Jamey:                     Yeah. Well good. Good.

Debra:                     So the diversity shone through in my humble opinion.

Jamey:                     And you know it was a welcome change from some of the stuff that’s going on right now.

Debra:                     Yeah, yeah. Let the people speak.

Jamey:                     Exactly.

Debra:                     I have two different questions for you.

Jamey:                     Fire away.

Debra:                     How are doctors responding to this and how are insurance companies responding to this?

Jamey:                     Doctors so far have been responding great because they feel like we’re in their corner. And these doctors are frustrated. They are just figuring out how to get through their shifts, right?

Debra:                     Right.

Jamey:                     How do we see-

Debra:                     And they want to make a difference.

Jamey:                     And they want to make a difference and they want to be an impact and they want to leave feeling like … and not every case is a good case so psychologically if you’re in an emergency department right, people unfortunately pass away on your and die or you see some very traumatic things. So from that standpoint it’s … they’re happy to have someone in their corner who’s saying, “Hey, thank you for making my life easier.”

                                    If you take a look at what happened with electronic medical records is an example. There’s this great technology out there that’s supposed to document all this patient data yet it’s intermediated the relationship between patient and provider because, Debra, instead of me looking me at you and saying, Debra, hand on your hand, what hurts today and let’s talk about this, I’m sitting over here and I’m typing. “Aha, okay, yeah, okay, good.”

Debra:                     It’s exactly right.

Jamey:                     I’m just going to enter your orders here, right? And so we actually have an industry-

Debra:                     Let me use the right code. Let me use the right code when I’m [inaudible 00:22:25].

Jamey:                     Right. And people refer to EMRs, there’s a hip-hop satirist whose name is ZDogg MD. I don’t know if you’ve come across any of his work but he does some tremendous things and he kind of created this whole rap around EMRs being a glorified cash register. Right, because that’s how they’re viewed. Now there is a ton of amazing data in their and the EMR companies are actually doing really great work. But the software needs to be easier to use and there’s a whole industry that’s come up around these electronic medical records called Scribes. And their job is to document the EMR for the physician so the physician can focus on the patient.

                                    And so you know when things like that happen that something’s wrong.

Debra:                     Yeah, we broke something.

Jamey:                     Yeah. Not enough good UIUX design and those types of things.

Debra:                     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jamey:                     But I think doctors are grateful and they see things moving in the right direction. When it comes to the insurance companies, I think they’re changing who they are as we speak.

Debra:                     Yes, I agree.

Jamey:                     I think there’s a force in this country that’s asking for either universal health care, single payer and something like that might be coming down the path in the future. But these insurance companies now are saying, “Well okay well what is our role in this industry?” I think they’re now looking at their role as case management, care management and starting to … If you take a look at United Health and Optum and what they’re trying to do, they’re becoming technology companies and big data companies so that they can better manage population health. That to me is where the insurance industry is heading.

Debra:                     Yeah, which I think is so interesting. Jamey, I don’t remember if I told you but I have a daughter that’s 30 years old but has Down’s Syndrome. Her insurance company recently, and she has insurance through our government because she has Down’s Syndrome. But they recently started providing her transportation. Her insurance company is providing her transportation to go back and forth to her day program. I did not expect it at all and I thought for sure that this wouldn’t go well. It’s really been very organized and I’m seeing exactly what you’re seeing.

                                    I have a lot of families that have children with autism and other intellectual disabilities especially and they’re finding that as well. Even thought things are a mess and we got a long way to go, I’m actually seeing progress.

Jamey:                     Yeah.

Debra:                     And I’m hopeful but what can some of these programs do for younger patients that have … like my daughter. My daughter can speak. Sometimes you don’t always understand what she’s saying but also my daughter because of her disability she will sometimes speak in riddles to you. She will say things like, “Mom, the baby’s kicking.” I’m like okay, you’re not pregnant but I assume that maybe you have a stomach ache. Maybe you have some gas in your stomach. And I know this but it would certainly confuse physicians. But it seems like the tools that you are building to provide better communications can help situations like that as well.

Jamey:                     Well absolutely. So let’s say that your daughter needed to go to a hospital and you weren’t there. Wouldn’t it be great if she had someone who could speak her language for all intents and purposes, who understood her condition who could be with her in the emergency department over a video if she couldn’t be there in person. Right? Some advocacy like that. The thing I loved about your story around transportation because I think it’s a [inaudible 00:25:55] it’s like a really great point, is that most people would be like, “What? Why are we giving people rides to these programs and why would our insurance company pay for it?”

Debra:                     Right. I was shocked.

Jamey:                     Right. It’s the downstream effect of these things in terms of improving outcomes, improving quality of life and keeping people healthy and engaged.

Debra:                     Yes. Socialization.

Jamey:                     Yeah, right. I mean everyone wants to be an active member of society and engage in our participant and if we’re isolating people, that has the opposite effect. And so I loved that story because it was all about, no, we’re getting her into a program. She’s with her friends. She’s learning. She’s doing X, Y and Z and it’s productive and constructive and I think that’s a beautiful thing and I think you’re going to start to see more of those things from insurance companies who are the thought leaders.

Debra:                     Yeah and I was so surprised. And I’ll give a shout out. It was Virginia Premier who is our provider. I was really surprised. And you’re right though. You nailed it all. And not only is she socializing and being with peers, they’re also volunteering so they do Meals on Wheels. They do things to support veterans, homeless people. I know and I love the idea of my daughter with a disability, giving back. Because she wants to she can so I am very .. I just feel very thankful that you’re in the world doing the work that you’re doing, Jamey, because I just I think we need to humanize a lot of things but I can’t think of anything to humanize that more than our health care.

Jamey:                     Yeah.

Debra:                     Tell the listeners and the viewers how to find out more about you Jamey and we can’t get off without talking about pink socks but first of all let’s talk about-

Jamey:                     We’ll do that. We’ll definitely do that.

Debra:                     Yeah. Let’s talk about you a bit more.

Jamey:                     One company’s website is You can follow me on Twitter or link up with me on LinkedIn. On LinkedIn you can just type in Jamey Edwards, J-A-M-E-Y and you will find me. I think it says father, husband, founder or something like that in my LinkedIn description. But I’ve been actually surprised at how engaged the community is on Twitter and so I’ve been really taking an active role there and speaking with other thought leaders on Twitter. I didn’t really get it at first. I was like 140 characters, how can we possibly do that? How could you get a thought across? But it’s been really, really effective and there are a lot of people there who are really trying to push health care in the right direction. If you go to Twitter and you type in @jameyedwards you can follow me. I love engaging there because one of my favorite things to do is to engage with someone on Twitter and then go meet them in person. There’s something about that that it just really helps out with the connectivity and people say how can technology humanize things, well that’s one of the ways.

                                    It’s like we take on online world into real life and really develop a relationship around something that could have started online. So I think that’s a really cool thing. But find me on Twitter. Find me on LinkedIn or come to the company website

Debra:                     Great. And after you were on AXSChat and we realized how much we had in common.

Jamey:                     Yeah.

Debra:                     You sent me and I should have him but you sent me a pair of pink socks.

Jamey:                     Hold on. Hold on.

Debra:                     You have your pink socks?

Jamey:                     Yeah, hold on. We got some right here.

Debra:                     I was so … yes, thank you. I was excited with the little mustaches on them.

Jamey:                     Yeah.

Debra:                     Now every time I travel to a different country, I take a picture with the pink socks.

Jamey:                     Nice.

Debra:                     Yeah. So tell us about the pink socks.

Jamey:                     Yeah, so pink socks and it started off as a really hashtag on Twitter. If you go to #pinksocks you will see a lot of people just kind of sharing the love on Twitter and being good to each other. I think that was kind of … Nick Adkins who was the original founder of it and he’s an advisor to us at Cloudbreak, his original intent, he had gone to Burning Man. He used to be a very dressed in a suit with a tie type of guy and he went to Burning Man and he came back changed. One of the main principals of Burning Man is centered around gifting. And so he started to go and he worked for a health care startup and so he showed up at HIMSS one year and started gifting these pink socks to people.

                                    And he was gifting them to health care thought leaders like Eric Topel and Jeroen Tas from Philips and I believe the princess in the country of somewhere in the Netherlands has pink socks. And now there’s thousands so it started off as that. It started as a way to have come common ground with people so you’d go up and they clearly stick out when you’re wearing them. If you see someone else who has them it’s like, “Oh, okay, I can go and say cool socks.”

Debra:                     You’re my tribe.

Jamey:                     Yeah. There’s a tribe there and we’re going to engage with each other in a really productive way. And so for me it’s been this eye-opening experience of just … it’s made me a lot more open. I walk up to people now and I’m like hey great socks and we have these great conversations. And it is what is for the person. Some people say it’s about health care innovation. Other people say it’s about empathy. Right now they are whatever symbol you want them to be but it’s just about trying to brighten someone’s day and see where that takes them.

Debra:                     I agree. And to me it’s about social change.

Jamey:                     Yeah.

Debra:                     I know that if I see the pink socks, there’s somebody that wants to make the world a better place.

Jamey:                     Yep.

Debra:                     And I am thankful for Nick Adkins and I’m very thankful for you for bringing me into the tribe because I often am retweeting and talking about it. I probably need to get a box of the pink socks and start handing them out myself.

Jamey:                     Hey we can make that happen without a problem. That’s the thing. We as a company will be at conferences, we just give them out because you can see that if someone’s not engaged, it engages them.

Debra:                     Oh yeah.

Jamey:                     And it’s become a movement and literally there’s been I think over 10,000 pairs of socks distributed across the globe. If you go to I think it’s that you can read up on the movement and see where the socks are and there’s blog posts there and people who are sharing their pictures of meeting up at conferences and lifting up their legs and showing their pink socks to everybody. It’s become quite the movement.

Debra:                     Yeah, it’s very exciting. So Jamey, thank you, thank you for being on the program today. Thank you for the work you’re doing. You’re changing lives and I’m really proud of you for it.

Jamey:                     Well Debra, thank you for getting the work out because the work you’re doing is super important that people understand this message and what it could possibly mean for everyone. So, thank you for having me on. I’m really grateful.

Debra:                     Yeah, thanks. So talk to everybody later. Bye.

Jamey:                     All right, bye, bye.


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You’ve been listening to Human Potential at Work with Debra Ruh. To learn more about Debra and how she can help your organization visit If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and you want to make sure that you don’t miss any future epsiodes, go to itunes and subscribe to Human Potential at Work. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll be back next week with a new episode.