Have you had a friend or family member who was diagnosed with a serious illness that could not be cured? Did their disease progress and their symptoms persist despite multiple doctor and hospital visits, tests and prescriptions? Were you frustrated that a health care system that costs $3.3 trillion per year couldn’t effectively manage or cure the disease?
That was where I found myself in 2016 as I was leading the Pay for Success financing program for the Institute for Child Success, helping cities and states study the feasibility of using PFS financing to expand successful early childhood programs. My brother Eric was diagnosed with a disease called pancreatitis, a degenerative disease with no known cure. I watched him lose weight and suffer from excruciating, debilitating pain.
After figuring out where the pancreas is and what it does, he and I set out to understand why there is no effective treatment for a disease that affects about 150,000 people in the US, including approximately 10,000 children. Here’s what we learned:Read More