What Matters to You

The Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation is spearheading the What Matters to You awareness-building effort in Sonoma County. The idea is to simply ask our patients and clients, “What matters to you?” By using common language and tools to engage the individuals we serve, we ensure that they always hear a common message: we want to relate our work to what matters to you. For example, Imagine YOU is an innovative tool that engages patients on a personal level, helping them clarify and work with what matters to them.

Asking the question “What matters to you?” really creates a heartfelt question. It exudes dignity for the client.
One leader's vision for integrating the What Matters to You approach into her organization, at the launch of the Sonoma County What Matters Coalition

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.

IMCF is leading the effort to bring awareness of the What Matters approach to both community agencies and health care organizations in Northern California. We have begun building the What Matters Coalition, 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

What Matters Sonoma County Coalition

Join the growing group of organizations, agencies, and individuals committed to exploring What Matters in their work:

  • Alliance Medical Clinic Healdsburg
  • VOICES/On the Move – Amber Twitchell
  • MyCareMyPlan – Steering Committee
  • Sonoma Valley Hospital – Kelly Mather, CEO
  • Cancer Care Sonoma at Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation
  • Sonoma Valley Roundtable: Health Action Chapter
  • Sebastopol/Gravenstein Health Action Chapter
  • Sutter Santa Rosa Oncology Services
  • Sonoma Valley Community Health Center
  • St. Joseph Health Community Benefit
  • Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital
  • Sonoma County Library’s Wellness Education Program
  • Kimberley Caldewey, PA, MPH
  • Deborah I. Wolff-Baker, MSN, ACHPN, FNP-BC
  • Lynn Mortensen, MD – Kaiser Permanente Family Physician
  • Iliani Matisse, MA, CPCC – Health Coach
  • Marcy Baskin, CSA – Elder Care Coordinator
  • Integrative Medical Clinic of Santa Rosa
  • Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation: Imagine YOU® Project

To join this effort and add your name or organization, please contact us:

Dr. Ellen Barnett, MD, PhD
707.953.4818 (mobile)
Cynthia Calmenson, Executive Director
707.623.0151 (mobile/text)

To hear other leaders share their ideas and visions for integrating What Matters to You into their organizations, see the videos from our Coalition launch on our YouTube channel.