When I was planning my speech content for the 2017 Planetree International Conference on Patient-Centered Care in Baltimore, I didn’t realize that the delivery was going to be a podcasted interview with Matt Cavallo, founder of the Patient Activation Network.
As I said in my previous blog post, the people I met at the conference were such gifts to me. Meeting Matt was one of the biggest, going far beyond the benefits of being a guest on his popular podcast. Matt is more than a masterful interviewer; he also has years of experience on the difficult road of chronic illness and being a patient. He knows. He listens, he shares and he changes lives because of what he has faced—and continues to face—daily.
Matt’s reason for being at the conference was because he believes: “The patient should have a seat at the table in the management of their own care.” Through his endeavors, he helps build and foster confidence through sharing the stories of people who have become “activated.”
I know he was exhausted the day he interviewed me. In addition to having arrived late the night before due to a hectic travel and speaking schedule, he was also a presenter and exhibitor at the conference. Despite all, he still gave me, and every other interviewee, 100% of his attention and consideration.
Matt Cavallo is an Inspirational Speaker, Author and Clinical Educator who is candid about not allowing the challenges of his disease to slow him down on his mission to help others.
“At age twenty-eight, Matt Cavallo, MPH was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Seemingly overnight, he went from a fully-functioning, healthy man to someone who was numb from the waist down and unable to walk. As a result of his diagnosis, Matt has dedicated his life, education and career to uplifting the patient experience. Matt went on to achieve his Masters of Public Health Administration and has been using his personal story to facilitate positive change across the care continuum.”
His book, "The Dog Story: A Journey into a New Life with Multiple Sclerosis" chronicles Matt’s journey of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and his struggle to not only regain his physical health, but also to regain the inner strength needed to fight this chronic illness. It is a story of hope, love, healing and finding “man’s best friend.”
I am so delighted to include Matt on my list of inspirational people I am humbled and fortunate to know.