The Distiller is a series of conversations with people from all walks of life about how we find meaningful work, and how we find meaning in the work we do. Recorded on-location, and generally with a drink in hand, The Distiller explores the work that defines our lives, and how we think about that work.
Drs. Eleanor Glass & Amy Mechley On The Value Of Direct Primary Care
What is Direct Primary Care?
Doctors Amy Mechley and Eleanor Glass are the owners of Integrative Family Care, a “Direct Primary Care” family clinic in Cincinnati. If you’re not familiar with the concept of Direct Primary Care, it’s a somewhat new model of providing care directly to patients without going through the hassle of insurance company billing, co-payments, and headaches. It’s one of a handful of non-traditional (or some would say “more traditional”) approaches that put patients first, and are actually changing the face of healthcare.
Recording our first “virtual’ episode with Doctors Eleanor Glass (top left) and Amy Mechley (bottom) of Direct Primary Care practice “Integrative Family Care” in Cincinnati, Ohio.
We spoke with Doctor Glass And Doctor Mechley about the factors that led them to create Integrative Family Care, and their frustrations with the more mainstream models. Both doctors studied at the University of Cincinnati and were in typical practice before starting IFC. For Dr. Mechley, she described a long career in medicine that was rapidly becoming more about statistics and insurance company numbers than actual care. Dr. Glass was relatively new to the field but was already experiencing burnout due to high patient volumes, and feeling like she wasn’t doing as much real good as she imagined.
Providing real care, in a new model.
For both doctors, the move to a Direct Primary Care model had risks. It was uncharted territory, and the financial risk was much more akin to a startup than typical private practice. But the benefits have far outweighed the potential negatives. For patients, those benefits include greater access to the doctors, a higher standard of regular care, longer in-person visits, and lower out-of-pocket costs for things like lab tests and basic care.
To learn more about IFC, and about Dr. M and Dr. G, check out the links and information below. They regularly hold information sessions about the Direct Primary Care model, and about IFC. And you can learn more, and get a sense for the practice, on the IFC Facebook and Instagram pages as well. And yes, they are accepting new patients… these could be your doctors!
Integrative Family Care Links & Info
* Integrative Family Care – IFCDirect.com* Facebook: /ifcdirect* Instagram: @ifcdirect
Helpful info from the Docs.
At the end of our conversation Dr. Glass mentioned the “Glitter” story of keeping your house and your family protected. Here’s that video:
We also talked about the Weekly Updates the doctors are sending out. Here’s a link to the latest email update, dated March 27, 2020 (click on the image below to open the email update in a new window):
Communications Pro Lauren Worley On The Power of Relentless Optimism
Lauren Worley is “all-in” on everything she does.
Lauren Worley has perhaps the most immediately impressive resume of anyone we’ve had on the show so far. Press Secretary for NASA. Global Talent Lead for Bono’s ONE Campaign. High-profile jobs in political strategy and public education. And most recently, Lauren has just taken a job as the Global Newsroom Leader for P&G. For Lauren the common thread is finding a job, a cause, an organization where she can bring the full force of her energy and experience to bear. Lauren looks for places her “all-in” nature can find challenges big enough to take on.
Talking with P&G Global Newsroom Leader Lauren Worley at Cherbourg Cyprus Bakery
In any job where you’re writing or communicating on behalf of someone else, it can be challenging to find space for your own narrative. Lauren’s extroverted nature, and her insatiable curiosity have the effect of allowing her to fully inhabit someone else’s story and make it her own. And her obvious passion and energy lend an authenticity to her work that make her impressive resume unsurprising. After all, how could anyone not want that combination working on behalf of their brand, or organization?
Lauren Worley Links & Information
* LinkedIn: /laurenbworley/* Twitter: @spacelauren* Lauren’s Creative Mornings talk from 2015, titled “Why Do We Explore?”
And our location for this episode – Cherbourg Cyprus Bakery. Cherbourg Cyprus is an amazing gluten, nut, and dye-free bakery in Cincinnati’s Over The Rhine neighborhood, just off the historical Findlay Market square.
* CherbourgCyprus.com* Facebook: /cherbourgcyprus/* Instagram: @cherbourgcyprus
The Mary Poppins approach to career planning
Lauren hearkens to the fictitious nanny as someone who was 100% present at all times. But once the job was done, she had no qualms about moving on to the next task, or family, or town. For those of us who haven’t been able to find a single role, or company, or job to hang our “vocation” hat on, that’s a reassuring message.
For some people work is inherently itinerant, and the goal is to find ways to bring your whole self to what you’re doing at the time. That’s a refreshing break from the narrative of continuity, predictability, and (supposed) security that we’re often made to believe are the only acceptable definitions of career success. Lauren Worley’s journey is in inspiration that we’ll continue to watch and enjoy.
Photos: Lauren Worley at Cherbourg Cyprus Bakery
Industrial Designer Colin Nourie On Staying Close To The Details
Colin Nourie designs environments that make work happen.
Colin designs systems furniture – furniture for large offices and industrial installations. On the surface it might seem straightforward: design furniture for professional settings with a few customizable options. But when you get into the details you see how infinitely complicated it is. Colin Nourie designs systems that facilitate human interaction and collaboration.
His work is based on research about human behavior, and the office systems he designs are specifically designed around the kinds of behaviors that result in the best work. For a creative office setting that might mean desks and office furniture that allows people to collaborate easily. It’s about spaces and settings where people can gather comfortably. But it’s also how Colin manages and hides the details to make those systems elegant and beautiful. Colin seamlessly integrates technology and infrastructure to arrive at a perfect combination of form and function.
Colin Nourie Links & Information
* www.CollectiveTen.com* Instagram: @collectiveten and @colinnourie* Twitter: @collectiveten and @colinnourie
And our location for this episode: Red Feather Kitchen
* RedFeatherKitchen.com* Facebook: /redfeatherkitchen* Instagram: @redfeatherkitchen* Twitter: @RedFeatherCincy
Designing your work, designing your life
Colin describes how design as an ethos has always been a part of his life. But although industrial design was in the plan for him pretty early, starting your own firm is an entirely different thing. Colin founded his industrial design firm Collective Ten just about a decade ago. And alongside his growth as a designer he’s had to chart a course as a consultant and business owner. Colin talked at length about the opportunities and challenges of going out on his own. He also described the desire to really see what he could do as a designer, and the knowledge that he’d never really know if he didn’t take the leap.
It’s obvious now that the leap worked out for him. Colin Nourie continues to win awards and to solidify his name as a designer of renown. And obviously with clients like Herman Miller, Geiger, and Steelcase,
Food & Dining Writer Polly Campbell On The Meaning In A Good Meal
Polly Campbell is more than just a restaurant critic.
As the food & dining writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Polly Campbell covers anything and everything going on in Cincinnati that has to do with restaurants and food culture. That means covering trends, and writing about food and dining events. And, yes, it means reviewing restaurants and helping people find great food in town. Polly’s bio at the Cincinnati Enquirer website says she “helps people find good places to eat, and tells stories about the people who feed us.“
A sampling of Polly’s recent articles paints a picture of her work. There’s an article on the impact food delivery is having on local dining. A piece on how Cincinnati restaurant group Thunderdome creates consistently great places. Under reviews, Polly has a guide to “Ordering like a pro” at Thunderdome’s new Italian restaurant. And a wonderful year-end list of the best things Polly ate in 2019. It’s easy to understand why Cincinnati readers think of Polly as their own trusted resource for finding the best food in town. And she doesn’t disappoint.
Polly Campbell – Links & Information
* Polly Campbell at The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati.com)* Twitter: @BeingPolly* Polly Campbell on Facebook* Mom’n’Em Coffee & Wine* Facebook: /momnemcoffee* Instagram: @momnemcoffee
Finding Your Work in Surprising Places
But Polly never set out to be a journalist, much less a food & dining writer. After all… how would someone actually set out to do that? How do you get Polly’s job?
VA Psychologist Brandon Irvin On Seeing The Humanity Behind Illness
Brandon Irvin meets mental illness with compassion every day.
In order to understand the work Brandon Irvin does, it’s important to first understand how the patient population he treats is different from other environments. It’s no overstatement to say that Brandon’s patients are the “sickest of the sick” in terms of their mental health. After all, in order to qualify for mental health services through the V.A., veterans must be in pretty dire need – posing a danger either to themselves or others. That means that the patients Brandon sees are generally experiencing pretty dramatic degrees of mental illness. As he said when we talked, the pathway to get to him is pretty much always through the emergency room.
For most of us without Brandon’s training, coming into contact with people dealing with this degree of mental illness is frightening. But talking with Brandon you see how treating mental illness is not just about having the skills to help people. It’s about having the insight and the training to be able to see the person behind the illness. To respond to and provide space for the true humanity of the person to come through. And it’s easy to imagine how just that gesture can be so healing to people who see nothing but fear in the eyes of others all day long.
Episode 47 – Brandon Irvin Links & Information
* Durham, NC VA* Facebook: /VADurham* Brandon Irvin LinkedIn* Kingfisher Durham, NC* Facebook: /kingfisherdurm* Instagram: @kingfisherdurm* Twitter: @kingfisherdurm
Providing a safety net for those who need it most.
It takes a unique kind of person to do this work. In fact it takes a particular kind of person to get into this work in the first place. Brandon talked about both the practical and philosophical reasons for entering the field of psychology, and what he’s learned about himself along the way.
We knew learning about Brandon’s work would be interesting. But what we may not have anticipated was the degree we came away from this conversation with deep gratitude. The people Brandon serves need his help desperately. He, and the other physicians at the Durham VA and in similar environments across the United States, are doing some of the most meaningful work we can imagine.
Brandon Irvin at Kingfisher – Durham, North Carolina
Happen Inc. Founder Tommy Rueff Brings Families Together Through Creativity
Tommy Rueff didn’t set out to run a community non-profit.
Four years after Tommy Rueff to Cincinnati from Chicago to start an advertising agency, a chance event changed his life and pointed him in the direction of his life’s work. He wasn’t looking for a change. He wasn’t even unhappy in his work. But inviting a group of local schoolkids into his personal art studio opened a door, and Tommy chose to walk through it. It wasn’t an overnight shift, but twenty years later the organization that formed that night is still serving Cincinnati families with shared creative experiences that truly change lives.
Happen Inc. and Toy-Lab at the corner of Chase and Hamilton in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Happen Inc., along with the sister organization Toy-Lab, sits at the corner of Hamilton and Chase avenues in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood. Day after day, week after week, kids stream in for events, workshops, concerts, parties. One look at the Happen Inc. event calendar and you see the diversity of programs and, more importantly the joy, that Happen brings to Cincinnati’s most ethnically and economically diverse neighborhood. For twenty years Tommy Rueff has been at the heart of that activity, and he’s going strong.
Tommy Rueff & Happen Inc. Links and Information
* The Happen Inc. Website* Happen’s Toy-Lab* Facebook: /happeninc* Twitter: @happennorthside* Tēla Bar & Kitchen* Facebook: /telabandk
Twenty Years of Happen, and Counting
The most striking thing about sitting with Tommy Rueff is how little attention he gives to the topics of most work conversations. Reputation, career ladders…Tommy’s focused on the present. It’s not that he’s not aware of that world. He’s just too busy working to pay much attention to it. He’s figuring out how to get tomorrow’s project done, how to take care of the kids who’ll be making Christmas decorations at Happen this weekend. Sure there have been times over the years where it seemed like Happen was ready to “blow up” (in both good and bad ways). Tommy’s work has been recognized far and wide, and he’s had some pretty heady encounters as a result. But the mission of Happen hasn’t changed and, if anything, over the years those brushes with fame have focused him on what Happen is really all about.
Happen Inc. Founder Tommy Rueff inside the Happen Inc. space.
Before the recession Happen had a large staff,
Brings the humanity work
Brandon is a masterful interviewer and his soothing voice is a pleasure to listen to. He draws out unexpected insights from his guests in a way that really helps you connect with them. I think this is an exceptional podcast because Brandon is able to interview a variety of seniority levels, industries, job types, and personalities, and yet every episode gives you very thoughtful insights that you can take into your work life. The production quality is fantastic and its very approachable.
Excited to have found this local podcast
I love this podcast . I’m so happy to have found it . Always encouraging to what ever vocation you have been given . It’s timely and local for me living in the Cincy Metro . Bravo !
I highly recommend this podcast. Love the variety presented. Brandon has a really lovely, easygoing manner and is clearly intelligent and interested in his guests.