On the Road Again: Health 2.0 Motorcycle Tour

In "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," Robert Pirsig writes about the different reactions  to our experiences living with modern technology, which he describes as romantic, classic, and a third and completely separate element and perspective, which he calls Quality.

I’m finding that there is a bit of all three in my Health 2.0 motorcycle tour and the interviews along the way. It’s a curious revelation, and I’m somewhat awestruck by the relevance of his musings about how we lived during the 1970’s to our situation here in the new century with health, wellness, and the Internet.

The journey from Chicago, where I picked up my slightly used 2007
Honda Goldwing from Cecil, a straight up guy who works for a local bus
company, is clear weather traveling, filled with blue skies and very

In the hills past Nashville I encountered a traffic back-up due to a
tractor trailer that has overturned, and stopped under a train bridge
where other motorcyclists parked to wait out the delay.

I chatted
for a while with two guys from Boston who were on BMWs and traveling south to the Florida
Keys despite the hurricanes, and another guy who is making his
way back to Indiana after a two month trip through Alaska. He
suffered several break downs, and is very much looking forward to
getting home.

I know the feeling. My bike is handling just fine, a
very smooth and comfortable ride, but I will have to make a few minor
adjustments, like a slightly taller windshield. I’ll worry about that
when I get back to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Right now I have other
things on my mind, like my interviews and filming in Chattanooga.

It might not be expected that the quiet, southern town of Chattanooga, Tennessee, nestled in the hills up against a bend in the Tennessee River, would be a place where Health 2.0 is alive and thriving. But as my interviews with Jana Skewes, CEO of Shared Health, Heather Stanfield, a nurse practitioner at a CVS MinuteClinic, and Christopher Parks, CEO of Change:Healthcare, clearly illustrate, Health 2.0 is just as important here as anywhere else in the country. In fact, it’s vibrant.

In their different and very separate ways, all three Tennessee interviewees told me that people are ready for change in the way health care is delivered, and that Health 2.0 is moving from the margins to the mainstream. Getting my cholesterol and HDL checked at the local CVS MinuteClinic seems routine, but transferring my MinuteClinic medical record, lab results and all, to my Google Heath account with a few keystrokes of the computer? Well, in Chattanooga, that’s becoming routine, too.Working with the film crew from ScribeMedia is a pleasure. What a fine and hard working group they are! After our interviews for the day, I shared a glass of wine at the Hilton Garden Inn in Chattanooga with Jason and Heather. We were tired, but pleased with the day’s shoot. Then, they’re off to their rooms to download film files, and I’m out to the parking lot to change the oil on the Goldwing, check the coolant level and tire pressures, and prepare for tomorrow’s drive across the Smokey Mountains and back home to North Carolina. What a great country.

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  1. You go David!!!! The Rockin’ Doc. from NC.. we love you from way way back in the old Future Health Care Days…. Even though sometimes my eyes would roll back in my head when you got to pontificating about Health Care reform.. on some level I did get it!!!!…… I truly enjoyed working for you and am so happy to see you thriving and rollin’ on in your new bike…..she is beautiful!!!……..See you soon for brunch here at Eagle Springs Farm..OK??? May the Protective Angels travel all around you!!! Always with Love and Light… Michelle