The Redox Podcast 13: Regina Holliday and the Walking Gallery

March 5, 2020
Niko Skievaski President & Co-Founder

“He was hospitalized for tests and from that point on he was continuously hospitalized in five facilities over 11 weeks. And the twelfth week he came home to die. During that process, I saw how incredibly dysfunctional our healthcare system is.” 

Regina Holliday

Key Moments

02:11 – Regina’s shocking experience trying to access her husband’s patient data 
04:38 – The “horrific” conditions that fueled her advocacy
06:22 – An AMA meeting attendee asks for a painted jacket – the start of the Walking Gallery
10:40 – Having access to data is empowering for the patient
18:51 – The “ripple” impact of the Walking Gallery
21:07 – How can people get a painted jacket?
23:32 – If you see someone wearing a Walking Gallery jacket, feel free to ask the person their story

Fred Holliday was diagnosed with metastatic kidney cancer in 2010. At one point, his wife Regina asked to see Fred’s medical records. Fred and Regina were astonished by what they experienced – how difficult, and in some cases impossible, it was to access crucial personal health data. 

Fred passed away in mid-June of that year, at only 39 years old. In one of his final messages, he passed a handwritten note to his wife that read, “Go After Them Regina, Love Fred.” 

As an artist, Regina was able to express her grief and frustration through her paintings. She was invited to create a mural on the back of a gas station on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC. She titled the piece “73 Cents,” because that was the quoted price per page for Fred’s paper medical record. Less than a month after beginning the mural, Regina was talking to members of the US Senate and to reporters around the world. The painting, which can still be seen today in the nation’s capital, helped make patient access to data become a core measure in the Meaningful Use legislation in 2010.

This tragic experience gave birth to “The Walking Gallery.” After the mural became widely known, Regina began painting patient and family stories on the back of jackets and blazers. These stories often come from a place of deep pain; such as the death of a loved one or a chronic condition that they a patient battles every day.   

There are now 466 members wearing jackets painted by 52 artists. Regina herself has painted over 400 jackets! At HIMSS20 next week – and other healthcare events – you’ll see members of the Walking Gallery strolling around the conference.

In this episode of the Redox Podcast, I spoke with Regina Holliday about the Walking Gallery and her ongoing quest to ensure patients and families can access data when they need it.

I want to sincerely thank Regina for taking the time to share her story. We are all inspired by the work she is doing to spread her message of patient empowerment and inclusion in healthcare decision making around the world.

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