What They’re Watching: Scott Suckow, American Liver Foundation

Scott Suckow is the Executive Director of the American Liver Foundation, Pacific Coast Division. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss incorporating single organ care into whole person care.

“Getting the message out about an organ — or something very narrow or specific — is difficult because we’re really dealing with a lot of competition between a lot of different body parts, a lot of different chronic health conditions. And some [conditions] are more chronic, some are more expensive, some are more prevalent. So, with the American Liver Foundation, what we’re looking at is how can we have a broader conversation where we can talk about liver health and wellness, as well as a more comprehensive look at whole person care? So, maybe it’s looking at metabolic syndrome disorders, which is really about the metabolic system — looking at diabetes, looking about fatty liver disease, looking at obesity, and having a broader conversation rather than just one about the liver.

You definitely get more participation from providers when you can speak broader and include them in the solutions. So, if I’m only talking about liver disease, although we might share the same patient and we might have solutions that will impact diabetes as well as impact fatty liver disease, if I’m only speaking narrow to my field then I don’t really have an opportunity to have participation and I can’t create change within the sector. If I can broaden the discussion and have more opportunity for engagement, then we can have a very different conversation where we can look at a solution for diabetes that could actually be the same solution for fatty liver disease. And in fact, 50% of the time we’re sharing the same patients, so why not work collaboratively and wrap services around these patients that we’re both serving? But rather than in one silo or the other silo, create more of a comprehensive patient-centered system.”