The Lybbaverse  

Dylan & Deitch: contemporary art and the health of our culture


Art enriches our lives by helping us connect with each other and the world around us. Often, art evokes empathy and a sense of community. Art therapy can reduce stress, help resolve conflict and improve interpersonal communication. Not only does art enhance our experience of the world, it is an essential element of our wellbeing.

In 2011, Lybba and Wondros founder Jesse Dylan attended “Art in the Streets,” an exhibit about street art at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Fascinated by the exhibit and the new audience of museum-goers it drew, Dylan sought out the exhibit’s curator, Jeffrey Deitch, then Director of MOCA. The film above is Deitch’s reflection on art as a fundamental part of our society and museums as a forum for social experiences.

Says Dylan, “'Art in the Streets was inclusive, challenging, different and fun. It compelled intense feelings from ardent fans, vocal critics in the press and non-expert attendees, like me. My fascination with the exhibition led me to its curator—Jeffrey Deitch—whose work on this particular installation sparked a public debate about the merits of street art and the philosophical direction of our art institutions. Attendees were left to wonder: what do art and art museums mean in the 21st century?

"I believe we will look back at Jeffrey Deitch's tenure at MOCA as a high point for culture in Los Angeles. At his core was the wish to make known what is unknown: to reveal. That is his legacy in Los Angeles and the reason I felt compelled to interview him in the film."

How does art impact your life?

Let’s get healthier together


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Health is a team effort involving patients, families, care teams and researchers. It isn’t a one-way conversation in which a doctor makes a decision that a patient, without question, accepts.

Healthier Together is a campaign that encourages a collaborative approach to healthcare. Collaborative care unites the knowledge of patients and families, nurses and doctors, pharmacists and researchers in order to gain a fuller picture of each patient’s health. The result? Superior care for everyone.

Networks like ImproveCareNow are at the forefront of this new model of care. ImproveCareNow uses collaboration and data to drive improvements in the care and health of kids with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In partnership with ImproveCareNow, Lybba has built Healthier Together to support collaborative care. We’re collecting statements and stories in support of such care, and to demonstrate the value of networks like ImproveCareNow —not just for kids with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, but for all patients with chronic illnesses.

Our goal is to collect 1000 statements by September 15. Your voice will help change the way we think about healthcare in America!

We need your voice. Visit today and take a moment to share your story about how collaborative care has helped you or a loved one. 

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Like @Healthier2gether on Facebook
Follow @Healthy2gether on Twitter

How Dr. Nick’s cancer diagnosis spurred a weight-loss movement


MyBigFatGreekDietLast year, I met with Dr. Nick Yphantides in San Diego to discuss regional access to medical data, which led to a mention of the effectiveness of crowdsourcing his diet strategy. What emerged was this story of how he inadvertently created a flourishing social network by simply committing to a new approach to his own diet and life, and sharing it with others.

In 2001, Dr. Nick Yphantides was a 500-pound physician practicing what he calls board-certified medical hypocrisy“Here I was, constantly having to tell people do as I say not as I do,” he recalls.

Initially, being obese seemed almost an asset. He explains, “I don’t want to say I was obese on purpose, but I rationalized my obesity by having this jovial larger-than-life disposition. I was this jolly, generous-hearted, big, comfortable, 500-pound binky to my community." 

He admits making it part of his reputation and image, "When I ran for public office weighing nearly 500 pounds, my campaign slogan was ‘Big problems need big solutions. Vote for Dr. Nick the big man for the big job.’"

Now, 12 years later, Dr. Nick is known as a fit 200-pound physician, author and creator of an online social network for weight loss,

But how did he get here?

It all started, suddenly and tragically, with a cancer diagnosis.

Dr. Nick reveals, “Everything came crashing down when, completely unrelated to my weight, I was diagnosed with cancer. It was cancer that finally connected the silos of my heart and my mind--because they were silos; you don’t need to tell me as a doctor, intellectually, that being so unfit was unhealthy for me."

He finally realized he was taking his health for granted by rationalizing his obesity, something he actually could control, as opposed to a cancer diagnosis, which he could not. This prompted him to change the things he was able to, and to commit to being personally responsible for his own health.

The first thing he did was visit baseball stadiums.

Most people would not equate visiting baseball stadiums with weight loss. Yet, Dr. Nick had always loved baseball and decided to make it part of his road trip back to health. He took his medically guided diet plan across the country, visiting all the major stadiums and shedding pounds along the way.  

Little did he know that he would bring legions of baseball fans with him on his personal quest. He says, “There were so many people that had an interest in my journey that I basically set up a website and started doing weekly updates and posting pictures.” Dr. Nick rapidly gained thousands of followers.

As the world watched, it made him even more committed to his goal. He continues, “I was responsible to the community, and what I received was support and encouragement that facilitated my transformation."

Then came the book. 

Dr. Nick published My Big Fat Greek Diet, and with that, his online community exploded into the bonafide social network

“That’s really how the whole thing started,” says Dr. Nick. “It wasn’t premeditated. I didn't say, ‘Oh, I want to start an online social network for weight loss.' It came as a result of people emailing me and asking for help and saying ‘Dr. Nick, how do I get support, encouragement and accountability in my life?’”

He brings these lessons to his medical practice and tells people, "When you come see Dr. Nick, you never get a finger waving in your face." He's not only being human but gracious because, according to him, he hasn't always been in the position to have a white-lab-coat superiority complex.

He concludes, "I personally wish that we in healthcare would be willing to be more genuine with our patients. I don’t want to be a healer as much as I want to be an activator.”

C3N: a living, breathing, learning healthcare system



Chronic illness harms too many and costs too much. The current health system encourages clinicians to focus on individual incidences of illness rather than continuous, collaborative care. The result: while most Americans have at least one chronic condition, we receive only about 50% of the care we need.

That’s why Lybba has joined with the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence and ImproveCareNow to create C3N, a new model for devising and testing innovations in clinical care and research.

A founding member of C3N, Lybba is working with nearly 50 pediatric gastrointestinal clinics nationwide to connect patients and clinicians with real-time data. To start, C3N aims to radically improve care for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, then replicate the model for all chronic illnesses.

Lybba is designing tools that help patients track their health between appointments, visualize their health over time via clear and engaging graphics, more easily communicate with their physicians using online and mobile applications and even choose to share their medical data with other patients and researchers. By increasing patient engagement, C3N can transform the experience and outcomes of illness, and accelerate the discovery and application of new knowledge.

Our Lybba design process for C3N began with ethnographic research and persona development, to identify user goals and the ecosystem in which the product would be used. Inspired by the Wagner chronic care model and based on our research, we created representative patient personas and scenarios. We then selected successful prototypes, from dozens, that were identified as most useful given user goals, taking the mystery out of lab results.

Funding for Lybba’s C3N efforts has come from the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,The California Endowment and individual donors. We need your support to extend the benefits of C3N to even more patient communities.

#Project Announcement: UCLA Center for World Health


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Lybba is pleased to be collaborating with the UCLA Center for World Health, to spread the word about their important work. We’re helping them effectively communicate the essence of their organization and create a plan for their website.

A joint effort of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCLA Health System, the Center for World Health’s mission is to improve the health of people and communities throughout the world through education, research, and service. 

We look forward to working with the faculty and staff, to convey their vision of making UCLA a recognized global leader in health education and research, with solid international partnerships and a reputation for excellence in improving the health of the world’s people.

Check back for project updates.