Chris McCarthy

Designing Better Health And Wellness For Young People

Q&A With Chris McCarthy

What attracted you to the BIF Summit?

Kat! (Kat Esser, Director of BIF’s Patient Experience Lab). Honestly, I hadn’t heard of this Summit. However, once Kat described what it is was, I was thrilled to be invited. Storytelling is a key theme this year for my organization, Innovation Learning Network (

Tell us a just a bit about the subject of your BIF Summit story.

I will be weaving together the windy path from public health researcher to design leader, with a few serendipity stops along the way, and a dollop of humble pie.

What, to you, is the value of sharing stories?

A friend at Kaiser Permanente would chant, "no stories without data, and no data without stories.” It’s crystal clear to me that stories are fundamental for insight and imagination. They help us digest and synthesize the complexity around us.

Do you have a motto, or “words to live by”? If so, what is it?

Be intellectually prepared for the opportunities that come your way.

What one thing (or more, if you like) would you like Summit attendees to know about you before they hear your story?

I am a closet, capital “I” introvert, analytical and process-oriented, despite my extraverted life.

I live on the quietest street in the noisiest San Francisco neighborhood, with Rhonda, my cat of 16 years, and my fiancé Izac, who is also in healthcare design.

The one and only time I’ve done drag, the photo appeared in a history book, a pop magazine, and was the main image for the Provincetown Tourist Bureau brochure.

Join us at #BIF2018