Journeys with JA

Our shared experiences at Jespersen & Associates, our journeys if you will, have most always been good, even noble at times. No doubt some could have been better but they all have one thing in common: The work and the people we are fortunate to work with continue to challenge, reward, and surprise us.

Justice Blackmun: "Old Number Three"

Harry A. Blackmun (1908–1999)

It was Harry A. Blackmun who fully opened the door to the reproductive rights of women across the country. I met him shortly after his retirement, on two occasions.

Justice Blackmun referred to himself as "Old Number Three" because he was President Richard Nixon's third choice for a Supreme Court vacancy. As he met his fellow judges for their first official photo session, he remembered thinking, “What am I doing here?”

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Merle Hoffman: Choices

My first impression of Merle Hoffman was that Joan Rivers had become an advocate for women’s rights—they had a lot in common. The times when I had the chance to work with Merle, or interview her, she was so outspoken that I could only nod my head from time to time, and take copious notes.  

Her life took her from classical piano prodigy at Carnegie Hall to the forefront (and front lines) of women’s rights, here and abroad.

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Wake up and Smell the Coffee!

How do you inspire gynecologists to attend a 6:00 AM breakfast symposium? Our client Hologic approached JA with an ambitious concept for the daunting time slot—a self-guided, interactive program where attendees equipped with audio headsets visit different stations, choosing their own “learning adventure.”

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Remembering Trudy

Trudy L. Bush, PhD, MHS (1949–2001)

With any new year, we like to take a moment to reflect back on those who have left us. This year, however, I want to reflect back a little longer, over the past 20 years of my work in medical education, to tell you about some of the people who I was fortunate enough to know.

The first is Dr. Trudy L. Bush.

“Every time we do a study or write a new guideline, it needs to be evaluated in the context of all the studies that came before. New findings and guidelines bring us closer to the truth but we may never reach it entirely.”

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Lights, Camera, Action!

At JA, we love a challenge. 

When longtime client APGO approached us about making a short video to both celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Academic Scholars and Leaders Program and announce an important new funding initiative, we were intrigued.

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Elizabeth DeJure Wood: Designer, Illustrator, Occasional Plumber

Our first office in Boston was on the top floor of an old warehouse on Congress Street in the Fort Point neighborhood. Our loft space had brick walls, massive wood beams, factory wood floors, and a steam heating system that constantly thumped, clanged, hissed, and made the office boiling hot or bitterly cold during the winter. That’s all gone now, of course, replaced by several luxury condo developments.

Our last winter in the building, on one of the colder mornings in February, I went down the hall to the shared bathroom to get more water for the coffee maker. Just outside the bathroom, a rickety ladder had been set up. At the top, a woman, not dressed as a plumber, was fiddling with some valves. After some nervous laughter, and a grunt as the release valve opened, you could hear the steam flowing once again. “There,” said the woman, somewhat surprised, “I think it might get better now.”

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New UI CME Program Launch

Is it weird to say that urinary incontinence is a topic near and dear to my heart? Probably. But it doesn’t make it any less true.

Perhaps it’s because I’m pregnant with my third child and frequenting bathrooms all too often. But knowing that so many women suffer from UI symptoms at some point in their lives and don’t talk to their clinicians about it makes me sad. When the opportunity arose to do a program educating clinicians about how important it is to start a conversation about UI with their patients, we at JA jumped on it. The program launched last month, and we hope clinicians take the minute or two to ask their patients about it as a result. After all, the first step toward improving a patient’s quality of life might just be to start a conversation.

Surfing to the March

"You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf."

What do you do when things go wrong; when the best laid plans are turned upside down? As soon as the Women’s March in Washington was announced, Carrie, Caitlin and I excitedly made plans to go. Details quickly fell into place—Carrie’s mom and a friend were going, so we decided to make it a party of five, and take a round-trip Rally Bus from Stamford.

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Racing our Concrete Canoe

“Sign up on the bulletin board!” shouted the guy walking down a corridor in Riggs Hall, waving a flyer at me.  I was a junior civil engineering major at Clemson University, and I was hooked.  Build and race a concrete canoe in competition with my classmates?  Like many of the opportunities in my life, this one was just too tempting to pass up.  For Civil Engineering types, the event, born out of intramural races held in the 60s, is the equivalent of the America’s Cup.

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Photos: Heather Houston

It’s a special occasion when everyone from JA is under one roof, and to celebrate we kicked off the holidays with a party/cooking class at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, just a few blocks from our office.

With family and friends in tow, and under the expert (and patient) tutelage of our chef and instructor Jerrod Perry, we peeled, diced, toasted, roasted, sautéed, seared, deglazed, puréed, caramelized, stir-fried, baked, marinated and mashed our way through an impressive menu:

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Photo: Mark Jespersen

What makes a good story? Two things come to mind: a topic that interests me and writing that's so good, I can’t help but read, listen, or watch all the way to the end, no matter how long it takes.

In advertising, you can write and say just about anything you want. People understand what you are hinting at, or trying to sell. And for years I enjoyed that freedom, winning awards for clever headlines that made people think, laugh, and buy all kinds of stuff.

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Welcome to Journeys with JA

At JA we treasure inspiring and unique stories, whether we’re the storytellers or the audience. Every day, our work and the people we work with provide challenges, rewards, and surprises. We look forward to sharing some of our stories with you here. Thanks for joining us.