Casey Quinlan blends her background in network news - Hunter Thompson's "cheap plastic hallway, where pimps and thieves run wild, and good [wo]men die like dogs" - and standup comedy to inform her health policy work.
She writes, she speaks, she facilitates the Festivus Airing of Grievances in healthcare. Her favorite people to work with are those who want to fix the system, not serve the status quo. Her mission statement is “I cause good trouble for a living.”
Casey covered her share of medical stories as a TV news field producer, and used healthcare as part of her observational comedy set as a standup comic. So when she got a breast cancer diagnosis five days before Christmas in 2007, she used her research, communication, and comedy skills to navigate treatment, and wrote Cancer for Christmas: Making the Most of a Daunting Gift about managing medical care, and the importance of health literate self-advocacy.
When the world went all “pandemic!” in 2020, Casey shouted “hold my beer!” in early 2021, with a Stage IV recurrence of breast cancer. Which makes her even louder in service of clinical research, access to care, and costs of care for all people who wind up with a cancer diagnosis of any kind.
In addition to her ongoing work as a writer, she produces the podcast Healthcare Is HILARIOUS!, is an active member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, the Digital Medicine (DiMe) Society, and the Light Collective. She spent a number of years as the health literacy expert for the Patient Empowerment Network’s blog, and is also a popular speaker and thought leader on healthcare system transformation from the ground up.
She was named an ePatient Scholar to Stanford's MedicineX in 2013, and returned to MedX in 2014 as a session presenter. She participated in the development of the Patient and Family Engagement Roadmap, was recognized as a patient engagement expert by the WHO, and has been invited to participate in a number of projects involving patient-centered design in research. Casey presented at the first HIMSS Patient Engagement Summit, at the HIMSS Privacy & Security Forum, and at DellWorld, as a patient voice on topics from trust in the clinical relationship to data security issues in medical record interoperability. She has also appeared at the National Health Policy Conference, the Genetic Alliance’s Building Trustworthiness in PCORnet meeting, Health Datapalooza, HX Refactored, the Healthcare CFO/CXO Summit, MedMo, and Connected Health.
As one of the Patients Included charter authors, Casey has brought the patient voice to conferences across the healthcare spectrum, from Academy Health’s Annual Research Meeting to the Cochrane Colloquium. She also writes patient-friendly summaries of radiology testing appropriateness criteria for the Journal of the American College of Radiology, and serves on the editorial team for TheNNT.com. 2020 marked the fourth time she served on the steering committee for Health Datapalooza.