Kevin Love, professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Founder of the Kevin Love Fund will join HIMSS and Cleveland Clinic as a speaker at the 11th annual Patient Experience: Empathy and Innovation Digital Summit on May 12-13, 2021.
In addition to his athletic accolades—including, five NBA All-Star selections, an NBA Championship in 2016, an Olympic gold medal in 2012, and a FIBA World Championship in 2010—Love has become a public figure for his work to help normalize the conversation surrounding mental health.
After a panic attack during an NBA game in 2017, Love decided to share his battle with anxiety and depression in an essay he wrote for The Players’ Tribune. Love quickly evolved into a public spokesperson for mental health awareness among athletes. “I was nervous about how I was going to be received. There’s so many people who are dealing with anxiety disorder or depression or mental health issues across the board. Having that community and being vulnerable allowed me to take the evolution in my life. Being able to speak about it has been therapy for me as well,” Kevin Love explained to Cleveland Clinic CEO and President, Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., during the health system’s Ideas for Tomorrow virtual forum last June.
Continuing his advocacy in this space, in 2018 he founded the Kevin Love Fund, dedicated to inspiring people to live their healthiest lives while providing the tools to achieve physical and emotional well-being. Since then, Love’s work in mental health awareness has been recognized worldwide. He was awarded the Change Maker Award by the Child Mind Institute, the NBA Cares Assist Award, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2020 ESPYS, and a finalist for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award for his advocacy and awareness efforts.
Adrienne Boissy, MD, MA, Chief Experience Officer at Cleveland Clinic and co-chair of the Patient Experience Summit underscores the importance of Love’s advocacy. “Especially these days, everyone is facing extraordinary challenges, and many are suffering—we see it every day in the faces of our colleagues, friends, caregivers and patients. Yet even worse is when we are isolated in our pain. What Kevin has done is extraordinary. His courage to speak up has touched everyone who listens. He normalizes the anxiety, fear, and depression so many are feeling, and reminds people they are not alone. Simply checking in on one another can be a big first step.”
A large segment of the Patient Experience Summit audience is made up of caregivers (physicians, nurses, etc) who have had a difficult year and are facing burnout, depression, and anxiety. Kelly Hancock, DNP, RN, NE-BC, FAAN, Chief Caregiver Officer for Cleveland Clinic says, “It’s important to understand the effects of loneliness on your body, your mind, and your overall health over time. Kevin has become an undeniable force in broadening the public conversation around mental well-being, which has never been more important than it is now as we all grapple with some level of isolation and uncertainty during COVID-19.”
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