Archive for August, 2011

Can social media benefit the health experience?

August 20, 2011 Leave a comment

As I write this, my wife (Tami Boehmer, author of From Incurable to Incredible: Cancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds) is doing a post in the other room on about an interview she did with e-Patient Dave.

It’s a powerful moment — a Saturday morning where I can reflect on the past week.

One of Tami’s closest Stage IV cancer survivor friends died this week — a 41-year-old mother of two young children. Tami went to the visitation and funeral just yesterday.

Unfortunately, this has happened all too often since Tami’s cancer journey started in 2002. At times, I feel like I’m living on a battlefield — seeing great people die far before their time due to cancer. It makes me remember to treasure each day — and to support efforts to find a cure.

Meantime, I’m extremely grateful for my new job in healthcare public relations. In January, I became media manager at Cincinnati-based Catholic Health Partners, the largest healthcare system in Ohio. A significant part of my responsibilities involve my passion, social media marketing.

This week, we held our first CHP Social Media Summit. It preceded the CHP Communications Network’s annual meeting, a gathering of PR and marketing leaders from across the system. It’s a chance to interact face-to-face with those you normally connect with via phone and computer.

Krista Neher, CEO of Bootcamp Digital and author of the Social Media Field Guide, spoke at both the summit and the annual meeting. She shared example after example of individuals, groups and organizations who are doing innovative things with social media to improve the health experience. Very insightful!

Also this week, Kathleen Poulos of InCrowd was helping organize efforts to make people aware of a proposed panel at SXSW in Austin, Texas, that would explore the issue: Can Social Media Benefit the Health Experience? I would be a panelist, representing CHP.

Somehow, all of this fits together — Tami’s work with social media, mine, that of Krista, Kathleen and so many others.

Below is a writeup that Kathleen developed for us. Please take a moment to view — and share with others. Please vote for us, too, because this is a topic that can help enlighten many about an important issue. Thank you.

The boundaries between personal health and social media are increasingly blurred; studies show 80% of internet users seek health related information online. Social media tools have made access to information and support easily obtainable but it also raises the question of how best to utilize these tools in the health setting? With this in mind, myself and four of my healthcare colleagues have submitted a panel idea for SXSWi 2012 entitled Can Social Media Benefit the Health Experience.

SXSW is a is a set of film, interactive and music conferences held each year in Austin, Texas during March. The Interactive Festival includes a health track that explores important issues and technology that will impact the future health of everyone. This year SXSW has received over 3,600 submissions and only about 500 panels make the actual program.

The goal of our panel submission is to explore the use of social media in the health setting… can it be leveraged to enhance communication, education and inclusion?  The health experience touches everyone… healthy people who occasionally visit the doctor, those with chronic health issues, family caregivers, health professionals and providers of care as well as health institutions. If our panel is selected we plan to gain feedback and ideas from people across the health community and openly share this information to spur new dialogue and opportunities for change.This note is to request your individual vote to make sure that this important health discussion is included in SXSWi. You can learn more about SXSW at:

You can learn more about of our panel idea Can Social Media Benefit the Health Experience by visiting:

We have also created a YouTube Social Health Panel Video and Social Health Panel Slide Deck to further define our idea.

We would very much appreciate your time to review and vote for our panel idea, please help us expand the health discussion!

Voting is easy:

  1. To get started you need an account, create a FREE PanelPicker account
  2. Next read our panel idea: Can Social Media Benefit the Health Experience
  3. If you see value, give our panel a “thumbs up” vote
  4. A big plus would be a comment telling the world why you think our panel should be included in SXSWi 2012 – help us spark the discussion

Really want to help… here are some other ways you can support our social health panel: 

Be a tweeter! We even created one for you….  Can social media benefit the health experience? Support this #SXSW panel, encourage discussion:  #PanelPicker #hcsm

Help us spread the word by inviting your friends, family, professional connections to check out this idea on healthcare social media and vote your support!

Thanks  so much for your support, we hope to be sharing this information in a live panel session come March!

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