Posts tagged ‘healthy’

5 Ways to Prep for the CDC Conference

*This post was originally published on the blog of iQ Solutions, a health communications and health IT company. Disclosure, iQ Solutions is also the place of SB’s current employment.

Buzz has been building for a while now as delegates, organizers and presenters make their final preparations for next week’s National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media. Hosted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Marketing and the Office in Enterprise Communications, the conference is packed with discussion about health marketing, health disparities, new frontiers in technology, and collaboration.

iQ Solutions’ own VP of Health Communications, Jennifer Isenberg Blacker, will also be presenting on behalf of the National Institute on Drug Abuse about the use of new technologies to engage youth. Senior VP of Communications and Social Marketing, Kim Callinan, and myself will also be there to cheer her on and gain insights from other presenters, as well as share in community with other health evangelists.

As the iQ team preps for our journey down to Atlanta, I’ve identified five ways to prepare for this year’s CDC Conference:

1. Network. Nedra Weinreich has set up a community on NING, a social network that lets you create your own social community. Already boasting 60+ members, this public platform enables us to network before, during, and after the conference, and is how I learned that the CDC program book was available for download.

2. Follow the conversation. Whether you are signed up for Twitter or not, you can still follow the conversations that are happening there. Using the tool Twitter Search, type in the hashtag “#NCHCMM09” to see what people are saying about the conference. I will also be live-tweeting certain presentations and added insights through IQ Solutions’ new Twitter handle, @iQSolutions.

3. Create your own conference dashboard. If you want to be a real superstar like Chris Brogan or Christopher Penn, you can even create your own conference dashboard using iGoogle, Netvibes, or PageFlakes. The dashboard, Brogan explains, is a one-stop online location “to see the elements you might want to know about at a conference…and you can get a fast scan of a lot of data that might prove useful during the event.” Example information may include adding some Twitter search strings to your dashboard, integrating a local map, local clock, local weather information, and much more. See an example below.

4. Meet-Up and Tweet-Up. They say at conferences that some of the best insights and conversations are those you have with colleagues in the hallways or over a great meal. Don’t miss out on these nuggets of opportunity for sharing. Already, CDC’s Justin Williams has organized a Tweet-up for Wednesday, August 12th from 7:30-10:30pm at STATS. This is one more opportunity to gather and meet with colleagues. Already attending are Craig Lefebvre, Andre Blackman, Susannah Fox and myself. Join us.

5. Study. It’s always good to know what you’re getting yourself into. Thus, I recommend checking out the conference’s Web site, seeing who’s who, as well as downloading and reading through the program book. Studying may be overkill, but as I mentioned earlier, this conference is packed with powerful presentations-so much so, that if you’re like me, you’re going to have to prioritize what you can attend. It’s not possible to see every single presenter, even though you’ll want to! (This is another good reason Tip #2 and Tip #3 come in handy-you can catch what you may be missing during concurrent presentations.)

Your Turn: What other tips might you offer to prep for this year’s conference?

Defining Health 2.0

According to a January 2008 study titled How America Searches, Health and Wellness:

  • In the past 12 months, 59% of adults reference the internet to find or access health and wellness information.
  • 67% of adult searchers use general search engines as an online tool or resource for health information and only 7% referred to online drug advertisements.
  • 36% of adult searchers use online health information to see what other consumers say about a medication or treatment

Because of statistics like those above, the concept of ‘Health 2.0’ has increased its usage and importance. Simply, Health 2.0 = the merging of social media into healthcare. However, others see the movement of Health 2.0 as something much wider and farther reaching. Even Google image searching shows a variety of more complex definitions. I’d be interested to see how you all define it for yourselves or for your practice.

Examples of Health 2.0


  • , started in 2006, is the marketplace for care, allowing hospitals and providers to ‘bid’ for consumers’ care
  •, allows patients to review their current doctor’s or a potential doctor’s reviews and ratings
  • DoubleCheckMD, allows consumers to check for potential drug interactions quickly and easily
  • American Well , creates a healthcare marketplace where consumers and physicians come together online to acquire and provide convenient and immediate healthcare services


  • Wikipedia
  • FluWiki
  • WiserWiki, a medical and healthcare information wiki edited exclusively by physicians
  • Clinfo Wiki, a wiki devoted to clinical informatics
  • Ask Dr. Wiki, allows those with a medical background to publish review articles, clinical notes, pearls and/or medical images to the wiki. The main focus has been on Cardiology and Electrophysiology, but they have expanded to other areas.


  • DiabetesMine, a blog all about diabetes
  • HealthMatters (Healthline), a collection of weblogs by professionals, covering different aspects of health, wellness, treatments, and recent advances
  • WebMD, provides health and health-related information

Social Networks


  • ICYou, the source of healthcare videos and videos related to health information
  • Cleveland Clinic on Google Video
  • TauMed, a virtual health community where one can search and share information on a variety of health topics

Online Forums



Health 2.0 researchers warn that patients should be cautious about posting personal health-related information through unsecured social media as health insurance providers could gain access to this information, as well as potential employers.


Social Media combined with health information, patients and user-generated content can be used for:

  • User-generated health ratings for hospitals and doctors
  • Bridge the gap between doctor and patient
  • Bring communities together in new, innovative ways
  • Establishing patients as opinion leaders
  • Managing health and managing community health in new ways

For specific case studies and more information, view this report titled: The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media prepared for the California Healthcare Foundation by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn.

Questions to Ponder

  • Is Health 2.0 helpful or harmful?
  • Is the content trustrworthy? Does it matter? Will consumers take the information at face value?
  • Why are patients labeled as consumers? What does this mean/say about how health 2.0 is being approached?
  • What are the ethical concerns?
  • What are the privacy concerns?

Can’t wait to read your insights in the comments. =)

TIME Health: More than Statistics – Make Health a Priority for the Holidays

TIME Magazine recently published their first cover story in what will now be an annual series titled: “Annual Check-up: The Sorry State of Americans Health. Perhaps it’s my own desire to become more healthy, but the timeliness of this article could not be better, especially with HealthyPeople 2020 around the corner.

Reading this article, I immediately got hooked. The article opens with:

If you’re like 67% of Americans, you’re currently overweight or obese. If you’re like 27%, your blood pressure is too high. If you’re like a whopping 96% of the population, you may not be able to recall the last time you had a salad, since you’re one of the hundreds of millions of Americans who rarely eat enough vegetables. And what you do eat, you don’t burn off — assuming you’re like the 40% of us who get no exercise.

These are big statistics. However, I appreciate TIME’s article because it goes beyond giving statistics, but also draws some analysis and connects some dots by providing 5 Truths about Health Care in America as well as an A-Z guide of pertinent health issues. One of the most important points I think the whole article makes relates to the health of future Americans:

Most troubling of all, if you’re like any parent of any child anywhere in the world, you may be passing your health habits to your children, which explains why experts fear that this generation of American kids may be the first ever to have a shorter life span than their parents do.

I find this most important because it’s about more than statistics. No one wants to be a number. And it’s a general idea that we all want what’s best for our children, and future Americans. We know that. But, what if eating breakfast daily, recycling or drinking more water means healthier living habits for those we treasure most – our kids.

ACTIVITY. Flip through family picture albums, or carouse friends’ pictures on Facebook that relate to family gatherings. In terms of health, who are the role-models? It’s not just about healthy eating, exercise and a healthy weight. But who are the kids looking up to? Who has a positive lifestyle, who’s words are positive and encouraging, who is giving, who lives what they say, who has a regular doctor, who has an infectious outlook on life or self-esteem. We should want to be these people.

MAKE HEALTH A PRIORITY. I highly encourage checking this article out in more depth, especially if you work in health or a health-related field. My mother always tells me, “When it’s come to your health, you have to make your health a priority.” This is easier said than done. But, here are some tips and tricks to being healthy this holiday season.



  • Give away leftovers. If you are hosting a party and there are left over goodies, give them away to your guests. Not only is it an added treat and gift for them, but it means you don’t have to find yourself eating the leftover cherry cobbler and cheesy potatoes.
  • Recycle. If the party calls for a gift, use newspapers as the wrapping paper to encourage recycling.
  • Moderate consumption. Use a smaller cup to fill your drinks, and a smaller plate for your food. This is an automatic way to moderate your food and beverage consumption as holiday parties often mean holiday-type food and drinks that are heavier in fat and calories.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Duh right? But to help curb this behavior, provide a Taxi number for your guests or put one in your phone before you leave for the night. Or, just designate a driver.
  • Prioritize. There is a lot going on. Prioritize which parties and gatherings you need and want to attend. Don’t overdue it by trying to be the top party-goer this season. Plus, wouldn’t you rather have longer, more in-depth conversations with a few new friends, than meet 20+ but only be able recall the person’s name, if that?


  • Take mints, not M&Ms. (voiced from experience) For the candy dish, instead of bringing chocolate-rich candies to work, bring candy canes or peppermints as peppermints is still festive, but also healthier.
  • Focus. Holidays make work even more stressful as you multi-task. However, when you are in a meeting or working on a task, focus and be all there. Otherwise, you are doing yourself and everyone else involved a dis-service.
  • Set realistic deadlines. Put in the extra effort, but don’t overwork yourself to the point you are counter-productive. You can balance this by taking deep breathes, finding helpers, and planning vacation time in advance.
  • Make time for sleep. Again, if you are not rested and ready to take on the day, you will get behind and be counter-productive. Know your limits.

    • Create your own health e-card. The CDC has both health e-cards that outline 12 Ways to Health as well as holiday e-cards as well.
    • Cook safely and clean often. Germs and bacteria have a tendency to get around during the holidays. The FDA has food safety tips specifically for the holidays!
    • Treat yourself with time. Instead of overindulging, treat yourself with 15 minutes of YOU time. During the holidays, it’s easy to get over-stressed and overwhelmed. Taking 15 minutes just for you, can make all the difference.
    • Get away from the computer. This goes especially to my social media friends, you work hard all year round. Take a day off-line. No email. No social networks. No nothing. We will all be here after the holidays. It’ll be okay. =)
    • Shovel snow. This is not only a great exercise, but it’s also gets you outside. You can even offer to shovel for your neighbors or for the elderly and make your workout into a surprise holiday gift.
    • Be a kid again. Build snowmen, go ice-skating or dig out that sled. This increases time with the kids, while also providing a workout.


    What do you think? What tips and tricks have I missed?

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