About the WEGO Health Blog

Welcome to the WEGO Health blog! Here you’ll find a collection of posts with resources, tips, activities, and ideas to inspire your journey as a Patient Leader. Whether you’re curious about health social media or already run your own health community – there is something for everyone!

Peer power: Now is the time for healthcare to tap the sharing economy

When Robin Chase co-founded Zipcar in 2000, she saw an opportunity to turn a “world of scarcity” into a world of abundance. Her vision was simple: Make renting a car as easy and convenient as getting cash from an ATM.

In her book, Peers Inc, Chase describes the sharing economy as a historic opportunity to “combine the best of people power with the best of corporate power.” Zipcar tapped the excess capacity of idle cars and made it more attractive for consumers to rent than to own. The result was fewer cars on the road, less congestion, and lower carbon emissions.

Robin went on to build Zipcar into a billion-dollar company. In the process, she discovered the power of the sharing economy to unlock new ways of creating value, not just for companies, but for “peers” – those who actively participate in the sharing economy by offering rides, renting out rooms, and sharing their talents.


#WEGOHealthChat Recap – Chronic Awareness: Awareness Never Stops

In case you missed our May #WEGOHealthChat, we’ve got this awesome recap for you!

In this Twitter chat hosted by Amanda Greene (@LALupusLady), who is a passionate lupus patient leader, we the important of awareness and how to keep it in the forefront of everything you do!

Don’t miss our monthly twitter chats on the second Tuesday of every month at 1 pm ET. Just use the hashtag #WEGOHealthChat to join in!

Click HERE to see the full chat!

#WEGOHealthAwards Winners Series Podcast: Tory Aquino

There are many reasons Patient Leaders get involved in advocacy, Tory’s just happens to be her daughter.

 Tory’s  daughter, Mariah, was active and full of energy from birth, so it was alarming when her daughter started complaining of joint pains and suddenly became inactive at age four.  The cause of Mariah’s suffering was a mystery to her doctors until she finally was diagnosed in September 2011 with a form of arthritis called Polyarticular Spondyloarthropathy.  

A life changing condition? Certainly. But Tory was ready to fight on her daughter’s behalf.

She created Mariah’s Movers, an organization to raise awareness for juvenile arthritis. In addition to informative and active social media pages, the organization hosts an annual carnival to raise money in hopes of finding a cure.

There are over 300,000 kids living with chronic pain because of this disease. Our goal is to raise awareness and give hope that one day we will have a cure,” Tory shares

The Patient Leader even takes her voice to Harrisburg and Washington DC to advocate for her daughter, and community, yearly. Tory reminds us, “My daughter has juvenile arthritis but juvenile arthritis does not have her!”

So really, it’s no surprise that Tory won the 2016 WEGO Health Awards Advocating for Another Award.  #WEGOHealthAwards Winners Series Podcast host, Shane Schulz had the chance to sit down and chat with Tory to learn more about her mission for the juvenile arthritis community.

Listen to “WEGO Health Podcast – Tory Aquino” on Spreaker.

Be sure to listen to the full interview on Spreaker and iTunes and check out Mariah’s Movers on Facebook, Twitter, and  Instagram.

Missed our last WEGO Health podcast? Listen to the full #WEGOHealthAwards Winners Series Podcast here.

Kristen Long is the Patient Leader Network Coordinator at WEGO Health. Her own health experiences have inspired her to empower other patients and encourage the power of patient advocacy. Check out her blog and follow Kristen on Twitter and Facebook.

Webinar Replay: An Anthropologic Look Into Online Patient Communities

As previously presented at SXSW.

From the beginning, the Internet has allowed patients and caregivers to create online communities that provide something offline communities cannot. In the case of rare genetic disorders, it is a chance to connect with others who know what you are facing; in the case of debilitating disease, a chance to talk openly with others who know what it is like to live in an able-bodied society. The same way that deaf communities sprung up independently and without formal impetus throughout the world, online communities lack formal institutional structures, and come in a number of shapes and sizes, with different cultural norms, interactional rules, and languages.

Anthropology and linguistics, as sciences focusing on society and communication, are ideally suited to unpack and understand these communities. We explore real-world examples of online health-related communities, the belief structures of groups, the fault-lines that exist, and what these analyses tell us about the real-world needs and experiences of community members.

Don’t Miss!

  • Discover the difference between online communities and online health communities. Hint: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 
  • Explore the characteristics of communities- both structurally and virtually- and how the two can help draw analysis
  • Learn what a community of practice is and the 3 crucial defining components
  • Plus Fun Fact: Watch this webinar and you’ll be 2 degrees away from Matt Damon! (Unfortunately not in the same community of practice!)


And of course, don’t forget to update (or create) your WEGO Health account.

More questions? We’d love to help! Shoot us any questions you have and we’ll be sure to answer at

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Brad is the Director of Medical Anthropology at Havas Health and You, an integrated global network of health and wellness communications agencies. He has been studying medical culture for over 20 years. He received his doctorate in linguistics from Stanford University in 1998, examining the experiences and processes in place for multilingual patients in a large public hospital, and since then he has focused on doctor-patient dialogue and medical anthropology in numerous settings, including hospitals, multicultural clinics, and patient’s homes.  Check out Brad’s Linkedin and Researchgate.


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