Archive for ‘“health activism”’

March 9th, 2012

Death of a Soldier: Honoring Sickle Cell Disease Health Activist Phyllis Zachery-Thomas

by Susan


Here at WEGO Health we spend a lot of time talking to people with serious health conditions and the natural consequence of that is that sometimes, we lose friends and partners along the way.  This morning we got an email from the Sickle Cell Disease community letting us know that a long-time member …Read More

July 11th, 2011

The Benefits of Using Google+ as a Health Activist

by Amanda

It came to me as no surprise that many Health Activists are already on Google+ and braving the first portion of confusing adaptation to dig in an learn how they can latch on and really take advantage of possible opportunities therein. Health Activists are experts at communicating and often among the earliest of early adopters. We love social and we love sharing resources – enter Google+.

Here’s why I think Health Activists could really benefit from using G+ and a few changes or adjustments I’d like to see made to better enable their user experiences here.

Benefits of G+ for Health Activists:

  • Usability! Once you get over the arguably steep learning curve, G+ is easy to use. You can drag and drop, +1 (Google’s version of the Like), upload photos, videos, and comment on others’ posts in a snap. Everything is the same size and there aren’t awkward threaded boxes for you to figure out.
  • You can Edit. This is a huge one for me. There is no – “oh no I posted too fast – delete! Re-post” dance that many of us experience on Facebook. It’s maddening to catch a spelling error and be unable to fix it right away. Health Activists like to get things right and accurate – this is possible and easy.
  • Notifications are in your Gmail. Gmail is right there – many Health Activists email their community members and rely on long-form communication. Your Gmail and G+ communities are linked. That means only one tab needs to be open and you’re just a click away from re-engaging in a post conversation on G+.
  • Hangouts. I haven’t tried them yet, myself. But there is a huge potential here. For those Health Activists that are home due to chronic pain, fatigue, treatment regimens, or because they are caregivers or busy parents – this is a way to get face-to-face with up to 10 people in your community. Instead of the sometimes-awkward one-on-one Video Chat (you can still do that, though) – you can meet with a whole team of folks. Think of the possibilities: it’s the closest facsimile we’ve ever had to an in-person support group. Huge.
  • Circles - one for each “you.” In the past, many have written about the new way that Facebook Sign In has made it virtually impossible for you to keep your Health-you and you-you separate. As I’ve heard from many Health Activists, sometimes sharing personal health details is something you only want to do with your community members. Some Health Activists get more personal with their blog-readers than they do their own friends and family. With Facebook – it’s a complicated process to try to separate all the versions of conversations you want to have. G+ makes that a cinch. For those of us who have numerous Facebooks, Twitters, and blogs (myself included) this is an incredible step in the right direction. You can now decide who you’re sharing that clinical trial link, treatment news, or how you’re feeling with. And, conversely – you can keep the more personal pieces you may not want to share with your health community – relegated to your friends. This is possible on Facebook and Twitter but to create Groups or Lists there is a complicated search and add feature that involves lots of click and redirecting – G+ seems to be designed for finding people and dropping them into a Circle instantly. [Jump to keep reading!]
  • …Read More

March 2nd, 2011

March HABC: I Disclose…

by Amanda

(This is a metaphor)

From one of my favorite websites, (
dis·close [dih-sklohz] verb
1. to make known; reveal or uncover: to disclose a secret
2. to cause to appear; allow to be seen; lay open to view: In spring the violets disclose their fragrant petals.
The word “disclose” was first used right around the time of …Read More

March 1st, 2011

Do You Disclose? March is Health Disclosure Month!

by Amanda

photo credit bowery on flickr

To tell or not to tell – that is the question. If you’re living with a chronic condition, have health symptoms, or are undergoing treatment of any sort – disclosing that information to others has been a topic that’s crossed your mind. Who do I tell and how much do I say? When is the right …Read More

February 25th, 2011

February Poll Results: How You Feel About Your Condition & Relationships

by Amanda

Earlier this month, we asked you to think about how your condition influences your relationships and how you really feel about that. We received a lot of responses – making me realize just how important this topic is to Health Activists. The challenge of relationships is, go figure, not made any easier by adding the challenge …Read More

February 17th, 2011

One Small Step for Social Media Junkies, One Giant Step for Pharma-kind

by Amanda

I’d planned to fold my hands and participate only with my eyes and mind during Pharma’s first foray into the world of the mysterious, often untamed Twitter chat (#Rxsave). But after @AstraZenecaUS’s first question: “What is best way to increase awareness of prescription savings programs?” – how could I not jump in?

A pervading answer to this …Read More

January 14th, 2011

Interviewing Health Activists: Katie Schwartz, Founder of Dear Thyroid™ Part 2

by Amanda

Here is Part Two of my interview with Katie Schwartz, founder of Dear Thyroid. (Click here to read Part One)

Amanda: Dear Thyroid is a different kind of health community and it says so right in the first line of the About page. What made you decide to bring your crusade online?
Katie Schwartz: Being a writer, I have an ongoing love affair with words. I believe that each person (when they are ready) must …Read More

January 4th, 2011

Health Activists Who Could: Make It Your Mission (Statement)

by Amanda

With the dawning of a new year comes the resolutions, and, in the WEGO Health community, we’re hearing a lot about Health Activist Mission Statements. Alicia Staley (star of Awesome Cancer Survivor and Tweeting as @stales) wrote a terrific post about creating a Health Activist Mission Statement.

Her Mission Statement is a testament to her power as an advocate and to her reach as an inspirational …Read More

January 4th, 2011

December Blog Carnival Recap: Your Top 10 of 2010

by Amanda

Last year (well, last month!) we asked you what 10 things you liked best about 2010 and you reported back with awesome recaps. You reminded us of your best posts, big milestones, and favorites from your past year in Health Activism.Check out a few highlights:Kelly remembered this milestone fondly: “1) American College of Rheumatology Scientific Meeting. Attending the weeklong …Read More

January 3rd, 2011

New Year, New You: Setting Health Activism Goals

by Amanda

Welcome to 2011, it’s going to be the best year of Health Activism yet! (And that’s a pretty bold statement considering how amazing 2010 was.) I hope you will consider this very blog post your introduction to the new and improved WEGOblog. Please make yourself at home, take off your coat, stay awhile – we …Read More