Health Care Social Media Summit 2014 at Mayo

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the 6th annual Health Care Social Media Summit Presented by Ragan Communications, PR Daily and Health Care Communication News – hosted by Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media in Rochester, Minnesota.

In addition to a great day for learning from peers in the health care community, I also had the opportunity to hear one of my colleagues, Greg Matthews, present about physician social media trends. Learn more about his presentation in my post: Are doctors on social media? Yes they are!

Since I live-tweeted the event, I pulled in some of my tweets below to share highlights of the day. And because these tweets are connected back to my Twitter feed, so you can actually “favorite” or RT any of them from right here on this page if you’d like.

Social Media Summit Highlights

The first speaker was a physician who blogs and tweets herself, Alice Ackerman, MD, the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Her blog is Close to Home .

She shared some of her experiences getting started with her blog and examples of offline ROI, such as patients finding her through her blog, being able to increase awareness and education of various health topics and even recruitment for new employees.

After the session, I had a chance to spend a few minutes with my former colleague Elizabeth Harty (we worked together at Hazelden Foundation). I was able to hear the first half of her session “Giving Employees a Voice with Yammer” on building internal social networks at Mayo Clinic for employees.

It was particularly interesting to hear how it became a more meaningful tool when employees had to use their full name when positing comments and others couldn’t hide behind anonymous comments. Unfortunately I had to sneak out of her session to take a phone call.

The next session featured three patients who graciously shared their personal journeys and how social media became an integral part of their story. All three of these ladies were amazing speakers. We heard from Sarah (@Born2lbFat), who has Lipedema and Lymphedema and combines her experiences as a patient and healthcare administrative professional in her advocacy efforts. Her blog is at

The second speaker was Cindy (@MyelomaTeacher), a Rutgers University graduate who, upon graduation, secured a job as an educator and has been teaching ever since.

Finally, Danielle (@danielleisb) was the third speaker – she is a two-time colon cancer survivor and works as the Director of Communications for Fight Colorectal Cancer.

And it was about this time when I realized that there was so much chatter on the hashtag #MayoRagan I couldn’t keep up!

The next session I attended was: Pinterest and Instagram: Powerful tools for visual storytelling. There were great examples from both speakers.

Loved how Krisleigh Hoermann (@KrisleighH) from American Heart Association described how to use hashtags, that they are great for joining a conversation already happening, or beginning a conversation you want to lead.

I also had a fun conversation with Janet Kennedy from Get Social Health:

The tip I shared was something I see people make mistakes with every day. If you begin a tweet with a username (or Twitter handle), Twitter treats that as a reply and it will only be shown to that person. If you want everyone to see a tweet about someone, then you need to begin the tweet with a “.” or with introductory words like I just did above.

Finally it was time to head home after a conference happy hour  where I met many other attendees. Unfortunately I couldn’t return for the second day due to work obligations.

I was very impressed with my experience and definitely hope to attend again next year. Thanks to Lee Aase and the Mayo team, all of the speakers and Ragan for all your efforts to make the summit a big success!

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