Get Social Health

Teen Cancer e-Patient Clarissa Schilstra

Cancer Survivor & Founder of

Cancer Survivor & Founder of

It was a great pleasure speaking with Clarissa Schlistra, a two-time Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia survivor, college student, e-Patient and founder of When I see the term “two-time…” I want to fill in the blanks with “…Heavyweight Champion of the World!” In Clarissa’s case, it’s an apt moniker because she has not only fought and won a tough battle with cancer, it has made her stronger and dedicated to helping other kids and youth in the same fight. As you will hear in our discussion, there is a unique challenge for teens undergoing treatment for a health issue. They are too old for toys or clowns but facing the challenges of growing up in a situation where there are very few other teens to interact with in person.

Clarissa found a resource while she was ill in Care Pages, a free website that enables patients and their families to connect online to give updates, send and receive messages. She was able to find other patients her age who shared valuable tips on dealing with her situation.

Visit our resources page for more valuable (and free!) resources on social media and digital health

Our Social Media Tip comes from Allison Carter, a freelance writer and content strategist at Alison recommends “Engage, Social Media is about creating community.”

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Casey Korinchock – Patient Engagement

Get Social Health takes a look at patient engagement platforms during an interview with Casey Korinchock. Casey is the Marketing Manager for Axial Exchange, a software solutions company that creates engagement platforms for hospitals. She first started working with hospitals in a private-equity backed startup in New York helping health systems improve their health care services in the home started working with Axial Exchange about a year ago.

During the course of our interview we discussed a new survey,  “100 Best Hospitals for Patient Engagement” recently released that was a partnership between Becker Hospital Review and Axial that rated hospitals on their patient engagement. Unlike previous surveys, this report was based on four metrics: Hospital Re-admissions, Patient Satisfaction, Patient Education and Self-Care tools and Social Media Engagement.

Visit our resources page for more valuable (and free!) resources on social media and digital health:

About Axial: Axial Exchange helps patients help themselves. They are a software solutions company that creates engagement platforms for hospitals and are focused on creating a connection between them and a patient for the 99% of the time they are away from the health system. Axial Exchange offers a patient-facing mobile application, a provider-facing population dashboard along with consulting services. They believe a patient that is more engaged in their health is more loyal, has higher HCAHPS and is proven to have lower readmission rates. Axial has 12 health system clients representing more than 50 individual hospitals and out-patient facilities.

Social Media Tip from Amy Avery, Free-lance Healthcare Writer and owner of Amy Writes: “Have an schedule for content.”

Pinterest Expert Alexandra Tursi

Social Media Strategist Fletcher Allen Health Care

Social Media Strategist
Fletcher Allen Health Care

The mission of Get Social Health is to bring you stories of social media practitioners actively working in social media for healthcare. In guest Alexandra Tursi we have a heavy hitter. Alexandra Tursi is a social media strategist at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, VT.  Alexandra directs the social media program for Vermont’s largest employer, including management of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. She’s responsible for strategy development, tactical expertise and execution, and measurement of social programs.  Her role includes directing social media education efforts internally, managing social media analytics and supporting the marketing and communications team via social media. Alexandra is also a member of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network.

While Alex is a multi-talented marketer, it is her expertise in Pinterest that brought her to Get Social Health as a guest.

We had a great conversation so be sure to listen to the podcast. In preparation Alex also answered a few background questions, some of which we didn’t get around to covering in our discussion. Check out the blog post with her answers here.

Social Media Tip Guest: Our “tipster” this episode is Will Hardison of Fanbase. Thanks Will!

Visit our resources page for more valuable (and free!) resources on social media and digital health:

Social Sprout


Andre Blackman – Sustain or Die Manifesto

Andre BlackmanAndre Blackman is an influential and connected agent of change/innovation within the health care community. He is very passionate about the intersection of media, technology and useful innovative concepts as it relates to the improvement of population and systemic health.

Through his consulting firm, Pulse + Signal, Andre aims to empower a new generation of health innovators through digital branding and strategic digital PR/communications. He has been involved in traditional and digital campaigns for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) focused on areas such as disease informatics, HIV/AIDS and diabetes. He is passionate about equipping high impact health
professional clients for the next phase of innovation through focused branding and digital technology education.

Andre also serves on the following advisory boards: CDC’s National Health Communications, Marketing and Media Conference; Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media; IntraHealth International OPEN; SXSW Interactive Conference Advisory Board and is the co-founder of the FastForward Health Film Festival – an event dedicated to highlighting the stories of forward thinking in health initiatives around the world.

Visit our resources page for more valuable (and free!) resources on social media and digital health:

Pulse and Signal (website)

Sustain or Die Manifesto (#SustainOrDie)

Fast Forward Film Festival

Health Refactored (HxRefactored) conference in Brooklyn, May 2014 

Programs mentioned by Andre


Mayo Clinic: Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Healthcare <Affiliate link>

Dr. Holly Peek, Mental Health Expert & @PsychGumbo

Janet Kennedy, Host of Get Social Health interviews Dr. Holly Peek, Psychiatrist, podcaster, television commentator and Resident Physician.

Dr. Peek graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in May 2012 with dual degrees, Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health concentrating in Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences. She is currently a Tulane resident physician in psychiatry working in the hospitals and clinics of New Orleans.

social media for healthcareAs a medical student, Holly was the originator, producer, and host of the health and medical radio segment, Holly on Health, for WTUL Radio, New Orleans, interviewing local, state, and national experts on health and healthcare related topics for Generation Y. She also maintained a Holly on Health blog and social networking sites.

In January 2013, she retired Holly on Health and revamped her health column as Psych Gumbo. Along with the Psych Gumbo health column, she co-hosts and produces a Psych Gumbo talk show on WTUL Radio, focusing on mental health for the Tulane and New Orleans community.

Janet and Holly talk about mental health, social media and how to impart information on a sensitive topic such as mental health via social media.

Visit our resources page for more valuable (and free!) resources on social media and digital health:

Dr. Holly Peek’s website:

Blast from the past: Holly on Health

Psych Gumbo Radio Show

Our Guest Social Media Tipster: Shaka Jordan.

Appreciation to guest Dr. Holly Peek, for her insights and information.

Intro and closing voice artist Donovan Corneetz 

Tulane University student newspaper The Hullabaloo

The Get Social Health Podcast Launch! Episode 1

Janet KennedyThank you for checking out the Get Social Health Podcast. On this first episode I would like to share with you our mission for Get Social Health, what plans are in the works for the podcast, give you a little background on why I think this podcast is needed and also a preview of some of our future guests.

I became an early adopter of social media and am now something of an evangelist for what social media can do to connect people around the world or in your own backyard by discovering like interests, needs, passions and cultures.

In 2013 I was approached by EHR 2.0, a company that does HIPAA compliance and data security for medical practices and hospitals, and asked to develop a series of social media webinars for healthcare.

The sad fact is, less than 70% of registered hospitals in the US are actively engaged in social media. The reasons are many – Time, Resources, lack of understanding of the power of social media and, probably the biggest reason, concern that a privacy law of HIPAA violation may occur.  Through teaching webinars and workshops it was clear that social media in healthcare required a slightly specialized set of skills, knowledge and tools not widely understood and available in the general marketplace.

Podcast Goal: 

My goal for this podcast is to interview the marketing, communications, PR and other team members doing the everyday work in healthcare social media. You’ll hear from physicians, nurses, e-patients, advocates, nonprofits, hospital marketers, writers, vendors and other professionals doing the daily work of engaging, educating, informing and building community.

I hope after listening to this podcast you’ll say one of two things. Either “That’s a great idea. I think I can use that in my job.” Or, alternately “I didn’t know that and I’d like to learn more.” You may think a lot of other things as well but if this podcast can educate, inform or inspire it will be 30 minutes well spent.

Podcast Format:

Speaking of time, let me explain what my plans are for the Get Social Health show format.  This will be a weekly interview show. My guests may be unknown to you but their experiences, ideas and even failures should be a great source of information for you. The interviews will last from 25 to 30 minutes. We’ll talk about their jobs, projects and passions always striving to give you practical suggestions, real life examples and suggestions usable immediately in your work. We will also discuss how privacy and HIPAA compliance has impacted their work.

At the end of the podcast we’ll take a moment for a “social media tip” from another professional. These 60 second ideas have been gathered at conferences, conventions, former or future podcast guests and via the Get Social Health website. You are welcome to join the conversation and send me a social media tip. Just go to the Get Social Health website and look for the “Send Voicemail” tag on the right side of the website.

Each podcast will be posted on iTunes and Stitcher as well as the Get Social Health website, so listen where it is most convenient for you. If you have a recommendation for a guest, I would love to hear it so send an email to [email protected] or leave a comment or voice message at the website.

Looking ahead, here are a few of the future guests scheduled for Get Social Health.

  • My first guest is Dr. Holly Peek, a psychiatrist at Tulane Medical Center and newspaper and television medical contributor. She travels under the Twitter handle @PsychGumbo.
  • Andre Blackman, Digital consultant for healthcare, a Mayo clinic social media committee member and advocate of the #Sustain or Die manifesto.
  •  Ophthalmologist Dr. Isaac Porter will visit Get Social Health to tell us about his video blogging.
  • Alexandra Tursi Social Media Strategist for the Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vermont will be joining me to talk about how she uses Pinterest for her hospital system.
  • Dr. April Forman, who is the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the SE Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs will share her unique outlook and the use of social media for the VA in her area.
  • Jason Papagan, Director of Digital Marketing for REX Healthcare in Raleigh, NC and System Director for Digital Strategy for UNC Healthcare. They have been making some “Top Social Media Hospitals” lists lately and we’ll be discussing how that achieved that status.

These are just a few of the guests lined up so I hope you are looking forward to hearing them as much as I am to interviewing them.

Thanks for downloading this first mini-episode and I look forward to sharing great healthcare social media content with you in future episodes.