Many universities, medical practitioners, and nonprofits have urban health initiatives and great blogs. Here are a few that I enjoy: Columbia’s Urban Health blog Institute for Urban Health The Urban Edge The Center for Urban Design and Mental Health The Association of healthcare journalists Kate Middleton’s new mental health blog Health Affairs blog Weighty Matters […]
A Public Health Professional gone rogue… The purpose of this blog is to help the audience broaden and redefine their definition of health to better understand their environment, their neighbors, and themselves, while spotlighting social determinants of health in NYC.
As I began to get my blog on, I realized that I was covering a fair amount of communication campaigns. Beyond public health and social determinants this blog will highlight how communications can we applied to the health world. This seems inevitable as I am jumping into the communications coursework in grad school, but did […]
I had no idea that there were healthcare influencers! I’ve long been familiar with Johns Hopkins School of Public health, as it’s a top ranked MPH and med school. Here is there Twitter. It was actually a little different than I would think it would be. It was very informative, and personally being in the public health field I thought it was interesting. However, it was really only for public health professionals and those in the research world. It was very research heavy and even I had a hard time understanding their stand alone tweets. Its funny because this was one of the major reasons I passed on the MPH track. It’s all well and good to have interesting information, but if its not tied to strong intervention or communications, its effects are limited. However, I was really impressed with the CDC and APHA, but they have way less followers.
CDC Social media
The CDC had individual accounts for each health aliment which can be found here. I really liked the eHealth and Diabetes accounts. My favorite initiative is the “Public Health Nerd.” A great post is “ Suspect you are a public health nerd?” Very Creative! It doesn’t seem to be well maintained, and some of these posts are from 2013. When I checked Twitter for the#phnerd hashtag, there is a little activity, but very rarely is it linked back to the CDC. However, I’m glad I found it because people do seem to be really excited about public health. Using the hashtag I found some interesting public health Twitter accounts and organizations. There was one especially interesting organization called Lucky Iron Fish.
Also worth checking out is the CDC’s instagram. I was impressed to see they have 200,000 followers! However, some posts were awkward pictures of their campaigns. I was not feeling the below pictures. They are a bit cheesy and it took away from the other amazing posts. My favorite was about a local Ebola Campaign. There was entirely too much text, but I liked the overall idea. Another great example was an up close and personal shot of bacteria.
After doing all this social media research, I feel like the APHA deserves a special shout out. I can’t believe its taken me this long to blog about the organization. I went to the APHA conference in San Francisco a few years ago, and have been a huge fan ever since. Its a non profit that works to connect public health professionals in the aim of improving health outcomes all over the world. Below is their simply and awesome Mission and Vision (below).
Our Mission- Improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status.
Our Vision- Create the healthiest nation in one generation.
There are two major features on their website that really stick out. On their homepage are a list of webinars that anyone can attend. One particularly interesting one is found here. You can even view past webinars. Here is one that addressed the Flint Water Crisis. You can find out more about the APHA here. The second feature that I thought was great was their Public Health Newswire. It collects all the latest health related news.
This has been the most attention getting and pathos-saturated Zika piece I have seen. It is a video by AJ+ It is a simple, low budget piece with clear, reasonable low grade level language to described a really sweet, likable mother learning how to care for her child while he suffers from effects related to the virus. Her challenges of caring for new baby are the same as anyone here in the U.S. Everyone just wants to be able to take care of and raise their children.
I feel like the producers of this video do a great job. It shows the audience that this mother is doing everything she can to balance her new responsibilities with her current ones.
This is excellent storytelling and could be used a model by other nonprofits. I like the light music and featured proactive mother just trying to do her best. Although it is obvious she is in a low-income housing development, I do like that they are trying to put a positive spin on this situation. I mean who doesn’t want to just give this mother a hug? I wish I could donate directly to her!
I found an interesting site called “Healthmap.org” that tracks all outbreaks including Zika, which unfortunately shows it seems to be spreading. Since most of us in the U.S. live in highly populated cities, crisis protocols are of the utmost importance in dealing with an outbreak. Here is another excellent article on Zika and how structural issues keep families from getting the care they need. It reports how “telemedicine” and mobile treatment vehicles has been effective in helping those in need treat alignments. Below is one of the most powerful pictures I’ve seen to showcase the effects the virus has had on infants.
Last week I posted about the Ad Council’ autism awareness campaign. I snooped around a bit more and found an NPR article to back up much of what I posted last week. Below is a great article about three individuals journey to an autism diagnoses. The one that stuck out the most was Sam Harvey (below). I hate to give it away, but he was able to navigate the school system and become a teacher before finding out he even had a social disorder. This proves that for many integration into the school system at a young age has proven benefits.
As an aside, I love the graphics they used to portray each of the featured individuals. They are portrayed in positive light, as if they were a famous, contemplative author or musician. I think this is a wonderful way to portray those who have difficult stories to share.
Pieces like this can really work to decrease stigma of those with disabilities. Imagine if a teacher shared these stories with a class in middle school?
One of my favorite modern writers is Colum McCan and I was able to see him a few weeks ago at NY presbyterian. He is hyper dope and I recommend to check out his books. My favorite is “Let the Great World Spin.” Seeing him in-person was surreal because a few years ago I was reading his book and googling him from afar, trying to envision how he was able to create these intricate and sensitive stories. His books often feature characters from various ages, background and cultures. I can tell you he was exactly how I envisioned him.
Since it was hosted at NY Presbyterian by the Columbia Narrative Medicine program it had a health spin. He explained that listening to patients is like storytelling. Although the patient may come in for cut on her arm, the factors may actually be the bills she can’t pay. I have never heard an author be so tuned-in to social determinants of health and its probably why he is such an excellent writer. He stated to properly heal is beyond “recognizing the disease.” He shared in his own work, he had to learn about the health conditions to truly write so as to bring a character to life.
Additionally, he took at moment to highlight his nonprofit Narrative Four. There is a great video from the author explaining the storytelling mission of the organization. You can find the video here Narrative Four Video.
My absolute favorite campaign right now is the Ad Council’s Autism Awareness ( ad featured below). Here is a great video that seems like it could be appropriate not just for families learning how to handle an autism diagnoses but also for young students. This would help children develop more empathy and understanding towards those with developmental disabilities. I have volunteered with Easter Seals and truly believe in its evidence based programs. Here is some interesting info. on services for children while attending school. My favorite part of the organization was learning how having an inclusive school environment helps those with disabilities progress faster and helps those without learn to be empathetic and sensitive at an extremely young age = win-win.
Most importantly, here is an interesting a report that says financial and economic status plays a role in increasing chances of autism, as a mother’s health can effect rates. You can find the study on autism here. Just another example of how your environment can determine your health.
Since I had three people ask me about my smoothie last Tuesday I figured I would post about it. I get the best smoothies from Nussbaum and Wu and they are super delish. I ask for kale, spinach, a whole banana, 4 pieces of mango, plain yogurt and blueberries. If I’m ever stressed or feel like snacking, I always pop in to get a smoothie. Its funny because when you are stressed your body craves unhealthy snacks, but what you actually need at that moment is something hyper healthful. I’ve read countless articles about nutrition, but here are a few of my favorite topics. Here are two great articles linking nutrition to mental health Huffington Post and Washington Post. Nutrition is probably the most important thing you can monitor every day and that can dictate much of your health status.
Since I’ve been posting a fair amount about public health campaigns, I figured I would see if there were any commercial campaigns that were targeting healthy behaviors, but through a marketers eyes. Here are some other campaigns that I thought had a creative twist from Trendhunter.
I also enjoyed this World Health Day campaign. This is classified as a public health campaign, since the desired end result is improved health outcomes and behavior change
When I was home for spring break getting my hair cut and I saw some attention getting packaging that caught my eye.
These were done by R and Co and its obvious that they are soaked in customer insights. In reality what does a well done manicure or a leather jacket have to do with hair spray? Absolutely nothing. And it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I knew I liked it and it stood out from the other products. This made me wonder if any health products were trying out similar tactics.
When I looked to see if there similar techniques in packaging. I quickly was able to find a fair around. Below are some examples of a creative food, acne medicine and meal packaging.
This is my favorite packing item. As soon as I saw it I could imagine myself grocery shopping in NYC and seeing this, feeling home sick, buying it and sending a pic to my mom. I love that you can see the actual products and the drawings are creative without being too much. Its limit on colors, and white packaging help create a simple, crisp look that seem to be a good choice and properly reflect the values of a produce company.
I have never been on a campus that has been so accommodating to individuals with disabilities. My higher education experience has not been extensive, but I have spent a fair amount of time in a small town in central VA and private university in DC for undergraduate and graduate coursework. My first hand account of Columbia incredible. Right way I noticed several students in wheelchairs. The school does an excellent job of placing ramps to every lecture hall and anywhere there is uneven terrain. I can’t help but feel very proud and lucky to be apart of a system that supports everyone. It truly keeps the school and city for everyone who wants to be here, and showing it is possible to have a space for all.
This seems to extend past Columbia, as well. All around NYC I see blind individuals taking the subway alone and restaurants with similar accommodations (below).