Thanks to modern medical innovation, most Americans have the opportunity to lead longer, healthier lives than previously thought possible. However, minority communities continuously face barriers to basic health needs like life-saving medicines and preventive care. This National Minority Health Month, let's explore the meaning of health equity and how we can achieve better health care for all Americans.
Do you remember the "Kony 2012" video? It got 120 million views within 5 days of going live. Invisible Children, the small non-profit that produced the video, raised $32 million in the months following its release. Suddenly, a small San Diego non-profit's mission became a global phenomenon. I'll be honest with you; it's not likely that any video you create will go quite that viral. But just because you may not get a million (or even a thousand!) views, doesn't mean videos lack value.
How would you define the internet's role in our lives? To me, the internet works to empower human connectivity. Like a virtual town hall or an e-reunion, the internet provides a needed catalyst for social interaction. It empowers organizations by providing instant access to hundreds--if not thousands--of social channels, connecting organizations with advocates around the world. However, just because these channels exist, don't think you have to implement a meaningful strategy on each one. Instead, focus on maximizing the impact of your time and resources by choosing the right platforms for your strategy.
We've all been there. You post a photo on Twitter only to realize the image preview is wildly different than what you wanted to see. Instead of a smiling face, you're looking at someone's forehead.
Every April, the Office of Minority Health marks National Minority Health Month to raise awareness of health issues affecting minority communities. This year's theme, '30 Years of Advancing Health Equity,' focuses on the equalization of access to health care since the release of the Heckler Report, a landmark 1985 study that helped identify health disparities. In honor of Minority Health Month, I wanted to take a deeper look at how one policy - Medicare Part D - helps contribute to his progress by making health care more affordable.
David Mitchell, the author of Cloud Atlas, began by tweeting, "We get off the Number 10 bus at a pub called 'The Fox and Hounds'. 'If anyone asks,' Mum tells me, 'say we came by taxi.'" A few days later, he had shared an entire short story through Twitter, each excerpt in 140 characters or less. In fact, a simple search on Twitter of #SixWordStory results in thousands of tweets, all telling short, simple tales. There is no shortage of storytelling online.
Spring--the season we've waited months for--has finally begun! For many across the country, the transition from winter to spring will not happen overnight-- but that doesn't mean the wait isn't worthwhile. The same can be said for medical innovation. Developing a new treatment remains a challenging, time-consuming task, with the journey from molecule to medicine cabinet often taking more than a decade to complete. And every insight gained along this journey matters to patients.
This month the Campaign for Modern Medicines celebrates four years of advocacy! When CMM launched in 2011, my vision was to create a platform that empowered Americans to speak out about the issues that matter to their health. Fast-forward to today, and I'm proud to say that together, we've made enormous strides toward accomplishing this mission. We couldn't have enacted change without you, the thousands of people across the country who took part in CMM campaigns, shared their personal stories, signed petitions, and talked to Congress. Thanks to you, we have been able to build a community empowering others to engage with policymakers and champion modern public health policies.
Managing your health can feel a lot like taking a road trip. From wrong turns to construction zones, you sometimes encounter unexpected detours. Luckily, by making it easier for beneficiaries to stick to their prescription plans, programs like Medicare Part D have helped keep more than 37 million seniors on the track to better health. For nine years and counting, the vast majority of Part D beneficiaries have said the program helps them stay healthy and able to enjoy life to the fullest--no matter where they are.
How well do you adapt to change? Do you embrace it? Or run from it? For our nation's decision makers, acclimating to change is vital to their success.