Monday, August 10, 2009

Educate, Encourage, Empower

Recently, I was invited to travel to HealthCentral’s New York office to participate in an on-camera interview as part of Johnson & Johnson’s global video campaign. Joining me were three other Patient Experts from different HealthCentral sites. I can't recall verbatim everything we talked about, but here are some questions and thoughts I had discussed that I'd like to share with you:

1. How important is it for patients and/or caregivers to become active participants in their health care?

It is imperative that we, as patients, take an active role in our own health care, which includes educating ourselves, working with our medical providers in making appropriate decisions, and following through with treatment choices. After all, it is your own body, mind, and spirit that is at stake as well as your current and future health.

2. How has the Internet served to empower patients when it comes to managing their health?

The power of the internet lies in the immediate access to information that provides an individual with a wide variety of opinions and facts when it comes to managing their health or illness. Whether from the National Institutes of Health, the Arthritis Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, or patient blogs and online health communities, reliable information and personal support ultimately empower patients in making their own choices.

3. What is it that motivates you to join the conversation with online health seekers?

Please read this post in its entirety and leave your own thoughts:

The Power of the Patient: Educate, Encourage, Empower


  1. I applaud your efforts, Lisa, as I am a big proponent of education, too. The more you know, the better your decisions will be when it comes to your health.

    One of the best things about the internet communities you and I are involved in is the sense of community, despite our differences in perspective. And even the different perspectives are a learning opportunity, too.


  2. Thank you, Shauna. I'd like to think that I contribute a bit to the sharing of reliable information and that it helps even one person take charge of their health.

    Before jumping into the blogosphere, I had no idea that there would be such a sense of community.

    Shortly after being diagnosed I frequented a forum (which no longer exists), but it felt as though I were on the outside looking in. Here I'm able to be part of the interaction and that's really nice, differences and all.