Category Archives: Social marketing

Apr 28 2014

How to Advance Minority Health? A Successful, Sustainable Effort to Promote Healthy Choices in Miami.

To mark National Minority Health Month, the Human Capital Blog asked several Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholars to respond to questions about improving health care for all. In this post, Lillian Rivera, RN, MSN, PhD, administrator/health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, responds to the question, “Minority health is advanced by combating disparities and promoting diversity. How do these two goals overlap?” Rivera is an alumnus of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program.


In order to address this question, it is important to identify the areas within your jurisdiction where there are identified health disparities and to develop initiatives with those needs in mind.

Miami-Dade County in Florida is one of the few counties in the United States that is “minority majority,” meaning the minority makes up the majority of the population. More than two-thirds of the 2.5 million residents are Hispanic; 19 percent are Black; more than 51.2 percent are foreign-born and most of  them speak a language other than English at home (mostly Spanish and Creole);  19.4 percent live below poverty level; and 29.8 percent of the population  under age 65 (more than 700,000 individuals) is uninsured .

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Apr 15 2013

Online Medical Professionalism: New Guidelines for Physicians

Noting that “online technologies present both opportunities and challenges to professionalism,” the American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards recently issued a position paper offering guidance to physicians looking to “strike the proper balance” between harnessing opportunities and navigating challenges inherent to technology.

The paper takes five positions:

1. Standards for professional interactions should be consistent across all forms of communication between physician and patient, and care should be taken to preserve the relationship, and maintain confidentiality, privacy and respect. “Friending” or Googling patients can result in providers observing “risk-taking or health-adverse behaviors,” and can compromise trust between the two parties. The paper urges physicians to avoid using online forums to “vent” or air frustrations.

2. Physicians should make an effort to keep professional and social spheres separate and behave professionally and cautiously in both. They should be aware that information posted online can quickly be widely disseminated or taken out of context.

3. Electronic communications should only be used by physicians in an established patient–physician relationship and with patient consent. Documentation of these communications should be included in patient’s medical records, and physicians should be aware of legal and state medical board requirements for these communications in their state.

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Nov 5 2012

RWJF_HumanCap Reaches 50,000 Twitter Followers!

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Human Capital portfolio's Twitter feed (@RWJF_HumanCap) reached a milestone earlier this month, when our 50,000th follower came on board. We launched the feed about two-and-a-half years ago, and have watched the feed grow to the point that we now have enough followers to fill a Major League Baseball stadium!

Every weekday we send our followers 140-character tweets covering the range of RWJF Human Capital issues, including the broadly varied work of the Scholars, Fellows and Alumni of the portfolio's many programs. On a typical day, a follower might receive 10 or more tweets, letting them know about any significant news developments related to our work, what's on our blog, what's new on the website, which Human Capital programs are calling for applications, what the other portfolios of the Foundation are up to, and more.

It's easy, free, and, we hope, informative. And about 50,000 folks out there in the Twitterverse seem to agree.

So, if you’re already on Twitter, but don't follow us yet, please consider it.  (Again, we're @RWJF_HumanCap.) If you're not on Twitter, maybe now's a good time to sign up.  Just go to,  and click on "Sign Up."

In the meantime, here’s a sampling of some recent tweets we've sent, just to give you a flavor!

·         RWJF_HumanCap: What's behind the 60% decline in #heartdisease mortality since the '60s? Prevention, treatment or both?

·         RWJF_HumanCap: #RWJF Scholar @LennyLesser #APHA12: Marketing aside, adolescents buying meal at Subway buy as many calories as at McDs,

·         RWJF_HumanCap: New book asks: Will reform hurt or harm the #hcsafety net? With contributions from several #RWJF scholars,

·         RWJF_HumanCap: RWJF Force Multipliers: Clinical Scholars program, RWJF's first grant prgrm: Clinicians, researchers, change agents,

·         RWJF_HumanCap: IOM's landmark Future of #Nursing report marks 2nd anniv. Read about #RWJF's work to implement its recs, #FutureRN

For more recent tweets, visit our Twitter home page, at

Jul 27 2012

Physicians and Social Media: First, Do No Harm.

By Ryan Greysen, MD, MHS, an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco


It seems commonplace today to hear of someone who’s done something online that they wish they hadn’t. Social media use has skyrocketed, and the Internet has pervaded our everyday lives, both personally and professionally. In 2009, my colleagues and I began thinking about this online content and how medical students might be using—or misusing—social media. We were among the first to look at this topic, and we focused on medical students because we assumed they were more frequent users of social media.

But while doing research for a perspective piece where we described “online professionalism” and the role of social media as a “mirror” of physician’s values to the public, we found a few reported incidents of licensed physicians getting into trouble with licensing boards. That begged the question: was this just an issue among medical trainees, or was this a trend among licensed physicians as well?

We approached the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) to see if they would partner with us in a study of all medical boards to see how this issue was playing out on a national scale. We surveyed the 68 medical boards across the U.S. to assess violations of online professionalism and actions taken by state medical boards and published our findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The majority of respondents at medical boards we surveyed (92 percent) said at least one online violation of professionalism had ever been reported. The most common problems were inappropriate patient communication online, such as sexual misconduct (69 percent); use of the Internet for inappropriate practice, including Internet prescribing without an established clinical relationship (63 percent); and doctors misrepresenting their credentials (60 percent).

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Jun 26 2012

@RWJF_HumanCap Reaches Twitter Landmark

Over the weekend, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Twitter feed — that’s @RWJF_HumanCap, for those of you in the Twitter know — picked up its 40,000th follower. To every one of the 40,000, we say, “Thank you!” We’re very grateful for your support and attention.

If you’re not among the 40,000, it’s probably too late to be the first on your block to follow us on Twitter. But don’t be the last! It’s a great way to keep up with news and opinion on developments in health care and workforce issues in particular, and also to find out about all the stellar work being done by RWJF and its scholars and fellows.

Here’s a sampling of some of our recent tweets.

Bringing down the "wall" between public health & medicine: RWJF Clinical Scholars promoting professional collaboration,

Check out list of RWJF programs that reflect Foundation’s commitment to diversity in health care: #RWJF40

The limits of "big data," & getting the most frm pop health data thru collaboration, RWJF Hlth& Soc Scholar on #HCBlog,

RWJF’s Cash & Counseling gives Medicaid consumers flexibility, sense of control over their care. #RWJF40

Stay up to date on the latest Human Capital news with the RWJF Human Capital News Digest, online at

You can read all our recent tweets, and sign up to follow at!/RWJF_HumanCap.

May 10 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Smell tests for Alzheimer's, "difficult" patients, physicians' social media use, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:

Although losing a sense of smell is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease, there is not enough evidence that olfactory identification tests (smell tests) can be a predictor for developing the disease, according to a study co-authored by RWJF/US Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar Gordon Sun, MD. Medical News Today, WebMD, and are among the outlets to report on the findings.

Patients may not be fully participating in decisions about their health—holding back questions or avoiding challenging their physicians—for fear of being labeled “difficult,” a study led by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus Dominick L. Frosch, PhD, finds. "What's interesting to us is these were mostly Caucasian, highly educated, well-to-do people, and they're talking about these difficulties," Frosch told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s difficult to imagine this is easier for people in a less advantageous social position.” Fierce Healthcare also reported on the findings.

The Federation of State Medical Boards recently adopted new guidelines for physicians about social media use and social networking, on the heels of a study led by Clinical Scholar Ryan Greysen, MD, MHS, that finds an increase in reports of doctors not adhering to professional standards online. “Like everyone else, doctors sometimes stumble in their online behaviors and make mistakes in judgment about content they post,” Greysen told Slate. “They think they’re doing nothing wrong but, unfortunately, the disciplinary responses can be a big deal.” Read a press release about the new guidelines. Read more about Greysen’s study.

RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program alumnus Yonas E. Geda, MD, continues to receive media coverage for her study that finds seniors can reduce their risk of developing mild cognitive impairment through a combination of moderate exercise and such mentally stimulating activities as using a computer. Among the outlets to report on the findings: CBS News, MedPage Today [free subscription], and Consumer Affairs.

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Mar 29 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Food deserts, physician misconduct online, health benefits of strong social ties, and more.

Around the country, the news media is covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholars, fellows and grantees. Here are some examples. and Becker’s Hospital Review report on the launch of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)-supported Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative. The $4.3 million, Phase 1 two year-initiative will provide funding to nine state Action Coalitions as they work to advance state and regional strategies to create a more highly educated nursing workforce. Learn more about APIN.

A New York Times letter to the editor about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, written by RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research program director Alan B. Cohen, ScD, was chosen as the paper’s “Sunday Dialogue,” in which readers’ responses to the letter—and Cohen’s rejoinder—were published.

RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar Shannon Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN, spoke to NPR’s Salt blog about a study that finds improving cost and proximity to fresh produce is not the only incentive needed to convince people to buy fresh fruits and vegetables; consumers also care about selection and quality. Zenk says other factors, such as a lack of safety or cleanliness, and poor customer service, also can deter people from shopping for healthy food.

“New Jersey is making strides in meeting the challenges of a looming nursing shortage by providing incentives that are persuading some in the profession to turn to teaching the next generation of nurses,” NJ Spotlight writes of the New Jersey Nursing Initiative, a program of RWJF and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

RWJF Clinical Scholars alumnus Ryan Greysen, MD, MA, continues to earn media coverage about his study examining the pervasiveness of physician misconduct online and its repercussions. Becker’s Hospital Review, MD News and Modern Medicine are among the outlets to report on the findings.

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Feb 7 2012

We've Got 25K Twitter Followers. R U 1?

If you deciphered the headline, you’ve got the makings of a Twitter pro! A few days ago, our 25,000th Twitter follower came on board, and is now receiving newsy and interesting tweets (about six to ten a day) from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital portfolio. What about you?

If you were getting our tweets, last Thursday, you’d have learned about an RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development program scholar who’s breaking new ground in sickle cell anemia research.

Last Wednesday, you’d have seen our tweet about a nifty new infographic on the RWJF Facebook page, shining a spotlight on an RWJF Community Health Leader who provides free dental care to families in need in Phoenix, Arizona. And you’d have gotten a quick preview of the latest edition of RWJF’s Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge e-letter.

Last Tuesday, you’d have heard about an RWJF Clinical Scholars program alumna who’s launched a unique effort to map life-saving defibrillators in the Philadelphia area, so that they can be found more easily in an emergency.

Throughout the week, you’d also have been kept up to date about coming RWJF grant opportunities.

You can get that and more, all for free. If you’re already on Twitter, go here and follow us. If you’re not already on Twitter, go to and register. Then search for us (we’re @RWJF_HumanCap) and follow us. It’s just that simple!

Oct 4 2011

Join the Twitter Chat on the Future of Nursing!

Tomorrow from 2-3 pm EST, the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action will host a “Twitter chat” – an online conversation via Twitter – highlighting the first year progress toward achieving the recommendations in the IOM report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

Campaign for Action Director Susan B. Hassmiller, RN, PhD, FAAN, and colleagues from the Center to Champion Nursing in America will discuss the Campaign's first year of progress and ideas for moving forward.

To participate in this chat, use the hashtag #futureRN. You can also use the free service Tweet Chat, which will pull all tweets from the hashtag into one conversation stream. Visit and log in with your Twitter account to participate, or to “watch” the conversation without participating.

Get more information about the Twitter Chat.

Sep 28 2011

The Promise and Peril of Social Media

A study released earlier this month finds that doctors are increasingly using social media to interact with other doctors, through online physician communities. More than 65 percent of physicians use social media for professional purposes, according to the study conducted by QuantiaMD and the Care Continuum Alliance.

But doctors are still hesitant to use social media to interact with patients, the study reports. Although nearly 90 percent of the physicians surveyed use at least one site for personal use, three-quarters of the physicians who say a patient tried to “friend” them on Facebook declined or ignored the request.

Only 11 percent of physicians reported that they were familiar with one or more online patient communities. “While a group of 60 - 80 percent of physicians see the potential for a wide range of physician-patient online interactions, this level of interest is notably lower than for physician-physician interactions,” the study says.

Many professional health care organizations have taken note of these trends and issued guidelines on appropriate social media use.

The American Medical Association adopted a social media policy last year that, among other recommendations, suggests separating personal and professional content, using privacy settings, and being conscious of patient confidentiality and privacy.

The Principles for Social Networking and the Nurse: Guidance for the Registered Nurse, released by the American Nurses Association (ANA), also emphasizes patient confidentiality, and professional and ethical standards. The organization recently hosted a day-long Facebook discussion and Twitter chat on social media issues, and will host a social media webinar in October.

"The principles are informed by professional foundational documents including the Code of Ethics for Nurses and standards of practice,” ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, said. “Nurses and nursing students have an obligation to understand the nature, benefits and potential consequences of participating in social networking.”

What do you think? What should health care professionals consider when using social media? Should they use it to interact with patients? Register below to leave a comment.