Kathie Melocco - Health Activism

Blog dedicated to Social Justice and Health and Wellbeing Activism

November 26, 2012

Are You Up For It? The Sydney Skinny (Swim)



It's very rare that I promote events. However, given that this event is very aligned with our health and well-being vision, I just had to share it with you. 

The founder of this event is the co-founder of Earth Hour, Adman turned author, Nigel Marsh, the former boss of Y&R.

The event is called the Sydney Skinny - and it’s one of the most positive and fun events I've heard about in years.

It's a nude ocean swim in Sydney, which is being sponsored by juice brand nudie and yes they deserve a free plug for this sort of innovative sponsorship.

On one level, it's a cheeky, large-scale skinny dip in Sydney's Middle Head harbour to raise funds for a national park. However, as you look deeper, this event is much more than just getting your gear off for a good cause.

This is an annual opportunity to throw aside concerns of body image, to connect with nature and celebrate as a community. It's also a beautiful chance to use the cleansing power of water to re-dedicate your next year to living with more kindness and courage.

Please note, nudity is encouraged (during the swim only), but it's not compulsory. It costs $35 to enter, and supporters can attend for $15 or $30 for the family. No spectators allowed.

According to Marsh this is designed to be joyous annual opportunity to snub dull conformity and routine and live a bit.

Marsh is a well known figure on the topic of work-life balance since a talk at Tedx Sydney led to a successful business speaking career. He is also the author of Fat, Forty and Fired, a book about his experiences of finding himself out of a job, which I understand could be turned into a sitcom by US network ABC

Check out more and book your ticket here. 

I can't think of a more exhilarating way to start 2013!


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Infographic: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care


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How To Monetize Your Social Media Efforts For Your Health Care Practice

Trying to master social media in the health and wellbeing sector? Did you know health is one of the most searched words on google? Not sure how to monetize your skill set online? Today's post is just as relevant to a health activist as it is to a practice owner. Most of us are using social media professionally to grow our businesses or our advocacy voice to educate.

Naturally then, most of us want a fiscal return for our efforts and greater freedom, not more work.  Right?

Follow this simple 5 step process and you will be well on your way to monetizing your social media efforts in a way that is not in conflict with your authentic voice or professional profile.

1: Choose Your Target Market - I cannot tell you in health how many people say my target market is everyone. Think again: Choose a niche. Drill it down and get VERY specific. Who is your target market?

2: Build Your List - The most important thing to remember: The money is in the list. If you want to increase your income with your social media efforts then you need to understand the power of list building. When you have a mailing list you drive traffic. Traffic is the lifeblood of any Internet strategy. Having a significant mailing list allows you to leverage your efforts at zero cost. Having a mailing list also means you can plan offers at times of the year where your real world business slows. So it is an important tool. Grow your list at every touch point, email - opt-in, twitter followers, Facebook Fans, RSS, Pinterest and more.

3: Promote Relevant Offers and Products To Your List - webinars should not just be free educationals with no return. Use your expertise at the end of the webinar  to up-sell to other products and services that will benefit your audience, e.g. DVD sets on weight loss tips for example or, how to be a health activist, coaching programmes. Think about what it is you do, what skills and services can be repackaged as a benefit to your target audience to promote an offer. Move away from the physical world for all your services if you can - think about passive income that is complimentary to your target audience and service.

4: Joint Venture To Accelerate Your Success - who do you know that is complimentary to your business that you could joint venture with to market to each others respective lists the offers that you have identified.

5: Automate It! - Yes that's right. The Internet allows for massive automation. For example you can sell your webinar series by pre-recording them and replaying on demand, you can sell an ebook series, promote affiliates that are complimentary to you, coaching programmes and more.

When it comes to growing your business online using social media, nothing generates long-term cash flow like an email list of engaged subscribers and customers.

Email marketing is the best way to generate traffic. It's the best way to recycle the same visitors again and again to any of your products. It's also the best way to convert prospects into buyers.

RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, should all be used as part of your sales funnel to grow your list.

Want to accelerate your social media activities in 2013? Try our coaching packages, special offer now available for pre-purchase to begin January 2013. Get started now and be ahead of the pack.

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November 25, 2012

mHealth - Great Summary, How mHealth will improve access to health care

mHealth Infographics
Infographic by Healthcare Mobility Solutions Team at [x]cube LABS

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November 24, 2012

What is a sponsored health care blog post?



I often get asked will I write about 'your product or service' on my blog? The answer to that is simple. Whilst I do write a lot about subjects and sectors that personally interest me in health, both from a health activist point of view and also from a health care provider stance this is how I make my living. 

Tapping into my influencer network can be a powerful way to facilitate your advocacy, brand or campaign message and I obviously charge a fee for this. When I  write sponsored blog posts from time to time my fee is $7,000 per post including outreach to my community via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. 

Bloggers have influence and Klout. Word of mouth communication has been seen to bring down governments, force big pharma to rethink an advertising campaign and more. So please value your association with bloggers.

Also please understand it takes time to research a post and to use my influence in health to share your story. The social ecosphere is all about relationships, connections and value to our audiences. It is NOT about press releases. It has to resonate with me. 

What do I write about? Mostly I write about health and well-being, social media in health, health innovations and technology, participatory medicine, narrative in medicine for patient education, health retreats, blogging in health, patient and health activism through story-telling. I also facilitate workshops on the above.


What is a sponsored post:
A sponsored post is when a blogger receives payment to publish an article written by the blogger, but includes at least one contextual link.  The article is known as a sponsored post, guest post, post with a link and probably many other names.

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November 23, 2012

Jessica Gottlieb - How Twitter Mums Took on Big Pharma

Heard the word 'mummy blogger' and just dismissed it as novel? Doubt the power of the blogger and their tribal voice? Some claim, bloggers are the most powerful thought leaders of today.
  • A blogger with 5000 followers can have more reach than the CEO of a major corporation
  • They are not just powerful because they have thousands of followers within their  communities, they are powerful because their followers are listening to them
  • They make recommendations and suggestions to armies of followers every day
  • They can literally switch thousands of consumers on or off your message with one casual comment
  • When the blogger has a comment to make about your market segment, topic or health product, their followers will read it.  That gives you astounding reach if you use it wisely and listen to the sentiments of these bloggers. 

One of the keynote speakers at the forthcoming Health Activist Bloggers Conference, Healthivate in Sydney next year is Jessica Gottlieb, one of the world's most influential 'mom bloggers' with a million page views per month. That's more influence online than many very large brands. She was named the #1 US Twitter Mom blogger for 2012 by Klout score.

Back in 2008 she and a group of mom bloggers online dished out to the maker of painkiller Motrin a painful lesson in the power of online social networking. They took issue with Motrin's ad campaign.

In a bold, very alienating move on the part of Motrin, they had launched an ad campaign targeting baby-sling wearing moms. As it happens, this new campaign was apparently intentionally launched to coincide with International baby-wearing month.




The ads, launched in magazines and online centered on new moms who carry their babies in slings (and might need Motrin). They likened the sling to a fashion accessory and said that while toting the baby can be tough, it "totally makes me look like an official mom."
The backlash to the campaign forced Motrin to pull their news ads after an outpouring of negative "tweets," or postings, via Twitter, video on YouTube and postings on other social sites.


Some moms saw the ads as snarky pokes at motherhood. Backlash hit a boiling point quickly and the agency behind the campaign McNeil, was forced to send an apology to bloggers over the weekend it erupted and then post a separate apology on Motrin.com. "We have heard your concerns about the ad," says a statement by Kathy Widmer, marketing vice president. "We are parents ourselves and take feedback from moms very seriously. We are in the process of removing this ad from all media."

The McNeil ad, spoofs of it and consumer video responses can be found at YouTube by searching under keywords "Motrin" and "mom."

BTW - many of these 'mummy, mom, mum, bloggers' hate that title so beware. It is all about respect, they are a powerful audience, so value the connections you make.

If you'd like to learn how to connect with this powerful online audience come along to Healthivate. There are limited tickets for corporate communicators who would like to participate.






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November 22, 2012

How Content Syndication Can Improve Your Blogs Traffic


This great syndicated post about the power of content syndication and how it can improve your blogs traffic appeared in my inbox and I thought it was worth resharing, mostly because there are some great tips here applicable to your health, activist or medical blog to grow your audience. Enjoy!

Many bloggers and web publishers are scrambling for traffic every day, trying to increase the number of visitors to their blogs, increase subscribers and thus improve their earnings yet they do not know about content syndication. 
By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know what content syndication is all about and its benefits and even some content syndication sites I use.
As a blog owner, you need to reach more people to visit your blog and read your contents. The wider your outreach, the more people visit your blog and the more trust and money you earn.  Content syndication is just what you need especially if you have applied all other SEO strategies.
Content syndication could be a great means of driving traffic to your blog even without doing much. This concept has been around for awhile but not many bloggers take advantage of it much, so today I want to enlighten you about content syndication and how you can drive significant free traffic to your blog easily with this concept.
What is content syndication?
Content syndication is simply a method that allows some portion or your entire originally published article to be made available to multiple sites with your permission provided the links are left intact. So it is easier to see content syndication as the process of sharing some portion or your entire blog post on other websites/blog related to your niche.

Benefits of Content Syndication:
The benefits of content syndication are tremendous and here are some of them;
1.Content syndication will improve your content outreach to the wider world.
2. Content syndication will drive massive traffic to your blog.
3.Content syndication will increase your search engine ranking.
4.Content syndication will create backlinks to every blog post.
5.Content syndication will improve your revenue.
6.Content syndication will improve your feed subscribers etc

Is Syndicated content duplicate content?
If you have been around the blogsphere for awhile you’ve probably heard about ‘Duplicate Content’, but if you have not I will simply explain what it is and also explain if syndicated contents are duplicate contents.
According to Google, “duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar”. Google definitely frowns at duplicate content in an attempt to always serve the best result for their searches.
But the big question remains ‘is syndicated contents duplicate contents’? And the answer is NO! Once a post has a backlink to its original source Google do not consider it as a duplicate content, so ensure that each site you syndicated your contents to includes a link back to the original article. That way Google will know which is the original content and will not penalize you for duplicate content.
Some content syndication sites I use:
I want to share with you some of the content syndication sites I use and I bet you will benefit from syndicating your contents with them as well.
7.Rebelmouse etc.

Final Thoughts:
If you haven’t already been using content syndication I will recommend you start today, you can start with the ones I listed above and can use Google search to find even more. Content syndication is a way to help your contents reach out more and help your blog succeed. If you write all the quality contents on the internet with no one reading it, you are simply wasting your time, so use content syndication to get more people to read your contents and improve your earnings from it.

This original article appeared on http://netmediablog.com/content-syndication-how-it-can-improve-your-blogs-traffic/

November 17, 2012

ZocDoc has a clear set of company values. What are they?



Zappos Tony Hsieh
Earlier this year I had the privilege of hearing Tony Hsieh, The CEO of Zappos speak when he was in Sydney. 

His best practice employee focused culture and values based approach to all business decisions has been modelled successfully by leading US online health care appointment booking service ZocDoc



Cyrus Massoumi
Cyrus Massoumi’s ruptured eardrum inspired the creation of ZocDoc, a site that allows patients to locate and book doctor appointments online. It’s as simple as entering your zip (post code) and insurance (if applicable), and in seconds, ZocDoc shows you doctors near you with availability by the hour. You can check out their educational background, specialties and read reviews from other patients.

In Australia, many start ups in the online appointment booking space are trying to emulate the success of ZocDoc. They would be therefore wise to follow this clearly defined company values structure (and of course develop their own) that has resulted in ZocDoc being awarded one of the best places to work. Great employees are the result of great workplace cultures. 


It’s no accident that ZocDoc hires less than 1% of its job applicants. The firm, which helps patients book medical appointments online, limits its employee roster to team players—and then rewards them with innovative projects and lots of perks to convey its appreciation for their work and professionalism. Team playing is critical to it's success with the organisation insisting that managers are responsible for their own departments without interference.


Employees are so motivated that the company doesn’t dictate the specific number of hours they need to work, and they can take an unlimited number of vacation days—without jeopardizing their salaries. And when they’re in the office, Friday evening happy hour and an on-site game room are among the many ways they can unwind.








Building great teams, takes time, effort and commitment. I did a great fun morning WIP with a team I was managing back in July 2012.  We rode the go-carts at Luna Park and then energised went off to plot our deliverables during a very tough week. It was fun.



Luna Park WIP July, 2012


Here's some tips from ZocDoc:


Patients first – The company views itself as a social enterprise in the sense that we’re fixing a patient problem, and hopefully patients will reward us with their loyalty and referrals; yes, doctors pay us, but patients are our customers.


Great people – Hire employees who are better than yourself. 

Own it – Everyone should act like an owner. Take days off only when you need to, and expense what you need to as if it were your own money. 

Us before me – Everybody pitches in everywhere. There isn’t a single job at this company that is beneath any one of us. 

Work hard – Our people apply 200% to everything they do. 

Make work fun – If it’s not fun, why are you here? 

Speak up – If an employee disagrees with something we’re doing, I want that employee to tell me. We have smart, high-energy employees, and I want to make sure we get the best ideas out.




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How long do you think it took for the Stethoscope to be adopted by physicians?






1816 in Paris France

The stethoscope was invented in France by René Laennec at the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris.

It consisted of a wooden tube and was monaural. His device was similar to the common ear trumpet, a historical form of hearing aid; indeed, his invention was almost indistinguishable in structure and function from the trumpet, which was commonly called a "microphone".

According to Dr. Eric Topol who was named #1 Most Influential Physician Executive in Healthcare, 2012  by Modern Healthcare it took two decades after its invention before it became a standard tool.

Topol argues in his book The Creative Destruction of Medicine how ‘a propitious convergence of a maturing Internet, ever-increasing bandwidth, near-ubiquitous connectivity, and remarkable miniature pocket computers in the form of mobile phones’ are taking physicians and patients where no one has gone before.” - Modern Healthcare

He says, modern medicine is designed for groups. The interactions of drugs, patients, and diseases are unpredictable—clinical trials are population based and do not account for personal idiosyncrasies, much less medical histories. 

In The Creative Destruction of Medicine, pioneering geneticist and cardiologist Eric Topol introduces a radical new approach—by bringing the era of big data to the clinic, laboratory, and hospital. With personal technology, doctors can see a full, continuously updated picture of each patient and treat each individually. Powerful new tools can sequence one’s genome to predict the effects of any drugs, and improved imaging and printing technology are beginning to enable us to print organs on demand. Topol offers a glimpse of the medicine of the future—one he is deeply involved in shaping. 

And as so many are now beginning to say - let patients help too! 



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The Three Doctors - A Model For Leadership








Described by Oprah Winfrey as“The Premiere Role Models of the World” 


I've wanted to share this story for a while, just because it is so inspirational and simple in its message. It's a story that resonates with a lot of health care professionals when we delve into the world of story and its power to facilitate behaviour change, inspiration and more. A decade and a half ago, three teenage boys from the streets of Newark, New Jersey made a pact: They would stick together, go to college, and become doctors. Now, over 13 years later, these three men have overcome obstacles and proudly bear the subtitle of doctors.

Sampson Davis, George Jenkins and Rameck Hunt deliver a message of hope and inspiration everywhere they go. Their key messages-Never underestimate the power of self-reliance and inner strength-attach a timeline and devise a strategy for achieving your goals-and finally-Surround yourself with like-minded people who are in line with your aspirations.

The Three Doctors is a group of African-American motivational speakers, authors, and doctors. They only ever speak as a group.


I love how they describe themselves on their Facebook page: "Doctors, Authors, Motivational Speakers, Medical Correspondents, and Mentors. ...Because our children can not aspire to be what they can not see...."

The trio is made up of Dr. Rameck Hunt, Dr. Sampson Davis, and Dr. George Jenkins. All three grew up in Newark, New Jersey, where they met each other in high school. The three grew up in public housing and were members of low-income families. During high school, the three made a pact to get through high school, college and medical school successfully.

Rameck Hunt grew up in a childhood where the only person he could depend on was his grandma. He had many ups and downs in his life, like dealing with his mum being a drug addict, hanging with the wrong crowd who got him into trouble, and thinking the way to succeed in life is by selling drugs and stealing. Even though he kept hanging out with the wrong crowd, he wanted to be a different person. With the help of his two friends Sampson and George, he came to be a successful person. The hardest thing he had to overcome was his anger problems. When he was in high school, he sprayed a teacher with silly string and beat a boy up and broke his neck. He decided he had to deal with his anger problems and let go. He started to go to school more and got good grades in school. Rameck turned his life around and graduated from medical school.

All the three doctors attended Seton Hall University on courses paid for through a scholarship program. During college, Hunt, Davis, and Jenkins often felt like giving up, and they sought advice from college counsellor Carla Dickson. After college, Hunt and Davis attended medical school, while Jenkins attended dental school. This was the first time since high school in which the three were split. All three passed and earned medical degrees at their respective schools.

The Three Doctors serves as an extraordinary model of leadership for anyone whose been through any kind of hardship whether it’s coping with the struggles of the street or internal challenges of dealing with self, finding our place in the world and determining our own unique destinies.





Recommended Reading:

Their book, The PACT is a compelling and inspiring true story of three boys who grow up to become doctors. For those with money, a nurturing family, social connections, and the means to afford higher education, this would be the American dream - and frankly, a less than inspiring story. But The PACT is not about those types of boys.The PACT tells the story of three African American boys raised amidst the chaos and pressures of a fragmented community. These boys were not the suburban picture of early success; they were the type of young boys many people get nervous passing on the street. These boys were told and taught they had no hope for the future. They questioned if they could survive in the neighborhood past their teens, with two of the three authors in juvenile detention centers before their 18th birthdays.

These intertwined autobiographies depict a remarkable journey away from poverty, drugs, and crime to medical school. Throughout this journey the authors work to close economic, cultural, achievement, and generational gaps. They model and impart valuable lessons about courage, trust, perseverance, hope, drive, and most importantly, the positive power of friendship. These are universal lessons to be learned by all readers, young and old. Each author tells his personal account of the doubts, struggles, and demons he faced in his individual struggle to achieve as well as survive. You will be drawn into their lives, silently rooting for their survival. As you are reading, you may surprise yourself as you identify with their personal struggles. The boys facing their challenges struggle with the same issues as most people: needing to belong, to be loved, accepted, to feel safe, validated as human beings, and longing to achieve. But they are also frightened of what it will take to overcome the obstacles so clearly in the way. The obstacles of self-doubt, fear, addiction, easy money, and "good enough" achievements are found in The PACT, but also is suicide, AIDS, gangs, violence, and blatant victimization.


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