Screen capture of Regina's Facebook postVoting ends Sunday July 31

Patient activists who attend conferences know that it’s been a long climb to get patient voices welcomed. The #PatientsIncluded movement has been around for years, making small dents, but Health 2.0 is one of the best: while they don’t provide stipends to cover travel costs, they

  • admit patients and caregivers to the full conference free, even if they’re not speakers.
  • have had patients on the main stage (not just in breakouts) since 2008(!)
  • since 2010 have added a Patients 2.0 pre-conference, coordinated with our Society, most recently through Past President Sarah Krug of Cancer 101. (Plans aren’t set yet for this year but we do know there’s an informal SPM reception.)
  • Oh, and for years they’ve been corporate members of our Society. But that’s not what this post is about.

I’ve been to lots of conferences, and when patients are in the room the difference is palpable. It matters.

Now, for their tenth anniversary, they’re doing something great: in addition to their awards for people in the business (categories for Tech Companies  and Health Organizations), they have an award category for Patient Activists of the past decade. (They have another category whose name I love: “Industry Leaders (non-patient”, plus Tech Company.)

To some extent their hosting of a Patient Activist award is predictable, because co-founders Matthew Holt @BoltyBoy and Indu Subaiya @BlueTopaz are both members of SPM, and Indu is a past board member. Regardless, it’s happening!

Regina Holliday’s Facebook post [see screen capture] said it best: “Ready for some serious angst?” Because there are 22 patient nominees. Long gone are the days when people thought that patient activists like Helen Haskell and Regina Holliday were rare! 

How to participate

This is not a quick popularity contest – it will take some work.

  • The URL to vote is here. (It’s a SurveyMonkey ballot.)
    • You’re required and encouraged to vote in every category, but a “no preference” option is available.
    • If you don’t recognize a name, Google it, like e-patients do!
  • A number of finalists will be named, and invited to come be on the main stage at Health 2.0 this year, Sept. 25-28.
    • The conference will pay travel expenses for as many high ranking nominees as budget allows.
    • Vendors / companies / brands: Matthew says you can be a well publicized hero by sweetening the patient travel pot, and will be publicly recognized at the event – step up!

Questions?  Post ’em here in a comment, so they can be answered for the world to see. That’s efficient.

Again: Vote!  And spread the word on on social media … we want lots of events to see this precedent.

 

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