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About Us

This blog is a project of the Society for Participatory Medicine. To contact us:

Blog team: blog at
Society for Participatory Medicine:  info at
Journal of Participatory Medicine (

Our Founding Inspiration, “Doc Tom” Ferguson (1943-2006)

Dr. Tom FergusonTom Ferguson coined the term e-patients to describe individuals who are equipped, enabled, empowered and engaged in their health and health care decisions. He envisioned health care as an equal partnership between e-patients and health professionals and systems that support them. Before Tom’s untimely death in 2006, he was writing the White Paper (PDF) in consultation with the group of advisors he dubbed the e-Patient Scholars Working Group. This site continues the conversations we began with Tom. Our authors, alphabetically by last name: (click to view author’s posts)

e-Patient Dave e-Patient Dave profile picture

Diagnosed in 2007 with advanced kidney cancer (median survival 24 weeks), e-Patient Dave deBronkart rapidly learned to use every aspect of empowerment, technology, and participatory medicine to beat the odds. A founding co-chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine, in 2009 he became an international spokesman for the e-patient movement, and in 2010 left his previous career to work full time in transforming healthcare.

Susannah Fox

Susannah Fox is Associate Director, Digital Strategy, for the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and principal author of the Project’s survey reports on e-patients and online health. Susannnah presents her perspective as a researcher and does not advocate for any policy or behavioral outcomes.

Joe & Terry Graedon

Joe and Terry Graedon write consumer health books that deal with drug and alternative therapies, write a syndicated consumer health newspaper column, and host a syndicated public radio show, all called “The People’s Pharmacy.”

Alan Greene

Alan Greene is a Clinical Professor at Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Hospital, Chief of Future Health at A.D.A.M. Inc., co-founder of, and author of several books, including Raising Baby Green. Dr. Greene has been recognized by Intel’s Internet Health Initiative as one of four pioneering Online Health Heroes “who are developing innovative and compelling new ways to use the Internet to advance public health.”

Cheryl Greene

Cheryl Greene is co-founder and the executive producer of The AMA has called “the pioneer physician web site on the Internet.” Together Alan and Cheryl have been providing health information and community for parents around the world since 1995.

Sarah Greene

Sarah Greene is Editor-in-Chief of The Scientist magazine and Faculty of 1000, a post-publication peer review service for biology and medical researchers. She was previously Chief Content Officer for Keas, Inc., and remains on the Advisory Board of that company as well as that of Cancer Commons. She directed editorial operations at the Journal of Participatory Medicine,, and the New York Academy of Sciences, and launched and ran startups Current Protocols, BioMedNet, HMS Beagle, and Praxis Post/Best Practice of Medicine.

John Grohol

John Grohol is a pioneer in online mental health and founder of Psych Central, which he sold in 2020. Psych Central was recognized as one of the Top 50 Best Websites in 2008 by He now oversees New England Psychologist and the online self-help support groups and community, My Support Forums Dr. Grohol is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Mental Health Resources Online and co-author of Self-Help That Works.

Jessie Gruman

Jessie Gruman heads the Center for Advancing Health, a Washington-based policy nonprofit funded by foundations to work on engagement: people will not benefit from the health care available to them unless they can participate fully and competently in it. Jessie draws on her own experience of treatment for four cancer diagnoses, surveys, research and interviews to advocate for policies and practices to overcome the challenges we all face in finding good care and getting the most from it.

David Harlow

David Harlow is Principal of The Harlow Group LLC, a health care law and consulting firm based near Boston, MA, and serves as Chair of the Society’s Public Policy Committee.  His twenty years’ experience in the public and private sectors affords him a unique perspective on legal, policy and business issues facing the health care community.  David is adept at assisting clients in developing new paradigms for their business organizations, relationships and processes so as to maximize the realization of organizational goals in a highly regulated environment, in realms ranging from facilities development to social media strategies to the avoidance of fraud and abuse.  His blog, HealthBlawg, is highly regarded in both the legal and health policy blogging worlds.  He speaks regularly before health care and legal industry groups.  You should follow him on Twitter.

Dan Hoch Dan Hoch profile picture

Dan Hoch is a neurologist based at the Massachusetts General Hospital and is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. An early developer of online resources for patients, Dan helped found Braintalk and is active in the American Academy of Neurology, the American Epilepsy Society, and the American Medical Informatics Association.

Jon Lebkowsky Jon Lebkowsky profile picture

Jon Lebkowsky is a social media expert and strategist, cultural strategist, and social commentator. A web strategy consultant, he also writes about culture, technology, media, sustainability and other topics for various publications, has been blogging regularly since blogs first appeared, and has been involved in web strategy and development since 1992. He was involved in the early 2000s social technology conversations that led to the concept of “web 2.0.” He is cofounder of Social Web Strategies, where he does strategic consulting and coordinates social media planning and web development.

Danny Sands

Danny Sands, founding co-chair of the Society, is senior medical informatics director for Cisco, and a practicing primary care physician at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. A pioneer of participatory medicine, in 1998 he published the first guidelines for doctor-patient email, still valid today. In 2009 he was recognized by HealthLeaders Magazine as one of “20 People Who Make Healthcare Better.”

Charlie Smith

Charles Smith is Executive Associate Dean, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for the Medical Sciences (UAMS) and founder of an online health information company, eDocAmerica.


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