Going Mobile

5 05 2011

We’re going mobile with our health info.  We’ll keep the websites and social media accounts we currently have, but once we find the funding (a daily mutterance in nonprofit offices worldwide), we’ll add access and tools for mobile users.

Researchers at the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the California Healthcare Foundation  studied mobile technology and found that 85% of American adults use a cell phone, with 17% of them having used their phones to look up health/medical info.  That figure goes up to 29% when we’re talking specifically about younger adults ages 18-29.

We want to stay connected to our audiences and make it easy for people to retrieve the information they need when they need it.  We believe that, just as the use of social media is embedded in the habits of Americans under the age of 30, so will be the use of mobile technology within a few years.  That’s where Americans are headed.  That’s where the world is headed.

A paragraph in the Mobile Health 2010 report reminds us of how social media usage was once talked about, as whispers of a changing reality, and now that reality is here.

“The ‘mobile difference,’ which Pew Internet first identified in 2009, is the observation that once someone has a wireless device, that person is more likely to use the internet to gather information, share information and create new content. These patterns are beginning to emerge in Americans’ pursuit of health information on mobile devices as well as traditional wired computers.”

These patterns will soon be the norm.  Where do you see your public health education dollars being spent over the next five years?

Photo credit: juhansonin





Social Media Questions? Lets Talk

13 09 2010

Have you tried to set up Facebook for your health department? Are you considering regular tweets for your health coalition? Are some elements of social media confusing to you? PKIDs Social Media Roundtable for Health Educators is for you!

Beginning Thursday, September 23rd @9am Pacific, PKIDs will host a monthly roundtable discussion during which we will review and present potential solutions to your social media related questions. We hope to learn from each other and help each other through the occasionally puzzling maze that is social media.

There are three ways to participate:

  1. Submit your organization’s question by 9/22 to connect@pkids.org and we’ll do our best to incorporate it into the discussion
  2. Sign up for the Roundtable, by going here
  3. Don’t be shy! Call in, discuss, and participate on 9/23.




Pre-teens Need Vaccines Too

21 07 2010

(courtesy of guest blogger Amelia Burke, MA)

There are serious diseases that kids are at increased risk for as they approach the teen years, such as meningitis, whooping cough, and human papillomavirus (also known as HPV, the virus that can lead to cervical cancer in women).

And the statistics speak for themselves:

  • 13,000 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) were reported in 2008.  Although deaths from pertussis are usually in the youngest infants, adolescents and adults can develop complications such as pneumonia, rib fracture, difficulty sleeping and urinary incontinence.  Infants often catch pertussis from family members, including adolescents;
  • An estimated 1,000 – 1,200 cases of meningococcal disease (including meningitis) occur in the United States annually, with 10-15% of those people dying from it and an additional 15% having a long-term disability, such as hearing loss, loss of a limb, nervous system damage, or brain damage as a result;
  • And every year in the U.S., about 6.2 million people get a new HPV infection, about 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and about 4,000 women die from the disease.

CDC recommends that pre-teens should receive the following:

  • Tdap vaccine – combined protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis
  • Meningococcal  vaccine  – protection against meningitis and its complications
  • Seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines – protection against seasonal and H1N1 influenza viruses
  • For girls, HPV vaccines to protect against the two types of human papillomavirus that cause up to 70% of cervical cancers.

As well, one of two available HPV vaccines also protects against warts in the genital area, and boys and men ages nine through 26 can get this vaccine.

These recommendations are supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine.

Most health insurance plans cover these vaccines, and for families without insurance, there are options for cost coverage through the Vaccines for Children program (VFC). You can find a VFC provider by contacting your local health department, visiting CDC’s website, or calling 1800-CDC-INFO.

CDC’s Pre-teen Vaccine Campaign has educational materials tailored for various audiences, including Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American parents, available in English, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese.  Learn more and download / order these materials at NO COST.