Yesterday was one of those days when I was in meetings most of the day. When I finally tore myself away and got back to my computer, I discovered an enormous number of congratulations waiting for me in Twitter and Facebook. What had happened? The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, under the guidance of Lee Aase had announced the new additions to their Advisory Board.
Mayo Clinic: Center for Social Media: Center Names New Advisory Board Members:
My name was on the list. This was why all the congratulations. This was the completion, at least for now, of their efforts to crowdsource the expansion of their External Advisory Board.
Mayo Clinic: Center for Social Media: Lead the social media revolution in health care, improving health and well-being for people everywhere.
At the time, I had seriously mixed feelings about that effort. I was then and remain now delighted with the commitment to a serious approach to and endorsement of the use of social media in health care and health care enterprises. I was less enthusiastic about the actual process, but at the urging of a few of my social media healthcare friends, had tossed my hat in the ring, completely without any expectation of any further action. I even went on record in this blog expressing my mixed feelings.
ETechLib: About Mayo’s Crowdsourcing their Social Media Advisory Board:
Following that, I occasionally noticed people continuing the conversation about the process in social media, but it was only on my own radar peripherally. So how the heck did I end up being one of the people chosen for the Board? I have no idea. Or rather, I have no idea, but I have some observations and thoughts in reaction, less about anything to do with me, and more about the shape of the board itself, and the process as it is evolving.
Once I got over walking around feeling stunned and baffled, and the announcement came out, I started to look at the rest of the post. One of my concerns about the composition of the original board was the lack of diversity. It is not a concern about the actual individuals, many of whom I know and who are wonderful passionate and compassionate people who care deeply about the potential of social media for improving both personal health and health care communities and processes. I had expressed concern about the lack of ethnic and gender diversity, the missing patient voice, and similar concerns. While the board remains largely composed of white men, that percentage has shifted dramatically, and every single one of my concerns has been addressed, and MORE. I suspect that the continuing dominance of white men may have something to do with the dominance of white men in both healthcare and social media in general, or perhaps with the pool of people who were willing to participate in the process.
For the record, there are so many wonderful people who applied. Lee has emphasized what a difficult and challenging process this was. Any of you who applied this time should apply again. The terms are only one year. They will be needing a completely new crew soon enough, and I fully expect that the range of diversity of voices represented will only grow more broad in future iterations of the process. (This assumes that they continue to choose to crowdsource the board, and I hope they do.)
The new members of the board includes:
* international members (Bertalan Mesko, Egbe Osifo-Dawodu, Hugh Stephens);
* women (Dr Osifo-Dawodu again, with Wendy Sue Swanson, Joni Watson, Mary Pat Whaley, and Kelly Young, as well as myself);
* students (John Oliver DeLancey and Hugh Stephens) and “old fogies” (no names);
* patient advocates who are not care providers (Bob West and Kelly Young, maybe me.)
* even a researcher (Bob West again) and a librarian (yours truly)!
I love the range of specialties and interests represented (from birth to death, from bench to bedside to the patient, from schools to hospitals to the streets). Many are people I already know through my involvement in #hcsm on Twitter or the broader health care social media communities, but not all. There are many fine new people on the Advisory Board for me to discover, follow, learn about and learn from. I must say I am thoroughly delighted to have the opportunity!