Renewing a Connection, and a Call to Comment

My post yesterday on why A Calorie is NOT a Calorie — and why “eat less, move more” is a simplistic and harmful slogan masquerading as scientific weight-loss advice — led to a delightful reconnection with someone I first met more than a decade ago.

My good friend Dave deBronkart’s comment on my LinkedIn post drew Dr. Ted Eytan into the discussion, and it was a great pleasure to renew our acquaintance.

I first met Dr. Eytan in 2009 when we were on a panel together at a conference in Baltimore (which was also the day I met Ed Bennett for the first time after having interacted for several months on Twitter).

I was delighted to learn that he’s taken on a role as Associate Director with The Nutrition Coalition, and that he’s engaged in the effort to have U.S. Dietary Guidelines reflect sound science.

I had heard Nina Teicholz on a podcast talking about the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Commission and her work with The Nutrition Coalition, so it was cool to find out that Dr. Eytan is working so closely with her. As described earlier in this series, her book — The Big Fat Surprise — started me on this journey of dietary discovery.

The Nutrition Coalition is urging public comment as the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Commission is developing its 2020 Guidelines. This process happens every five years, and it has a huge impact. It affects everything from hospital meals to school lunches to what physicians and dietitians recommend to patients.

I submitted my comments last night. I hope you’ll check out all of the great information from The Nutrition Coalition and do likewise.

Tomorrow I’ll continue the series about my health journey. Follow along on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Aase at ASAE

I’m looking forward to participating in the 2009 Healthcare Association Conference sponsored by ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership (the acronym for which, oddly enough, is an anagram of my last name) in Baltimore on Tuesday. See the conference agenda (PDF).

Here’s the overview for the panel discussion I’ll be joining on Tuesday:

The growing popularity and power of social technologies creates both new challenges and opportunities for healthcare associations, as well as for the healthcare system itself. While the social web opens broader access to medical knowledge, enables greater collaboration among health professionals, and is actively transforming both healthcare advocacy and medical education, issues of information accuracy and patient privacy are enduring sources of concern. Listen to a candid and thought provoking dialogue on the present and future impact of social technologies on healthcare from players in different parts of the system.

I’m particularly pleased that this discussion will take place in two 75-minute segments, which will enable an in-depth exploration. As the brochure describes the focus of each:

  • In part one of this session, the panel will explore the current state of social technology use in healthcare, and some of the key strategic challenges and opportunities created by social technologies.
  • In part two of this session, the panel will focus specifically on how healthcare associations should be thinking about the application of social technologies to their work, as well as the future of social technology in the world of healthcare.

I’ll be joining Jeff De Cagna, chief strategist and founder, Principled Innovation, LLC (moderator) (@pinnovation); Gina Ashe, chief marketing officer, Sermo, Inc.; Ted Eytan, MD, MS, MPH, (@tedeytan) medical director, delivery system operations improvement, The Permanente Federation, LLC; Frank Fortin, director of communications, Massachusetts Medical Society (@frankfortin). We’re all going to be trying to follow Guy Kawasaki’s advice for panelists, and I’m sure Jeff will be a great moderator, too, involving the “audience” in the discussion. No long, boring PowerPoints: we will each have no more than three (3) slides.

I’ll be blogging about our discussion after the fact, and maybe tweeting occasionally during or between the sessions. But mainly I look forward to engaging in an interesting discussion, not just among the panel but with the whole group. I enjoy giving presentations about what we’re doing in social media at Mayo Clinic, but it will be even better to learn through the interchange with others.

I’m also excited that I’ll get to meet Ed Bennett (@EdBennett), who manages Web sites for the University of Maryland Health System and compiled the listing of hospitals using social networking. This again demonstrates the power of Twitter; I saw him offering rides from Baltimore to HealthCamp Philly…which led me to ask whether he was based in Baltimore…and we discovered he works across the street from where I will be on Tuesday. So we’ve arranged to get together after the conference. How cool is that?

Charlene Li Forrester Web 2.0 Presentation

I had the pleasure yesterday of presenting at a Web 2.0 Summit sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. Our panel was moderated by Ted Eytan, M.D., who also presented on his blogging experience from the last four years as part of Kaiser’s sister (or cousin, or some other relation I don’t completely understand) organization, Group Health. He’s an interesting guy who also has a passion for LEAN in Health Care, which is the topic of the other blog on which he is a collaborator. I also got to meet and hear Tim Collins from Wells Fargo, whose company has official blogs that include Guided by History, The Student LoanDown and one that supports Stagecoach Island, its virtual world. TIm says Wells Fargo was the first big brand in Second Life, but that they got out just as many others were starting to get in. Now they have a world of their own.

Charlene Li from Forrester Research opened the Summit with an overview of Web 2.0. She’s also the co-author of Groundswell, a book I just bought at (It’s also here on Amazon, and I’ll be reviewing it after I listen to it over the next few days). Before her presentation, we got to talk about our experience with audio books, and I recommended some from Patrick Lencioni that I think most people in business would find extremely helpful (and which I have reviewed on this blog): The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and Silos, Politics and Turf Wars. (I thought I had reviewed Death by Meeting, too…but I guess that’s on my to-do list.)

I’ll have my full review of Groundswell, but meanwhile here are some of the high points and recommendations from Charlene’s presentation:

Focus on the relationships, not the technologies. At Forrester, they have developed a four-step process using the acronym POST. You should consider:

  • People – for those you want to reach and with whom you want to interact, consider their characteristics and what kinds of social media involvement they have already. Getting seniors into a 3D virtual world may be a mismatch, unless the group you’re targeting is retired Microsoft or IBM engineers.
  • Objectives – Decide what you want to accomplish
  • Strategy – Plan for how relationships with customers will change
  • Technology – Decide which social technologies to use

Charlene’s blog has a fuller discussion of POST, and I’m sure Groundswell will be even more detailed.

Part of analyzing People is determining where they are on the Ladder of Participation.

Charlene had a lot of other great material in her presentation, but she closed with some Keys to Success:

  1. Start with Your Customers.
  2. Choose Objectives You Can Measure
  3. LIne Up Executive Backing
  4. Romance the Naysayers
  5. Start Small, but Think Big

I particularly like that last point, because it fits with the SMUG (It’s all Free) philosophy. It’s possible to start small because the barriers to entry are practically non-existent, but you should plan for success to that you can scale up as necessary.

For example, you can start a blog hosted on and map to a domain or subdomain of your choosing for $10-$20 (and can extensively customize your look and feel for another $15). Later, if your blog is successful and you decide you want to host it elsewhere to allow more use of Flash and embedded widgets, you can just download and install WordPress from and re-map the domain, and you won’t lose any of your links. I’ll have more on that as I build out the Blogging curriculum.