Why have Health Hubs?

Why Open Health Hubs?


Millions of us act like self-care dummies. Take insomnia. We spend billions on pills that never fix the problem. Few know that a sleep doctor would suggest that we learn a handful of (proven) CBT skills – to END insomnia!

OnAir Post: Why have Health Hubs?

Why Open Health Hubs? 1Does your doctor share?

Prescription for Health showed that patients get healthier when providers ‘share’ resources via their website.

So, imagine a health communication campaign that makes it easy for ANY clinician to ‘share’ via a curated network of Health Hubs – open to everyone – that spotlight proven practices and resources.

An interdisciplinary George Mason collaborative has begun a health communication campaign … see ‘Share CBT-I … using the Insomnia Hub.

Why Open Health Hubs? 2Doctors aren’t trained to share

Professional schools train in Clinical Prevention & Population Health competencies … but, they DON’T train in digital health promotion skills!

Why not create ‘ONE’ (Open Networked Education) health comm course (or practicum) that shares ‘ONE’ platform (Open Health Hubs) to train students interprofessionally to …  (1)  Translate & promote best practices, (2) Bridge to best resources, and (3)  Compete to have an impact?

Why Open Health Hubs? 3How to train all clinicians

Worldwide, students learn quality improvement (QI) skills at the IHI Open School. Hundreds of schools in the health professions (medicine, nursing, etc.) require their students to train there – online. For credit, students learn online & apply QI skills locally. Their service saves lives; it’s known as ‘open’ service learning.

Likewise, what if an open course (or open practicum) taught social media skills to students in the health professions – to share with consumers what works?  As their service, students would co-create open, scholar-curated Health Hubs – to improve health outcomes.

Why Open Health Hubs? 4Could service learners build a network of Hubs?

Imagine if an interdisciplinary academic team directed the ‘ONE’ course (or practicum)?

In the ‘ONE’ course, any student anywhere could learn how to post messages – to “bridge” health consumers to what works. Students could interprofessionally ‘peer-review’ each post. And, they’d publish their posts to learner-curated Health Hubs (e.g., physical activity, smoking cessation).

Why Open Health Hubs? 5Could professional societies adopt a Hub?

Suppose the ‘ONE’ course adopted and curated a specific Health Hub, to not only disseminate health science to the public, but to try to improve consumer demand for what works – semester by semester.

To promote their members and fields, professional societies  (‘participatory medicine‘ or ‘lifestyle medicine‘ or ‘health communication) could adopt/curate a Health Hub, by offering continuing ed credits to members taking the ONE course.

Why Open Health Hubs? 6Could GAH prevent suicide?

For instance, what if Give an Hour  (GAH) members, as their President offered, took the ‘ONE’ course for continuing ed. Their 7,000 civilian mental health providers could adopt/curate a Hub, spotlighting their post deployment resources.

What if a Health Communication program partnered to use the Hub as a learning lab? Their students could study which types of messages helped which type of service member to seek which kind of help … to improve health outcomes.

Why Open Health Hubs? 7Wanted: Public Health Leaders

Future public health leaders need to learn how to leverage communication and technologies – to help us all get more fit.

What if a School of Public Health adopted a Hub to promote, recruit, and lead college teams to compete to be ‘the most fit’ campus?

Mason’s health comm courses have piloted and presented this concept:  March Madness for Total Fitness.

Why Open Health Hubs? 8Wanted: Social Entrepreneurs

In behavioral health, we need SOCIAL entrepreneurs who can leverage SOCIAL marketing – to compete with the billions spent on hype … like ‘Ask your Doctor’ (for a pill).

Why not try a University-based social enterprise, using ONE health comm course and Health Hubs to generate revenue?  For example, one way might be to seek an NCAA sponsorship for a Mason start-up that hosts an annual … March Madness for Total Fitness.

Why Open Health Hubs? 9Wanted: Educators & Researchers

Help answer empirical questions:

Could the ‘ONE’ course (with Health Hubs) improve interprofessional communication competencies to promote evidence-based practices/services?

Could the ‘ONE’ course increase consumer demand for ‘what works’ (e.g., smoking cessation)?

Could the ‘ONE’ course leverage an intercollegiate competition to improve population health?


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