Why Can’t We ALL Learn to be Totally Fit? 2What are Health Hubs?

Health Hubs are non-profit knowledge-sharing websites where health professionals share what they know with the public about what works and where to find it - on a particular health topic.

The Insomnia Hub

Why Can’t We ALL Learn to be Totally Fit? 1Americans spend up to $107 billion a year on sleep, including 60 million scripts. Did you know that sleeping pills often don’t work or can be dangerous?  Most of the 1 in 3 with insomnia don’t know that Doctors’ Guidelines say to first try the non-drug therapy (CBT-I).  It seems like only the hype is heard – like ‘Ask your Doctor’ ads.

All in healthcare professions are urged to promote best practices using social media.  Imagine if the entire community of sleep professionals spoke up together in one place – over the hype … for what’s proven to work and where to find it.

On the Insomnia Hub … together, we hope to spread ‘what works & where to find it’ … We LEAD

Leverage the Insomnia Hub & other social media to
Effectively promote ‘what works’ to
Accelerate consumer demand for best practices &
Disseminate the best science about Insomnia.


The CBT Hub

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective treatment that works for many, many conditions. All too often, my patients express that they wished they would’ve known about CBT many years before – when they first began treatment. They feel that they’ve lost time, money, relationships, opportunities, as well as better health … not knowing about CBT.  As well, many clinicians lament that if only we had something like a pharmaceutical industry to promote CBT, we’d help so many more people.

What are Health Hubs?We believe that by harnessing the power of social media, a community of concerned clinicians can speak up together in one place – to promote CBT ourselves. We hope to show a measurable impact, as we post on the CBT Hub – especially about ‘CBT success stories’ – and further spread links to our posts via other social media platforms.

For more, visit the CBT Hub.


More Health Hubs

What are Health Hubs? 1

We hope to develop a whole array of Health Hubs in the future. If you’re interested in helping us, contact me at drcary@mac.com.  If you’d like to see a Health Hub on another health topic, please use the comment section below to add to our list.

We are looking for behavioral health groups (societies, academic departments) that would like to develop/adopt a Health Hub that its members would curate.

Also, we are looking for behavioral health educators who would like to incorporate Health Hubs into their courses, as a hands-on learning of social media skill development for health promotion – using the Health Communication Hub as a platform base.


Why Open Health Hubs?Why have 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!

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?

Imagine Mason’s March Madness for Total FitnessImagine Mason’s March Madness for Total Fitness

In 2006, Mason students believed they could be the best of the 'final four' of March Madness.  What if we could re-create that kind of excitement every year?

What is Total Fitness?

What’s Total Fitness?At the time I taught at the Uniformed Services University, I watched the entire military transform its definition of health to include the ‘whole person’ in the whole community (watch the vidoe for more).  They used a train-the-trainer model to teach over 30,000 Army soldiers to train 10’s of 1000’s of other soldiers to be totally fit.

At the 2012 Living and Leading with Resilience Conference, Colonel Bates and I presented a way for George Mason University to LEAD …  kickstart an intercollegiate competition – for communities to compete to be the most totally fit – using that military training.

Creating a Culture of Total Fitness

Can’t civilians be Totally Fit too?Dr. Seligman at U Penn led the Total Fitness train-the-trainer program. He stated, at the Mason Resilience conference,  “If we can train Drill Sergeants to lead resilience training in Army units, I don’t see why students can’t train their peers to be more resilient.”

Mason’s Distinguished Communication Professor, Dr. Kreps thinks it’s a testable hypothesis …  The science says that if a health communication campaign makes it POPULAR, EASY, & FUN for students and faculty to join … we can create a culture of Total Fitness.

Piloting ‘Shared’ Service-Learning

Imagine Mason’s March Madness for Total Fitness 2In 2010, we began pilots across 4 undergrad and graduate courses, testing some ideas …

Would faculty integrate the development of an intercollegiate fitness competition into their existing courses using service-learning?    RESULT: Yes, it was EASY for faculty.

Would students opt into a service-learning project and collaborate across courses to develop the competition together?    RESULT: Yes, they had FUN too!

Service-Learning Pilot #1

Imagine Mason’s March Madness for Total Fitness 3Dr. Rowan’s Writing for PR class conducted a survey to learn what would make it ‘POPULAR’ to join a Total Fitness team. Freshmen surveyed said: (1) Get course credit (i.e., service-learning) to help develop the competition, (2) Use retailer incentive (i.e., a Starbucks gift card), (3) Use smartphone to verify points.

Survey results from the PR students were then shared with students in Dr. Kreps’ Health Comm 404, who – for their service-learning project – designed the fitness challenge.

Service-Learning Pilot #2

Imagine Mason’s March Madness for Total Fitness 4Dr. Kreps’ Health Comm 404 service-learning project was to design a FUN Fitness Challenge.

They tested a mobile health app – called WIZIT – with QR codes that converted to fitness points and prizes (sponsored by Starbucks).

And, they recruited students from yet a 3rd course (Comm 200) to actually test out the fitness challenge – as a service-learning project.

Service-Learning Pilot #3

Imagine Mason’s March Madness for Total Fitness 5Students who opted into this service-learning project downloaded the ‘Wizit’ app on smartphones. The one who logged in the most laps (back & forth between 2 Starbucks) during a week, won a Starbucks gift card.

Their reactions were mostly positive with suggestions for how to improve it for the next time. Overall, students among the 3 pilots were very enthusiastic about the potential for launching and leading a March Madness for Total Fitness.

Posters & Presentations

Imagine Mason’s March Madness for Total Fitness 6These health communication pilots were presented at 5 conferences:

2010 NIH mHealth Summit

2010 American Psychological Association

2011 Association for Prevention Teaching & Research

2011 Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology

2012 Living and Leading with Resilience (George Mason University)

Who at Mason would join a competition?

Imagine Mason’s March Madness for Total Fitness 7Janet Walker, then Director of  Wellness by Mason, suggested that their annual Resolution Solution fitness challenge could collaborate with an intercollegiate fitness challenge. Their coalition spans the entire University.

Educators who teach relevant courses could offer students the option to join a ‘Total Fitness’ team for service-learning. As students apply what they learn in courses, they’d ‘serve’ to improve their team’s performance and/or help build the intercollegiate competition.

42 Grad Programs Would Join

Imagine Mason’s March Madness for Total Fitness 8When we presented the idea of March Madness at the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology 2011 Conference, we surveyed these Directors.

Asked if they’d integrate the service-learning aspect into their Clinical Skills training, 42 Directors indicated that they could see it as part of their clinical Practica … engaging patients as well.

Next Steps

Contact us (drcary@mac.com) if you’re interested in developing the idea of an intercollegiate challenge for total fitness!

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