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Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media launches global Social Media Health Network

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- The recently formed Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media ( ) today announced the formation of the Social Media Health Network, a group dedicated to using social media to promote health, improve health care and fight disease. Through educational conferences, webinars and development of social platforms for sharing training materials and resources, this international network will help members learn from each other and effectively implement social media programs.

The announcement came at the Second Annual Social Media Summit produced in conjunction with Ragan Communications ( and hosted on Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Fla.

In addition to Mayo Clinic, charter members of the network include:

  • Bon Secours Health System, Marriottsville, Md.
  • Inova Health System, Falls Church, Va.
  • Mission Health System, Asheville, N.C.
  • Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (UMCN), Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Swedish Health Services, Seattle, Wash.

"We believe the Social Media Health Network will be a significant force for learning how to apply social media tools effectively in the health context," says Victor Montori, M.D., ( medical director for Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. "It will be a vehicle for us to share what we've learned about social media, including our training resources, and for others to join us in learning together and developing best practices. Ultimately, we want to help health-related organizations of all sizes and types to harness these powerful communication tools to help patients and improve human health globally." See the post ( on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media site for more information, including video from Dr. Montori.

To support this goal and to build network membership in Europe, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (UMCN) ( ) in the Netherlands will serve as the first network partner and community leader for the European continent.

UMCN, a strong social media leader among European medical centers and health care in general, will recruit European Union members, host conferences and facilitate growth of the movement. Lucien Engelen, UMCN's director of the Radboud REshape & Innovation Center, says the network "will be sharing, facilitating, exploring and stimulating the use of social media throughout health care. We have been doing this already over the last two years with the REshape conferences and the upcoming Medicine 2.0 Europe, TEDxMaastricht, and also with our research on this matter. For us, the use of social media is part of our ambition to migrate into participatory health care where in our vision patients, family and informal care step into the health care team. This is too big to handle alone; we have to unite and share."

In addition to UMCN, Mayo will seek organizations to serve as continental community leaders for Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. Lee Aase, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, says this is consistent with the ethos of social media and the reality of medicine. "The Social Media Health Network will obviously be active on the Internet, but it will be much more than a website," he explains. "The network will foster real relationships among health-related organizations and with patients, and those will be cultivated through a mix of online and real-world connections. Identifying strong organizations like UMCN that are experienced in using social media and committed to collaborating on health-related applications will be crucial to extending the network."


Contact: Traci Klein
Mayo Clinic

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