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Use your social media canvas to engage, educate, and empower

Justin Chase, executive vice president of media, EVERSANA INTOUCH discusses trends in social media how healthcare communicators can leverage different…



Use your social media canvas to engage, educate, and empower

Justin Chase, executive vice president of media, EVERSANA INTOUCH discusses trends in social media how healthcare communicators can leverage different platforms to build stronger relationships with patients and HCPs.

Med Ad News: The social media landscape has changed considerably over the past couple of years. That changes and trends are you seeing in healthcare and pharma marketing?

Justin Chase:  The number of deals in the media landscape (not specific to social) went up 20 fold last year and many of these companies have technology or AI that are incorporated into parts of their business model.

The ability to create a profile, or connect and engage, is fundamentally social. In health care, having the kinds of access issues we experienced during the pandemic, it’s not hard to see why this kind of functionality or behavior, saw a demonstrable uptick. That said, there were also a number of overly hyped platforms, like Clubhouse, that we were bearish on from the start. It’s companies like these that got a lot more traction when they probably shouldn’t have.  Why? In large part this could be because of the pandemic and the very real desperation people felt personally and professionally in wanting to engage in new ways across new platforms. I hesitate to call Clubhouse innovative because I thought it was extraordinarily derivative and bound to fail.

That said, we have a tendency in the media and social landscape to jump into what’s new and what’s next. Because media as well as health and life sciences have demonstrated extraordinary innovation, it’s easy to get overly excited about a new entrant to the space. The important thing however is to look at the sustainability of the business model first. The days of growth companies garnering lofty valuations, or story companies with no fundamentals, are over.

What’s really exciting to me is this emergence of the ‘creator universe’. There’s a distinction to be made between creator universe and influencers. The creator universe is less a new platform than it is a new way to use existing platforms. Each platform is a canvas intended to convey a different message or evoke an emotive response from the end user. It’s an unbelievable way to create synergy of experience across all your platforms.

Med Ad News: What challenges are healthcare marketers facing in effectively reaching and engaging with patients and HCPs?

Chase: I’ve worked in media for 22 years and in pharma for 20 of those years. I launched the Gilenya social ecosystem in 2010, and it was the first social experience ecosystem. It was more than one platform; it was multiple connected platforms that encouraged and invited bilateral dialogue. It was the first platform in the history of pharma where you could engage directly with the brand on social media, so it was a big deal at the time. One of the challenges, or trepidation now – especially when you see how much an errant comment or negative tweet can move a market –  is there’s a very conservative approach to inviting comments on social platforms. I’ve seen many clients revert to creating a social presence but then turning commenting off. I think that is a major mistake because no matter what, if you’ve successfully commercialized a clinical asset, then there are going to be people commenting about you and your brand.  Earlier on it’s investors, analysts, and the media, post-launch it’s patients, caregivers, HCPs, and also the media. Don’t you want to be involved in that conversation to help shape the narrative? Some of these brands are choosing not to because of this extreme degree of conservatism. The best way to correct misinformation is with science and data; if you turn comments off and choose not to engage at all, you miss an opportunity to ensure for accuracy in the flow of information around your brand. You are also sending a message to patients, caregivers, and HCPs that although you choose to play on their platforms (that is, you are meeting them where they are), you are also choosing not to play by their rules.

Med Ad News: What strategies should marketers use to facilitate positive relationships and build trust between clients, patients, and HCPs?

Justin Chase, executive vice president, media, EVERSANA INTOUCH

Chase: Omnichannel is everything everybody is talking about right now. You put your patient or HCP at the center of your experience, and then surround them with triggered, dynamic sequential messaging, at scale. This sounds good and it is, but I don’t hear social media being talked about nearly as much as it should be considering the fact that in order to truly provide an omni experience, you do need to engage with people on the platforms they organically engage on – not just owned, promotional channels – and of course social is a key part of this. I think too often omni is thought of as a funnel to the site, but in reality most consumers (patients or HCPs)  are not going to actively, or consistently choose to engage there. They will, however, engage on social channels as they are spending multiple hours there every day, currently.

My point is that as you’re building and nurturing your omnichannel experience, social should be at or near the center. Then as you start to build out your first-party database, by the very nature of doing that work you start to create a flywheel, learning more about your patients, which gives you the ability to create more targeted and personalized communications. You’ll also understand their behaviors and mindsets, which will help you to create and shape a social strategy.

Med Ad News: What are your thoughts on the role of social media in health equity?

Chase: We partnered with The Chrysalis Initiative to launch a campaign called Erase the Line to more fully empower African American women with breast cancer to receive equal treatment in their healthcare journey. Outcomes for African American women with breast cancer are exponentially worse than white women, and this largely comes down to the fact that they are not given the same types of care, treatment, or educational resources. The goal of this campaign, leveraging social media, was to erase the line – the line being inequality for black women in terms of treatment, education, and health outcomes. That’s just one example, and I think the ability that social has to connect, engage, and educate is incredibly powerful. Social can be a really great equalizer in terms of empowerment at scale.

Med Ad News: Are there any interesting social media initiatives that EVERSANA and EVERSANA INTOUCH are implementing?

Chase: We’ve been incorporating AI into our workflow for the past eight to nine years inclusive of creative, copy, and insight generation. From a social perspective, this is where it gets really interesting. There are two schools of thought: one school of thought is that AI is going to totally replace social media in the next six to seven years. The idea is that because so much of the social experience is about search, it can probably do it faster and more efficiently than you, provided you learn the right queries. The second school of thought is that no matter how much we can optimize artificial intelligence, we’re never going to be able to replicate the sense of engagement and human connection that you get just from knowing there’s another human being behind the screen. I think that idea is exemplified massively in health care.

We all know someone with a chronic issue or disease. They spend a lot of time in forums, on blogs, etc. and knowing that if they type a comment in a chat group or a forum, the person  engaging with them on the other end is an actual person – that’s a really big deal. There’s the empathy component. The fact that we’re both going through the same thing at the same time [as someone else] can’t be understated in terms of importance to our mental and physical well-being.

I absolutely do not think that AI is going to replace the social experience but we are spending a lot of time thinking about the intersection of artificial intelligence and media, and certainly social media. I think the sweet spot is going to be AI as a tool for identifying other like-minded people, then rallying those people around a certain topic or theme. If you think about the number of Americans that have some sort of communication impairment, for any reason, certainly inclusive of disease or disability, the number is almost 34 million. One thing we know about AI is that it can have a dramatic impact on communication. Maybe it helps those people communicate through other sounds, images, or symbols – the possibilities are immeasurable, and that’s just one application demonstrating the synergy between AI and social.  These are the things we are thinking about and investing in.

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Nurse Injured By COVID-19 Vaccine Heading To Trial Against Former Employer

Nurse Injured By COVID-19 Vaccine Heading To Trial Against Former Employer

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),



Nurse Injured By COVID-19 Vaccine Heading To Trial Against Former Employer

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Danielle Baker in a file image. (Courtesy of Danielle Baker)

A nurse diagnosed with a COVID-19 vaccine injury is headed to trial in a case against her former employer.

Danielle Baker, 43, is trying to compel Ohio’s Hospice Inc. to pay worker’s compensation for her COVID-19 vaccine injury, suffered after she went to get vaccinated in June 2021 because she believed the company would mandate vaccination.

A state officer rejected the claim, finding that Baker did not show her injury came “in the course of and arising out of her employment” because Ohio’s Hospice had not yet mandated vaccination. The Ohio Industrial Commission refused to hear the appeal.

But a judge intervened in May, scheduling a trial date that sets up the possibility a jury could side with the nurse.

“It was a win,” Baker told The Epoch Times’ sister media NTD, recounting when she learned of the development. “I cried. We’ve been fighting this for a while.”

Baker hopes to receive a large award based on lost wages and medical bills.

New Developments

Baker said she knew Ohio’s Hospice would eventually mandate vaccination for employment—it did so in August 2021—and she did not want to lose her job, so she went to get Pfizer’s shot.

Baker quickly began experiencing symptoms such as severe back pain and went to the hospital. She eventually suffered loss of feeling in her extremities and was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, or spinal cord inflammation. Multiple doctors have assessed that the condition was caused by the vaccine.

Ohio’s Hospice Inc., which did not respond to requests for comment, has said in court filings that Baker’s complaint was barred by statutes of limitations and that she has failed to “declare an injurious event that occurred at work and/or a diagnosis for any such event that occurred at work.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, has also opposed the legal action, arguing no valid claim has been offered.

But Miami County Common Pleas Judge Jeannine Pratt disagreed, at least for now. The judge has scheduled a trial that would start on Jan. 31, 2024, if the case is not thrown out or settled.

Baker said she is not inclined to accept a settlement.

Unless they give something that I can’t refuse I plan on taking it all the way,” Baker told NTD.

James Gardner, a lawyer representing the nurse, said via email that “most cases are resolved, but the diverse positions taken by the parties in this case might make settlement difficult.”

Nurse for 20 Years

Baker was a nurse for 20 years, primarily working in hospice care. She worked for 17 years at Ohio’s Hospice.

After suffering the vaccine injury, she went on short-term disability, which eventually turned into long-term disability.

Ohio’s Hospice ultimately said that there were no reasonable accommodations that could be made, so Baker was let go, though she was deemed eligible to rejoin the company at a later date.

Baker has continued receiving disability payments as she’s unable to work because of her symptoms.

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Tyler Durden Wed, 06/07/2023 - 22:20

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Metaverse investments: Opportunities and risks of the trillion-dollar VR market

What are the best metaverse projects that investors should keep on their radar? Cointelegraph Research Metaverse Ranking Awards the top projects



What are the best metaverse projects that investors should keep on their radar? Cointelegraph Research Metaverse Ranking Awards the top projects

The metaverse continues to expand, with industry giants and upcoming players racing to seize a slice of the potentially trillion-dollar pie. Close to $2 billion was invested in blockchain-based metaverse deals in 2022, according to Cointelegraph Research’s VC database

A 2022 report by McKinsey estimated the metaverse industry to potentially generate up to $5 trillion in revenue by 2030, an estimate overtaken by Citi's forecast of $8 to $13 trillion. These estimations reflect significant growth from the global metaverse market of $65.5 billion recorded in 2022. To realize these optimistic forecasts, the metaverse industry would need to sustain an impressive 85% compound average growth rate.

VC metaverse funding in 2022. Source: Source: Cointelegraph Research.

Investors will never guess which metaverse won Cointelegraph’s 2023 Ranking of Metaverses. This blockchain-based metaverse has over $61 million in value locked in its smart contracts and over 8,000 monthly users. To learn more about the project that enables true ownership of in-game assets and has a deflationary token model, read the report now. 

Download the report on the Cointelegraph Research Terminal.

Stronger than ever

Yet, the metaverse landscape is not without its difficulties. Market cap losses have plagued industry leaders, with Meta, formerly known as Facebook, losing 77% of its market cap equivalent to $800 billion between late 2021 and 2022. As a result, Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, plans to eliminate 21,000 jobs in 2023.

Despite setbacks, industry titans like Microsoft, Apple, Nvidia, and Qualcomm are all developing their metaverse strategies. Apple's entry into the metaverse is highly anticipated with its AR/VR headset launch slated for June 2023. Similarly, gaming firms like Epic and Roblox utilized the pandemic lockdown to their advantage, successfully launching metaverse concerts that reached millions worldwide.

In 2022, mergers, acquisitions, and financing in the metaverse realm rose from $13 billion in 2021 to over $120 billion, bolstered by Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision. This deal had a 7.6x EV/Sales multiple and a 20.2x EV/EBITDA multiple. Although valuation multiples are expected to decrease in line with higher interest rates, investment activities remain robust.

Metaverse marketing efforts. Source: Cointelegraph Research.

Top blockchain metaverse projects are also attracting significant capital. Leading blockchain metaverses measured by market cap include The Sandbox ($1.02 billion), Decentraland ($905 million), and Axie Infinity ($830 million). Year to date (YTD) performance of The Sandbox is 44%. Decentraland’s YTD is 62%. Neither of them surpasses Bitcoin’s YTD retu of 68%.

For investors seeking exposure to the metaverse, ETFs like the Fidelity Metaverse ETF (FMET) and Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF (METV) offer viable options. However, the new Cointelegraph Research study reveals that a majority of token transactions in metaverse projects result from speculation rather than actual in-metaverse usage, a trend that calls for cautious investment.

The Cointelegraph Research team

Cointelegraph’s Research department comprises some of the best talents in the blockchain industry. The research team comprises subject matter experts from across the fields of finance, economics and technology to bring the premier source for industry reports and insightful analysis to the market. The team utilizes APIs from a variety of sources in order to provide accurate, useful information and analyses.

The opinions expressed in the article are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product.

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How a neighborhood-focused Baltimore initiative is employing patience, partnership, and resident leadership to drive long-term change

At the corner of North and Cecil Avenues in Central Baltimore sits the newly constructed home of a community-based organization, Roberta’s House, which…



By Darius Graham

At the corner of North and Cecil Avenues in Central Baltimore sits the newly constructed home of a community-based organization, Roberta’s House, which provides mental health and grief counseling services to residents who may not otherwise get these much-needed services. The building represents a transformational investment designed to bring new life to a vacant block that was previously occupied by rowhomes.

When construction on Roberta’s House broke ground in 2018, the two sides of Cecil Avenue at this corner were divided, both physically and symbolically. The juxtaposition of abandoned rowhomes on one side and hope rising from the ground on the other side, sparked a thought among staff at Baltimore’s Weinberg Foundation: What if this building were to be the start of a ripple of redevelopment and opportunity in the neighborhood?

And so, the revitalization of this one building on this one corner would soon become part of something bigger—a philanthropic-funded effort to improve the health and life trajectory of Central Baltimore residents. This piece tells the story of lessons from the Greenmount Life, Opportunity, and Wellness (GLOW) Initiative, a new effort to concentrate financial and social investment in select neighborhoods that have long experienced underinvestment.

Developing a hyper-local strategy rooted in strength

Created in 1990, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation had been funding Baltimore-based nonprofits for 30 years when, beginning in 2018 and following many conversations with stakeholders, the foundation adopted a hyperlocal, place-based strategy (while continuing to provide grants across the Baltimore region). The premise was that by focusing some of the foundation’s financial and social capital in a compact geographic area, it could drive positive outcomes in an even more targeted way. Out of this decision came GLOW.

We knew that one of the most important factors in getting GLOW off the ground was choosing the right area on which to focus our efforts. Several factors led to our selection of four Central Baltimore neighborhoods, Midway, Barclay, Harwood, and Greenmount West, including:

  • Need: Many residents of our target neighborhoods had limited economic opportunity and poor health. Midway, for example, had the highest unemployment rate of any neighborhood in the city, the sixth lowest life expectancy, and one of the city’s highest concentrations of children living in poverty.
  • Concurrent investment: While Baltimore City, despite decades of disinvestment, had designated the area as one of its “Impact Investment Areas,” other major developments, including a large nonprofit makerspace, were already underway or forthcoming in the area. Meanwhile, a coalition of funders had also recently launched the Central Baltimore Future Fund to catalyze commercial redevelopment. We recognized that GLOW would be more successful if it aligned with those efforts.
  • Partners: The area also is home to four public schools and many nonprofits, including Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP), a nonprofit collaborative of over 100 organizations dedicated to the revitalization of Central Baltimore neighborhoods. These partners already had meaningful relationships and capacity that if brought together could help achieve more positive outcomes for the neighborhoods around GLOW’s goals.

With all of this in mind, Weinberg Foundation saw an opportunity to improve Central Baltimore’s economic and public health outcomes by working with CBP to physically transform the four neighborhoods, while placing special emphasis on health and educational outcomes for their residents. In this way, the Foundation was able to tap into existing organizational infrastructure—essentially building from strength instead of building from scratch.

Strong and glowing: From an idea to implementation

The central purpose of GLOW is to mobilize and coordinate an array of organizations to improve the health and life trajectory of Central Baltimore residents by improving access to, and utilization of, primary health care, nutritious food, and enriching educational or career opportunities for youth. While the long-term goal is to make an impact on key indicators like unemployment and life expectancy, we know that those will take years. In the interim, we are squarely focused on supporting the initiative as a platform for aligning multiple organizations, sourcing and advancing residents’ goals and desire, lifting up residents as leaders, and attracting additional resources to the neighborhood.

We’ve had some early wins. For example, GLOW has established a network of more than 30 service providers, including a national organization it recruited to the neighborhood, which will connect 125 families with housing, employment, financial, and supportive services that help increase economic mobility. Other wins include expanding paid summer youth opportunities in the neighborhood by partnering with Banner Neighborhoods to operate a YouthWorks site, and catalyzing the development of several key capital projects including an outdoor education and community health hub along with a teaching kitchen. Along the way, we’ve also learned a lot of lessons relevant for any equity-focused place-based initiative, including:

  1. The lead organization for a place-based initiative—CBP in the case of GLOW—must be adept at navigating a range of efforts and stakeholders. Specifically, it must be capable of both strategic and tactical efforts and have trust and relationships with a range of stakeholders, including funders, government leaders, and residents. The organization must focus on strategy at all levels and not get bogged down in the day-to-day of providing services and activities in the neighborhood.
  2. Genuine partnership means more than ‘partners on paper’. Partnership, like collaboration, is a term that gets used a lot and can mean different things to different people. With GLOW, we have found that true partnership requires more than regular meetings or information sharing. It demands building trusting relationships rooted in an “if you win, I win” mentality instead of in the scarcity mindset that often pervades the nonprofit sector, especially when it comes to working with foundations. It means jointly applying for funding, being clear about expectations and roles, and navigating conflict.
  3. Community leadership is as important as community engagement. For place-based initiatives like GLOW, it’s critical that residents not just be engaged in typical ways like surveys or public meetings. Instead, residents should have genuine leadership and decision-making authority— meaning equal or greater representation on the committee overseeing the initiative, with compensation for their time and insights.
  4. Planning takes time and resources. Place-based initiatives require coordinating across city agencies, nonprofit organizations, and resident leaders—as well as including visible wins in early months to build trust and buy-in with residents and partners. This took us two years and required flexibility as the COVID-19 pandemic extended timelines and shifted our attention. Even under normal circumstances planning requires significant staff time to thoughtfully engage residents and stakeholders in small group and one-on-one conversations.
  5. Patience is essential. Place-based initiatives require a long-term commitment due to the nature of developing the infrastructure across sectors to create systemic, long-term change. Phases include understanding the challenges and opportunities in the community, building the infrastructure across multiple partners, and capacity building for anchor institutions—all before achieving neighborhood-level outcomes.

With these lessons in mind, we are continuing to invest in and build GLOW so it can serve as a platform for convening resident and stakeholders to drive change in Central Baltimore for many years to come. By focusing on strategy, building true partnerships, centering residents as leaders, investing in planning, and operating with a sense of flexibility and patience, we believe other funders and community-based organizations can build similar initiatives to help transform underinvested neighborhoods.

Photo credit: Banner Neighborhoods, Inc.

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