SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Kevin Jackson

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Mayo Clinic Launches Social Network for Patients, Caregivers

Mayo Clinic has launched a new online social network to connect its global community of patients and caregivers with others who share similar health interests. More than 1,000 members have joined in its first seven days of service.

“This new Mayo Clinic social network builds on previous social media platforms Mayo Clinic has created,” says Victor Montori, M.D., medical director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. “It provides an environment that offers more control over privacy settings and a customizable, tailored space for conversation around health care topics among people in the same situation with no distractions of advertisement.”

Mayo Clinic has the most popular medical provider channel on YouTube, an active Facebook community and more than 200,000 followers on Twitter. It also has several blogs that provide the latest news on Mayo Clinic research as well as general health information and stories from Mayo Clinic patients and employees.

“Each year, more than 500,000 unique patients from every U.S. state and nearly 150 countries visit one of our Mayo Clinic campuses in Arizona, Florida or Minnesota for diagnosis and treatment,” says Lee Aase, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. “These patients, their families and friends, and Mayo Clinic’s 56,000 employees and students are part of the global Mayo Clinic community. This new site provides a place for community members to share their experiences and connect with others who’ve faced similar experiences.”

The Mayo Clinic online community is free and is open to anyone, not just those who have been patients at Mayo Clinic. It includes content from various Mayo Clinic blogs, health and medical videos from Mayo's YouTube channel and links to news articles about Mayo Clinic research and treatment advances, along with a member discussion forum.

“The site offers a unique opportunity for new or prospective patients to interact with those who have received care at Mayo Clinic to get insight on how to make the most of their visit,” Dr. Montori adds. “Mayo Clinic approaches this community with both humility and a listening ear. We want to provide the latest technology and enable the community to evolve in the directions it wants to go, letting the community define what is useful. It will give us yet another opportunity to listen to the concerns and needs of our patients, and to work harder to meet those needs, both online and when they come to visit us at Mayo Clinic.”

For additional thoughts from Dr. Montori about the new Mayo Clinic network, see the Mayo Clinic News Blog.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit http://mayoclinic.org/about and www.mayoclinic.org/news.

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