Let’s Play Fantasy Baseball, Cabinet Version
September 6, 2016
I have never quite understood the allure of fantasy sports. Picking players from different teams based on past performance and your hunch of how they might play in the future on a team you create seems boring to me. As a kid, I do remember arguing with my older brother about whose baseball team was...
The Best of Cannes Lions Health: Smart Ideas, Well-Executed
June 20, 2016
The sheer volume of inspiring and excellent work shared at this year’s Cannes Lions Health has been remarkable—from breathtakingly beautiful films to stunning works of art and fantastically creative social campaigns. As I watched the awards ceremony presentations, I had two realizations. First, as health communicators we often get weighed down by our largely conservative...
Cannes Lions Health: Empathy Is the Key to Life-Changing Creativity
June 18, 2016
Earlier today at Cannes Lions Health, Genentech (a FleishmanHillard client) shared the powerful findings of their Lung Cancer Project, a study which sought to identify and understand unconscious bias. They found that an astonishing three out of four people had negative perceptions about lung cancer, which likely contributes to the high percentage of people diagnosed...
Why Media Coverage of Medical Research is Making John Oliver Mad, and What PR Pros Could Do to Help
May 10, 2016
You’ve seen the headlines. They appeared on your Facebook feed, your Twitter handle and your local news. You probably overheard someone mention one on your way to work. Maybe you’ve even seen these: “Swaddling May Be Linked to SIDS, New Research Analysis Suggests” “Eating Moderate Amounts of Chocolate Could Benefit Mom and Baby” “Drinking a...
Donald Trump’s 7-Point Healthcare Plan
March 4, 2016
Now that his road to the Republican nomination for President seems to be getting shorter, Donald Trump has released a seven-point plan for healthcare reform. But, like much in this campaign to date, it is short on details and new ideas. In fact, what’s remarkable about the plan is what is NOT in it. Trump’s...
Is It Enough to Mean Well? The Importance of Empathy
March 3, 2016
A few weeks ago, I was helping to lead a client message training session for an amazing group of female philanthropists. These women are leading incredible global health initiatives, from addressing gender-based violence in Honduras and Trinidad to transforming sanitation in Vietnam and detecting and treating cervical cancer in India. As we were discussing their...
Considerations for a New FDA Commissioner
February 26, 2016
The Senate, in an 89-4 vote, confirmed Dr. Robert Califf as the new Commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees the regulation of about one-fourth of the U.S. economy. With several “Holds” put on the nomination by more than a few members, including Senators Manchin, Markey, Murkowski and Sanders the question was whether...
10 Things We Know About the U.S. Presidential Candidates and Healthcare
February 24, 2016
The 2016 presidential election keeps rolling along with fewer candidates and many more primaries and caucuses. While issues like immigration and economic justice have dominated the debates and media coverage so far, healthcare continues to pop up fairly frequently. For example: Four candidates – Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump – have...
Why Do Democrats Keep Fighting Over Healthcare?
February 2, 2016
“In short [my opponent] offers a flawed trillion-dollar plan that will cost the American people even more in the long run." "[My opponent] abandoned that fundamental Democratic principle of basic health care for all Americans.” You may think these quotes were quite likely uttered just last week as the Democrats running for President made their...
What a Difference a Year Makes: Three Observations from the JPM Healthcare Conference
January 25, 2016
Hotel room rates in San Francisco have resumed being just expensive, not uber-expensive. Union Square is crowded, not overflowing. Sports talk in bars and restaurants is more likely to be about real football – the Super Bowl, Monday morning quarterbacks, watching from the sidelines, dropping the ball – than borrowed football metaphors to describe business...
Keeping Score: The State of Healthcare in Obamaland
January 13, 2016
One of Washington’s favorite parlor games is to dissect major speeches by the President to see what signals he might be sending to the American people. How long was the speech? What topics got the most attention? The least attention? Did he mention my pet topic? The annual State of the Union (SOTU) address to...
Five Things to Watch for at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference
January 12, 2016
San Francisco’s population is swelling, but the rising wave of people, much like the bay at high tide, will ebb. The flow of people into the city, specifically Union Square, is an effect of the 34th Annual J.P. Morgan (JPM) Healthcare Conference (JPM is a FleishmanHillard client), happening this week in San Francisco as it...
Kentucky: Microcosm for National Healthcare Debate
November 9, 2015
Kentucky has always been the best state in America for bluegrass, horse racing and bourbon. But Kentucky is also gaining national recognition in an unexpected area: becoming a microcosm for the national debate over Obamacare. On Tuesday night, voters elected Republican Matt Bevin to succeed Democrat Steve Beshear as the state’s next governor. Beshear created...
The Coming Storm
November 6, 2015
A sizzling summer of media coverage of rising drug prices – fueled by the made-for-TV news about Turing Pharmaceuticals’ 5000% price hike for Daraprim, a drug approved by the FDA in 1953 to treat malaria and toxoplasmosis – is turning into an autumn of activity on Capitol Hill. As a result, the long-brewing debate over...
What Really Scares Me This Halloween
October 30, 2015
Halloween’s calling, and my heart’s in the right place—for a person living with Type 1 diabetes, that is. You see, despite my compliance to carb-counting and almost hourly blood tests, I’ve deep-rooted affection for this holiday of camp and kitsch and candy. But just like Cinderella (my all-time favorite princess-in-waiting if not Halloween costume), I...
A Healthy Debate – What the Candidates Are Saying
October 15, 2015
U.S. presidential candidates from both parties have now held at least one nationally televised debate and healthcare played a prominent role in both. We ran a quick analysis of the most current Republican and Democratic debate transcripts, and some of what was said really surprised us. Think you know what’s what? Try this fast quiz:...
Can Technology Bridge the Gap Between Knowing and Doing?
October 14, 2015
Chronic disease prevention isn’t sexy. Its core tenets induce eye rolls with their basic simplicity: “Eat better. Exercise more.” Ugh, how boring. Isn’t there some pill I can take to stave off a heart attack or cancer? A one-time shot to make me diabetes-proof? Healthcare providers and public health professionals have long struggled with how...
The Five Healthcare Issues That Will Dominate the 2016 Election
September 28, 2015
Is Donald Trump’s hair real or fake? Is Hillary Clinton’s server clean or not? We’re as fascinated by these questions as anyone else and will debate these questions and more in our next blog post. As we trudge through September, October and then another 12 months until the election, we’ve begrudgingly accepted that the political...
Speaking of Health – How the 21st Century Cures Act Impacts Healthcare Communications
July 10, 2015
The pace of change in healthcare is breathtaking. There are new ways to treat, new ways to research, new ways to pay for care, new ways to access care and new ways to communicate about it. Yet, in too many ways, the way we, as a nation, regulate remains a 20th century model plagued by...
SCOTUS Saves POTUS: How the ACA Verdict Affects Healthcare
June 25, 2015
Today’s 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) hands a huge victory to Barack Obama, the President of the United States (POTUS), locking in place one of the President’s signature public policy initiatives of his two terms in the White House. While the political debate and legal challenges to the Affordable...
Social Media at ASCO: Weekend in Review
June 1, 2015
Day 4 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago brings with it some weary attendees and followers. Hundreds of abstracts have been presented on a range of cancers and generated some large conversation volumes, both in McCormick Place and online. On Friday, we previewed three topics and trends we’re watching at the meeting....
Sweet Home Chicago: What We’ll Be Watching at ASCO
May 29, 2015
Chicago, get ready. You’re about to have a lot more doctors, business executives and journalists. Thousands of them are gathering in the Windy City for the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), one of the largest oncology meetings in the world. While the surge will be temporary, the research and insights shared by oncologists...
Are We Too Optimistic About Progress in Cancer?
April 29, 2015
A giddy smile has taken hold of the faces of many oncologists and cancer patients. They have good reason to grin, for three reasons: We could be on the way toward doing away with the cancer biopsy. Researchers reported that a “liquid biopsy” blood test that’s possible due to advanced genome sequencing can find tiny pieces of cancer DNA in...
The FH 2015 Social Health Survey: A Second Opinion From Dr. Digital
April 20, 2015
Melissa Solomon and Adam Silverstein contributed to this article. Survey finds over 50% of patients consult with Dr. Google or Facebook before or after a doctor’s visit Our Social Health survey of more than 500 people reveals some important patient behaviors. First, patients form an opinion about a treatment option before they step foot in...
The FleishmanHillard 2015 Social Health Survey
April 7, 2015
How people care for themselves and others using social and mobile media Which networks people use and how they use them differs greatly depending on age range as well as whether the person is looking for information about their own health or finding information as a caregiver to someone else. The charts below show the...
The Affordable Care Act Turns 5
March 27, 2015
This week marks the 5th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. While the law appears to be making progress toward achieving its goals, it remains as divisive as ever and continues to face attempts to dismantle the law. Just last month, emboldened by the new Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, the...
The New, New Healthcare Law
March 27, 2015
Like the homeowner who winds up tripling his remodeling budget by telling the contractor “While you’re at it, can you ..." Congress is wrapping up what might be the most significant healthcare bill since the Affordable Care Act of 2010. What started out as a bill to fix a broken Medicare payment system for doctors...
Good News for Doctors and Children!
March 19, 2015
Congress is poised to do something remarkable. Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate are ready to enact legislation putting an end to an 18-year odyssey that alienated millions of physicians and created a continual environment of uncertainty for both practitioners and a vulnerable patient population. At the same time, they plan to extend...
Does the Affordable Care Act Have Nine Lives?
March 5, 2015
Today’s oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court are just the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the sweeping healthcare reform law enacted in 2010 also known as “Obamacare”. And it is not likely it will be the last. This isn’t the first time the pundits declared the ACA DOA: In 2009, the...
Changes Afoot for Vaccine Production in Russia
February 3, 2015
The Russian Ministry of Health plans to bring all Russian vaccine producers into a single national immune-biological cluster in 2015. In Russia, the market for the vaccines included in the National Immunization Schedule is quite a special segment of the pharmaceutical market. The main buyer of prophylactic vaccines is the State, which is also the...