Lisa Wehr's Public Health Blog

Lisa is originally from Sigourney, Iowa. She attended Iowa State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Music in 2010. She is currently a first year Master’s of Public Health (MPH) student in community and behavioral health (CBH). Lisa works on the medicine-psychiatry unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). Through this blog Lisa hopes to let people learn about the CBH department.

This student blog is unedited and does not necessarily reflect the views of the College of Public Health or the University of Iowa.

11 December 2011


How do I keep up with public health news?  The number one way for me is through twitter. I have become increasingly more fascinated with twitter recently and particular it's role in health/medicine/public health.

Somewhat recently (as in October...time goes fast) Mayo Clinic in Rochester held their 3rd annual social media summit. Being a social media summit, the event was heavily tweeted and blogged. There is a catalog of blog posts from the event available on this blog. However, it also brought up many ideas of social media in health and questioned many commonly held notions. Shortly thereafter, was APHA. Perhaps because I had just "watched" the entire MayoRagan summit through twitter, I was a little disappointed in the number of tweets that came out of APHA. There wasn't much.

Some other things that have come up regarding health and social media is the use of Twitter to follow health trends (there is also a service on google that tracks this) and a more recent story from NPR about agencies using twitter to track health misconceptions. Both really interesting concepts that I'm sure will see growth and innovation in the near future.

So want to get your news watching up to speed?
Here are the list of health-related twitter users I follow:

  • APHA (@PublicHealth)
  • Iowa Department of Public Health (@IAPublicHealth)
  • Health Corps (@HealthCorps)
  • SAMHSA (@samhsagov)
  • Iowa Primary Care Association (@iowapca)
  • Wendy Swanson-an MD interested in social media use in health (@SeattleMamaDoc)
  • John Hopkins School of Public Health (@JohnsHopkinsSPH)
  • Harvard School of Public Health (@HarvardHSPH)
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Public Health (@RWJF_PubHealth)
  • UI Health Care (@uihealthcare)
  • APHA Annual Meeting (@APHAAnnualMtg)
  • American Academy of Family Physicians (@aafp)
  • American Medical Association (@AmerMedicalAssn)
  • Journal of the American Medical Association (@Jama_current)
  • Yale Medicine (@yalemedicine)
  • Virtual Mentor-a medical ethics journal (@VMethics)

One thing I can say is to not write off any one user because they are more medically related (like the American Medical Association). There is some really great research that comes through these organizations and is extremely applicable to public health.

A great way to start off your list simply googling a phrase like "public health twitter users." Here's a site to start you off: 50 Public Health twitter users to follow. As you continue to use twitter your list will continue to grow. I have added a lot of users because one of their tweets was retweeted by someone else I follow. It's like visible virtual networking :)

Give it a try!

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