244128 Going Viral: Strengthening Communications and Enhancing Service Delivery through Social Media

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:48 AM

Mitchell Coates, MBA , Healthy Start, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
Douglas Arnold, BS , Administration, Healthy Start, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
Objective: To provide audience members with an outline on how to utilize social media as a method to broaden outreach services in the community to increase enrollment, organize and communicate ideas and information to larger audiences, and actively engage the public and Healthy Start, Inc. participants on relevant maternal child health topics. Background: The program uses a multidimensional approach for service implementation in conjunction with social media applications, forums, and web-based enrollment services to provide the community and participants with the information necessary to lead healthy lives. Methods: Audience will receive an interactive demonstration, as well as program strategies and outcomes resulting from data analysis. Results: Using social media allows the program to educate more members, with over 350 individuals signed up to receive updates. The most potent means of getting information out to mothers is still through their peers, and social media allows them to network through a simple and accessible medium. Web-based services like enrollment requests on the Healthy Start, Inc. website now accounts for 18% of total enrollments, which isn't a surprise considering for younger women “social networking is literally woven into their day to day existence.” Also, considering the heavy mobile phone usage by mothers, Healthy Start, Inc. has implemented the a new program for its participants to be able to target more women. Lessons Learned: Audience will receive best practice model concepts including program design, specific tools and examples, evaluative assessment items and take home packets outlining the poster session.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
1.Identify the social media available to maternal child health organizations. 2. Assess the benefits and advantages of each type of social media. 3. Analyze the increased enrollments and ability to reach larger populations through the use of social media.

Keywords: Social Marketing, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked for a maternal child health program for six years and have made the social media department one of the most innovative of all 104 Healthy Start, Inc. projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.