This article is written by ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, one of our health advocacy partners. “I am pleased to be returning to the ZERO Summit. What a great opportunity we have this year to engage online in this year’s Virtual Summit! More than ever, we can join together to represent our states and connect with lawmakers. This upcoming Summit does not require travel and it is free! We should invite anyone who is passionate about patient care to become part of the effort.” – Brandon Wilhelmsen
Help Us Fight Prostate Cancer
Every year in the nation’s capital, prostate cancer patients and their families, along with survivors and caregivers, are brought together by ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer at its annual Prostate Cancer Summit for a week of learning, community building, and advocacy.
While the threat of COVID-19 is keeping us physically apart, we at ZERO did not let that stop us from continuing the fight against prostate cancer. We are bringing our nationwide community together and hosting our first-ever virtual Summit starting Sunday, February 28.
Through March 4, the top minds in cancer treatment, research, education, and advocacy will gather with a national community of patients, survivors, and caregivers. Together, we’ll get the latest on prostate cancer research including new developments, preventative nutrition, effective caregiving, and more. Other session topics include side effects of treatment, mental health and anxiety management, the impacts of racial disparities, and tips on maximizing your health while living with or caring for someone who has prostate cancer.
Baseball fans have a special reason to attend this year’s Summit: the mission speaker is none other than MLB All-Star and prostate cancer survivor Cal Ripken, Jr.! Ripken will share his story of hope and triumph in battling the disease. He’s joined by other notable speakers including Dr. Mark Moyad, author of the bestselling book The Supplement Handbook, and Dr. Stacy Loeb, host of the “Men’s Health Show” on Sirius XM US/Canada satellite radio.
Prostate Cancer Awareness
With prostate cancer diagnoses expected to rise 30% in 2021, it’s now more important than ever to remain up to date on the latest prostate cancer advances, as well as finding a community that can support you. New reporting from Cancer Facts and Figures estimates that a man will be diagnosed with prostate cancer every 2 minutes, and pass away from the disease every 15 minutes. And, in 2021, almost 3% more men will pass away from the disease than in 2020.
With the Summit taking place in a virtual setting, you can be in the comfort of your home to interact and share stories with those experiencing the same disease impacts as you or a loved one. Hang out in our new Virtual Lounge, or join a virtual happy hour. A helpful and free app will let you chat with other attendees, plan your schedule with friends, take and share notes, and more.
ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer is the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer. ZERO advances research, improves the lives of men and families, and inspires action. We’re building Generation ZERO, the first generation of men free from prostate cancer, through our national run/walk series, education and patient support programs, and grassroots advocacy. ZERO is a 501(c)(3) philanthropic organization recognized with four out of four stars by Charity Navigator, accredited by the Better Business Bureau, with regional chapters across the country. We dedicate 85 cents of every dollar to research and programs.
Outcome Health partners with organizations like ZERO to bring their important messages to audiences at the point of care. If you’d like to learn more about joining our network, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is written by WomenHeart, one of our health advocacy partners.
Despite experiencing all the warning signs of a heart attack, Susan Smith still didn’t go to the emergency room or call 911. She was too busy. She self-diagnosed her discomfort as an anxiety attack and neglected getting care. Eventually she had no choice; her heart attack sent her to the hospital where she had two stents put in that saved her life. She’s now a volunteer with WomenHeart, actively educating women in her community about heart disease so no one has to experiences a close call like she did.
WomenHeart has spent over twenty years educating women about the signs and symptoms of heart disease and empowering them to advocate for themselves. That’s why it has been especially heart-breaking this past year to see, not only hundreds of thousands of deaths due to COVID-19, but to see so many people delay care, wait too long to call 911 and suffer worse outcomes from heart disease because they’re afraid to go to the hospital or doctor’s office.
This fear was not unfounded. Especially in the early days of the pandemic, there was so much unknown about the novel coronavirus and hospitals were canceling appointments and delaying elective procedures. Hospitals in different parts of the country have, at times, been overrun with patients and ICUs have too often been at or beyond capacity.
But we know so much more today; and health care providers have gone to great lengths to make things safe for patients who come in for care. Further, telemedicine has become much more accessible, enabling patients to keep in touch with their health care providers, stay on top of their prescriptions and manage their conditions. In short – it’s time for women living with or at risk of heart disease to return to care.
There are two key messages we want women to hear:
Call 911 if you think you’re having a heart attack
Know the signs and symptoms of heart attacks in women, which can be different from men. Common symptoms include chest pain or pressure in your chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea or unexplained feelings of fatigue or weakness – especially with exertion.
Take control of your heart health
Make and keep your appointments; track your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and more. Don’t delay. Particularly in the midst of a pandemic, it’s important to maintain heart health and to manage any pre-existing conditions.
Finally, for women who have experienced a heart event or been diagnosed with heart disease – especially during the last year when we’ve been physically distancing – it’s important to know they’re not alone. WomenHeart has maintained and strengthened its peer-to-peer support services throughout this time.
WomenHeart Champions like Susan – women with heart disease who have been trained to provide support and education – have transitioned their Support Networks to virtual meetings so women with heart disease can continue to support and educate one another in a group setting. We have launched an app for our SisterMatch program, which pairs women with Big Sisters who can provide one-on-one support and answer questions for those who may be new on their heart journey.
This past year has challenged us in ways we could have never imagined. But it’s also emphasized how important it is to take care of our health. Heart disease is the number one killer of women. We want women to be knowledgeable and empowered to seek the care they need so they can thrive, even during a pandemic.
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a patient-centered organization focused on serving the millions of women living with or at risk of heart disease – the leading cause of death in women. WomenHeart is dedicated to advancing women’s heart health through advocacy, community education and the nation’s only patient support network for women living with heart disease. WomenHeart is a community of thousands nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, clinicians and health advocates, all committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives.
Outcome Health partners with organizations like WomenHeart to bring their important messages to audiences at the point of care. If you’d like to learn more about joining our network, email email@example.com.
Back in July 2020, Dr. Suzet McKinney, CEO of the Illinois Medical District, joined Outcome Health to discuss social determinants of health and health disparities facing communities of color in Chicago and across the nation. As we honor Black History Month, we are sharing her important insights and message with the Outcome Health community.
The following transcript is not verbatim but instead captures the key messages and sentiments from Dr. McKinney.
Hetal at Outcome Health: Thank you Dr. McKinney for joining us today. Can you share a bit about your background with the folks tuning in?
Dr. McKinney: I am CEO of the Illinois Medical District. A little bit about my background – I am a native Chicagoan, born and raised on the South side of Chicago. I’m a product of Chicago public schools (Whitney Young high school), and I returned to Chicago after college and began my career in public health right after the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001. I think my entire life we have heard this narrative about the South and West sides being the two most vulnerable areas of our city. Now as CEO of the Medical District, I feel so fortunate to have a platform where my work will directly impact and improve the residents of Chicago and most especially those on the south and west sides.
Black Women in Healthcare
Hetal: Dr. McKinney, you’re a leader in the field of public health. You serve on numerous boards, have taught at Harvard and are the only Black female CEO of any major medical district in the country. It’s an impressive record. We’d love to hear about your experience as a Black woman and leader in healthcare. Can you share insight into your experience and the issues you’ve faced?
Dr. McKinney: I have had a fantastic career thus far, however my career and experience have not been without challenges. I have had great mentors and advisors who’ve been able to walk alongside me in both my educational and career goals. As a Black woman and a woman of color who sought to be in a leadership role, I have always felt that I’ve had to work a little bit harder, that I had to prepare myself a little bit more than my non-Black counterparts just to reach the same level of opportunity and achievement that they had all reached. But my choice is not to dwell on the negative experiences and instead to turn them into positive motivation and to continue to propel my career forward but also to use them as learning opportunities not just for myself, but for young people, especially young women, who are coming behind me in the field of public health.
Examples of Health Disparities
Hetal: Dr. McKinney, many of us have seen headlines and articles regarding racial health disparities, but can you share more insight into what health disparities are?
Dr. McKinney: Health disparities are situations that occur when people don’t have adequate access to healthcare and, as a result, suffer increased inequalities in not just their healthcare access but also their healthcare outcomes.
When I talk about health inequities, I often use this anecdote: When you are concerned about where dinner is going to come from, that makes you less concerned about making it to your doctor’s appointment.
Hetal: Can you share the top issues/ health disparities affecting the Black community both here in Chicago and nationally?
Dr. McKinney: The health disparities that we see in Chicago are not unlike those we see across the country. You’ve probably been hearing a lot about health disparities in the news recently because the COVID-19 pandemic has really highlighted the existence of these healthcare disparities. Traditionally what we see among the Black community are higher incidence of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma – and we’re seeing them in other cities across the country as well. I think with regards to disparities in housing – and not having access to the same types of housing that many of our non-black counterparts might have – contribute to many of these healthcare disparities.
Why Are Social Determinants of Health Important?
Hetal: What are the key initiatives you and your team are working on to address social determinants of health and healthcare disparities here in Chicago?
Dr. McKinney: The work that we do at the IMD is always viewed through an equity lens. We want to make sure that every initiative includes a community benefit component, such as access to well-paying jobs, career advancement opportunities and educational resources. One of our partnerships that I’m most proud of is West Side United (WSU). WSU is a collaborative of local healthcare, educational and community partners whose goal is to close life expectancy gaps that have a staggering impact on west side residents. For instance, a resident of West Garfield Park has a life expectancy of 69 years, while just a few miles east, a resident of the more affluent South Loop has a life expectancy of 85 years. This staggering 16-year gap is an example of how for some, a zip code can determine quality of life. Even worse, the largest life expectancy gap between two neighborhoods in one US city is right here in Chicago. A Streeterville resident can expect to live about 90 years, while a resident of Englewood has a life expectancy of just 60 years. WSU is working diligently in their mission to improve community health and economic wellness on the west side by addressing the root causes of health disparities, with the goal of closing these staggering gaps in life expectancy.
COVID-19 and Racial Health Disparities
Hetal: We’ve seen in recent reports that Black and Brown communities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 compared to other groups. We know that you were featured on CNN to discuss this issue, but can you share with our audience how health disparities are shaping the impact of COVID-19?
Dr. McKinney: What we are seeing with COVID-19 is when you have someone who is suffering from heart disease, hypertension, asthma, or perhaps diabetes – and then you overlay a severe case of COVID-19 on top of that – what results is even more severe illness. There are a number of theories around which systems in the body COVID-19 affects, and I think the research there is still very new, so we don’t have clear scientifically based theories at this point – but we do know that it does make for more serious illness when you overlay COVID-19 on top of these chronic health conditions. Because we see a higher incidence of these chronic health conditions in Black and Brown communities, I think that it is really highlighting those disparities now in the age of COVID.
One of the things that is very clear to me and what I hope policy makers, and government leaders, and other decision makers are beginning to understand is that the problem that’s amplifying the healthcare disparities today is COVID-19. But if we don’t do something to address the systemic issues that led to the healthcare disparities in the first place, tomorrow it may not be COVID-19 that amplifies them – it’ll be something else.
As a society, we really need to be doing more to address the systemic issues: access to affordable housing, access to healthcare, and those other things that we consider to be along the spectrum of social determinants of health.
Hetal: Many organizations and individuals are waking up to the systems and structures in place to disenfranchise communities of color. What has this current national reckoning meant for you and what are you hoping to see come from it?
Dr. McKinney: What we are seeing nationally now is that business, companies and orgs across the country are beginning to recognize that communities of color are disenfranchised and they are all looking for ways that they can help – and I think that’s fantastic. Cookie cutter or band aid solutions are ineffective. We need to come together as a society to inspire an all-systems approach to health equity, or the voices that are being amplified today will fade to the background yet again. A good friend of mine says, “Diversity is being asked to the dance. Inclusion is being asked to dance. But equity is being allowed to select the music.”
As we say in the emergency preparedness community, “Nothing for us without us.” These communities [of color] have to be included in these conversations and in the decisions around new programs, new services and new offerings.
Hetal: As we wrap up today Dr. McKinney, do you have any final thoughts that you’d like to share with us?
Dr. McKinney: What’s critically important is that first we all have to educate ourselves on what the issues are. And then we have to be intentional about our efforts to address those issues. This is not something that healthcare is going to be able to solve on its own, and it’s not something the government is able to solve on its own, but it is something where multiple stakeholders and multiple disciplines of industry will have to come together. We have to be intentional about these discussions and we have to operate from a position of knowledge and that requires that we educate ourselves. Sometimes it will be hard to hear the truth but we have to bold and be courageous with that.
Company’s Industry-Leading Certification Ensures Essential Integrity and Transparency at Point of Care
CHICAGO – FEBRUARY 01, 2021 – Outcome Health has been certified as one of the first companies in compliance with the Point of Care Communication Council’s (PoC3) Verification and Validation Guidance. The new PoC3 certification, which launched January 15, 2021, recognizes the healthcare innovation company for its rigorous, industry-leading processes and controls. The company was certified for all five of its digital product networks: Waiting Room TV, Exam Room Wallboard, Exam Room Tablet, Patient Wi-Fi, and Infusion Room Tablet.
The PoC3 advocates for the effective use of the Point of Care (POC) channel to advance health and healthcare outcomes. The first-of-its-kind PoC3 certification indicates that a POC company has participated in a third-party audit of its network and campaigns and that its product line(s) have met the PoC3’s standards for providing accurate, reliable and consistent data. To achieve certification, Outcome Health’s campaign delivery and reporting infrastructure were independently audited by BPA Worldwide, which examined the company’s existing processes and controls against the published Verification and Validation Guidance. Although PoC3 released its guidelines in 2019, certification was not offered until this year.
Outcome Health’s certification reflects their early and continued commitment to the PoC3 guiding principles through its existing partnership with the BPA. The company has been completing semi-annual network, technology and campaign audits since 2017, in accordance with BPA and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) auditing guidelines. Chief Executive Officer Matt McNally and Chief Operations Officer Nandini Ramani led efforts to build a world-class delivery, measurement and reporting infrastructure, and, as a result, achieved the industry’s first BPA-certified designation for Point Of Care.
“We are committed to meeting, exceeding and setting standards of accuracy and verification so that our customers, advertisers and patients can rely on the veracity of our network,” stated McNally. “At Outcome Health, we continually examine and build responsible and rigorous systems of quality and compliance throughout our nationwide network.”
Outcome Health’s partnership with BPA includes semi-annual audits of the network footprint, platform technology reviews and campaign-level digital audits to validate Outcome Health delivery. The company continues to improve its current tools and processes and develop new tools that enable it to expeditiously and precisely deliver high-value programs and analytics.
About Outcome Health
Outcome Health is a healthcare innovation company reinventing the point of care to facilitate better outcomes for patients, their loved ones and healthcare professionals. Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations, health advocacy groups, leading content creators and brand sponsors, Outcome Health makes critical moments more impactful by bringing educational content into the physician’s office. Their BPA- and PoC3-certified digital network spans waiting, exam and infusion rooms across the country, serving relevant content when it’s most needed.