Stanford Medicine X An academic conference designed for everyone Wed, 20 May 2015 22:02:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MedX pops up in Los Angeles Sun, 10 May 2015 17:52:28 +0000

On May 6, 2015 Liza Bernstein, Stanford Medicine X | LA region community organizer launched our first pop-up event outside of the San Francisco bay area. Joined by Karten Design and held at  Maker City LA, a crowd of over 100 joined us for an evening devoted to a key aspect of healthcare innovation: Patient-centered design.

MedX Pop-up LA!
MedX Pop-up LA!Stanford Medicine X launched its inaugural pop-up event in the Los Angeles region at MakerCity LA with Karten Design and Matcha Source

The evening kicked off with an Ignite! talk from a local Medicine X ePatient Scholar Nikki Estañol, followed by a presentation from Stuart Karten, founder of Karten Design, and a panel discussion with Britt Johnson, alumni of the Medicine X IDEO Design Challenge. The evening was capped off by special guest appearances from Larry Chu, MD, Executive Director of Medicine X and Zoë Chu, MedX mascot, who flew in from Stanford to join the event.

Our pop-up events are a new initiative to bring Medicine X to new communities in different regions throughout the world.  These live events are hosted by Stanford Medicine X ePatient Scholar alumni and community organizers.

Join our Los Angeles region meet-up group to stay informed of future pop-up events. Medicine X photographer Christopher Kern was also on site to capture the fun. You can view his photos from the event here.

Event Partners

Stanford Medicine X gratefully acknowledges the support of the organizations below who made our inaugural event in Los Angeles possible.

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Ignite! stage at Medicine X Fri, 10 Apr 2015 19:32:19 +0000 I’m excited to announce that presenters at Medicine X will have a new way to share their ideas with the world this year at Stanford Medicine X.

MedX Ignite! talks are a new presentation format that we are introducing this year at our 2015 conference! These 5-minute high impact presentations will take place on our Medicine X Ignite! stage, which is being built especially for this year’s conference on the ground floor of Stanford’s LKSC conference center.

In addition to the special stage, presenters in this new Ignite! format will have a video recording of their talk published to the Medicine X YouTube channel and also on our Medicine X website. These videos will be professionally produced and published at no additional cost to the presenter.

MedX Ignite! speakers will not only benefit from feedback from our Medicine X delegates, but can use the video to succinctly explain their work on their own social media channels and profiles.

We believe our new MedX Ignite! presentation format will provide an outstanding opportunity for presenters to share the important stories and ideas that define their ground-breaking and innovative work.

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Medicine X | Symplur research challenge semi-finalists Fri, 10 Apr 2015 06:27:36 +0000 On behalf of Medicine X and Symplur, I’m delighted to announce the semi-finalists for the Stanford Medicine X | Symplur social media analytics research challenge. These semi-finalists will receive access to Symplur Signals analytics to pursue their research questions and will submit a summary of their research findings for consideration in the final stage of the challenge.

How did social media contribute to the Medicine X conference in 2014 (#MedX)?

Paul Grant (@paulgrant)

“The greatest value of social media in a congress is delivered to the delegates at the event, rather than those who are following the conversation online but not attending in person.”

It is well known that congress hashtags reach a wide audience leading up to, during, and after an organized event. While this is valuable in itself, far greater value is found in the relationships that are strengthened in person and may have been only ‘virtual’ until the event. The resulting interactions and collaborations can bring meaningful and tangible disruption to programs for changing health care. Furthermore, those who engage with social media in a congress are able to capture their own interpretation of the event, leaving a lasting impression and retention of lessons learned.

Lauren Cook (@loranstefani)

Patients/caregivers engage more during the conference when their messages solicit responses from perceived authority figures (government/policy leaders, healthcare administrators, clinical researchers or physicians) rather than responses from other patients or caregivers.

How is social media being used to innovate medical education?

Damian Roland (@damian_roland)

There is a large and quantifiable flow of information between users of social media. Patterns develop from these interactions with networks arising as information transfer increases. The advent as social media as an educational tool is based on the assumption of the emergence of digital learning communities (DLC) from these interactions.

DLC offer a open digital space for information sharing, with flat role hierarchy, a strong group identity, high engagement, rapid flow of information, content curation, and knowledge translation (KT). The latter beneficial for patients as acceleration of KT is a cornerstone of modern healthcare.

To confirm this hypothesis it should be possible to identify the flow of information between the nodes of any given network, describe relations between members of the network and recognize emerging DLCs. The Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM) movement will be utilised and #FOAMed analysed as a methodology to determine whether its fits a model of a DLC.

Jonathan Hausmann (@hausmannMD)

Medical trainees are encouraged to consume—rather than create—online content, missing a powerful learning opportunity. Creating content requires the user to reflect on an experience, identify important themes, link new ideas with previously-learned material, and generate a message in their own words, employing cognitive skills that fosters effective learning. In contrast, learning that occurs by reading a sentence is likely negligible.

Effective learning also occurs through “practice testing,” a technique that involves self-testing (generating and answering your own questions) or answering other people’s questions, yet this method is almost absent in online medical education.

We hypothesize that encouraging learners to create and share educational micro-content in the form of a question and answer set will increase content-creation by learners, promote the use of questions by the #MedEd community, and improve satisfaction with online learning by medical trainees.

Christopher Ramnanan (@ChrisRamnanan)

Our goal is to determine, for medical education research projects presented at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Canadian Conferences in Medical Education,

  1. which Twitter keywords are associated with the most highly disseminated presentations on social media;
  2. for CCME attendees active on Twitter, determine whether individual social media metrics (ie. number of Twitter followers; activity level on Twitter) correlate with traditional metrics of research impact (ie. h index); and
  3. determine whether social media impact can predict eventual eventual publication and traditional publication impact indices (times cited, journal impact factor).

We hypothesize that there will be certain keywords (ex. subject hashtags) that will be correlated with strong social media metrics for presentations, and that at the individual level and at the article level, specific social media indices will predict traditional research impact.

Rashelle Hayes (DrRashelleHayes)

  1. What are medical schools doing to teach the newly updated obesity treatment guidelines? Who are the influences in medical education around obesity treatment training? What sites, programs, and resources are medical schools currently sending students to to learn more about obesity treatment?
  2. What are medical students and/or healthcare providers saying about obesity treatment? What are their perceived barriers to treating overweight and obese individuals?
  3. Will medical students and practicing physicians meet through twitterchats or use a hashtag (e.g. #mededobesity, #obesitytreatmenttraining) to discuss obesity treatment guidelines? What will they discuss? How engaging is the twitterchat? Hashtag? Can this be used as a supplemental learning tool/resource for training healthcare providers/medical students about obesity treatment guidelines? How feasible is it to implement this for medical school curriculum?

Tamara Moores (@TamTamMD)

Millennial educators believe that online blogs, podcasts, Twitter and the online community have revolutionized the future of medical education. An explosion of free and searchable online educational material, called FOAM (Free and Open Access Meducation), is thought to have increased the lateral engagement of medical professionals and brought thought leaders to the forefront of discussion forums, creating accessible education for everyone. To test these broad claims we will perform a randomized controlled trial that employs thought leaders to direct interest toward specific journal articles via dissemination on Twitter and blog posts.

How is social media transforming healthcare in 2015?

Christophe Giraud-Carrier (@ChristopheGC)

Internet technologies, especially social media, continue to facilitate a new paradigm, in which users actively produce and disseminate health information rather than act as passive recipients. According to the Pew Research Center, 65% of U.S. Internet users in 2014 felt that they were better informed about health and fitness than 5 years prior because of their Internet and cell phone use. In the new ecosystem, experiential knowledge about symptoms, side effects and remedies can easily be gleaned to augment and, in some cases, replace professional expertise. In September 2010, over 45% of people said they would seek a quick remedy for an everyday health issue or practical advice for coping with day-to-day health situations from other patients, friends and family. We wish to see the role that social media play in this context. In particular, we address the following research question:

What kind of responses do Twitter users receive when posting questions about their health?

Perry Gee (@gee_perry)

Our long-term research goal is to develop and promote an online diabetes community intervention that meets the support needs for the older adult with type 2 diabetes. Our preliminary data strongly suggest that adults age 65 and over are significantly underrepresented in the diabetes online community. Our objectives in this application are to identify the direct factors that promote social support in an online diabetes community, and based on that information, develop a new diabetes online community or enhance an existing diabetes online community that will promote adherence to self-management activities in older adults with type 2 diabetes. Our central hypothesis, based upon preliminary data and anecdotal published reports, is that a strategically designed and implemented online diabetes community will meet the social support needs for the older adult with type 2 diabetes and promote adherence to diabetes self-management activities.

Mandi Bishop (@MandiBPro)

Social media has become an outlet for many of those struggling with self harm, depression and suicide. Unfortunately Twitter’s poor signal-to-noise ratio often makes it difficult to connect meaningfully, and this may leave individuals with increased feelings of not belonging, isolation, and hopeless. Addressing Twitter’s engagement problem specifically as it relates to suicide prevention will improve the quality of educational and industry conversations taking place online, as well as provide insight into how clinicians may better assess suicidality in remote or telehealth settings.

Thesis Statement: There is a significant gap between the communities using the “official” hashtags talking about suicide and related mental health issues, and the people actually at risk of suicide.

Iris Thiele Isip Tan (@endocrine_witch)

Pregnancy can be difficult enough without the added burden of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Few studies have examined how women with GDM handle the diagnosis. They are time-pressured to adjust dietary habits and lifestyle to maintain good glycemic control. A systematic review showed that while women with GDM are motivated to protect their baby, there are many challenges. Little is known about factors that hinder adherence to treatment.


  1. Categorize tweets by women with GDM according to constructs of the Health Belief Model (self-efficacy, cues to action, modifying variables; perception of susceptibility, severity, benefits and barriers)
  2. Define information needs of women with GDM using tweets
  3. Assess accuracy of tweets on management of GDM using the American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes
  4. Evaluate website links shared within tweets using the Health on the Net Foundation Code
  5. Describe how information is shared on Twitter

Richard Ashdown (@rashdown)

Twitter is a primary media of communication amongst teenagers. The hypothesis is that there is a correlation between tweets reflecting self-harm in the UK (specifically the cities of Liverpool and Oxford) and reported incidence of self harm admissions to hospitals. Is twitter an accurate predictor of mental health issues – specifically self harm – amongst the teenagers of the millennial generation?

Urmimala Sarkar (@urmimalasarkar)

Problem Statement: Reported misuse of opioids is a rising public health concern in the US, with prescriptions for opioid medications nearly doubling between 1994 and 2007.

Research Questions: To what extent are non-medical use of prescription opioids discussed in social media (SoMe) ?


  1. How do tweets vary by time and geography?
  2. To what extent are tweets disseminated through SoMe?

Hypothesis: Non-medical use of prescription opioids, including aberrant behaviors, will be discussed through SoMe. Distinct communities with specific substance use/seeking patterns will emerge.

These findings will have implications for better understanding real-time trends of prescription drug safety issues. As more people adopt SoMe tools, SoMe may play a tandem role in research with current drug safety surveillance systems that are limited by delays in reporting and under-reporting. Longer term, this may suggest targeted SoMe intervention strategies to reduce opioid use.

Luís Pinho-Costa (@L_PC)

Twitter is transforming communication in Family Medicine (FM) and becoming a source of real-time engagement data, as it can be employed in producing standardized metrics of online conversations.

Global Health and sustainable universal care are gaining unique attention, and Primary Care and FM are bound to play a crucial role in alleviating the world from the greatest disease burdens and inequalities, and fostering united action. Engaging therefore with the Global Health community is of high importance for FM. Our hypothesis is that Symplur Signals infodemiology metrics can be used to gauge the growing worldwide reach of FM-based conversations on different hashtags and trends therein.

We aim to identify the FM-related hashtags that had the greatest worldwide reach in the span of 6 months, deliver a methodology for measuring their impact, and explore their relation with Global Health-themed tweets.

Kristina Rabarison (@kristina_ra)

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) presents an opportunity to promote health system integration (i.e., integration of primary care and public health). Health system integration is defined on a continuum from isolation to merger and focuses on mutual awareness, cooperation, collaboration, and partnership among primary care and public health stakeholders. For the purpose of this study, we hypothesize that ACA-related conversations on social media platforms, such as Twitter, foster mutual awareness among health system players through knowledge sharing and idea diffusion. Specifically, do primary care and public health stakeholders engage in bi-directional ACA-related Twitter conversations and do those conversations lead to the formation of geographically diverse, virtual communities that have a mutual interest in health system integration?

Saul Hymes (@IDDocHymes)

We hypothesize that by comparing the location and network dynamics of both pro- and anti-vaccine discussion on Twitter to published vaccination rates, tweet activity can be used as a surrogate marker for areas of low or high vaccination. We additionally hypothesize that current and past vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) outbreaks in low-vaccination areas will be associated temporally with high rates of preceding local anti-vaccine twitter activity. Tracking pro- and anti-vaccine tweets and tweet networks may be useful to predict areas that are more or less likely to see outbreaks of VPDs, thus allowing more appropriate and economical allocation of education and healthcare resources.

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The best is yet to come Wed, 01 Apr 2015 11:02:47 +0000 We’re excited to announce that abstract acceptances for presentation proposals at Medicine X 2015 and Medicine X | Ed are being sent to authors as soon as today, April 1, 2015.

Due to the unprecedented number of high quality proposals we are issuing acceptance letters on a rolling basis between today and April 15, 2015. Our oral presenters, panel discussions, workshops and poster presenters will have until May 1, 2015 to confirm their spots in our program by registering at our discounted Early Bird registration rates.

Please check our website often as we begin to add speakers to our conference pages and confirm presentation titles and descriptions. Based on the submissions we received, I’m confident the quality of our program will surpass last year’s outstanding conference.

Don’t wait too long to register for Medicine X 2015, the most discussed academic health care conference in the world. We have limited space and we sell out every year.

Register for Medicine X 2015

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New Executive Board and ePatient Advisor Group Sun, 22 Mar 2015 05:29:03 +0000

I’m excited to announce the formation of a new Executive Board for Medicine X. The members of the Executive Board represent our most active advocates and this exceptionally talented group of individuals donate substantial amounts of personal time to advise Medicine X on its programs throughout the year.


Hugo Campos*

Jamia Crockett, MHA

Nick Dawson, MHA

Gilles Frydman

Britt Johnson

Sarah Kucharski

Christopher Snider

I’m also pleased to announce a new group of ePatient Advisors who will serve specific roles in contributing to important Medicine X projects and initiatives throughout the year. This group of ePatient leaders will also evaluate applications submitted to our Stanford Medicine X ePatient Scholar program and make selection recommendations to the Executive Board. Please help me welcome these exceptionally talented individuals to the Stanford Medicine X ePatient Advisor group!


Alan Brewington
Stanford Medicine X ePatient Scholar 2013, 2014, Honor Roll

Meredith Hurston
Stanford Medicine X ePatient Scholar 2014, Medical Education in the New Millennium Class Speaker

Emily Kramer-Golinkoff
Stanford Medicine X ePatient Scholar 2013, Design for Health class speaker

Alicia Staley
Stanford Medicine X ePatient Scholar 2012, 2013

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On dates of Medicine X | Ed 2015 Mon, 02 Mar 2015 22:53:15 +0000 There has been some recent discussion in the Medicine X community about the dates of Medicine X | Ed, which falls on Sept 23-24, 2015. At Stanford Medicine X we respect and seek to accommodate the needs of all of our delegates.

There are many factors that we had to take into account when selecting the dates of Medicine X | Ed, such as: venue availability, budget constraints, and avoiding conflict with other existing conferences. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to avoid conflicting the first day of Medicine X | Ed with Yom Kippur. On behalf of Stanford Medicine X, please accept our apologies.

At the end of the day, we needed to decide if we should cancel the event or proceed even though the first day conflicts with a Jewish high holy day. After extensive discussions with our conference staff and advisors, we concluded there would be a greater benefit to the Medicine X community in holding the event compared with the alternative which would be to cancel the event altogether.

If there are local members of the Jewish community who would like to attend the workshop day only on Sept 24, 2015, please do contact my staff directly and we can offer discounted registrations for that event. We also invite members of the Jewish community to view our video livestream of the plenary event on Sept 23, 2015, which will be broadcast globally free of charge.

Thanks so much for your understanding in this matter. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Laurie Becklund 1948–2015 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:26:38 +0000

The Medicine X community sends our greatest condolences to the family of Laurie Becklund. We were honored to have her share her passion and voice with us, and will honor her memory with our continued work. Rest in peace.

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Stanford Medicine X and Symplur announce social media analytics research challenge Fri, 13 Feb 2015 00:41:23 +0000 Stanford Medicine X and Symplur are pleased to announce a joint initiative designed to spark scholarly research activity in healthcare social media. The Stanford Medicine X | Symplur Signals Research Challenge seeks to engage all healthcare stakeholders in healthcare social media research.

Why ask questions about healthcare social media?

Social media use in healthcare and medicine has transformed how stakeholders discuss problems and innovate solutions. Who benefits from social media engagement in medicine? To what extent does it help form communities of practice, help patients feel less isolated, and unite caregivers and researchers in the common goal to improve health and cure disease? How might social media be used for medical education? What risks to patient privacy and healthcare might social media use impose? Who, if any, are being left out of these conversations? These are just a few important questions social media analytics might help elucidate.

What is Symplur Signals?

Symplur Signals is a set of user-obvious social media analytics tools that helps researchers uncover trends and glean insights from large amounts of social media data tracked over time. It is a platform that aims to bring powerful insights about healthcare social media to all researchers and healthcare stakeholders.

What is the Stanford Medicine X | Symplur Signals Research Challenge?

The idea is simple, use Symplur Signals to address one of three questions. If selected, you will go on to research, analyze, and report on your findings with the hopes of presenting to the Medicine X community in September. The possibilities, however, are endless.

We know the Medicine X community is one of the most diverse in all of healthcare, and that’s why this challenge is open to all stakeholders: students, patients, caregivers, physicians, researchers, technologists – everyone.

If you want to truly understand the makeup of a healthcare community, this is your chance. If you are a physician in pursuit of the conversations that genuinely matter among patients, this is your chance. If you think the medical education community could learn from the online patient community, this is your chance.

What are the incentives and prizes?

The winning submission will receive, among other rewards:

  • An opportunity to present their research on the main stage of Medicine X | Ed or Medicine X | Stanford
  • PLoS ONE submission of their work with publication fees covered by Stanford Medicine X.
  • Access to Symplur Signals research platform for 1 year

All of the details of the Stanford Medicine X | Symplur Signals Research Challenge, including the application, can be found at

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Medicine X 2014 ePatient Honor Roll Thu, 22 Jan 2015 21:34:17 +0000

At our annual ePatient retreat in Santa Rosa, California, our Medicine X advisors (Hugo Campos, Jamia Crockett, Nick Dawson, Britt Johnson, Sarah Kucharski, and Christopher Snider) had an opportunity to reflect on our 2014 Medicine X conference and plan for the future – Medicine X September 25-27, 2015.

Medicine X | Stanford is incredibly fortunate to attract the world’s leading ePatients to co-create and participate with us at our event each year.

Although all of our ePatient scholars distinguished themselves in many ways at the conference, some voices who stood out in 2014 deserve special recognition and we honor them here as members of the Stanford Medicine X 2014 ePatient honor roll (listed alphabetically):

Marvin Calderon, Jr.

For demonstrating relentless enthusiasm and an infectious spirit of openness along his patient journey; for realizing his role as an advocate and uniting a diverse community.
twitter-bird-16x16 @marvincalderon

Matthew Dudley

For embracing transformation and exhibiting tremendous insight and empathy; for providing hope for the future of medicine never to be defined by assumption or exclusion and living head up, heart strong.
twitter-bird-16x16 @dudleyhuhs

Meredith Hurston

For being an insightful and authentic leader; for collaborating with community though never defining community with a single definition.
twitter-bird-16x16 @meredithhurston

Doug Kanter

For being a doer who embodies the designer and innovator’s spirit; for inspiring others to be care partners and create their own solutions.
twitter-bird-16x16 @dougkanter

Scott Strange

For being genuine and willing to take on personal risk by openly representing commonly stigmatized patients; for caring about others’ well-being and balancing strength with vulnerability.
twitter-bird-16x16 @strangely_t1

Kim Vlasnik

For evolving with courage and confidence to become a powerhouse advocate; for asserting that patients and their diagnoses must be treated with dignity.
twitter-bird-16x16 @txtngmypancreas

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Announcing our ePatient Program Delegates for 2015 Thu, 15 Jan 2015 19:19:19 +0000 Stanford Medicine X is proud to announce the ePatient program delegates for our 2015 conference! Please note we will open a limited number of additional spots for a Spring 2015 submission deadline for those ePatients who wish to update existing applications with new information or for ePatients who missed the Fall submission deadline. Please also note ePatients delegates for Medicine X | Ed will be participating in our new conference, Medicine X | Ed, taking place Sept 23-24, 2015 with a focus on the future of medical education.


Medicine X 2015 ePatient Program Delegates


Natalie Abbott
Natalie Abbott is a rare disease ePatient, and has been involved with the Moebius syndrome ePatient community since it developed an online presence. In both her involvement in curating the social media presence of the Moebius Syndrome Foundation and in her personal blogs, she works to present a complete and unfiltered view of life with Moebius.

Matthew Argame
Matthew Argame is a sophomore at California State University Long Beach.  As a pre-med student and ePatient, Matthew hopes to gain insight on what health care means on both the patient’s end and physician’s end. Matthew has been living with moderate hearing loss from very early on in his life, and only recently has he become equipped with hearing aids. Since then, Matthew has noticed many improvements in his life, and he hopes to share his insight as a young individual with a disability often stigmatized as a disability for the elderly.

Britta Bloomquist
Britta Bloomquist is a 26-year old epatient from the north woods of Minnesota, who loves the connectivity of social media to bring friends together in the name of chronic illness. Britta has suffered with joint pain and other ailments for 15+ years. In 2009, Britta was diagnosed with the highly controversial Chronic Lyme Disease, and in 2013, Britta was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Britta previously wrote for the now defunct blog, Chronically Young, and she also advocates on multiple social media outlets.

Catherine Blotner
Catherine Blotner understands the importance of patient advocacy after undergoing back surgery at 16 and brain surgery at 17, while living with epilepsy since the age of 13. Blotner founded and co-facilitates #BTSM chats for the brain tumor community on Twitter, and blogs about the psycho-social aspects of having a chronic condition. As a college student studying family dynamics, Blotner hopes to change the future of participatory medicine for chronically ill adolescents and young adults.

Marvin Calderon Jr.
Marvin Calderon Jr., is a student, a singer, and a proud ePatient, diagnosed with Cervical Dystonia, a chronic neurological disorder. After being inspired by his best friend who shared her story of using social media sources to cope with Rheumatoid Arthritis, he was moved to be engaged and empowered in bettering my health care. This led him to becoming a 2014 Medicine X ePatient Scholar and sharing his personal testimony of music inspiring health and to utilize what you love to get better.  His goal is to help his Cervical Dystonia community and strengthen his skills as an advocate of health care and using social networking in order to do so. He is incredibly grateful and humbled to have been selected as a Stanford Medicine X ePatient Scholar again for the 2015 conference and is looking forward to another unforgettable experience!

Matthew Charron
Matthew Charron believes in health care as a fundamental human right. He believes that fundamental human right can only be realized when health care providers, scientists, and patients have access to all of the scientific evidence.

Cathy (M.C.) Collet
When Cathy’s mother was diagnosed with ALS in 1996, her family found it outrageous that the prognosis was the same that Lou Gehrig faced in 1939. Since her mom’s death in 1997, Cathy has worked hard to raise awareness and improve the fight against ALS.  She supports several ALS organizations and returns to advocate on Capitol Hill annually. Cathy has testified on behalf of those with ALS at two FDA hearings.  She independently blogs ( and tweets (@alsadvocacy) and advocates and prays in hopes that a treatment will at long last be delivered.

Jamia Marisha Crockett
While exploring the impact of Multiple Sclerosis to her previously “normal” life, Jamia has re-mastered her life as a wife, mother of 2 busy little boys, and a professional trail blazer.  Jamia’s ultimate strength and calling was realized in 2012 as she embarked on a new path as a national speaker and advocate for MS.  Sharing her challenges and triumphs with others afflicted, their support systems, and anyone caring to know more about life with MS has brought higher purpose, healing, and a new life.  She manages a new blog, MS is a Mother… and has been featured in various online health journals.  She strongly advocates to patients that they need to be a part of their own healthcare conversation.  She is looking to expand her reach and keep pushing the envelope of what the patient experience is really like. Follow her on twitter @MamaSissyKat and see what she really thinks!

Matthew Dudley
Diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in 2013, Matthew Dudley underwent chemo and a stem cell transplant. He has been given a second chance at life and has returned to his previous profession as a physician with The Alaska Hospitalist Group. His perspective from both sides of the stethoscope bring an understanding of medicine which is fairly unique. He hopes to build on this knowledge to help improve health care for all involved.

Danielle Edges
Danielle Edges is a mother to two daughters, Alexandra and Aria. Alexandra was born with a rare medical condition, Heterotaxy Syndrome, resulting in 5 heart surgeries and an abdominal surgery all before the age of 4. She is excited to be a part of Stanford’s 2015 MedX program as an ePatient caregiver, where we can merge the worlds of social media and medicine to create better outcomes for these patients.

Allison Ferlito  
Allison Ferlito believes that every engaged patient deserves an equally-engaged healthcare team.  By authentically chronicling life with type one diabetes on her blog, Very Light, No Sugar, as well as @verylightnosuga, Allison aims to inform and empower other patients to seek the care that they deserve and to articulate this need to their healthcare teams.

Julie Flygare
Julie Flygare, JD is the founder of Project Sleep, a narcolepsy spokesperson and published author diagnosed with “narcolepsy with cataplexy” at age 24, in her second year of law school.  In 2012, Julie published Wide Awake and Dreaming: A Memoir of Narcolepsy, which won First Place in the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival Award for Biography/Autobiography.  Recognizing that people with narcolepsy feel lost and alone, Julie created the NARCOLEPSY: NOT ALONE international awareness campaign in 2013, collecting over 1,200 photos from all 50 US States and 44 countries around the world.  Staying up to date on new media trends, Julie created the first-ever narcolepsy advocacy mobile app, awareness video series and infogrpahic to empower advocates with essential communication tools.

Mark Freeman
Mark Freeman struggled with OCD, depression and related anxiety and addiction issues for more than a decade before finding his way to recovery. He now focused on helping others find their own path to mental health and wellbeing. With that goal in mind, he co-founded the “Everybody has a Brain” online mental health community, which uses art, video, and personal stories to promote a proactive, preventative approach to maintaining and improving mental health. He’s passionate about using design and systems-thinking tools to shift the prevailing view of mental illness from an illness-first approach, to a health-first approach that recognizes everybody has a brain.  Everybody has varying levels of mental health that are affected by the decisions we make every day.

Cyrena Gawuga
Cyrena Gawuga had always planned to be a physician, but her spinal cord stroke in February 2014 turned her into an ePatient instead. Even though she left medical school in 2008, she has found that experience to be invaluable in her interactions with the health care system. She believes that Medicine X will give her the opportunity to start on the path of bringing those tools to ePatients, and all patients, without the steep price tag of medical school.

Erin Gilmer [Medicine X | Education Delegate]
Erin Gilmer is a health policy attorney and patient advocate active in the ePatient community, speaking around the country to provide a voice for those who struggle with health and economic issues.  Since 1999 she has been diagnosed with 4 autoimmune diseases and 17 chronic health conditions, has had 6 major surgeries, while seeking and engaging in innovative solutions in health care and technology. Ms. Gilmer uses her personal and professional experiences to assist others logistically and emotionally through the healthcare system, pursing the realization of her belief that health is a human right.

Britt Johnson
Britt Johnson chronicles the absurdity of living with chronic disease through her blog and related social media platforms, “The Hurt Blogger.” She is a writer sharing honest experiences of life with chronic pain and illness while always looking for the humor in life. She works as a consultant with a wide range of health groups to ensure patient input is being incorporated to better shape the future of healthcare. Having lived with autoimmune arthritis since age seven, she aims to change the perception of ‘arthritis’ while challenging what is possible by training for her childhood dream of climbing Denali (Mt. McKinley). Having lived in Texas, Alaska, and Montana, she currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and one very stubborn cat, and works for Stanford Medicine X as the Community Outreach Coordinator. Follow her on Twitter: @HurtBlogger.

Emily Kramer-Golinkoff  [Medicine X | Education Delegate]
Emily Kramer-Golinkoff is a Co-Founder of Emily’s Entourage, a 501©3 that has raised over $670,000 for Cystic Fibrosis research since December 2011. Emily completed her master’s degree in bioethics and certification in clinical ethics mediation at the University of Pennsylvania. Emily was a 2013 Medicine X ePatient Ignite speaker, and continues to speak and consult with non-profits and universities across the country. Follow Emily on Twitter at @emilykg1 and Emily’s Entourage on Facebook (Emily’s Entourage), Twitter (@EmsEntourage4CF) and Instagram (@EmilysEntourage).

Sarah Kucharski
Sarah E. Kucharski, also known as Afternoon Napper, is a consultant, public speaker and advocate fostering the patient voice in medicine through design thinking for innovation and social media. Her special interests include patient engagement, the patient experience, the doctor-patient relationship, the patient-caregiver relationship, chronic illness, clinical trials and health literacy. She has a B.A. in journalism, a M.A. in liberal studies and a certificate from Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine program. She also is CEO/Chairman and Founder of FMD Chat, a nonprofit medical organization, and Coordinator of ePatient Programs for Medicine X at Stanford University. Follow her on Twitter @AfternoonNapper and visit

McKenzie Libbesmeier
At the age of 14, McKenzie Libbesmeier, an active teen, began to suffer with debilitating pain and fatigue. Initially diagnosed with clinical depression, she knew there was another answer and better way to deal with the intense pain and emotions she was experiencing, and began her blog “Life According to Kenz,”. Now a freshman in college and diagnosed with Juvenile Enthesitis-related Arthritis, McKenzie’s widely read blog inspires those living with chronic illness to remain hopeful, thankful, and positive, while pushing for greater understanding and research for autoimmune arthritis.

Devon Low
Devon Low is a member of the care circle for his elderly mother.  His focus is on using online tools to gather and manage all the informational aspects of her care so that other members of the circle can more effectively stay informed and be involved in their parts of the circle.  He also wishes to raise awareness of the need for such online information management for similar, family-based generational care circles.

Abby Norman
Abby Norman is a New England based writer and editor.  Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live and recommended by Time Magazine, Alternet and NPR. She blogs regularly about healthcare for BHM Healthcare Solutions and is a regular correspondent  for The Urban Times, All That Is Interesting & Human Parts on Medium. She has written at length about healthcare reform and her personal experience as an endometriosis patient and advocate.

Marie Ennis O’Connor [Medicine X | Education Delegate]
Marie Ennis-O’Connor is excited to attend for a second year as a Medicine X ePatient scholar.   Since her experience as an Ignite Speaker at Medicine X in 2014, she has become a passionate advocate of narrative medicine. In the past year, she’s presented and published on the role of story in medicine.  She’s particularly interested in the ways in which patients form online communities of support which in turn informs and empowers more patients; and the ways in which story can become the common ground for patients and physicians to come together.

Nisha Pradhan
On campus, Nisha Pradhan serves on the Executive Boards of both her Pre-Health Club and of her campus’ programming council in hopes of spreading the type of critical thinking and creativity behind Medicine X that has allowed healthcare issues and medical advocacy to take on a patient-centered, all-inclusive form. Charismatic, compassionate, and gifted with metis (the ability to see patterns in the world and derive a gist from complex situations), Nisha, and anosmia patient,  loves meeting new people, smiling, singing, being around kids, and walking in nice weather.

Natrice Rese
Seniors, patients, their spouses and families need an advocate.  As a new senior and a citizen, Natrice Rese believes it is important to raise awareness, and use our voices to make a difference and reach all segments of society.

Joe Riffe
Joe Riffe is a survivor. Having fallen 110 feet from the top of a waterfall, Joe went from being a Paramedic to the “Prosthetic Medic.” Having fought his insurance company for an adequate prosthetic that allowed him to return to work and be the husband and father to three he wanted to be, Joe advocates so that no amputee should live with a second-rate prosthetic. He works to show that there is a difference between being alive and living when you have a prosthetic.

Leslie Rott [Medicine X | Education Delegate]
Leslie Rott was diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis in 2008, at the age of 22.  She is an ePatient, health activist, patient advocate, and blogger at a variety of sites, including her personal blog Getting Closer To Myself.  Leslie has a PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan and is completing a Master’s degree in health advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College.  Leslie took part in Medicine X 2014 in the engagement track, and is excited to be back this year sharing her experiences in a main stage talk as part of MedXEd.

Kirsten Schultz
At Not Standing Still’s Disease, Kirsten Schultz writes about her personal experiences with Still’s Disease and issues facing children and young adults affected by rheumatic and other chronic diseases. She’s written at length about intimacy, relationships, self-advocacy, and the transition to adulthood for chronically ill children. She hopes to learn more about how to inspire and encourage other patients to advocate and how we can help improve the doctor-patient relationship for all.

Sabine Schwab
Sabine Schwab is a 32 year old native German who moved to the USA in 2010. After 4 years of working hard and enjoying life to its fullest, she was diagnosed with a grade II-III astrocytoma – a brain tumor! She quickly had to familiarize herself with the American health care system. She put together a team of health care providers that now consists of members from 2 different continents. She is an international ePatient, a young mom, a blogger at and a PdD who believes in the power of information sharing, integrative approaches and the instinct to heal mind, body and soul.

Chris Snider
Christopher shares thoughts and insights on his life with type 1 diabetes at ‘A Consequence of Hypoglycemia’. Christopher hosts the weekly podcast, ‘Just Talking’ featuring interviews and stories from a diverse range of guests. He moderates ‘My Diabetes Secret’, which hosts anonymous confessions from the diabetes community, offering a safe, judgement-free opportunity to share fears, frustrations with diabetes. He believes in the power of storytelling, that the stories we share strengthen patient communities, and that every story is worth telling no matter how ordinary it may appear to be on the surface. He lives in San Francisco with his fiancée, two cats, four fish, and an ever-present view of Karl the Fog.

Scott Strange
Scott Strange, a 2014 MedicineX ePatient Scholar and 2015 MedicineX ePatient Delegate, has been a Type 1 diabetic since 1970 and clinically depressed for almost as long. He is especially interested in removing the stigma associated with so many health issues and with brain health in particular. He blogs at Strangely Diabetic and you can find him on twitter as @strangely_t1.

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