11:35 am - 12:20 pmSaturday, September 28
LK 120
The power of the hashtag
LK 120
The power of the hashtag
Modern Storyteller, W2O Group
M.D., F.A.C.S.; President, Center For Breast Care, Inc. and #BCSM Co-Moderator
Co-Founder and Co-Moderator, #BCSM
Co-Founder and Co-Moderator, #BCSM
Register a hashtag. Start a conversation. Build a community. That's what has happened with #BCSM - breast cancer social media - which began on July 4, 2011 as a conversation on Twitter with this simple... Read more


Register a hashtag. Start a conversation. Build a community.

That's what has happened with #BCSM - breast cancer social media - which began on July 4, 2011 as a conversation on Twitter with this simple question: what brought all of you here tonight for #BCSM? What do you hope to learn, gain, or share? Since then more than 100 hours of conversation about breast cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship continue to attract cancer survivors, oncologists, surgeons and health care professionals.

The objective was and continues to be empowering, educating and supporting survivors along the cancer continuum.  An average chat attracts from 65 - 75 participants. This doesn't include the number who follow the chat without participating or who read the transcript following the chat.

Our panel will define:

1) our best practices in establishing a tweet chat and building community;

2) the primary and secondary social networks established as a result of #BCSM; and,

3) how has the #BCSM community managed to successfully engage the medical community.

Many entrepreneurial ventures have built the website first then turned to Twitter to promote their product. #BCSM, a public service to the cancer community, started the conversation first. The participants, in turn, through their growing interest, participation and requests, have led us to develop a website  and additional interactive platforms.

We'll discuss how the TweetChat is establishing new ground for evidence based, patient and provider interaction.

Brian Reid is a communicator, whose goal is to seize the opportunities of the new age of media, using writing and media relations skills to improve the way that health and medical information is understood and consumed.

Public relations is entering its most exciting phase yet: new communications tools mean that more people can tell more stories in more ways. In some cases, these storytellers will be journalists, who are using new media and new techniques to add richness to their product. In others, it will be individuals or organizations who realize that they have the tools to share their narratives with an engaged audience.

He brings 15 years of experience grappling with these issues, both at the W2O Group and in past lives that have included positions as a Bloomberg reporter, a Washington Post blogger, an NIH writer and a freelance journalist.


Dr. Deanna J. Attai is a board-certified surgeon practicing in Southern California. After completing her undergraduate education at Vassar College, she graduated with honors from the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and then completed her General Surgery Residency at Georgetown University Hospital.

After 5 years of General Surgery practice in Northern Virginia, she relocated to Southern California in 1999. Since 2004, Dr. Attai has focused her career exclusively on the care of patients with benign and malignant breast conditions.

Dr. Attai is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and is an active member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS). She is the Secretary /Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of the Society, and also serves as Chair of the Communications Committee. She is certified by the American Society of Breast Surgeons for the performance of breast ultrasound, and is an ultrasound instructor for the American College of Surgeons. Her private practice, The Center For Breast Care, Inc, is accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

An ardent proponent for patient education and empowerment, Dr. Attai is frequently sought out by local and national media for her thoughts on breast disease, diagnosis and treatment. She is a regular contributor to social media sites and is a co-moderator for #BCSM – Breast Cancer Social Media – a popular breast cancer support community based on Twitter.

A native of New York, Dr. Attai grew up in a medical family. Her father is a retired cardiac surgeon, and her mother, godmother and aunt are registered nurses. In addition to running her practice, teaching and speaking, Dr. Attai is an avid organic vegetable gardener and an enthusiastic cook.


There are many ways to describe yourself as an ePatient: empowered, engaged, electronic, effective, efficient. I've always felt the only way to describe myself as an ePatient is through my personal ePatient mission statement:

"As an ePatient, I will work tirelessly to motivate, educate, and inspire others in the cancer communities to achieve their best health. By sharing my personal experiences with others facing a cancer diagnosis, I will do my best to improve their treatment and survivorship experiences. I will reach out to all cancer community partners including health care providers, pharma companies, and medical institutions to ensure everyone experiencing a life touched by cancer will always have the best resources and support available to them. Cancer can't beat a community!"

Using this mission statement as a guide for my work, I know that I can be an empowered, engaged health activist working to make meaningful, lasting changes in the cancer community. By drawing on my social media skills, engineering background, and in-depth understanding of the patient experience, I work to be an effective and enthusiastic ePatient.

Medicine X provides me with an opportunity to learn from the absolute best in the ePatient health care space. As a 20-year, three-time cancer survivor, I've worked very hard over the past few years to advance the patient experience in the field of oncology care.

Cancer has a way of interrupting dreams and changing the course of a survivor's life. As an undergraduate studying Mechanical Engineering, I quickly learned that great amounts of determination and grit would be required to achieve my goal of completing my degree and beating cancer. That experience reinforced how fortunate I was to have an incredible support system of family and friends helping me along the way. I try to apply every lesson I've learned in my work to help others through the difficult journey of cancer treatment. I'm constantly looking for new ways to engage and inspire the cancer community as a patient blogger. I feel I'm on a path to help improve health care in America, and it has led me directly to this program.

I know I'll learn additional skills and make new contacts at Medicine X, which will help further my dream of improving the patient experience for everyone dealing with cancer. Having the opportunity to sit next to fellow ePatients and health care professionals who are all working toward similar goals is a chance I couldn’t pass up.

I would like to learn how to help engage and empower the remaining patients that need additional help or motivation to take this journey. ePatients are special people. By having the opportunity to work with other ePatients working in other disease states like diabetes, mental health, I feel we can begin to build a set of best practices or guidelines to help others take the steps towards becoming an ePatient.


Jody Schoger is a free-lance writer, blogger and advocate currently living with metastatic breast cancer. Following her initial diagnosis with cancer in l998, she transfered her experience in public relations and marketing to serve those affected by cancer. Her writing has been featured in OncologyTimes and Cure online. She has been frequently quoted in USA Today, and appears on SIRIUS radio's "Doctor Radio" discussing cancer survivorship and patient engagement. She has served as a stakeholder reviewer for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the DOD's CDMRP and is both a Project Lead and Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation Scholar. Along with Alicia Staley and Deanna Attai, MD, she is a co-founder and co-moderator of #BCSM, the breast cancer social media community.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search