The silver lining

Hollye Jacobs hollye@thesilverpen.com

Abstract

At the age of 39, as a healthy nurse, mother and wife with no history of breast cancer in my family, being diagnosed with the disease shattered my world. In an instant, I found myself moving from the side of the hospital bed as a clinical care nurse, and into the bed as a patient. 

As an effort to share my unique perspective - as a health care professional with firsthand patient experience - I launched my award winning blog, www.thesilverpen.com. It quickly became clear to me that people are hungry for peer-to-peer content and connection to help guide and support them from diagnosis through recovery.

In April 2014, my blog was turned into a book, The Silver Lining, A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer. Published by Simon & Schuster, the book quickly reached the New York Times Bestseller list. Thanks to overwhelming feedback from across the world, I realized my cancer experience is universal and it transcends the barriers of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

Therefore, my mission became to make my book available to all for free. In October 2014, I launched The Silver Lining Companion Guide, a condensed version of my original book that Allstate Insurance is distributing for free to every woman and man. In May 2015, I will launch the Spanish version of Companion Guide.

The health and wellness category is booming with innovation and excitement. Health content is among the fastest growing areas across all screens and experiences, but what is lacking in the content business is the patient voice, the nuances of a disease, and the first hand experience.

There are many innovators within the digital health space who are working on dumbing down medical content and presenting it to the consumer in a creative way.  This is increasing our health literacy, but it’s not providing content and tools around the real experience with a disease.

As my blog evolved into my book, and as the book evolved into the guide, I realized more and more that there is a need for a unique and authentic health and wellness digital communication company focused on creating connectivity between patients and also their providers.

We are creating a global digital communication network (think Makers Studio for Health!) focused on creating health and wellness content in sharable formats, with the patient voice, first hand experience, and real life stories at its core, distributed across traditional and digital platforms.  We will represent various patient voices and experts, including myself.  These unique voices will create and connect relevant, reliable, beautiful, and easy to understand health and wellness content that is actionable, especially when it matters most. 

My ultimate goals are to improve the quality of conversations that lead to deeper and more trusting relationships between providers and patients, and also to engage and support the next generation of healthcare innovators to design solutions that truly meet the needs of the patients.  

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