Occupying Healthcare One Muppet or Lego at a Time

Posted on December 29, 2011 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

‘Tis the season to inject a bit of well-informed levity into my weekly blog post. For those of you who might stumble upon this week’s entry, I’m keeping things light.

My household is no stranger to the Occupy movement – whether it’s following the Occupy Wall Streeters in Zuccotti Park, similar protests around the country, or learning how the movement can be applied to healthcare, it’s been a topic of dinner conversation at our house for some time. In fact, my husband made his first trip to New York City a few months ago to take it all in for himself. Santa even brought him, ironically, an Occupy sweatshirt.

Though the movement seems to have died down – or least gone underground – I believe its principles should not be forgotten, especially when it comes to healthcare. I’d go so far as to say that is was one of the most impactful events/trends in 2011. It changed people’s way of thinking about our economy, our citizens, and what we believe we’re entitled to – whether that be multimillion dollar paychecks or socialized healthcare.

The #occupyhealthcare off-shoot is certainly a bit more underground, and not fully understood by some. There are several websites and tweet streams devoted to it, each with their own unique agenda. Whether you pass it off as a bunch of hippies in white coats and stethoscopes or not, I’ll tell you what the phrase means to me – the effort by those with a voice – big or small – to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable to all. I’ve seen first-hand what sort of assistance government healthcare programs can provide, and I’d like to think that everyone should at the very least have access to this sort of semi-funded care. The healthcare IT community certainly has its part to play in this effort, and fortunately we’re already seeing efforts made in this direction. I’d like to think that we’ll see more of this continue in 2012. Time will tell, of course.

So where’s the levity, you ask? Where’s the humor I promised? You know a movement has really “made” it when it becomes the subject of satire, or when active participants know how to have a good laugh at themselves. Take a look at the Occupy Sesame Street movement, or Occupy Lego Land. Who better to bring attention to financial gluttony on Wall Street than Cookie Monster?

If you happen to know of more humorous healthcare videos, please share them in the comments below. Let’s start off 2012 with a healthy dose of laughter. Happy New Year’s y’all.