Sunday, November 14, 2010

The @HealthPass Tweetup

DISCLAIMER: I am currently employed by a subsidiary of the Hawaii Medical Service Association, but these thoughts are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or its parent company.

HealthPass (@HealthPass) is a benefit for most of HMSA's commercial plan members (click here to find out more). This past Wednesday, we hosted our first tweetup in conjunction with our 20th anniversary celebration. Though it did not have the glitz and glamor of the Nonstop Honolulu (@nonstophonolulu) launch, it definitely had a charm of its own. More importantly, there was a genuine sense of community prevailing in the room that night. Everyone understood that whether you have HMSA coverage or not, we share an important commonality: we all call Hawaii our home. It became apparent to me that the best way to keep HMSA members healthy, is to keep all of Hawaii healthy. It's an ambitious goal, but one that must be met if we are to have any hope of controlling the skyrocketing cost of health care. These changes will not happen in one day and certainly not in a single tweetup, but the conversations that evoke change have already started to take place. For example, after Renee (@surfchik4jesus) sent this tweet about her results, an entire conversation about diabetes ensued on Twitter. The next day, Sara Kata (@sarakata) blogged about "The Cholesterol Ninja" on Posterous. It was followed a day later by Rick Nakama's (@ricknakama) Bangga Bangga "Really Spicy Poke Bowl" post. The common thread? A heightened awareness of their health status brought on by information gleaned at the tweetup.

If you weren't able to attend the event, be sure to check out Ricky Li's (@rickyli99) gallery on Facebook. He took some great pics and really captured the essence of the evening.

Neenz Faleafine (@NEENZ) and her kids exploring the salt content in various foods.

Tweeps Ryan Ozawa (@hawaii), Garry (@funhiguy), Dan Seto (@danseto) and Joannie Pan (@trulyjoannies) learning functional exercises from Rodney, a health educator.

Melissa Chang (@melissa808), Don Aweau (@aweau), Jeff Kang (@jeffkang) and Linda (@alohagadgetgal) catching up with Noe Mediola (@noe808) and Neenz.

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