MCSMN Blog

February 24, 2011

Member Profile: Maricopa Integrated Health System

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Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of posts by and about members of the Social Media Health Network. This post is by Judy Keane, Manager Public Affairs/Media Relations, Maricopa Integrated Health System.

As Arizona’s only public health care system, Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) is committed to offering comprehensive health care for all those who live in Maricopa County and beyond. Through a continuum of care and collaboration, MIHS is dedicated to keeping our community healthy by offering excellent medical care in a top-notch, service-oriented setting. MIHS includes Maricopa Medical Center, home to our highly respected Adult Level I and Pediatric Level II Trauma Centers (each verified by the American College of Surgeons) and the top-ranked Arizona Burn Center. We also offer eleven family health centers located throughout the Valley, along with a comprehensive specialty health center, the Arizona Children’s Center, and two behavioral health centers.

As one of the State of Arizona’s largest teaching hospitals, we train hundreds of medical students and residents each year, preparing them as outstanding physicians for our future. As one of the Valley’s largest healthcare employers, our more than 4,000 dedicated employees and highly-skilled medical providers are an integral part of our success.

MIHS also oversees the Maricopa Health Plan, with more than 60,000 members covered statewide. Our many community outreach programs include our Family Learning Centers, Domestic Violence Center, Refugee Women’s Health Clinic and ongoing Scald/Burn Prevention Campaign.

Currently our social media network activities consist of our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and YouTube video postings featuring executive leadership and physician specialists.

A key social media success story for us involves Stephanie Nielson and her husband who spent four months in our Arizona Burn Center after surviving a small plane crash in northern Arizona. Stephanie was burned over 85% of her body. Prior to the crash, Stephanie had a very popular blog known as the Nie Nie Dialogues.

Her sister, Courtney, took over Stephanie’s blog during her recovery and it received national publicity – from the New York Times to the Today show. The popularity of the blog exploded, as thousands of people across the globe followed Stephanie’s slow recovery. We were lucky in that Courtney and other family members worked closely with our small PR team and provided third-party endorsements of our hospital and of the Arizona Burn Center on the blog and in press interviews. With a very limited budget, we could never have purchased the amount of positive press this brought us. When Stephanie finally was able to take over her blog, she also provided words of praise for our facility and our doctors. This is a lesson for every hospital and every organization – that every patient, every client – in fact, everyone who walks in your doors – is a reporter and a photographer with a social media platform, including blogs and Facebook.

For a list of other Social Media Health Network members and information on how your organization can join, see the Network tab.

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