Today, almost exactly 10 years since founding WEGO Health, we are launching a bold new platform called WEGO Health Experts. Our goal is to eliminate the barriers companies face when trying to find patient leaders with the time, skills and expertise to consult on health-related projects.
With today’s roll-out, we will soon bring thousands of highly skilled and passionate patient experts into the sharing economy and connect the health care industry to a massive, untapped workforce.
We’re doing it by flipping the patient.
With a hat tip to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Flip the Clinic experiment, WEGO Health Experts will reset how healthcare views patient leaders. For decades now, the healthcare industry has looked at patients – including patient leaders – as guest speakers, as test subjects, as numbers in a cohort. But at the end of the day, they have been defined by their illness.
What if we flip the patient and see them not just as subjects to be prodded and probed, but as professional peers?
Meet an Expert
Take Jessica Gimeno, a prolific writer, TV guest commentator and education consultant. Between TED talks, Jessica coaches executives and she boasts a degree from Northwestern – a skilled professional any healthcare executive would love to have on their team.
But Jessica is also a powerhouse patient leader. Through her award-winning online brand “Fashionably Ill,” she addresses the intersection of living with mental illness and chronic pain. She’s a contributor for Huffington Post, and she’s the center of a documentary on Asian American women and mental health.
It’s time to flip our thinking about Jessica. Yes, she’s a patient, but why not not capitalize on all her assets, including her professional background, her passion and her experience as a patient leader?
Jessica is one of thousands of professionals in our growing network of patient leaders. These are individuals who have an outsized impact in their work because they have the competitive advantage of living every day with a challenging health condition.
Whether it’s a brief project or a long-term engagement, imagine an on-demand workforce of patient leaders who bring skills, knowledge, relationships, and the passion to transform healthcare.
WEGO Health Experts represents a flip for WEGO Health as well. Until now, we’ve connected our members to each other but shielded them from direct contact from an industry known to deluge patients with ads, PR pitches, or worse. The WEGO Health Experts platform goes 180 degrees in the other direction – providing a platform for Patient Leaders to build a profile that showcases their professional skills, their work history, and their passionate support for their communities. Now any company can join WEGO Health Experts to hire any Patient Leader signed up for Experts, on-demand.
At WEGO Health, we know this flip to openness carries some risk, but it’s worth it. It’s always been our mission to empower patient leaders to change healthcare – now we’ll unleash thousands of Experts to transform it from the inside out.
If you are a patient leader, post your skills and your profile on WEGO Health Experts now. If you are ready to work with Patient Experts, there’s no obligation to create your organization’s profile now.
Together, we’ll flip the patient – and healthcare.
WEGO Health was created by Jack Barrette, a former Yahoo! executive focused on lifestyles, health and medicine. At Yahoo!, and throughout his career in healthcare, Jack has seen millions of people struggle to find credible, useful health information online. WEGO Health was born as a result of these experiences. Jack lives in Boston with his beloved wife and terriers. He believes fervently in giving back to the community through his non-profit work, and also in the health benefits of good wine.