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HealtheVoices 2019: A Little Heart Can Do Big Things

HealtheVoices 2019: A Little Heart Can Do Big Things

HealtheVoices, what an event?! This past weekend, Janssen presented its 5th annual HealtheVoices conference and it did not disappoint. Bringing together 140 top Patient Leaders, across condition areas, it was a weekend full of excitement, learning, and friendship.

From learning how to infuse humor into your advocacy to writing memoirs to mastering your Twitter engagement – the weekend was jam-packed full of informative sessions.

WEGO Health, along with Rick Davis, Jackie Zimmerman, and Dakota Rosenfelt, presented a session titled “When Love and Gratitude Isn’t Enough – Earning From Patient Leadership“. The premise of this session was to curate best practices from Patient Leaders on monetizing your advocacy efforts. We’re currently pulling all the best practices together from the session and will be publishing a course on our platform this summer. STAY TUNED!

If you’re looking for a replay of the sessions, you can log into the HealtheVoices LIVE live stream to watch recordings of the conference.

To ensure ALL of the WEGO Health Network could enjoy the information from HealtheVoices, we had Patient Leader Chelcie Rice cover the event on our social channels. Perhaps you caught a tweet, Insta-story or post he published over the weekend. If not, we encourage you to go scroll through the hundreds of #HealtheVoices19 tweets.

Believe us, it’s well worth your time!

We asked Chelcie to recap his experience of the weekend. Below we’re honored to share his emotional, honest perspective of a tremendous weekend.

“After all the panels, the passing out business cards and connecting on social media the one takeaway I got last year and this year is I have a new family.  These were some of the strongest people I’ve ever met.”

Chelcie Rice

HealtheVoices 2019 Recap

by Chelcie Rice, WEGO Health Patient Leader Reporter

Staring at a blank screen trying to process my thoughts about this past weekend’s HealtheVoices 2019 in Dallas, TX appears to be more daunting than I thought.  How would you describe your second dose of a life-altering experience?

When I first applied to attend this year’s conference I did so to be considered as just an attendee.  Then I also applied to be a speaker on one of the panels.  That’s saying a lot for me because when I was filling out the application I didn’t believe they would even remotely accept me.  “I’m just a comedian and a mediocre one at that!” “Who would listen to me?”  That’s what I told myself while the other side of my brain was fishing for things to add about my accomplishments.  So I figured if you don’t ask, you won’t know. To my surprise, I was selected.

I was crazy nervous about going to HealtheVoices this year because I was speaking but I was stoked. This year was my second time and I came home feeling empowered and most of all confident in my ability as an advocate.

Being on that stage delivering my portion of my panel on resilience was a bit stressful.  I wasn’t sure I prepared as much as everyone else.  My main worry was if anyone would understand what I was speaking about.  Turns out I got a great many compliments after the panel.  Many totally agreeing with me. I’m the master of overthinking.

After all the panels, the passing out business cards and connecting on social media, the one takeaway I got last year and this year is I have a new family.  These were some of the strongest people I’ve ever met.  All fighting different causes for the people who live with chronic illnesses.  There were several caregivers there also sharing their experiences about caring for their loved ones. This conference is by far my favorite because it goes further than any single diabetes, cancer or HIV advocate conference will ever go. 

When you attend HealtheVoices you go to recharge and get inspired.  You go to remind yourself why you became an advocate in the first place.  But most of all you go to get reminded that you will never be alone. 

When you attend HealtheVoices you go to recharge and get inspired.  You go to remind yourself why you became an advocate in the first place.  But most of all you go to get reminded that you will never be alone. 

Every single person there has been where you’ve been and where you’re about to go and they’re all a text, Tweet or DM away.  If you’re an advocate searching for your path and questioning the how’s, if or why’s then you need to try and attend this conference.  If I never attend it again I’ll never forget the people and what I learned from them all.

I don’t think I’ve ever dreaded going home as much as I did when it was over.


Looking for more HealtheVoices coverage?

Check out the following posts from WEGO Health and beyond.

HealtheVoices 2018: Finding My Tribe
HealtheVoices 2017: Together We Thrive
HealtheVoices 2016
HealtheVoices 2015

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