We the People, an initiative launched as a way for Americans to petition their government about issues that matter to them, hosted the ‘WTPMeetUp’ at the White House October 23, 2014, to celebrate the third anniversary of the movement. Dr. Kim Yu (Frankenmuth), Family Physician and MAFP president-elect, was selected as one of 14 affiliates to attend the event. While there, she was able to speak about the importance of the Health is Primary campaign and advocated for Family Medicine.
“It was important to me to bring Health is Primary to the White House and in some small way feel like I could advocate and be a voice for Family Physicians in Washington, D.C., “ Dr. Yu said. “How exciting to be able to talk about the @HealthisPrimary campaign on the same day that it is launched.”
Dr. Yu was invited to the event due to both her role as a We the People user, and her knowledge of social media engagement. She is regularly posting photos and tweets at MAFP and AAFP events, was one of the social media ambassadors for the AAFP assembly in 2014, and has a large national following among Family Physicians.
In addition to discussing Health is Primary, Dr. Yu also used the opportunity to discuss graduate medical education (GME) funding, the need for a Surgeon General, and statements about Ebola.
A Day at the White House
The morning of the event started out with a tour of the White House, which Dr. Yu was able to do alongside AAFP Vice Speaker Dr. Javette Orgain, followed by an afternoon at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and capped off with presentations from administration officials.
The afternoon session involved speaking with Paulette Aniskoff, director of the office of public engagement; Megan Smith, chief technology officer in the Office of Science and Technology Policy; Ezra Mechaber, deputy director of email and petitions in the Office of Digital Strategy; and James Kvaal, deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council. The event concluded with Press Secretary Josh Earnest discussing advances in technology that have shaped the way the government uses the media to interact with the public.
|Paulette Aniskoff||Megan Smith||Ezra Mechaber||James Kvaal||Josh Earnest|
Talking About Health is Primary
“I was able to talk about the new Health is Primary campaign and actually give the brochure to Josh Earnest,” said Dr. Yu. At the event she learned that if one of her tweets were picked up in the White House blog, it could reach millions of people. On October 23, she managed just that and included the Health is Primary handle (see whitehouse.gov/blog).
The Health is Primary campaign rolls out in early 2015 with stops in Raleigh (NC) in February, Seattle (WA) in March, Chicago (IL) in May, Denver (CO) in September , and Detroit (October 21). For more information, see the feature in the winter issue of Michigan Family Physician, or contact MAFP Headquarters at [email protected] or 517.347.0098.