News and Insights

Insights and Inspiration: Recapping the Aspen Ideas: Health Festival

July 11, 2023

Conferences are often hectic, but they’re essential for driving impact for our communications clients. For example, attending the Aspen Ideas: Health Festival provided an incredible opportunity for getting our client, The Jed Foundation, on-stage, where they have an unmatched platform from which to share their expertise with other leaders in the health ecosystem, arranging on-site media interviews, recapping the event through owned content, and sharing updates with interested audiences in real-time through social posts.

Aspen Ideas: Health also provided a platform for me to listen-in on thought-provoking discussions by world-renowned experts and gain valuable insights into the world of health, allowing me a deeper understanding of what is needed to truly transform healthcare in this country. It’s critical that we, as healthcare communicators, have a deeper knowledge of the health landscape so we can properly counsel clients and strategize for their success. Being “in the room where it’s happening” – especially if it is a room at Aspen, where great ideas are discussed – gave me a fuller understanding of the complicated US healthcare system.

What issues are still keeping the best and the brightest in the industry up at night? My takeaways are below:

Meeting People Where They Are

It is critical that we speak in terms that people understand. Whether it’s communicating with the youth (do you know what “bedrotting” means?) or translating complex scientific concepts for the general public, effective communication lies in meeting people where they are. We can no longer ignore that our different audiences may speak differently. If we want to reach them, we have to go to them.

Addressing Burnout and Healing our Healers

Burnout is a pervasive issue in the healthcare industry. The festival shed light on the urgent need to prioritize the well-being of healthcare professionals, as well as our caregivers, which also include school faculty. As new technologies emerge in the healthcare marketplace, for example, we need to ask: Is the technology easy to learn? Will it add more stress and burden? Technology solutions must be developed with our caregivers in mind, and we must recognize the enormous stress they have been under for the last three years.

Harnessing the Power of Data

Data continues to be a driving force for change in the healthcare sector. At a breakfast roundtable hosted by Calm Health, we discussed that while data can be overwhelming, we also wouldn’t make any decisions without supporting data in hand.

Promoting Diversity, Representation, and Equity

The pandemic cast a spotlight on health inequities in this country, and the realization of this gap is providing forward momentum to promote diversity and equity. Clinical trials are the key to getting life-saving therapies to market, yet they are vastly under-representative of the population. What incentives need to be put in place to ensure that all populations are part of clinical trials moving forward?

Addressing Systemic Issues and Driving Change

Many of the challenges we face in healthcare are rooted in systemic failing. From the way we reimburse our physicians to emergency protocols in public schools, there are inequitable inefficiencies in the system. We must be willing to call out those inefficiencies and, if necessary, rebuild those parts of the health system brick by brick to drive change.

Understanding the Intersections of Health

Health is an intricate web that intersects with almost every discipline, including nutrition, climate, supply chain, and economics. It is not a restricted system, and no one is unaffected by what happens within it. As we develop communications narratives and public relations campaigns, we must look at the way all other disciplines work with health. For example, if you can make a vaccine but can’t deliver it to the patients who need it – that’s a huge issue. We must constantly be thinking of the surround-sound impacts of the many communities and disciplines that intersect with health.

The Aspen Ideas: Health Festival was a source of inspiration and learning and a catalyst for change. Leaders discussed solutions to drive meaningful change in our health system. As a PR professional, I can do my part by sharing these takeaways to help shape the narrative surrounding health. From meeting people where they are to addressing burnout, harnessing data, promoting diversity and equity, tackling systemic issues, and understanding the intersections of health, I now have tools and insights needed to further influence the evolving state-of-the-art of public health communication.

We at FINN Partners strive to advance health communication and shape a healthier future for all. I am grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this transformative event and look forward to applying the knowledge and experience gained to make a lasting impact. Together, let’s continue to build a world where health is accessible to everyone and where communication serves as a powerful catalyst for positive change.

TAGS: Health

POSTED BY: Laura O’Neill

Laura O’Neill