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MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


CH joins national campaign in Web project

by Mary Helen Yarborough
Public Relations
To fulfill its mission to advocate children’s health care support, MUSC’s Children’s Hospital will  reach out and interface with children, families and child health supporters through a new Web site and social media campaign this month.
The Children’s Hospital has joined the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) in this grassroots effort called Speak Now for Kids ( The webpage and campaign goes live May 1 and will last through Mother’s Day May 10.
MUSC’s pediatric residents are committed to the campaign.
“Now is a pivotal time in the fight for affordable, appropriate health care that needs to be available to all children,” said Kimberley Sudheimer, M.D., one of the MUSC pediatric residents. “The most important people in the process are the individual citizens who can contact their legislator to let them know that this campaign matters, and we need their support now. Investing in children is investing in the future.”
The site features uploaded, at-home videos, written stories of parents, children, health care professionals, family members, and advocates that express their fears, hopes and desires for children’s health care reform.   “We encourage you to visit the site and upload your story or video May 1-10,” said Meredith  Strehle, Marketing and Service Excellence manager for the Children’s Hospital.
Amid the changes and challenges in the political and economic arenas, this site will enable the general public to voice their thoughts on reform.
The site, which will be monitored, is not intended to support any particular political stance on health care reform, but it’s intended to enable child advocates to air their views. To drive traffic to the site, NACHRI has provided some tools to promote the advocacy site, including using the site to send a Mother’s Day card and sample messaging one could post to their social media sites, much like a Facebook.
“We are hoping you can help get the message out during this 10-day period by posting these to your sites, dedicating your status on Facebook and sending daily tweets through Twitter to lead people to the site to state their messages,” said Strehle.
For 10 days, data will be collected through the Web site. At the end of the campaign on May 10, information compiled from the site will be used to develop reports and sent to national, state and district representatives.
“As President Obama’s administration looks at health care reform, it is important that the care of children has a focus,” said John M. Sanders, MUSC Children’s Hospital administrator. “Right now, the number of children who are covered by Medicaid dominates that program. We have to make sure that there is a focus on health care access and care for the children of this state and our country. Speak Now for Kids will help to make sure our legislators keep children in mind as very important decisions are made.”
MUSC’s role in the campaign mirrors its commitment and vision to assuring that children’s health care is not undercut amid budgetary shifts.
“This is an important opportunity,” Strehle said. “As the leading provider of health care for South Carolina’s children, MUSC’s Children’s Hospital is committed to alerting the entire region and state to this opportunity to help collect data and information that will be forwarded to congressional representatives as they debate health care reform, and we urge continued support for the children of the Lowcountry and the rest of the state.”
To learn more about the Speak Now for Kids campaign, visit
For information on how to become involved in MUSC's local campaign, contact Strehle by calling 792-5111, or e-mailing


Friday, May 1, 2009

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