It's pretty hard to energize people to fix California's broken Medi-Cal system when you talk about it in brain-numbing terms like, "Medi-Cal reimbursement rates." So, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte held a community teach-in/reach-out "Tweetup" on May 19 to explain how the problem has led to a major shortage of doctors and clinicians, as well as millions of Californians who finally have health coverage -- but no health care. We called it, simply, #WheresYourDoctor?!
The Tweetup resulted in dozens of tweets, favorited tweets, Facebook posts and roughly 31,000 impressions, reaching social media users from Sacramento to Silicon Valley to Los Angeles.
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM) launched the #WheresYourDoctor?! campaign with a small group of leading local social media-influencers and "mom bloggers" who sat at a kitchen table on a Tuesday night in Palo Alto, live-tweeting to their thousands of followers. It was held at the home of Jill Asher, well-known on the local social media scene and co-founder of the Silicon Valley Moms blog, and co-hosted by Stefania Pomponi, founder of Clever Girls Collective, a prominent social media branding agency. PPMM Vice President of Public Affairs (and former State Senator) Liz Figueroa joined regional Public Affairs director, Lupe Rodriguez and our social media manager, Melissa Munoz to answer questions and live-tweet the answers. The Tweetup-ers were armed with a #WheresYourDoctor?! list of bullet-points, source links and sample tweets that was posted just before the event
The participants asked excellent questions, ranging from how Medi-Cal works to how many people rely on it to what the strategy is for fixing the problem and fully funding the system. They were especially surprised to hear that millions of children remain without health care in California despite state's embrace of the federal Affordable Care Act. And they were shocked to discover that California has among the nation's very lowest Medi-Cal/Medicaid reimbursement rates for doctors and clinicians. (Yeah, we mentioned the phrase, eventually.)
Now the Tweetup-ers and their readers know about efforts in Sacramento to fully fund Medi-Cal is the beginning of a growing grass-roots movement to fix this problem -- and they say they're in it with us for the long-haul.
PPMM plans another WheresYourDoctor?! Tweetup during California's next legislative session, to build momentum.
We think our little group helped start something big around Jill Asher's kitchen table in Palo Alto that Tuesday night.