5 Reasons to Join #hcsmct

October 16, 2012

Today’s guest post was written by Siobahn Kinney, Social Media Coordinator for Community Health Center Association of Connecticut. Follow her at @siobahnkinney and @CTHealthCenters.

When the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut (CHCACT) first joined Twitter, I thought it would be a good way to reach out to health care consumers. But it turns out that Twitter has proven much more helpful in connecting and collaborating with other community organizations in Connecticut and beyond. One main factor in this is the #hcsmct group.

#hcsmct stands for “health care social media CT” and is composed of several health care organizations and advocates from across Connecticut. Each Wednesday at 3pm (except for the first Wednesday of the month) we get on Twitter to discuss a predetermined topic, such as breast cancer awareness or school-based health centers. On the first Wednesday of the month we have a breakfast meet-up to talk about upcoming tweetchat topics and pertinent issues.

#hcsmct has become one of CHCACT’s most important connections on social media! Here are 5 reasons why I’m so glad we joined—and why you should think about joining, too, either as an individual advocate or as an organization or community partner.

  1. Sharing: #hcsmct is a community of sharing. We constantly share new ideas, best practices, up-and-coming social media tools. We can bounce ideas off of each other and ask questions. There’s always someone willing to help out.
  2. Cross-promotion: You can always count on the other #hcsmct folks to help cross-promote! Have an event coming up? Share it with the group and you’ll get retweets galore!
  3. Expanding your reach: The weekly tweetchats have been so helpful in reaching out to other individuals and organizations. For instance, a chat on childhood obesity might grab the attention of the CDC and other organizations around the country. This expands your reach and helps make new connections.
  4. Connecting face-to-face: Our monthly in-person meetings are not just fun breakfast meetings with bagels and coffee! Especially with social media, where you can go so long without actually “meeting” someone on your friends list, the face-to-face meetings help reinforce our connections and relationships. We also try to rotate the location between New Haven and Hartford (and occasionally Middletown) to ensure that we can reach as many people as possible.
  5. Promoting health justice: Our tweetchats usually focus on issues not just related to health problems. We also try to raise awareness about underserved populations and health disparities. Most of our discussions revolve around how we can better serve these groups and enhance health equity in Connecticut and beyond.

These are just a few of the benefits of joining in with our chats, meetings and connections. Interested in joining us? Hop onto our next tweetchat, or just shout out with our #hcsmct tag and we’ll be delighted to connect with you. You can also join our Google Group to introduce yourself and learn a little more: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/hcsmct Hope to hear from you soon!

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