Understanding Health Leadership
Last updated: November 2023
Health leadership as any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others.
Health leadership plays a defining role in social health – the dynamic, real-time action people take to find meaningful connections and share information that impact the health journey.
There are so many different ways to display health leadership, like:
- Writing a blog about your health journey
- Sharing your diagnosis story at a support group
- Responding to a survey sharing your medical insights and perspectives
- Posting about your loved one's treatment experiences on social media
- Being active within a condition-specific nonprofit organization
Health leadership and the Social Health Network
We define Health Leader as anyone who is a registered member of the Social Health Network. Health Leaders may be patients or caregivers – who we refer to as Patient Leaders – or healthcare professionals (HCPs) who are professional experts or researchers.
The Social Health Network platform is the go-to destination for all things health leadership and social health, as well as techniques and tools for advocacy. The platform contains a variety of content for Health Leaders of every type and experience level.
The Social Health Network is the industry's first and only eLearning and collaboration platform for advocates, influencers, and healthcare collaborators – aka Health Leaders.
The Social Health Network connects patient thought leaders to enhance knowledge sharing, skill building, and industry collaboration.
The Social Health Network also helps you gain access to trusted paid opportunities with healthcare organizations who are eager to learn from your expertise.
Types of health leadership
There are so many ways to make an impact as a Health Leader. While the possibilties are endless, there are 4 health leadership paths you may want to consider. While these 4 paths are distinct, Health Leaders don't have to fall into just one of them.
Community awareness and education
Health leadership within community awareness and education often includes things like raising awareness through social media, supporting your condition-specific community through fundraising, or sharing educational resources with fellow patients.
Those who focus their health leadership skills on legislative advocacy may advocate on Capitol Hill by drumming up support for new bills that will give patients access to needed resources and dignity in their lives.
Health leadership as a digital creator may look like sharing breaking news through Instagram stories, publishing updates on your blog, or inviting other influencers to do a live conversation where you share health advice or suggestions of other advocates in the space to follow online.
Over the years, the healthcare industry has recognized the importance of partnering with Patient Leaders. Working as a healthcare collaborator might mean sitting on a pharmaceutical company advisory board or working with a brand team on a marketing campaign about the lived experience of patients and caregivers.
In many cases, Health Leaders change, grow, and go back and forth between health leadership types. As you learn new skills and network with new people along your health leadership journey, you may find yourself trying new things.
No matter where you are in your health leadership journey, the Social Health Network is here to support you.