What Is Social Health?
Last updated: November 2023
Social health is the dynamic, real-time actions people take to find meaningful connections and share information that impacts health journeys. It’s connecting with others, learning ways to communicate your story, and making an impact in healthcare.
Social health fosters effective health decisions
In 2021, Health Union surveyed 2,371 patient and caregiver leaders across numerous health conditions and found that 95 percent of people use social resources for support and guidance. Plus, more than 80 percent will use information gathered online in conversations with their doctor.
This is the powerful impact of social health.
Even more impressive, this data shows Health Leaders are supporting these people across the entire continuum of care. From diagnosis to management, our research reveals some common ways patients and caregivers leverage social health:
- To understand test results (74 percent)
- When finding or learning about a new medicine or treatment (74 percent)
- At the time of diagnosis (72 percent)
- When experiencing new or different symptoms (69 percent)
- When starting or switching medicine or treatment (65 percent)
Social health offers support at the right moments
In the same study, Health Union also discovered these real-time actions lead to meaningful connections that ultimately shape the patient experience.
Thanks in part to Health Leaders like you, 86 percent of patients better understand their condition. And most importantly, 62 percent of patients feel less alone.
Social health allows Health Leaders like you to connect and provide support at all the right moments. Along the way, your actions have also helped:
- 73 percent of patients to better communicate with their doctor
- 69 percent of patients feel more informed about their treatment
- 64 percent of patients feel smarter about their condition
Our extensive research in social health and the patient experience, as well as our continued Health Leader partnerships, have allowed Health Union to launch the Social Health Network.
What is the Social Health Network?
The Social Health Network is a community for patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals with the goal of bringing empathy, support, and humanity to the healthcare industry.
The Social Health Network offers free online resources, panels, networking events, and paid opportunities to amplify your voice as a Health Leader.
What are the benefits of the Social Health Network?
Members of the Social Health Network have access to a wide variety of benefits.
- Online courses
- Webinars and Health Leader discussions
- Monthly advocacy resources
- Weekly Health Leader newsletter
- Virtual networking events
- Health Leader panels
- Training calls and webinars
- Private Facebook group
- Insight surveys
- Social media campaigns
- Speaking engagements
- Article features
- Ability to earn points and redeem them for rewards on the platform
Social Health Awards
The Social Health Awards were created to embody the mission of the Social Health Network: to empower Health Leaders.
Previously known as the WEGO Health Awards, the annual Social Health Awards have proven to be one of the best ways to honor, recognize, and celebrate the work of Health Leaders for more than a decade.
Connexion is Health Union’s annual conference to acknowledge and celebrate our Health Leaders. Connexion provides education, resources, and connection to help support and impact Health Leaders so they can learn and grow.
The Social Health Network also announces and honors the winners of the Social Health Awards during Connexion, where Health Union recognizes and celebrates the important work of our Health Leaders.