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An Online Health Fair

Because Washington DC is the national headquarters for many heathcare professional organizations and advocacy groups, we host more than our fair share of medical conferences.  Just a few weeks ago I attended Digestive Disease Week, where 16 thousand gastroenterologists descended upon our fair city from all over the globe.  Sporting purple gift totes and oversized name tags, these docs moved like a great school of fish through the reefs of our convention center.  At one point I was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time – a lecture let out just before lunch, and I was almost flattened by the wave of hungry purple people on a frantic quest to be first in line at the refreshment counters (the song, “one eyed, one horned flying purple people eater” kept dancing in my head as I ran for cover).

And I started thinking – gee wouldn’t it be easier to have a virtual conference where you could attend from the comfort of your own home?  You could navigate to the information booths that interest you, you could attend lectures via telecast, and you could even opt in for goodie bags that could be mailed to you.  No need to be stressed out and jostled by well meaning, but frantic colleagues.  You could sit in your PJs with kitty or puppy nearby and click your way through a much calmer version of the educational experience.

And so the Revolution Health team discussed this idea and came up with the Online Health Fair.  We invited a small group of advocacy groups to set up booths on our website to show others all the exciting programs they have going, and to spark interest in getting involved.  The fair just opened and I think it’s a pretty neat idea – Revolution Health is donating money to the groups, based on page clicks.  So the more people who go to learn about their favorite advocacy groups, the more they benefit.

So I would encourage you to check this out and let us know what you think – do you like this online health fair concept, or are you more of a “flying purple people eater” kind of person?

Here are the advocacy group “booths” at the fair:

Autism Speaks
American Kidney Fund
National Alliance on Mental Illness
IBS Self Help and Support Group
National Family Caregivers Association
The Wellness Community
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
National Sleep Foundation
Society for Women’s Health Research

If this online fair is popular, we can create many more of them in the future.  I think it’s great to support these noble groups, and the Wall Street Journal agrees.  Tell a friend.  🙂This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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