Alliance Health Networks Brings Two Prominent Patient Advocates to its Lupus and Fibromyalgia Social Networks

Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:15am EDT

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Alliance Health Networks Brings Two Prominent Patient Advocates to its Lupus and Fibromyalgia Social Networks

  • New Patient Advocates Include Susan Ingebretson, Director of Program Development for the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University, Fullerton; Christine Miserandino, Award-Winning Writer and Lupus Advocate
  • Fibromyalgia Connect and Lupus Connect are Two of More Than 50 Condition-Specific Social Health Networks in Alliance Health’s Portfolio

Alliance Health Networks, the leading social networking company serving consumers and the healthcare industry, today announced the addition of Susan Ingebretson, director of program development for the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University, Fullerton, and Christine Miserandino, award-winning writer and lupus patient advocate, as new patient advocates on the Fibromyalgia Connect and Lupus Connect networks, respectively.

Fibromyalgia Connect and Lupus Connect are part of Alliance Health’s growing portfolio of social health networks currently serving more than 1.5 million registered users across some 50 condition-specific sites. Fibromyalgia Connect and Lupus Connect aim to empower people to more actively manage their health through personal connections, powerful tools and deeper insights. Patient advocates offer network members deep knowledge and experience dealing with a particular disease or condition, and can offer a unique perspective on how to effectively cope with and manage their health.

“From the beginning, our top priority at Alliance Health has been to create an online forum that provides actionable information with a personal touch, and one of the ways we accomplish that is through our patient advocates,” said Stead Burwell, CEO of Alliance Health Networks. “There is a lot of information out there, and our patient advocates are able to draw upon their personal experience to distill it down to something understandable and useful. Susan and Christine are extremely passionate about helping people navigate their personal health journey, and I know they will be great sources of knowledge and support for our members.”

In addition to her work at the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center, Ingebretson has written extensively on fibromyalgia, including a book titled “FibroWHYalgia: Why Rebuilding the Ten Root Causes of Chronic Illness Restores Chronic Wellness,” which chronicles her own journey from illness to wellness. She is also a frequent speaker and a certified holistic health coach. More information on Ingebretson can be found on her website, www.rebuildingwellness.com.

“As a patient advocate for the fibromyalgia community, I’ll be able to share my first-hand experience in both dealing with and finding healing solutions for fibromyalgia,” said Ingebretson. “When I searched for answers more than a decade ago, I couldn’t find resources specific to my concerns. Fibromyalgia Connect serves as a way to help navigate through the immense amount of information, and I hope visitors will find the sense of comfort and community that they’ve been looking for.”

Miserandino has lived with lupus for 18 years, and has also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, Sjögren’s syndrome, Raynaud’s disease and neuropathy. An ardent advocate, Miserandino is a guest expert on WebMD.com, has been a keynote speaker for many health organizations around the world, is a member of the board of directors for the Lupus Alliance of America, and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, which aims to help patients make informed decisions about their care and treatment. Miserandino also runs the online resource www.butyoudontlooksick.com.

“I believe that my lifelong medical circumstances have put me in a unique and understanding position, so that I can try to help people through similar difficult times,” said Miserandino. “No one should ever feel alone or singled out because of their illness. I hope the information and community on Lupus Connect can aid people in leading better lives through knowledge, networking, friendship and most of all support.”

About Alliance Health Networks

Alliance Health Networks is building a free and independent social engagement platform that gives people the power to navigate their personal health journey. The company owns and operates more than 50 social networks and 20 mobile versions serving over 1.5 million registered members. Alliance Health leverages social networks to help consumers more actively manage their care through personal connections, powerful tools and deeper insights. The company's investors include New World Ventures, Physic Ventures, Highway 12 Ventures and EPIC Ventures. For more information, visit: www.alliancehealthnetworks.com.

Alliance Health Networks Public Relations
Jeff DuBois, 801-461-9789
jeff@methodcommunications.com
Jacob Moon, 801-461-9797
Jacob@methodcommunications.com

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