ELITE 2021 COVID Hero Mary Ray of MyHealthTeams

Mary Ray

Co-Founder and COO

MyHealthTeams

Answering Patients’ Burning Questions

At every phase, the pandemic has brought a new set of questions and challenges to people living with a chronic health condition—from increased risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms to concerns about whether they should continue their medications to whether and when they should get the vaccine. To fill these gaps, Mary Ray and MyHealthTeams launched a number of video Q&As with medical experts specializing in the 40 chronic conditions that its patient social networks serve.

Among the most popular and impactful of these expert videos is the MyMSTeam Live Q&A with Dr. Aaron Boster series. Launched in Fall 2020, Mary leads a one-hour discussion with Dr. Boster, an MS specialist, guided by the 300+ questions submitted in advance by the 700+ registrants. The events are recorded and made available for on-demand viewing, ensuring the 162,000+ registered members of MyMSTeam can access the content at their convenience.

For example, the January event was focused on addressing the outstanding questions and concerns people diagnosed with MS have about the COVID-19 vaccine. Based on a previous poll during the December Live Q&A, only 31% of participants said they would “definitely get” the vaccine when available to them. In this session, Mary and Dr. Boster addressed key questions from the community such as: Will the vaccine worsen my MS symptoms? Am I likely to experience a serious reaction to the vaccine? Will the vaccine interfere with my MS medications?

Previous research showed that only 17% of MS patients had been contacted about the COVID vaccine, so for most participants this was the first time people were hearing condition-specific recommendations from an MS expert. The impact of the conversation was striking. At the end of the event, a poll showed that 64% of participants would “definitely get” the vaccine when available to them.

Ninety percent of event attendees surveyed report they’re likely to attend future sessions, with one participant summing up the common sentiment, “I can’t get enough of Dr. Aaron Boster and Mary Ray.” Mary and MyHealthTeams plan to continue this format for patient engagement well beyond COVID.

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