New social network, BeWell, connects consumers to top health professionals

1 December, 2008


Dr. Nancy Snyderman leads team of experts in launching first expert-guided social network,
elevating quality of online health discussions


NEW YORK – The World Wide Web became a little healthier today with the launch of BeWell, the first-ever expert-guided online community centered on credible health content and dialogue. Developed by a group of the country’s leading health professionals, BeWell is designed to support and guide healthy conversation online and supply individuals with access to top health and wellness experts.

“These are the experts to whom we, as doctors, would turn for advice,” said Dr. Nancy Snyderman, chief medical editor at NBC News, co-founder and editor-in-chief of BeWell. “BeWell.com is a great resource for consumers because it offers a variety of tools to help people not only improve their health knowledge, but also share their stories and concerns with each other. Access to this valuable resource will help individuals communicate more effectively with a healthcare provider and better understand health conditions important to them.”

“There is an overwhelming amount of medical and health information online, but an absence of guidance in how to interpret it,” said Dr. Susan Love, surgeon, author of the best selling “Dr. Susan Love Breast Book” and co-founder of BeWell. “BeWell will be able to foster a sense of community among its members while elevating the level of medical discussion by providing an accessible, valuable and trustworthy voice to guide the conversation.” More than 20 leading health experts were selected by Drs. Snyderman and Love for their reputation as leaders in their fields as well as their ability to translate complex medical information clearly to consumers.

The experts include Dr. Miriam Nelson, director of the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University; Dr. Alice Domar, executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health; and Dr. Janet Taylor, clinical instructor of psychiatry at the Columbia University-Harlem Hospital Center, along with others across disciplines.

According to Elizabeth Browning, chief executive officer of health media company LLuminari, which is launching BeWell, the experts have worked together for the past eight years as members of the LLuminari Expert Network to enlighten consumers and inspire them to live healthier lives. “Now consumers can continue to follow conversations with their favorite expert’s anytime at BeWell,” said Browning.

BeWell features health resources such as:
  • Access to trusted, well-known health experts who can clearly communicate engaging information and analysis on breaking healthcare news, trends and issues
  • Customized personal spaces to interact with friends, post news, join book clubs, save relevant articles on health and display pictures and calendars.
  • Moderated forums to discuss health-related issues important to members.
According to the Pew Internet Project in 2008, 75 percent to 80 percent of Internet users have looked online for health information; however, 60 percent of Internet users acknowledge that online health information can be inaccurate and based on misinformation or propaganda.

The mission of BeWell is to ensure that consumers have a safe, communal place to manage their health, develop a network of friends who share similar challenges, receive guidance and participate in healthy debates that explore more than one side of an issue. The experts also plan to leverage their knowledge to launch high-profile integrated education initiatives to redefine the way individuals learn how to live longer, healthier lives and lower healthcare costs.


Contact
BeWell: Cheryl Heiks
CHeiks@BeWell.com  
(302) 654-5196

Burson-Marsteller: Claire Anselmo
Claire.Anselmo@bm.com  
(212) 614-4967

About BeWell
BeWell was launched by LLuminari, Inc., a health media company founded by its Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Browning, along with Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Dr. Susan Love in 2000. The Company produces content and programming through a prestigious network of health experts for consumer Web sites, magazines, conferences and corporate initiatives. LLuminari has offices in Wilmington, Del., and New York. BeWell can be found on the Internet at www.bewell.com

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