Kathryn Peck

Kathryn Peck made her start in social media when practitioners still called it the Wild West.

As sexy as it was to work in social for video games, I wanted to do something that I thought could positively affect a lot more people.

At Electronic Arts, as a Community Manager and later Social Marketing Manager, she was a part of the team that got their Facebook pages in order. “Now, they’re killing it in FIFA, Madden, and with the NBA. To have somewhat started with social media there was cool, and it was a great way to learn everything to do in the digital and social space,” Kathryn says.

But after moving to Portland and spending some time at a tech publishing website, Kathryn joined Oregon Health and Science University as their Social Media Program Manager. Now, she leads a team of three and manages their overarching social and communications channels.

“As sexy as it was to work in social for video games, I wanted to do something that I thought could positively affect a lot more people,” says SocialMedia.org Health member Kathryn. She says that’s even more true in our current political climate.

Earlier this year, OHSU found themselves in the middle of a crisis when an Iranian infant was denied entry to the U.S.

A four-month-old baby in need of urgent surgery, Fatemah Reshad and her family were temporarily blocked from entering the United States following President Trump’s executive order in January.

After fighting for an exception for her tourist visa, she was admitted to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital where the physicians involved agreed to waive their fees. Now, her doctors are reporting that she’s doing well.

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Kathryn’s team has been there the whole way, telling her story while she was blocked from entry, sharing a Facebook Live video from OHSU press conferences, posting ways people can support the family, and sharing the good news through updates from Fatemah’s doctors.

One thing OHSU has always been loud about is that everyone is welcome here.

“It was a no-brainer to us. We’re happy to have a voice in that space right now. One thing OHSU has always been loud about is that everyone is welcome here. This is one way we can show that we’ll never turn away a child who needs help.”

She says that by sharing this story through Facebook Live, it’s also helped sell the value of social media internally. In fact, her team’s coverage of the story was recognized by People magazine.

“You can say these points are controversial, but we’re talking about things that are bigger than what’s going on at OHSU.”

There’s going to be a lot going on in the next 4 years for everyone in healthcare… it’s not going to be boring in healthcare social media.

For example, right now, her team’s focused on OHSU’s newly formed School of Public Health, a collaboration with Portland State University. Speakers talk on topics like the country’s problem with opioid addiction, why gun violence is a public health crisis, and how health care plays a role in these issues.

Kathryn’s team helps share these talks with a bigger audience through social media — particularly Facebook Live.

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“It’s wonderful and exciting work, not just at OHSU, but in this healthcare space. There’s going to be a lot going on in the next four years for everyone in healthcare. No matter how we look at it, it’s not going to be boring in healthcare social media.” Kathryn says.

“But to have this community SocialMedia.org Health created for us is going to be crucial for that. There will be a lot of things happening, and I’m honestly really grateful.”

Kathryn’s been a member of SocialMedia.org Health since 2016. Follow her on Twitter here.


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