Atlanta,
01
November
2011
|
05:00 AM
America/New_York

Shepherd Center Offers MedGift to Help Patients and Families Coping with Injury

Shepherd Center is pleased to offer MedGift, a free patient gift registry and social media network that patients can share with those who care about them. By facilitating emotional, practical and financial support, this one-stop online community helps reduce feelings of isolation and fear that can overwhelm individuals coping with an injury, illness or a chronic medical condition. MedGift also assists family and friends by alleviating their sense of helplessness and not knowing the best way to support their loved ones.

“Our goal has always been to give our patients hope as they deal with the challenges and uncertainties caused by their injuries,” said Dr. Gary Ulicny, president and CEO of Shepherd Center. “That’s why we are delighted to offer MedGift, which provides a convenient method for patients to share updates and to ask for the specific help they need or want without feeling embarrassed. Their network of friends and family can then coordinate efforts through the secure MedGift site knowing that they are making a positive difference.”  

MedGift is free to patients, family and friends and is as easy to use as other social network sites. Patients create an account and invite friends and family to participate. In addition to posting updates and receiving messages of support, patients can register for special requests using a process similar to a gift registry. Patients can register for wishes, wants or needs:

·         Wishes: non-monetary items such as prayers, help with transportation, a home-cooked meal or babysitting

·         Wants: items such as wheelchair equipment or a new walker. Wants are granted through a secure, gift-card process

·         Needs: help with their personal medical expenses to the specific hospital or health system, handled through a secure process that protects privacy and guards against fraud.

The site also offers a free personal health record that can help patients collaborate with their physicians to better manage their care and empower patients to make more informed healthcare decisions. A MedGift account can also:

·         Serve as a blog for patients to share their experiences and for their community to respond;

·         Set up alerts so supporters can be notified when new information is posted by the patient;

·         Be personalized with photos and links to sites like Facebook and Twitter; and

·         Provide an opportunity for sharing encouraging messages of love and support.

MedGift was created by Diem Brown, a television personality and innovator, who was inspired to help others after she won her battle against ovarian cancer in her early 20s. She partnered with RelayHealth, a leader in healthcare connectivity services, to create a secure, not-for-profit online resource for patients coping with medical misfortunes along with their family, friends and others motivated to “lend a helping hand.”

According to Brown, “MedGift is the culmination of a vision that developed as I was facing my own healthcare crisis. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I felt alone and needed reassurance. MedGift gives patients a convenient way to share their healthcare updates with friends and family. It also gives them a safe environment in which they can ask for what they need – whether the need is as simple as a ride to a doctor’s appointment or a home-cooked meal or as complex as funds to help pay for necessary medications or cover an insurance deductible.”

For more information about MedGift, or to register, visit www.medgift.com.

About RelayHealth

RelayHealth, McKesson’s connectivity business, enables the secure exchange of clinical, financial and administrative information between patients, providers, payers, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and government agencies. RelayHealth processes more than 15 billion healthcare transactions annually as the result of integrating the delivery of high-quality care and improving the financial outcomes for its customers. For more information, call 888.743.8735, or visit our Web site at www.RelayHealth.com.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 900 inpatients, 575 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year.