Celebrating Postcards to Doctors: Final Report

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We’re incredibly pleased to announce that we not only met but exceeded our initial goal of sending 6,000 postcards out into the world! 

And we could not have done it without you.  As always, I am bowled over by our community’s drive to fight for change. Check out our infographic below (or download a higher-def version here) and read on for more about how you spread the word about ME!


“As a member of the healthcare community (pharmacist), and someone with ME/CFS, having a tool like this is such a meaningful opportunity! I’m hosting a postcard party with several friends, including some physicians, to help raise awareness. Thank you for making this possible” – Julie C.


The story so far:

#MEAction launched Postcards to Doctors, a medical education campaign in which we sent beautifully-designed, handwritten postcards to doctors throughout the United States to encourage them to take the Unrest medical education for myalgic encephalomyelitis! 

“It’s such a wonderful initiative and I’m glad to be doing my bit. I hope that you all see an uptick in the number of people doing the CME as a result of it.”- Megan D.

Postcards to Doctors requested art submissions for the postcards in June, announced our art winners in July, and launched Postcards to Doctors in August.  We sold out of our first run of postcards in the first three hours!  That is in no small part to the gorgeous art by our amazing artists!  Over the course of the Postcards to Doctors initiative, #MEAction generated addresses for over 5,000 clinicians across the country using software built for the purpose.  ~1000 postcards were sent to individuals who already had addresses for clinicians in their area. 

“Many thanks… I will be finishing this today. I so appreciate your work and help with this.  The way you have all these events organized is amazing and it makes it so easy to contribute. I look forward to being more involved in the future.” – Britta H.


Who received your postcards?

Your postcards have been all across the country!

“Aloha! Thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a difference with medical professionals in my local community about #ME.” -Sharol

Last time we reported that California had sent the greatest number of postcards, and Arizona and New York were our runners up.  California remained in the lead, but Florida pulled ahead to second place, and Arizona moved to third:


California and Florida have a very high population, so we also have data on which states have been most active in comparison to their state populations:

New Hampshire pulled ahead in a big way, sending 9.4 postcards per 100,000 state residents.  That’s 46% more per person than any other state!  Thank you, New Hampshire advocates, for answering the call — last time we reported, New Hampshire had not sent any Postcards, yet.

Finally, last time we reported that twelve states that had not yet participated.  Four states stepped up, but that leaves us with the following states with no participants: Alaska; Delaware; Kansas; Maine; Montana; Nebraska; North Dakota; and Wyoming.

If your home state is on this list, we hope you’ll consider ordering some postcards and addresses and encouraging friends to do so when we launch Postcards 2020.


Who has your postcards?

#MEAction didn’t just send postcards to the zip codes where you live. 

We created a second, bespoke program to determine that we were sending postcards to every demographic so that everyone with ME, no matter where or who they are, can receive quality care from their clinicians.

We ran our second program frequently in order to stay apace of our targets for outreach.

We defined communities with a high percentage of BIPOC individuals to be those which were at least twice the national average according to the 2017 census.   

29% of our outreach was to majority-BIPOC communities.


Did clinicians take the CME because of Postcards?

“It was not easy doing 25 cards but I did a few each day and just kept plugging away at it.  Hopefully these postcards were received in the spirit in which they were sent—and read, and not simply discarded. 

Thanks for all you do.  The work you do at MEAction is making a difference.  I do believe that. Best regards,” -Ann M

The short answer: yes!

The long answer is that the Postcards to Doctors initiative was at least as effective as showing up to a medical conference in person and setting up a booth that advertised and provided materials for a CME on ME.  

How do we know?  Because there was a study on CME in ME/CFS where they did just that, and the percentage of people who responded to medical and research professionals showing up in person and manning a booth at a conference is the same as the percentage who responded to you!  Keep in mind that these booths were at medical conferences, where the audience was clinicians who already had interest in learning something new.  Clinicians who received your postcards weren’t necessarily looking to learn, but they still responded to you. 


The success of Postcards belongs to you.

Postcards could not have been a success without your determination, your hard work, your artistry or your eloquence.  You reached doctors who might otherwise never have learned about ME!  And you shared your stories with us throughout the campaign.

“Done and donated!  Thank you for making this process so easy and accessible.” – tankibbitw

 

From left to right: Laurie Jones, Jennifer Cooke & Beverly Weiss display the results of their hard work!


We also received messages from people who hosted a Postcards holiday party as we suggested in our November article.  

Our gratitude here at #MEAction knows no bounds!  Thank you for making Postcards a part of your holiday tradition!

It’s goodbye, but it’s not forever!  We’ll be running Postcards to Doctors again starting in the fall up through the winter holidays.
 

Postcards to Doctors will return in Fall 2020!  

If you like projects like this and want to see this hard work continue, please consider donating to support projects like these:
 
Donate to support us!


Looking to see how far we’ve come?  Hit with a wave of nostalgia regarding all your hard work?  We feel you!  Check out our articles and posts on this project up to now:

Thank you again for all your hard work, and we look forward to more outreach community collaborations in the future!

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2 thoughts on “Celebrating Postcards to Doctors: Final Report”

    1. Sorry, Denise, we just launched our new site and are still fixing links! Did you want to get involved with postcards to doctors or another program?

      Thanks,

      Adriane

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