About two and a half years ago the daughter of a good friend of mine, Emily Benatar, lost her life to bacterial meningitis. She was 19, a freshman in college.
Each year, Emily’s family organizes a project in her honor, leading up to her birthday on February 11th. This year they are trying to get as many people as possible to get access to their health records on their mobile phones.
They chose this project because they believe that these days — with people moving and traveling more, and doctors specializing more — every individual should be his or her own best health advocate. In other words, the person who should know as much as possible about your health is *you*. And part of that is having quick access to your own health records, including your immunizations, allergies, and medications.
When Emily went off to college, she had been vaccinated against meningococcal disease. But the vaccine that she had (the only one available at the time) did not cover serogroup B meningococcal disease, the type that Emily had. On October 29, 2014, after outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease on the campuses of Princeton University and UC Santa Barbara, the FDA approved a MenB vaccine for use in the United States.
Please go to the website that Emily’s family has created. Go through the three steps to get access to your health records on your phone. See what vaccinations you’ve had and when.
Help the Benatars reach their goal of 1100 people by February 11, 2015. And tell 11 others to do the same!
If you are in college, or if you are a parent of someone who is in college, take advantage of winter break and visit (or have your child visit) the doctor’s office and sign a release form so that you can set up an
Electronic Health Records (EHR) account as explained on the website.
Author of this post, Peggy Propp, has been a Menlo Park resident for over two decades. She runs a Sustainable Energy Fellowship program and has three sons who have gone/are going through the MP public school system where she’s held many volunteer positions.
Photo by Irene Searles; pictured left to right are Jeffrey, Peggy, Alan and Daniel