About This Blog


Sherri Dorfman, CEO, Stepping Stone Partners, Connected & Digital Health Innovation Specialist

My blog is designed to spotlight healthcare organizations with innovative uses of technology & data to drive Care Coordination, Collaboration & Patient Engagement.

These new approaches may influence your product & service roadmap, experiences, partnerships and marketing strategies.


While consulting, I leverage my extensive experience, knowledge and professional network to help companies make the right strategic product and marketing decisions. Services include:

> Strategic Planning Market Review: Competitive Assessments, Partnership Evaluations. Workshop facilitation. Insight drives product, partnership and marketing strategies

> Product Roadmap & Consumer Experience Planning: Conceptualizes, defines and validates solutions/experiences through Marketing Research and journey mapping.  Utilizes new innovative online and mobile research tools to co-create with target buyers and users, gathering input while understanding context to guide the development of personalized solutions & experiences.

> Strategic Product Marketing: Differentiated value proposition story incorporated into marketing & sales assets

Find out how I can help you. Call me at 508-655-6585. Email me at SDorfman@Stepping-Stone.net to set up an exploratory discussion.

Follow me on Twitter @SherriDorfman





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    Recent Posts

    Entries in mobile health and wellness texting (14)

    Employee Engagement Series: Employee Social Online Community, Mobile & Employee Wellness Advisory Council 

    “My participation in online communities (within BHive) provides me with a platform to engage & converse with my peers and build camaraderie based on shared interests. Through ‘Tastebuds’, our online community for foodies within Brocade, I have engaged like-minded individuals to discuss recipes, exchange restaurant reviews and promote healthy eating, resulting in a sense of belonging centered around a common interest.”

    BHive is a private online employee social community. BHive is leveraged to help promote many wellness initiatives which helped make Brocade one of the top 100 companies to work for, making Fortune’s 2011 & 2010 list.

    Within BHive, employees friend and follow each other as well as earn points for posting and answering questions and contributing to discussions. The most popular topics that Brocadians are discussing online are WellFit (includes ViveCoach challenges, Sports Groups), WIN (Women in Networking), BInvolved (volunteerism & community involvement) and San Jose Campus (employees posting photos from various work events like the annual Chili Cookoff). Brocade uses BHive to gather information from employees through polls and discussions and generate engagement in offline company and community events. During May, employees worldwide participated in “Bike to Work” and posted their photos online. 

    With the ViveCoach platform, Brocade engages employees through their mobile phones. During social challenges, employees receive mobile messages about additional challenge points needed by their team, team work-out reminders, healthy nutrition or fitness tips, reminders (“drink lots of water” or “take the stairs”), team banter and leader board status.  Brocade had a team of remote employees join a recent challenge and they are planning a competition that includes spouses and family members. “We believe that it is important to include employee’s family members so these lifestyle changes become more sustainable”, explains Lisa McGill, VP, Worldwide Human Resources at Brocade.

    What is the secret for being on the leading edge of employee engagement?  In June 2010, Brocade launched their WellFit Council with 15 representatives from all departments and geographies. These employee advisory Council members are divided into four work teams (Health & Wellness, Fitness, Education & Communities) and meet once per month to provide input and guidance on wellness related events, education, communication channels/content and metrics to motivate and measure engagement at Brocade. Each employee member leverages their own employee network to bring additional ideas and feedback to the Council meetings and into the dedicated online WellFit Council discussion area within BHive. “Being part of the Council has been a great experience and for me it has really affected how I manage my health, wellbeing and work-life balance.  Some of the ideas are even rubbing off on my husband”, shares one WellFit Council member.

    Learn more about Brocade’s successful initiatives to drive employee engagement at the Healthcare Unbound conference panel, "New Directions in Employee Engagement: Competition, Coaching, Community and Compensation".

    Multi-Channel, Multi-Touch Approach to Maximize Member Engagement

    Innovative health plans are experimenting with an expanding set of marketing channels to motivate members including mobile and social media. They are getting smarter about synchronizing these touches for maximum member response.

    In addition to staying aligned with their members’ evolving needs, Plans must reach members where they are, in a way that is ‘meaningful’ to that member to motivate healthy outcomes.

    During this moderated panel discussion, you will learn how Plans are:

    • Understanding the consumer’s changing behavior in this social and economic environment
    • Synchronizing their segmentation and personalization strategies across the communication channels
    • Testing new media and mobile approaches to build member loyalty
    • Delivering consumer education to address member confusion with plan and care options

    Moderated by Sherri Dorfman, CEO & Consumer eHealth Engagement Specialist, Stepping Stone Partners


    • Molly Goins-Cox, Head of Member Experience, Aetna
    • Kevin Riley, VP of Innovation and Consumer Health Solutions Group, BCBS of Florida
    • Mark Scrimshire, Director of Internet Channel Strategy, CareFirst BCBS

    Successfully Engaging Teens Through Mobile For Better Health

    Over the weekend I had dinner with close friends who told me about their teenage daughter and her sleepover with few girl friends. “All three of the girls had their cell phones lined up and plugged in a charging side by side on the night table”.  Even when they are sleeping, teens keep their cell phones close by.  While awake, these “digital natives” are continuously connected which provides opportunities for reaching and engaging teens in their health. 

    Strong Statistics on Teen Mobile Usage

    In Pew’s latest study of 12- 17 years old teens, there are interesting insights about teen's use of mobile technologies:

    Teens Have Mobile Phones. “Three-quarters (75%) of teens now have a cell phone”.

    Teens Texting for Connection. “Fully 72% of all teens – or 88% of teen cell phone users — are text-messages. That is a sharp rise from the 51% of teens who were texters in 2006.” 

    Teens Texting Daily. Each day, 54% of teens text compared with 25% using social networking sites.

    Girls Texting Much More. Teenage girls tend to send and receive more texts each day, 80 compared with 30 for boys.

    - Minority Teens Use Mobile for Internet Access. “44% of black teens and 35% of Hispanic teens use their cell phones to go online, compared with 21% of white teens”.

    Influencing the Health of Mobile Teens

    Organizations have been researching and piloting programs to learn how to impact the teen’s health behaviors for better outcomes.

    After a successful pilot, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) with the Telstra Foundation rolled out a program for teens (and young adults) that uses mobile to monitor their mental health including stress levels, coping strategies, dietary and fitness factors.

    The NY Times reports that Mount Sinai Hospital has researched and learned that sending text messages to young liver transplant patients can improve their medication adherence and “avoid life-threatening complications”.

    Partner’s Center for Connected Health recently ran a pilot with pregnant teens with the goal of using mobile for outreach. OB Case management sent SMS text messages about proper pre-natal care and regiments. These messages were educational and prompted the teens to take an action such as attend an office visit. “We learned that the texting strengthened the relationship- 83% reported feeling more supported by the health center case manager”, explains Alex Pelletier, Team Lead, Program and Product Development at Partners. More about this pilot from Alex on my upcoming World Congress panel, Generating Mobile Engagement Through Consumer Segmentation, Crowd Sourcing and Personalization. 

    Future Mobile Teen Projects:

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently granted $2.4M to mobile health project including one from the San Francisco State University – San Francisco, California targeting teens from low-income backgrounds who experience much higher rates of obesity. To help these teens manage their obesity and depression, the University will evaluate the capturing of observations of daily living (ODLs) through smart phones and sharing of the data with their care team for planning and care management.

    Teens are dealing with many different health issues while on the go managing their busy lives. Their health concerns span their physical and mental health which may include juvenile diabetes, obesity, asthma, sexual health problems and even autism.

    How is your organization targeting this segment of “digital natives” around health? How are you leveraging mobile technologies to reach, influence and impact them to have healthier bodies and minds?

    Generating Mobile Engagement Through Consumer Segmentation, Crowd Sourcing and Personalization

    World Congress Leadership Summit on Mobile Health, July 29th & 30th, Boston

    Healthcare organizations are taking advantage of the consumer’s strong demand for smart phones and mobile health apps. They are piloting new health initiatives through SMS (text), Mobile Web and Mobile Applications and learning about the opportunities and barriers to accelerate adoption and usage.

    Industry leaders understand the need to tailor their mobile offerings to specific consumer segments and to personalize the experience to sustain engagement.

    During our session, you will learn how our panelists are utilizing mobile to enable care access and compliance, deliver health education as well as  influence and track health behaviors.  They will show examples of their mobile health initiatives and share insights they’ve gained from segmentation, personalization and crowd sourcing. The panelists will also offer their vision for mobile health opportunities in the near future.

    You will gain a unique perspective from companies on this panel which are bringing mobile health offerings to consumers directly as well as through the healthcare delivery and health plan channels. As you will see, each business channel has its own sources of value to engage the consumer.


    Sherri Dorfman, MBA, CEO, Consumer eHealth Engagement Specialist, Stepping Stone Partners


    • Bud Flagstad, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, UnitedHealth Group
    • Julie Kling, Mobile Strategy Group, Humana
    • Tim Kieschnick, Director, User Experience Internet Services Group, Kaiser Permanente
    • Alexandra Pelletier, Team Lead, Program and Product Development, Center for Connected Health, Partners HealthCare System
    • Benjamin Rubin, CTO and Co-Founder, Zeo Inc.


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