The Digital Sherpa Program
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This Digital Sherpa program consists of a workshop to help cancer patients and caregivers become more tech-savvy. A group of 10 to 20 cancer patients or caregivers who express a desire to become more competent in Internet and social media skills will meet with college students who have been specially trained as Internet “Sherpas” to offer them a workshop in these skills. The patients or caregivers should bring the laptop or tablet that they normally use. When registering, patients and caregivers will be asked to fill out a very brief survey about their internet activity and skills so that we can best determine their needs. A Patient Empowerment Network representative will run the workshop, and refreshments will be provided.
The students will offer help in basic skills and may include the following:
- Basic twitter skills (opening a twitter account, how to tweet, how to build followers, how to add images, whom to follow, privacy protection, hashtags, tweetchats)
- Basic Facebook skills (opening an account, privacy settings, how to post, Facebook etiquette)
- Google searches and how they work
- Patient Communities such as Treatment Diaries, PatientsLikeMe, StupidCancer, HealthUnlocked, Cancer Support Community
- Bookmarking, linking, sharing
Please check out the video below that was produced from our pilot program.
PEN, in partnership with Florida Cancer Specialists (FCS) and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), conducted a Digital Sherpa pilot program at the FCS headquarters in Fort Myers, FL, on November 10, 2016. This program was a great success. Patients and students were enthusiastic and both FCS and FGCU are anxious to schedule a second session. One FCS staff member commented,
“I am really super excited about this program. I have high hopes for the long term positive outcomes from your team and their support to encourage technology as a form on communication and education to our patients.”