All posts by corpmark

Telling Togo’s Tale: A Photo Essay


Photos by Marc Heft. Video by Theresa Rotunno

 

 

 

 

The Iditarod was inspired by the 1925 Race for Mercy or Serum Run, during which life-saving diphtheria serum was delivered to Nome via sled dog teams. All of the dogs were amazing, including the most famous, Balto. But it was Leonhard Seppala and a 12-year old, undersized husky, named Togo, who led a team five times further than any other sled dog team over treacherous, unchartered territory. Without Togo, the villagers of Nome would likely have perished. This blog post is part of TogoRun’s campaign to tell Togo’s untold story.

WWAD? What would Ariana do
Well-Connected Monica
Well-connected Monica

At the beginning of the year, many of us were making promises to eat better, exercise more and finally drop those last five pounds. In today’s Pinterest-obsessed world, a healthy meal recipe or new workout regimen isn’t far from reach. But what about another important piece of the feel-good puzzle: our mind and mental health?

 

Numerous studies show the negative reactions our bodies have to stress, and experts cite that for many, some of this stress is related to smartphones and mobile devices. We are fortunate to live in a world that’s connected 24-7, but that makes it much harder to “turn off”: shut down the email, put the iPhone away and focus on our surroundings.

 

Last year, Ariana Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group, launched “GPS for the Soul,” an app that serves as a “course-correcting mechanism” to help you find balance.

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Telling Togo’s Tale: The quest for untold stories
Richie Diehl. Photo by Marc Heft.
Richie Diehl. Photo by Marc Heft.

“The last guy coming in has a story just like the first guy,” said Howard Farley, a former Iditarod musher and resident of Nome. This sentiment rings true to the spirit of Togo, just as it does today for every Iditarod competitor.

While in the great state of Alaska, I have been on a quest for just that—untold stories—whether it be from a rookie musher or seasoned veteran. These stories are helping us better define Togo’s legacy.

My adventures in Alaska brought me all the way from Anchorage to Nome and cities in between, where I was given the chance to live the trail and retrace some of Togo’s steps. Continue reading

Telling Togo’s Tale: Age is just a number– Mitch Seavey is proof
Mitch Seavey
Mitch Seavey. Photo by Marc Heft

During the historic 1925 Race for Mercy (Serum Run), Togo, the legendary Siberian husky, led Leonhard Seppala’s team across dangerous Alaskan terrain. At the time, Togo was 12 years old, an age when most sled dogs would retire; but, with his boundless energy, courage and determination, Togo pulled through the harsh weather conditions and ran more miles than any other team in a race against the clock. To Togo, age was just a number.

Similarly, this notion is shared by 53-year old Mitch Seavey, winner of the 41st Iditarod, who also emerged as the oldest musher to ever win this challenging race. Mitch crossed the finish line in Nome clocking a time of nine days, seven hours, 39 minutes and 56 seconds.  Continue reading

Telling Togo’s Tale: Togo’s Lasting Legacy…


Video filmed by Marc Heft. Edited by Jesse Tarlton.

 

 

 

 

The Iditarod was inspired by the 1925 Race for Mercy or Serum Run, during which life-saving diphtheria serum was delivered to Nome via sled dog teams. All of the dogs were amazing, including the most famous, Balto. But it was Leonhard Seppala and a 12-year old, undersized husky, named Togo, who led a team five times further than any other sled dog team over treacherous, unchartered territory. Without Togo, the villagers of Nome would likely have perished. This blog post is part of TogoRun’s campaign to tell Togo’s untold story.

Telling Togo’s Tale: Aliy Zirkle
Aliy Zirkle
Aliy Zirkle

Aliy Zirkle, in one of the more dramatic endings in Iditarod history, came in second, only minutes behind the winner. As Quito, Aliy’s lead dog, raced toward the finish line exuding confidence and speed, it’s hard not to picture Togo in a similar scene nearly 100 years ago. Just as there is the “go” in Togo, there is “no quit” in Quito, and both of these dogs are to be admired for their work and determination.

A true Alaskan and dog-lover at heart, Aliy has now raced and finished the Iditarod 13 times, with her best finishes coming in 2012 and 2013, where she placed second both times. Although she is “in it to win it,” Aliy’s philosophy about being a musher is driven by passion – her dogs. These dogs are also on a mission and possess an inner-drive that only Aliy is capable of unleashing. Continue reading

Telling Togo’s Tale: The Iditarod…it all begins at the Mushers Banquet
Iditarod Day 1-Mushers Banquet Dallas Seavey and MJH
Dallas Seavey and Marc Heft at the Mushers Banquet.

Today is the official start of the Iditarod, The Last Great Race on Earth®. But for many, including me, the Mushers Banquet on February 28 was the real beginning of the race.

There, I met  mushers of all ages who will run the race, including several past champions, such as Dallas Seavey, who, in 2012, at age 25, was the youngest Iditarod winner ever. A bit of a rock star who was swamped by fans, Dallas, a third-generation musher, also won the 2011 Yukon Quest race and is Alaska’s first and only national wrestling champion. When asked what he thought of Togo—the sled dog who led a team over the longest and most brutal leg of the 1925 Serum Run—he said a word that very loosely translates to “guts!” I agree! Continue reading

mHealth—innovation platform or app trap?

MobileHealthMonitorA report produced by Transparency Market Research predicts the mHealth market will be worth $10.2 billion globally by 2018. This is being propelled by both an increase in smartphone adoption and in the number of individuals with chronic diseases. Similarly, nonprofit foundation Rock Health tracked a 46 percent jump in spending in digital health between 2011 and 2012, with a total value figure of $1.4 billion. Interestingly, Rock Health found four main spending areas, specifically: health consumer engagement ($237M), personal health tools and tracking ($150M), EMR/EHR (electronic medical records/electronic health records; $108M) and hospital administration ($78M).

Looking at these spends begs the following question: Is this flurry of activity the act of genuine healthcare innovation forging into the digital space – or merely the repurposing of long-existent digital technologies now re-branded and pointed at the healthcare market? Continue reading

Health care politics is always personal – Connecting with new health care champions in Congress
Anne Woodbury
Anne Woodbury

 

Today’s Ragan’s Health Care Communication News features an insightful article from our D.C. Managing Director, Anne Woodbury, that spotlights the power of finding champions in Congress who have a personal connection to your issue. Woodbury touches on some historic examples of Congressional leaders whose personal health care experiences inspired their strong advocacy on specific health issues. She also shares some of the stories we found while researching the backgrounds of new members of Congress in the FRESHMAN HEALTHBOOK.  Check it out here.

NICE value for public health

For many patients, healthcare professionals, advocacy groups, politicians or the pharmaceutical industry executives, the word NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) can be a mixed blessing. Since its inception more than ten years ago, NICE has been empowered with the responsibility of evaluating a drug’s cost effectiveness, and subsequently its availability — or lack of — through the National Health Service (NHS). A negative appraisal by NICE can sound the death-toll for otherwise promising new therapies.

However, its latest initiative is likely to draw far more supporters than detractors. Working in partnership with the National Social Marketing Centre (NSMC) and the Department of Health, NICE this week launched a website with tools designed to help UK doctors and healthcare commissioners evaluate the value for money offered by social marketing projects that are intended to help people make healthier lifestyle choices. In addition to providing information regarding direct costs to healthcare providers, the tools provide insight into the wider financial and societal costs associated with our lifestyle choices.

For example, designers of smoking cessation programs are able to find out how much money an individual who stops smoking might save through giving up smoking, the cost to the local fire service, savings on street cleaning through reduced cigarette littering and the extent of gains to employers from reduced employee absences.

The first tool, which focuses on smoking cessation, is now online and available to download (http://thensmc.com/resources/vfm/smoking-tool). Additional tools focusing on breastfeeding, alcohol abuse, obesity and bowel cancer are due to be published soon.

So will this significant vote of confidence in the role social marketing can play in addressing public health issues, change the way in which some currently view NICE? As the organisation’s scope continues to grow and its role diversify, will NICE ultimately win the argument that it is an enabler to access rather than a barrier? Time will tell.