As a mother of three children, I must admit, I watch a fair number of animated movies. The last one that we sat down and watched together was “Robots,” and interestingly enough, inspired this blog post. Essentially, the young hero in the story sets off for Robot City to be an inventor like Mr. Big Weld. This robot grew up hearing the phrase “See a Need, Fill a Need” repeated by the entrepreneur Mr. Big Weld. Finding a need among some target population or group is really the essence of communication and marketing.
It does little good to market a product or service unless the professional understands how it can fill a need. For Joan Moon, Ed.D, CNM, RN what started as questions about contraception and hormones as a young, 19-year-old woman approaching marriage has evolved into the Women’s Health Dynamics Institute, a gathering place to, “promote women’s health and health care decision-making for all stages and ages.”
Shortly after her marriage, Dr. Moon found out that a high school friend had died of a stroke after being placed on oral contraceptives. Moon decided against that form of birth control and subsequently began to take note of her body changes during her menstrual cycle. Later, while studying to become a Certified Nurse Midwife, Moon would come to learn how these changes typified the dynamic menstrual cycle. Although she had been attentive to her body’s changes during her menstrual cycle, as she continued to treat patients as a health care practitioner she noted that her female patients were not as aware of how hormones impacted their cycles. Furthermore, in the academic setting, she found the two-dimensional approach to teaching about the menstrual cycle to be inadequate in describing its true dynamics.
With the assistance of Carlos Baptista, M.D. and the Center for Creative Instruction at the Medical College of Ohio, Dr. Moon developed a computer-based, multimedia educational module on the menstrual cycle to support student learning and facilitate women’s health care decision-making. Three products were developed using the module. The basic module is for all women to use in their homes, the second includes educational materials (animations, illustrations, graphs, even games aimed at reinforcing concepts learned) were designed to be used by women, traditional classrooms and home schools, as well as schools of nursing and allied health. The third is designed for healthcare providers to use on their websites, in the exam room or office educational setting, as well as in the community for outreach.
But Moon did not stop there. With a passion for storytelling, Moon wanted to enhance her module-based website by partnering with her daughter, Betsye Moon Park to create the “Gathering Place” where women could share the challenges and accomplishments and health ups and downs within a safe online discussion environment, and through a variety of media (webinars, podcasts, online discussion groups and testimonials). Women’s Health Dynamics Institute resonates with “women of a certain age” from menarche forward, including those in their 70s (post-menopausal) and beyond, while also appealing to 30-something mothers who are in their childbearing and child-rearing years.
Moon truly saw a need among women and girls and has been able to fill that need by providing quality educational modules. If you have an entrepreneurial story related to health, we’d love to hear it!
Joan Moon, Ed.D., M.S.N., C.N.M, has been a labor and delivery nurse, lactation consultant, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse-Midwife, and university nursing professor. Her computer-based, interactive module “A Woman’s World: Discovering the Dynamic Menstrual Cycle” informs women about how hormones in their bodies work within the female reproductive system. The Women’s Health Dynamics Institute enhances Dr. Moon’s previous work by adding an extensive gathering place for women to share compelling experiences in their lives and providing resources to help women properly understand their bodies. Currently a faculty member at Walden University, she lives in Bluffton, IN, with her husband, Chuck.
Betsye Moon Park MA joined the Women’s Health Dynamics Institute in 2013 as the director of operations. She has worked in management, fundraising, and programming, working for Mekong Capital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the Joffrey Ballet’s Finance Manager in Chicago, IL, and as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College-Chicago. Park is currently executive director for the Creative Arts Council of Wells County in Bluffton, IN. Betsye earned her Bachelor’s degree from The University of Wyoming and her Master’s degree from Columbia College Chicago. She is married to Johnny and lives in Bluffton, IN, with their two children.