Transcript of Get Ready Report podcast Episode 23 (Part B):

Michelle Holshue, RN, the American Public Health Association’s Flu Near You fellow, discusses the Flu Near You Challenge for APHA members and offers tips to recruit new users into the system.

Why has APHA teamed up with Flu Near You?
The creators of the Flu Near You tool, HealthMap and Skoll Global Health Threats Fund, have partnered with the American Public Health Association in order to tap in to the expertise of APHA’s members. Because APHA members are on the “front” lines of public health, they are the ideal health professionals to help spread the word about our tool and to get people excited to use Flu Near You. To really motivate people to recruit users, we created the Flu Near You Challenge just for APHA members.

What is the Flu Near You Challenge?
The Flu Near You Challenge is a contest that is open only to current APHA members. They can register on our Get Ready Website ( and they’ll get a special recruitment link. Every time someone signs up for Flu Near You using that link, the APHA member will get “credit” for that user. Members who enroll the most active users during the course of the Flu Near You Challenge will win prizes. PLUS, they can pick an APHA section or affiliate that could also win prizes - so really, everyone wins.

Oh, prizes! What kind of prizes can Challenge participants win?
We have a lot of exciting things to offer, because we wanted to reward our members for their hard work to enroll participants in Flu Near You. To that end, we’re offering up to $25,000 dollars to the top individual who recruits the most active users. We’re also offering up to $50,000 for the top section or affiliate group. There are several runner-up prizes worth thousands of dollars – so the hard work that Challenge members put in to recruiting users really will pay off!

We’re also offering prizes other than cash throughout the Flu Near You Challenge. For example, last month we gave out an iPad to the top recruiter. For the month of February, users who recruit the most participants will win a 1-year extension of their APHA Membership. We’re actually giving away 8 of those, so there is a lot of opportunity for members to benefit during the Flu Near You Challenge. We hope APHA members are excited to participate!

Any advice for being successful in the Flu Near You Challenge?
We want to encourage our members to be creative. The individual recruitment link can be used to promote Flu Near You on Facebook, twitter, personal websites or blogs – anywhere, really!

Some of our most successful Flu Near You Challenge participants are using a blend of online recruitment and personal outreach to increase their enrollment. For example, Thomas Engle, a registered nurse who has led the APHA challenge since the very beginning, has had success sending emails to a few friends or colleagues at a time, personally requesting that they sign up for Flu Near You.

One of the tricks used by APHA sections and affiliates that has been the most successful is to use their websites as promotional tools. The Oregon Public Health Association, for example, has a link for the Flu Near You Challenge right on their homepage, front and center. They’re currently in second place, ahead of 100 other section & affiliate groups, so they’re really doing a great job.

For more ideas, and for recruitment tools like web banners, images, and flyers, we encourage everyone to visit our challenge resources page, which can be found on our Flu Near You Challenge website. You can also visit the Flu Near You Challenge Leaderboard to check out your standing in the Challenge.

Thank you Michelle for all of your information.

Thanks for having me! And I just want to say “good luck” to everyone, and thanks for all of your hard work!

For more information about the Flu Near You Challenge, visit

For more information about APHA’s Get Ready Campaign, visit

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