What We Do
My Bridge 4 Life (MB4L) creates world-class products utilizing emerging technology channels to redefine health and wellness opportunities in our world. For the past 4 years, MB4L has been at the forefront of the digital health movement, empowering patients and caregivers to actively manage their health and wellness, and enabling organizations to transform the way they reach and engage consumers. MB4L provides innovative tools and (patent pending) platforms to reach even the hardest-to-reach populations.
Why We Do It
To accelerate and enable better health outcomes. Founded by a cancer survivor and a caregiver, we know what it’s like to face the toughest challenges life can throw your way – to overcome them – and thrive.
- The My Bridge 4 Life™ Wellness Network is an online (internet-based) and offline (printed book) guided wellness program that transitions patients from diagnosis to wellbeing. It provides the tools to divide the health journey into manageable phases, gather and leverage the strength of an online community (including healthcare professionals), and create achievable health goals. Our multidisciplinary team has enabled a wide-range of clients to guide their patient communities with evidence based knowledge using this unique (patent pending) platform.
- Creative Evolution is a process that solicits, gathers, embraces, and enhances the best ideas of an entire organization (and its audience) to better achieve the mission and vision of that organization. The process then synthesizes those ideas into a tactical plan of tiered initiatives and strategic recommendations. MB4L founder, Roger Holzberg, developed Creative Evolution at Walt Disney Imagineering on projects like Epcot’s Millennium Celebration and 100 Years of Magic, the two most successful celebrations in Disney World’s history. In 2009, MB4L launched the Evolution Project to Process for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), “evolving” cancer.gov and taking the institute into social media and video production. MB4L’s Creative Evolution process is now fully institutionalized at NCI, and our team continues to refine this method to evolve the digital portfolios of academic and healthcare institutions. The process has been described as “fun”, “safe”, “inclusive”, “empowering”, and above all … “creative”.
- World Class Media - From Disney web commercials to award winning NCI videos, to (donation driving) PSA spots, MB4L’s media team knows well “the power of story”.
Our Clients include:
National Cancer Institute, SeventyK, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Volunteers of America - Veterans Services, Georgia Regents University Cancer Center, SENS Research Foundation, weSPARK, Mfoundation, Yahoo Health, Livestrong, Children’s Hospital of Orange County
Roger Holzberg, MFA – FounderI addition to founding and running My Bridge 4 Life, Roger is currently the consulting Creative Director for the National Cancer Institute, leading a multi-discipline Team to concept and build NCI’s future vision of how we will bring patients, researchers and healthcare professionals together in new and unprecedented ways to ease the cancer journey. The “evolution” of cancer.gov, the NCI Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube networks are all projects that the MB4L Team has led at NCI. 2010 work for NCI has garnered 5 healthcare awards.
Prior to MB4L Roger spent 12 years as a Creative Director / Vice President at the Walt Disney Imagineering where he had the opportunity to lead the creative development for a broad portfolio of projects ranging from play station games to theme park icons and several Disneyworld Celebrations; from mass audience interactive experiences and rides to commerce applications that promote and sell the worldwide resorts and cruise line; to the MMOG Virtual Magic Kingdom.
In "classic media" he has written and directed feature films and television, but is genuinely proud of researching/writing "The Living Sea" (Academy Award nomination for best documentary-Imax).
Personally, Roger is a father and 9-year cancer survivor. He is a competitive triathlete (3 events yearly over the last 8 years), an avid scuba diver and underwater videographer; and a survivor counselor.
Alli Mills, BA-Fine Arts – Co-Founder, Creative DirectorAlli learned at an early age that all of us will deal with a health challenge at some point in our lives. While growing up, several close family members, as well as some good friends, have either been faced with a diabetes or cancer diagnosis. Seeing how they rose to the challenge has inspired her to be part of My Bridge 4 Life™. Alli graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree. During her professional career, she has helped brands such as Disney, Yahoo! Health, and Lexus to envision and design relevant Web-user experiences. Since 2009 she has served as the (consulting) Interactive Art Director for the National Cancer Institute* and has lead the rebranding of the NCI Social Media and Video presences: NCI Twitter, NCI Facebook, and the creation of the YouTube Network for NCI. This work has garnered 5 awards in its first post launch year. She brings over 15 years of experience in design to My Bridge 4 Life.
Jocelyn Harrison, BBA, MS Nutrition Candidate – Community Development, Project ManagerGrowing up in a large family has given Jocelyn a keen awareness of the value of community and family support. Her personal experience of taking big challenges and dividing them into manageable phases involves a lifetime of setting goals and achieving them in both work and play. She graduated from Kennesaw State University, Summa Cum Laude with a BBA in Marketing, increased her company’s revenues by 800%, and has trained for and run numerous road races, the Boston Marathon, and triathlons. With an intense interest in healthy lifestyle choices, Jocelyn recently received certification in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University and is currently pursuing an MS in Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as certification as a registered dietitian from California State University, Northridge. You’ll find Jocelyn on My Bridge 4 Life™ where she and her family gathered to manage the devastating affects of Alzheimer's and cancer on her mother. As MB4L’s community manager, she has overseen the growth of the community and the start of more than half of the 60+ life threatening disease communities. As a Project Manager she has extensive experience in software, social media, video shoots and motion picture production.
Alison Pilsner, MPH, CPH, CHES – Health Communication StrategistFrom a very young age, having seen cancer impact the lives of family and friends, Alison was inspired to pursue a career in public health with a goal of developing better models of prevention to empower everyone to take control of their health and become active participants in their own wellness. Alison’s background of experiences and interest in psychosocial/cultural factors associated with chronic disease and disability have led her to identify strategies to increase functioning and quality of life for people with special needs. Having too often witnessed the overwhelming challenges faced by parents of children with disabilities, Alison was inspired to join My Bridge for Life™ to help create a network to both reduce the burden from diagnosis to wellbeing and provide evidence-based information to increase opportunity for underserved populations.
With degrees including an MPH, CPH, and CHES, Alison is a public health communication and education specialist with extensive experience in the areas of digital/social marketing, social media, web-assisted behavioral interventions, technology-mediated research methods, psychosocial determinants of health-related behaviors, and international health. Over the past 3 years, Alison served as the eHealth Ambassador for the National Cancer Institute's Smokefree.gov project. Her current line of research and dissemination activities involves projects related to mobile and emerging technologies as a way to improve reach and engagement of public health interventions.
Alison earned both her Bachelors of Science and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. Her experience includes a Cancer Research Training Award Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Health Communications and Informatics Research and a LEND fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Alison also speaks Spanish and serves as an affiliate faculty member at Wheeling Jesuit University (Wheeling, WV) where she participates in the Misión de Amistad project in Central/South America several times a year.
Condor Chou - TechnologistThe mission of MyBridge4Life is very personal to Condor for many reasons. During his freshman year in college, Condor found out that his grandmother had passed away after battling with Alzheimer's for nearly 10 years. They were very close and this was devastating news. Following college Condor worked for various commercial/government/internet companies in the area of software/internet of varying capacities. Condor always makes time for personal wellbeing and physical fitness. Though this interest has dwindled over the years; it has been and always will be a personal goal.
Suzanne Barron - Manager, Partner RelationsSuzanne joined the My Bridge 4 Life team with the goal of seeking out new partner relationships with health advocacy organizations, companies and hospitals. Her interest in fitness and wellness, and concern about the obesity epidemic brought her to the organization, where she is able to utilize her extensive business background in a way that is personally meaningful. Suzanne has worked at major entertainment companies including MGM/UA, ABC, HBO and RKO Pictures, where she was responsible for licensing film and television content worldwide. She received her BA from the University of California at Berkeley and her MA from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.
Laura Berman, MPH, PhD (candidate) – Manager, Mentor ProgramLaura is a health care consultant in Southern California who works to improve patients' health care experiences and access. She received a Masters in Public Health in Biostatistics and Epidemiology while pursuing her PhD in Preventive Medicine. In graduate school, Laura's research focused on childhood obesity and ways to improve children's and families' health on personal, family-based, and community-based levels. She has since left research to pursue a more patient-focused career. Through My Bridge 4 Life, Laura hopes to continue learning from direct community observation, individual struggles and successes while trying to achieve a state of wellbeing, and most importantly to support patients and caregivers on their journey to a healthier, fuller life.
* Both Mills and Holzberg provide these services in a contractor capacity; the National Cancer Institute does not endorse or support My Bridge 4 Life.
Paula Hoppe – Social Media and Business Development StrategistPaula is a passionate advocate and caregiver for family, friends and colleagues battling cancer, mental illness and other chronic diseases and physical disabilities. Paula informs and supports the My Bridge 4 Life community with social strategies, content and research spanning the latest advances in healthcare, digital health technologies and alternative wellness disciplines. She is committed to expanding the reach of MB4L through strategic partnerships, products and services that enhance the community’s journey from diagnosis to wellbeing.
Paula is dedicated to delivering narrative and branded experiences that empower individuals and enhance communities. Paula’s professional experience spans numerous industries including health and wellness, entertainment, technology, digital media and publishing, lifestyle and consumer products, mobile communications and government. She has developed social strategies, communities and interactive experiences for numerous marquis brands including Warner Bros. and the Walt Disney Company. As constituent and community liaison for Santa Monica City Councilmember Bobby Shriver, Paula developed and managed communication initiatives and supported the Councilmember with issue research and citizen engagement.
Paula is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Communication and the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies.
Alison Pilsner, MPH, CPH, CHESAlison is a health communication strategist with a diverse background of experiences using emerging technologies, social media, and mobile solutions to leverage public health campaigns. Over the past 3 years, Alison served as the eHealth Ambassador for the National Cancer Institute's Smokefree.gov project. Her current line of research and dissemination activities involves projects related to web-assisted tobacco interventions, technology-mediated research methods, psychosocial determinants of health-related behaviors, health disparities, and international health. From a very young age, having seen cancer impact the lives of family and friends, Alison was inspired to pursue a career in public health with a goal of developing better models of prevention to empower everyone to take control of their health and become active participants in their own wellness. Fluent in Spanish, Alison also serves as an affiliate faculty member at Wheeling Jesuit University where she participates in the Misión de Amistad project in Central/South America multiple times a year.
Carol LinCarol is a journalist and social media entrepreneur creating media channels for health related non-profits starting with www.lungtube.tv for www.lungcarefoundation.org. She spent twelve years as an award winning broadcast journalist for ABC News World News Tonight, Good Morning America and CNN. Her transition in to patient driven stories, social media and social entrepreneurship in healthcare began when she lost her husband to a rare form of cancer shortly after their daughter was born in 2003, and helping her mother successfully battle a rare form of lymphoma.
Craig AllenCraig Allen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Spark Unlimited, a video game developer most known for creating the first CALL OF DUTY for console game systems. Prior to Spark, Craig was the EVP and GM of Jim Henson Interactive as well as a Senior Producer for Disney Interactive. Like most of us, Craig has seen many family members face life threatening illnesses, with far too little support and resources to help them with their journey. He found it an honor to provide the incubation of My Bridge 4 Life at the Spark Unlimited offices -- as everyone benefits by having better tools for playing the "game of life".
Dave GobelDave is Chief Venture Strategist for the Transportation Security Administration where he concepted and created the Strategic Innovation and Future View function within the Office of Strategic Management and Analysis. He is a member of the core group charged with authoring, compiling and vetting TSA’s strategic plan. In 2002, Dave founded Methuselah Foundation, a 501c3 that strives to end the diseases of aging with cutting edge technology and strategies. He created the Mprize as Methuselah Foundation’s key driver for longevity research.
Leonard Sender, MDLeonard Sender, MD, is board certified both in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology with professional interests strongly centered on the diagnosis, treatment, and epidemiology of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer (patients aged 15 to 39). Dr. Sender is Medical Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program in the Hyundai Cancer Institute at Children’s Hospital of Orange County and UC Irvine’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Jonathan E. Sherin, MD, PhDJonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Veteran Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Volunteers of America, overseeing services to veterans, including housing assistance, employment and supportive services. Prior to joining Volunteers of America, Sherin served as chief of mental health for the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and professor and vice-chairman for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami. A leading authority on the treatment of veterans suffering from mental health problems, Sherin had a distinguished career in the VA where he served for over a decade as a clinician, teacher, researcher and administrative leader.
Mark Gerard, MDDr. Gerard is an internist with a private practice in Burbank, CA. In 2007 Dr. Gerard chose the 'concierge' primary care model in order to offer his patients more individualized, preventive care with the full benefits of a traditional practice. His patients consider him to be 'attentive, accessible and immediately available'. He graduated 'summa cum laude' from UCLA and did his post graduate training there as well. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a member of the Concierge Choice Physicians' team.
Shari Mills, PhDShari is a medical writer, currently working for a biotechnology company that focuses on health indications including rare diseases and cancer. She also works as a consulting medical writer for a worldwide non-profit clinical trial cooperative group supported by the National Cancer Institute aimed at studying children’s cancer. Inspired by her aunt’s diagnosis with brain cancer, Shari pursued a PhD in clinical psychology at USC with specialization in clinical neuropsychology and a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA in clinical neuropsychology/geropsychology.
- Student Advisory Board
Georges Abou-KhalilGeorges is a health communication professional and PhD candidate at the University at Buffalo. During his formative years in public health, Georges enjoyed working as the Project Analyst for Donate Life Hollywood and Donate Life California. He holds a master's degree in Public Health from the USC Keck School of Medicine, specialized in Health Communication. Georges brings experience in social media and health communication, program design and evaluation, as well as health promotion and entertainment-education. Prior to obtaining his master’s degree, Georges spent one year as a public health research assistant at USC School of dentistry. Georges also holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences, with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Shane ClarkShane is a full time student at the University of Central Florida. After successfully completing a rigorous science curriculum at his high school with his name on the President's List for academic excellence, Shane dedicates most of his time to studying the existence and diagnosis of many cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. Pursing a double major in Molecular & Microbiology and Biotechnology, Shane wishes to aid and support those who battle the diseases that affect so many in today's society.
What are Tips4Life?Tips4Life is a global database of real world wisdom, and a way for you to get advice from people who have been through what you are facing now. The Tips contributed by you and other members become a part of the Tips4Life library and are immediately made available for others to learn from. If you or anyone you know have overcome a life-threatening challenge, please take a few brief moments and share your wisdom with the people who will be following in your footsteps. Give and receive Tips 4 Your Life today.
What is a Bridge Book and how should I use it?Once you begin to build your online Bridge Plan, you can print your Bridge Book to help organize, focus and manage your treatment. Your Bridge Book serves as an organizer, a medical journal, a community address book, an empowering scrapbook of the images and mementos that give you strength and inspiration, and a legacy to your journey.
What is a Bridge Plan?A Bridge Plan is a guided plan that breaks any health challenge down into four easy-to-manage phases: Diagnosis, Treatment, Healing, and Wellbeing. There are specific goals accompanying each phase, which you set along with your community to help you build a wellness plan for life.
What is My Bridge 4 Life?My Bridge 4 Life is an online and offline community tool that takes the overwhelming nature of a major health crisis; divides it into manageable phases; sets goals for each phase with each user and their community; AND builds a wellness plan for life in the process.
Who developed My Bridge 4 Life?My Bridge 4 Life was developed by its founder Roger Holzberg, former Disney Imagineer and award-winning creative director. He is 5 years cancer-free, having created the survivorship program on which My Bridge 4 Life is based. During the last year, in closed alpha testing with medical concierge and cancer support groups, the My Bridge 4 Life team has mentored a broad cross section of patients and supporters through a wide variety of health crises. On his experience being diagnosed with cancer, Roger says: "There is no way to describe the feeling of sitting across the desk from a physician who says the words 'you have cancer.' Though I valued the advice of my medical professionals, what I really wanted was to hear what had ALREADY worked for people just like me."
What are the Phases, and when do they begin and end?DIAGNOSIS is the first phase of your health journey and the chronicle of that journey is your Bridge Plan. This phase ends when the decision is made on the first path of action (or treatment).
TREATMENT is the second phase, ending with the completion of the initial path of action (or treatment). You are moving forward, be sure to continue documenting your journey in your Bridge Plan.
HEALING begins when you set (3) goals, then share and validate those goals and your target completion date with your community. You have gained wisdom to get here; be sure to share you Tips 4 Life with those following in your footsteps.
WELLBEING begins when you achieve your three goals. You have reached a major milestone. It is time to set another round of goals that you will also share with your community. This process will be the foundation of your lifelong plan for Wellbeing. And don’t forget to celebrate!
- (Cancer / Patient / 58) The short-term challenge is dealing with the annoyance of the full time indwelling catheter. All you MB4Lifers know about that! Thank you so very much, everyone, for your thoughts and kind communications. It meant more to me and provided more confidence and comfort than I ever expected.
- (Epilepsy / Patient / 26) Thank you all for the incredibly touching reactions and e-mails. Many of you asked what this site was about. It's about a lot of things, but as a first step, it's about my relationships with the people I love. When I see you all or talk to you, the first question is ‘how are you doing?’ This site lets you [my family and friends] login, see my blogs and see for yourselves what's the latest... this way we don't spend the very little time we have together talking about my health and answering the same questions 200 times. We can talk about the important stuff! The fun things :)! All my love, you’re amazing.
- (Diabetes / Patient / 35) I came across the My Bridge 4 Life site today while researching information on treatment options. What an amazing opportunity to build a community and connect with people who can relate to the impact of this diagnosis. I found the courage to control my fears through sharing my journey and being transparent with my anxieties. It was cathartic and balancing.
- (Cancer / Patient / 47) I have found the information on MB4L to be invaluable. Particularly the emphasis on diet and exercise and need for us to proactively deal with our disease. Thanks to all of your group.
- (Hypothyroidism / Patient / 31) I've been juggling hormone replacements since 2003. My Bridge 4 Life, even today, helps me to figure out focused questions to ask my doctor and different ways to think about 'tuning' my medications for my optimum health.
- (Cancer / Patient / 53) I came across the My Bridge 4 Life site today while researching information on post-op PSA results and treatment options. What an amazing opportunity to build a community and connect with people who can relate to the impact of your wellbeing when you're told you have cancer.
- (Cancer / Patient / 61) As we continue with our healing and wellbeing we should always be willing to share our stories with the newly diagnosed and to be a calming influence. Challenge them to make informed, not hasty decisions. We are LIVING proof that the disease can be stopped and cured. The paths we have travelled will be an inspiration for those who follow.
- (Cancer / Patient / 58) Participating in this gives me the opportunity to know that I'm not alone, that there are other men experiencing it real-time and from whom I can learn something and maybe contribute to them in return in some way. I had never participated in any other blog since I considered it trivial and frankly a waste of time; that's not the case here.
- (Crohn’s / Patient / 56) I told her my joints were hurting and I was feeling tired. She sat quietly for a few minutes then said ‘Oh dad. Now you know how we feel,’ with a lot of feeling. ‘That is how we get with PMS.” I am not one to talk to about female issues. We have a code word about that. There are many ways I knew I could bond with my daughter. As a parent when my grandson was born. As adult when she turned 21, as a worker when she got her first real job and supported herself. Never in a million years did I think I could bond with her on how women feel about PMS. A new road on my journey of recovery and survival.
- (Diabetes / Patient / 26) Thanks for messaging, so thoughtful of you. I've been doing okay w/diabetes, except for overindulging on sugar-free chocolate, ice cream, and cool whip :P I have SUCH a sweet tooth! But the benefits of eating healthy and exercising are definitely worth it, and I want to continue. I appreciate your communication; it's an encouragement to know I'm not alone.
- (Cancer / Patient / 66) Thank you for creating MB4L. I too have been mentoring several men with prostate cancer and have been looking for a site where we could share our experiences. This site gives us the chance to share, and leave tips for the newly diagnosed.
- (Organ Transplant / Patient / 31) Thank you for helping. I'm through my transplant now, although post-transplant expenses are no joke. This blog on financial aid has been SO helpful! I will forward this information to many, many others.
- (Obesity / Patient / 41) Hello, I am no longer finding a need for mybridge4life. Thank you for your encouragement. I have met my goals and I'm outta here. I'm doing very well so don't worry about me. Good luck to you all!
- (Epilepsy / Patient / 29) So today is officially 1 YEAR! With the support of my amazing family and friends I have made it here :). Not only am I T-(2-3) years away from the typical decreasing of meds mark BUT I am am also feeling like one of the luckiest people in the world. So on this landmark of a day in my life the only words that come to mind are THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your unconditional love and support, for your patience, for always being there, for always finding a way to make me feel loved and special.
- (Parkinson’s / Caregiver / 56) As a long distance caregiver for my dad, I love that I get notified about blogs here, and I can use the search box to find blogs that pertain to stuff my dad is dealing with. The blogs become those Tips too, which can then be emailed, just the right length for him to read.
- (Heart Disease / Caregiver / 34) Your site and the people maintaining it have been INCREDIBLY helpful since my dad's diagnosis in December 2010. My intention is to share all updates regarding my dad's diagnosis and treatment with those he talks with regularly. Since I am the person who is taking in all of the information and relating it to his friends and family per his request, I was looking for an easy way to share everything that is relevant while allowing for discussion amongst his family and friends. Thank you.
- (Alzheimer’s / Caregiver / 52) Learning about My Bridge 4 Life was truly an 'aha' moment. Having an internet site that allows access to information, creation of one's own support team from all different areas of the globe, and building a wellness plan during a major health crisis is a brilliant concept. This vision should be shared with everyone facing life-threatening challenges.
- (Alzheimer’s / Caregiver / 62) That is really beautiful. This Bridge you've set up and into motion feels like a revolution; a way for us to hear and be heard about the most important aspects of our lives- our health and what we're doing for it; cause our health is the health of the world.
- (Managing Director / Cancer Support Organization weSPARK) Now our guests won’t leave their shared wisdom behind in our hallways. Their Tips 4 Life and Bridge Books will ‘pay it forward’ for others following in their footsteps.
- (Public Relations Director / PCF.org) We would love to help get other organizations on board. Let me know how I can help with that! We have found this to be a wonderful, wonderful, healing resource!
- (VP Communications / CancerAdvocate.org) This forum is such an amazing venue, and we hope you are receiving comfort from it by blogging, and value by sharing and receiving Tips 4 Life.