Join the Health 3.0 Navy.

The picture above is my own neighborhood. Our home stayed dry, but many of my neighbors weren’t so fortunate.

Many have been so generous in donating to Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  Your efforts have helped our fellow neighbors start to recover. On behalf of this town, I thank you.

And we still need your help now.  The recovery is far from over.

Here’s a story that illustrates how.  An owner I know of a small local Mediterranean restaurant had five feet of water in his home.  He had to evacuate in driving rain by boat.  He’s now living with his family of six in two small rooms above the restaurant.  He had lost his business in Hurricane Ike, the last hurricane to hit Houston in 2008.  Now he’s dealing with destruction again.

FEMA is going to give him $30,000 to cover his losses, which is close to the maximum FEMA can offer.  But the cost to repair his home with the minimum replacements is $60,000.  So he’s out at least 30K.  If his family of six gets into any health troubles during this time, he’s going to be in trouble.

There are many people like this in Houston who are in this boat.  You may be one of them.  That’s what we mean when we say the recovery is far from over.

Organizations like the American Red Cross are the ones we turn to as a recovery “first-responder.”  But a lot of people here are angry at the job they’re doing.  We know a number of stories of people in Houston not seeing the Red Cross do what we’re led to believe they do.

So there’s a need to continue to help people with health care needs here.  But we’re not the Red Cross.  We’re not here to serve that niche.  We have to do this Health 3.0 style.

That’s why we’re launching the Health 3.0 Navy.

You heard of the Cajun Navy?  A group of individuals mostly from Louisiana who came together after Katrina to serve as a platoon.  Using social media, they would go out and rescue people with their boats.  No waiting on top-down, bloated bureaucracies.  Just connect and go out and do what’s needed, the best you can.

That’s what we want to do with the Health 3.0 Navy.

A network of health caregivers who want to help the people of Houston meet their health care needs, while they’re recovering from Hurricane Harvey.  Our network will identify, on the ground here in Houston, what unique health care related need someone here may have.  And we’ll help them however we can.  It may be to cover the co-pay for medications.  Or pay for a ride to see the doctor.  Or get discounts on medical visits.  Whatever we can do to help relieve the burden of health care on our hurting fellow Houstonians.  What we will ask in return is for people to share with us their stories on how they’ve been helped.

What makes this not just any effort, but a Health 3.0 effort?

You’ll be interconnected.  You won’t participate in some faceless, nameless exchange.  You’ll have Houstonians themselves coordinating the effort, who know better what’s going on here.  You’ll share in the stories of how you’re uniquely helping people.

It’s the first tenet of Health 3.0.  Health 3.0 embraces uniqueness.

We’re going to launch this project through a new website,  I’d like this site to serve as the virtual home for Health 3.0.  All the tenets of Health 3.0 I’ve been laying out thus far here will be there.  That’s just the beginning of the content.  Eventually there will be a forum launched on the site as well.  Our intent is to have anything and everything related to Health 3.0 have a home there.

So where do you come in?  Three ways:

  1. Support this charitable effort.  If you wish to contribute money, click one of the GIVE buttons at  Not a dime of this effort goes to us. Nobody here will be making half a million dollars a year.  Other than transaction fees, 100% of your contribution will go toward this effort.  And because we’re doing this through United Physicians and Surgeons of America, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, all of your contribution will be tax-deductible.
  2. Contact me directly by phone at (936) 701-6185, or by email at [email protected], if you wish to be a part of our local network.
  3. Spread the word.  We’ll post our organizational supporters on the website.

I used to live in Louisiana, but I’m as far from a Cajun as you get.  And I can’t pilot a boat.  What I can do is help throw out a line to serve the health care needs of the people of Houston.  And like the Cajun Navy, we’ll do it from the bottom up.

We have to do more than just talk about Health 3.0.  We have to embody it.  We have to bring it alive.

You can see how I’ve started off the contribution process through my own practice at  ​​But I can’t do this without you.

Our ultimate goal is to demonstrate a model of self-organization in caring for each other that one or more of you can then tweak uniquely for Florida and Hurricane Irma.  Or Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria.  Or Mexico City and the earthquake.  Or Las Vegas and the shooting.

For example, a very good friend of mine is Puerto Rican and a physician here in Houston.  Puerto Rico’s needs are more basic right now.  But with his connections in Puerto Rico and with his integrity, we could later set up a Health 3.0 Navy in Puerto Rico, to address beyond-first-responder health care needs.  Or you could do this in your own locale, with its unique challenges.

Wouldn’t that be outrageous?

So join the Health 3.0 Navy.  We would greatly appreciate the support.  And I look forward to continuing to engage with you in the future.