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Lee Aase (born 15 May 1963) is an American pioneer in using social media tools in the hospital environment, and is an advocate for social media adoption in health care.

Education and early career[]

Aase received his bachelor's degree in political science from Minnesota State University, Mankato. From 1986 through 2000, he was employed in U.S. politics and government at the local, state and federal level, concluding as press secretary for former U.S. congressman Gil Gutknecht. His earliest political forays ranged from field work to campaign management for a variety of Republican Party entities.

In 2000, Aase began work at Mayo Clinic as a member of its media relations team, becoming the team’s manager in 2004. Following a steady production of television news feeds and radio programs, he launched Mayo Clinic’s first podcast in 2005. Aase subsequently led Mayo in developing an extensive library of podcasts, blogs, a YouTube channel, a Facebook page and a Twitter profile. In 2008, he became Mayo Clinic’s manager for syndication and social media. In 2010, he became the Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, a first-of-its-kind social media center focused on health care, built on the Mayo Clinic's leadership among health providers in adopting social media tools. This new Social Media Center was established with the collaborative assistance of Victor Montori, M.D., Mayo Clinic's Medical Director. To date, the Mayo Clinic runs the most popular medical provider channel on YouTube.


In 2006, Aase began his personal blog, which was renamed Social Media University, Global (SMUG) in January 2008.

In August 2009, Aase developed the SMUG Social Media Pyramid, a hybrid of the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Guide Pyramid and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, to illustrate how microblogging sites like Twitter, social networking sites like Facebook and video sharing sites like YouTube should be combined with blogs to create what he called “a balanced social media diet,” complete with recommended “servings per day” at each level.

Aase also coined the term “MacGyver mindset” based on the U.S. television show that starred Richard Dean Anderson, as a recommended approach for organizations interested in becoming involved in social media. The MacGyver mindset emphasizes using free or low-cost social media, combined with existing resources and programs, to achieve high-impact results with little incremental costs, much as the TV character used resources at hand in his exploits.

Speaking engagements[]

Aase has presented before a variety of corporate and non-profit audiences, among them include: Blogwell Conferences [1][2] (Chicago and Minneapolis), World Congress Consumer Connectivity Conference[3] (Carlsbad, Calif.), Florida Society for Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing[4] (Orlando), National Cancer Institute Public Affairs Network[5](Philadelphia), Community 2.0 (San Francisco), Ragan Corporate Communications Conference[6] (Chicago), New Media Academic Summit[7] (Washington, DC), International Conference on Health & Science Communication[8] (St. Louis), Lifescience Alley[9] (Minneapolis), Carlson School of Public Management[10] (Twin Cities), Public Affairs Council[11] (Washington, DC), Health 2.0[12] in Nijmegen, the Netherlands and the First International e-Mental Health Summit[13] in Amsterdam, ePatient Connections[14](Philadelphia), Employee Services Management Association (St. Louis), American Society for Therapeutic Radiology[15] 2009 (Chicago), and the 13th Healthcare Internet Conference[16] (Caesars Palace, Las Vegas).

Professional advocacy[]

In addition to his public-speaking events, Aase is an active contributor and participant to a weekly forum conducted via Twitter called Healthcare Communications and Social Media,[17] dedicated to sharing best practices, ideas, and solutions concerning social media use among healthcare stakeholders.


  1. "Blogwell Conference Chicago". Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  2. "Blogwell Conference Minneapolis". Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  3. "World Congress Consumer Connectivity". Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  4. "Florida Society for Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  5. "National Cancer Institute Public Affairs". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  6. "Ragan Corporate Communications Conference". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  7. "New Media Summit Academic Summit". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  8. "International Conference on Health & Science Communication". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  9. "Lifescience Alley". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  10. "Carlson School of Public Management". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  11. "Public Affairs Council". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  12. "Health 2.0 Conference". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  13. "The First International e-Mental Health Summit". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  14. "ePatient Connections". Archived from the original on December 3, 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  15. "American Society for Therapeutic Radiology". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  16. "13th Healthcare Internet Conference". Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  17. Conducted Sunday evenings at 8pm Central, known by the hashtag #hcsm

External links[]