NEW YORK, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ — The World Wide Web became a little healthier today with the launch of BeWell, the first-ever expert-guided online community centered on credible health content and dialogue. Developed by a group of the country's leading health professionals, BeWell is designed to support and guide healthy conversations online and supply individuals with access to top health and wellness experts.

"These are the experts to whom we, as doctors, would turn for advice," said Dr. Nancy Snyderman, chief medical editor at NBC News, co-founder and editor-in-chief of BeWell. "BeWell.com is a great resource for consumers because it offers a variety of tools to help people not only improve their health knowledge, but also share their stories and concerns. Access to this valuable resource will help individuals communicate more effectively with their healthcare provider and better understand health conditions important to them."

"There is an overwhelming amount of medical and health information online, but an absence of guidance in how to interpret it," said Dr. Susan Love, surgeon, author of the best selling "Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book" and BeWell co-founder. "BeWell will foster a sense of community among its members while elevating the level of medical discussion by providing an accessible, valuable and trustworthy voice to guide the conversation."

The experts were selected by Drs. Snyderman and Love for their reputations as leaders in their fields, as well as their ability to translate complex medical information clearly to consumers. According to Elizabeth Browning, chief executive officer of health media company LLuminari, which is launching BeWell, the experts have worked together over the past eight years as members of the LLuminari Expert Network to enlighten consumers and inspire them to live healthier lives. "Now consumers can continue to follow conversations with their favorite experts anytime at BeWell," said Browning.

     BeWell features health resources such as:     -- Access to trusted, well-known health experts who can clearly        communicate engaging information and analysis on breaking healthcare        news, trends and issues.     -- Customized personal spaces to interact with friends, post news, join        book clubs, save relevant articles on health, and display pictures and        calendars.     -- Moderated forums to discuss health-related issues important to members.  

According to the Pew Internet Project in 2008, 75 percent to 80 percent of Internet users have looked online for health information; however, 60 percent of Internet users acknowledge that online health information can be inaccurate and based on misinformation or propaganda. The mission of BeWell is to ensure that consumers have a safe, communal place to manage their health, develop a network of friends who share similar challenges, receive guidance, and participate in healthy debates that explore more than one side of an issue. The experts also plan to leverage their knowledge to launch high-profile integrated education initiatives to redefine the way individuals learn how to live longer, healthier lives and lower healthcare costs.

About BeWell

BeWell was launched by LLuminari, Inc., a health media company founded by its chief executive officer, Elizabeth Browning, along with Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Dr. Susan Love, in 2000. The Company produces content and programming through a prestigious network of health experts for consumer Web sites, magazines, conferences, and corporate initiatives. LLuminari has offices in Wilmington, Del., and New York. BeWell can be found on the Internet at http://www.BeWell.com.

The experts include: Dr. Robert Abel, Jr., ophthalmologist and author; Byllye Avery, activist and founder of the Black Women's Health Imperative; Dr. Alice Domar, executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School; Dr. Christina Economos, assistant professor and chair in childhood nutrition at Tufts University; Dr. Laura Jana, pediatrician and co-founder of the Dr. Spock Company; Dr. Marianne Legato, founder and director of the Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine; Loretta LaRoche, stress management and humor expert; Dr. M. Ellen Mahoney, breast surgeon and former clinical faculty at Stanford University; Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital; Dr. Saralyn Mark, endocrinologist, geriatrician, and first senior medical advisor, Office of Women's Health; Dr. Merville Marshall, endocrinologist and founder of the Endocrine Institute; Dr. David Nash, internist, professor and chairman of the Department of Health Policy at Thomas Jefferson University; Dr. Miriam Nelson, director of the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University; Dr. Michael Peterson, professor and director of the Graduate Health Promotion Program at the University of Delaware; Dr. Hope Ricciotti, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School; Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, chief of pediatric cardiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; Dr. Pepper Schwartz, relationship expert and professor of sociology at the University of Washington; Jeri Sedlar, author and delegate to the White House Conference on Aging; Dr. Janet Taylor, clinical instructor of psychiatry at the Columbia University-Harlem Hospital Center; and Dr. Susan Troyan, breast cancer surgeon at Beth Israel Medical Center and instructor at Harvard Medical School. Additional experts from other disciplines will be added as the site grows.

SOURCE LLuminari, Inc.

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