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Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA
Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA, Lifestyle and HEALTH DESIGNER™ is a registered nurse and lifestyle and health expert offering practical advice for consumers by focusing on health and wellness. Her trademark is simple and useful information from a trustworthy source to help people to take charge of their health. Barbara is founder of, and, a lifestyle destination site to help consumers live a happier, bolder, healthier and a more stylish life. As a HEALTH DESIGNER™ -- Barbara designs ways for people to live a healthier life and empowers people to design their own healthy lifestyle. Barbara's passion is to bring consumers inspiration and to empower them to take action to design a healthy life they adore. Design Your Healthy Life™. (#DYHL)

She is an award-winning broadcast journalist, international speaker, and health educator. She is a contributor to and other websites. She is an advisory board member and health educator for the consumer health website Sharecare. Barbara is on the front lines of health care as a registered nurse and a leading voice in health offering practical advice for consumers and health care professionals. Focusing on health and wellness, she delivers her trademark brand of advice which is simple, practical and trustworthy information to help empower people to take charge of their health. Barbara focuses on consumer/patient engagement and empowerment, health care social media, health IT, digital technology, (mHealth-mobile health, gamification, telemedicine), doctor|nurse team and healthy living.

Barbara began her broadcasting career in radio as creator, host and executive producer of the former award-winning Health in 30® radio show.

Barbara is a regular contributor to many health sites, and is frequently quoted and featured by numerous media outlets, and has appeared on FOX News Live, ABC, NBC, FIOS, Working Mother Radio, etc. Barbara is an international speaker at many professional conferences, including Cleveland Clinic, HIMSS Arkansas, HIMSS So Cal, Cayman Islands National Health Care Conference, Ivey Global Health Care Conference in Toronto, ePatient Connections, Scripps, and BlogWorld to name a few. Her presentations range from patient engagement and empowerment, healthy living, health care social media networking, and health IT (mHealth, gamification, telemedicine),leveraging her experience as former senior director of clinical affairs for a telehealth company. She served as faculty for the American Medical Association’s Medical Communications Conferences. She's taught media broadcasting from radio to on-camera techniques to social media, and she is experienced in video production as host and executive producer for Web/TV. She served on the board of the National Association of Medical Communicators, and served on the Academy of Judges for the International Health and Medical Media Awards.

In 2011 Healthin30 was voted best health blog. She was invited By Microsoft to judge a series of Innovative Technology Entries for The Imagine Cup 2012. Barbara was invited to participate as team member for one of TEDMED’s 20 Great Challenges, Improving Medical Communication. She was invited to participate in an online event for the American Public Health Association and talked about engaging women in social media.

She is moderator on panels and webinars. She is President of Barbara Ficarra Productions, LLC and she has been quoted as an expert in health care for multiple journals and magazines including Latin Times Magazine and Real Simple Magazine. Barbara has offered expert advice to a variety of organizations and individuals in health care, including New York Times Health, a telehealth company and Novartis where she consulted on Social Media.

Barbara is a board member for the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions Health Informatics Advisory Board. She is a digital health scholar at Digital Health Coalition, and Barbara is an administrative supervisor at a large university medical center, where she covers multiple medical and surgical units, critical care, oncology, cardiology, the psychiatric unit, women’s and children’s services and the emergency trauma department. She always encourages patients and their families to be proactive and to take charge of their health.

Her professional affiliations include the Association of Health Care Journalists, New York Women in Communications, Microsoft Health Users Group, HIMSS (Healthcare Information Management Systems Society) and American Telemedicine Association, and Alliance for Women in Media-NYC Chapter. You can follow Barbara on Twitter @BarbaraFicarra.

For more information visit Barbara here.

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Entries by Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

FDA Gives Nutrition Labels a Makeover: Easier to Design Your Diet

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2016 | 2:16 PM

Nutrition labels on packaged foods have a new look. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new modern nutrition label. The FDA took a major step to help consumers make better-informed decisions about the foods they eat.

Deciphering nutrition labels hasn't been easy, but the FDA is...

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Design Your Days: Take 15 Minutes for a Happier and Healthier You

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2016 | 7:14 AM

Do you think you need a complete and total overhaul to transform your life? Trust me, you don't. Chances are that there are many good things working in your life so there's no need for a complete overhaul, simple makeovers will do the trick.

Just like a fresh can of...

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Designing Life and Giving Back at the Corner Cabaret

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2015 | 12:22 PM

Designing the life you love may be as simple as finding your passions. Designing a healthy and happy life takes some effort, but small steps can have a huge impact.

In an unassuming quintessential corner cabaret theater in New York City, a talented group of 20-somethings didn't have difficulty showing...

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Design Your Healthy and Happy Life With 3 Quick Makeovers: Small Steps Equal a Big Impact

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 1:06 PM

Design your healthy and happy life with these super quick makeover tips that will have you wanting more.

A healthy and happy life is about living blissfully, with passion and purpose, not just about the absence of disease. The great news is that we can design our own healthy lifestyle...

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3 Ways to Design Your Healthy Diet

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 6:48 PM

Here are three simple ways to design your healthy diet.

1. Flip Your Foods. Revitalize your diet with simple FOOD FLIPS. Here are two simple examples.

FLIP OUT ice-cream and FLIP IN sorbet. Try this ridiculously simple one-ingredient sorbet. All you need is watermelon.

FLIP OUT French...

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Revitalize Your Diet With 8 Simple Food Flips

(1) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 2:20 PM

It's easy to revitalize your diet with these eight simple FOOD FLIPS. You may have gotten used to eating foods rich in calories, fats and carbohydrates because they are tasty. Truth is, those tasty foods may cause more harm than good. It's simple to flip out those unhealthy foods for...

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Time to Pass the Torch

(7) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 4:19 PM

I wish Dr. Nancy Snyderman the best of health. I'm happy that she remains free from the deadly Ebola virus, and hopefully it will stay that way.

It must have been extremely difficult for her to be under quarantine, especially since she was feeling healthy. It's simple: When you...

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Dear Sean Hannity -- I'm Truly Sorry

(5) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 5:24 PM

"I got hit with a strap, bam, bam, bam... by my father... I would tell you that I deserved it... " --Sean Hannity from Hannity on Fox News.

I'm truly sorry for any fear and pain you may have experienced when you were a child when hit by your father...

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5 Ways to Help Boost Your Happiness Right Now

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 1:20 PM

Here are five simple ways to help boost your happiness right now.

1. Master the moment with wonderment and enthusiasm.

"Wonder is the beginning of wisdom." -- Socrates

With mindfulness, relish and enjoy the simple things with wonderment and enthusiasm. Whether it's laughing with your family and...

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Finding Your Bliss

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 12:58 PM

"A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are for what you have." -- Unknown

Finding time each day to focus on you is important. You can find your bliss by being in...

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The Game Is You: Adding Years to Your Life

(5) Comments | Posted September 7, 2013 | 11:24 AM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

"I'm a gamer," said Jane McGonigal in her TEDTalk. "So I like to have goals, like special missions, and secret objectives," she added. "So here's my...

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Equipped for Empathy?

(56) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 10:00 AM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

"The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy." These are heartfelt words by award-winning actress Meryl Streep.

Do we all...

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Navigating Health Care and Information -- Health Care Journalists Share Insights for Consumers (Part 1)

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 2:20 PM

Part 1

This is a two-part post. Part one provides insights from health care journalists to help consumers understand health news, and part two shares insights to help consumers navigate through health care.

With more consumers turning to the Internet to search for health information, the process can be labor...

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Doctors Behaving Badly in Social Networking Sites: What Would Prompt State Boards to Investigate?

(1) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 8:37 AM

What would you think if your doctor posted pictures on Facebook or Twitter clearly showing him or her intoxicated? Is it okay to post pictures showing alcohol use without any signs of intoxication?

What if your doctor posted pictures of patients without their consent? Is it inappropriate for doctors to...

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Social Media Health: Does Transparency and 'Social' Trump Your Privacy?

(6) Comments | Posted December 28, 2012 | 9:53 AM

Social media rules are pretty simple. Be transparent, be authentic, be yourself, and be engaging. While these social media rules seem simple, do these rules apply to everyone who engages in social media? Even health care professionals? What happens when their "social" activity includes postings and uploads that might not...

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Addiction Specialist Answers a Few Simple Questions for Smokers

(3) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 3:13 PM

Dr. James H. Berry, DO, medical director of Chestnut Ridge Inpatient Acute Dual Diagnosis Program and assistant professor at the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, West Virginia Health Science Center, answers a few short questions for smokers.

Barbara: What's the difference between nicotine dependence and nicotine addiction?


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Hurricane Sandy: No Match for Nurses' Resolve

(17) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 11:45 AM

While Hurricane Sandy's fury wreaked havoc on the Northeast and caused massive destruction, one thing is for sure: Sandy's wrath is no match for nurses' strength.

Nurses' role in the media is often overlooked because it often focuses on the heroic activities of the doctors. Health care isn't a competition...

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Too Much Hype in the Mobile Health App World?

(10) Comments | Posted July 23, 2012 | 12:00 PM

The Wild West of mobile health (mHealth) is taking the health care industry by storm, but "there are no rules to the game," said Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D., founder and director at the Center for Connected Health in a recent interview. Mobile health is a "game changer," he added, but...

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Engage With Empathy

(11) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 1:52 PM

Do you feel connected with your doctor or other health care providers? Do you partner with your providers? How important is patient engagement to you? What words do you use to define patient engagement? Do you consider yourself an empowered patient or health care consumer?

What is patient engagement?


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Is Gaming Changing Health Care and Helping You Live a Healthier Life? Part 4

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2012 | 12:54 PM

This is a four-part series addressing the issues of gaming in health care.

In parts one through three, Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D., Fabio Gratton, and Bill Crounse, M.D., offered their insights on how gaming is helping to change the landscape in health care, and now in part four, I offer...

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