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Barbara Ficarra
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Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA is founder of, award-winning broadcast journalist, international speaker, health educator, writer and registered nurse. 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. A brand new nationally syndicated radio show and podcast series is under development.

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. 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, 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. 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 you may visit Barbara here.

Entries by Barbara Ficarra

Time to Pass the Torch

(7) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 5:19 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 | 6:24 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 | 2:20 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 | 1:58 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 | 12:24 PM

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 | 11:00 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 | 3:20 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 | 9:37 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 | 10:53 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 | 4:13 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 | 12:45 PM

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 | 1:00 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 | 2:52 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 | 1:54 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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Is Gaming Changing Health Care and Helping You Live a Healthier Life? Part 3

(1) Comments | Posted March 28, 2012 | 7:45 PM

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

In part one Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D., shared his insights on how gaming is changing the landscape in health care.

In part two Fabio Gratton, co-founder and chief innovation officer at Ignite Health offered his insights on...

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Is Gaming Changing Health Care and Helping You Live a Healthier Life? Part 2

(1) Comments | Posted March 19, 2012 | 5:35 PM

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

In part one Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D., answered the question, "Is gaming changing the landscape in health care?"

In part two Fabio Gratton shares his insights on how gaming is helping to change the landscape in...

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Is Gaming Changing Health Care and Helping You Live a Healthier Life? Part 1

(2) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 11:36 AM

Do you think gaming can improve health care and help you live a healthier life?

There is no doubt gaming is all the rage, and according to The Entertainment Software Association, (ESA) consumers spent $25.1 billion on video games, hardware and accessories in 2010.

Jane McGonigal, game designer,...

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Companies Curb Health Care Costs With Penalties and Rewards for Employees

(1) Comments | Posted December 20, 2011 | 1:44 PM

If you're a smoker your company could be penalizing you by tapping into your wallet.

How do companies curb health care costs?

Do healthier employees lead to increased productivity? Several progressive companies believe so and have committed to providing employees with programs to help engage them in a healthier lifestyle.

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Social Networking: How Powerful Are Your Social Circles?

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2011 | 3:30 PM

In a recent Harvard Business Review blog, David Armano writes about the six pillars of influence that leads to measurably favorable outcomes.

To achieve measurably better health, the pillars Armano explains can certainly be adopted.

He notes how the "social web can amplify signals, influence behavior and lead...

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Social Networking On The Front Line Of New Modern Medicine

(15) Comments | Posted June 28, 2011 | 10:35 AM

Comprehensive Guide for Medical Professionals and Patients Engaging in Social Media

Social networking offers value. It allows doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to collaborate, connect and engage with the community and their colleagues. I recently talked with Dr. Marc Siegel about Medical Social Networking on FOX NEWS Live....

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