Social Media Health Network

Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Health Care

External Advisory Board

advisory board badgeThe External Advisory Board (EAB) for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media (MCCSM) and its Social Media Health Network (SMHN) includes individuals from throughout the health care industry and beyond. Members include patients actively using social media, as well as representatives from other industries whose insights help support our mission. Several of our former EAB members have received a Platinum Fellow designation in recognition of their extraordinary service.

Follow the MCCSM_EAB List on Twitter.


PatriciaAnderson.EditedPatricia F. Anderson is Emerging Technologies Librarian at Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan. Since 1995, her work has focused on health and the Internet, when she became design chair and webmaster for the HealthWeb collaboration. She specializes in emerging technologies, especially with respect to facilitating outreach and support to health care consumers and educators. Additional professional interests include education, science 2.0, consumer health, health literacy, and community building.

Patricia is active in Second Life and virtual worlds with particular emphasis on use for individuals with disabilities. In Second Life, she's a co-founder of the Healthcare Education group, as well as the SLHealthy guide to health locations, communities and activities in Second Life. Among her publications is the Medical Library Association Encyclopedic Guide to Searching and Finding Health Information on the Web. She blogs regularly at ETechLib and Cool Toys.

Kristine Austin.BorderKristine Austin is owner of KS Austin Communications, a boutique firm that creates strategic digital marketing programs for private medical practices, hospitals and nonprofits. Before going solo, Kris introduced social media and online marketing at one of the country’s largest behavioral health care agencies.

Before that, she spent more than a decade in high tech with companies like Compaq Computers and Sony Electronics. She has a strong track record for managing clients’ online reputations and working with outlets like HuffPost, the New York Times, CNN, Slate, Fortune, "60 Minutes," and the Mercury News.


Jeff Benabio.Border

Jeffrey Benabio, MD is Physician Director of Healthcare Transformation at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, CA, where he helped create and sustain one of the country’s largest telemedicine programs. A board certified dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Dermatology, Jeff engages with patients on his blog, The Digital Doctor and medical colleegues on SuperDocs, a site dedicated to doctors, digital health, and social media. He serves on several boards, including The American Telemedicine Association and writes a monthly column about technology and healthcare for Skin & Allergy News. He has authored social networking papers in academic journals, and, more importantly, Glamour magazine named him “Rock Star of Dermatology,” making him his niece’s coolest uncle. Also on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Andre Blackman.BorderAndre Blackman is passionate about the intersection of media, technology and design concepts, especially relative to improving population health impact and social change. Through his company Pulse + Signal, Andre provides navigation around the health care innovation through research/insights, digital PR & communications for organizations and digital branding for professionals.

A featured speaker for conversations about HIV/AIDS, mobile health, health disparities and new forms of health journalism, Andre has worked with organizations such as the Black AIDS Institute, CDC, and HHS to educate and promote innovation. He serves on: IntraHealth International OPEN; SXSW Health Advisory Board; DC Health Innovation Week Committee; and is the cofounder of the FastForward Health Film Festival.

Amanda Changuris.BorderAmanda Changuris is a senior social media marketing analyst for Highmark Inc., a Blue Cross Blue Shield company based in Pittsburgh, PA. She began her professional life as a TV and radio news anchor and reporter, before moving to health care marketing, communications and social media.

Amanda has extensive experience with real-time troubleshooting and crisis management across a wide range of social media platforms. She’s the Twitter lead and blog co-lead at Highmark, which means if she’s not neck-deep in tweets you’ll find her researching, writing and revising blog posts to make subjects like open enrollment and essential health benefits absolutely riveting.

David Harlow.BorderDavid Harlow is Principal of The Harlow Group LLC, a health care law and consulting firm based near Boston, Mass. Twenty years’ experience in public and private sectors gives him perspective on legal, policy and business issues facing the health care community.

David helps clients reach organizational goals in a highly-regulated environment, focusing on a range of issues from facilities development to social media strategies to the avoidance of fraud and abuse. His blog, HealthBlawg, is highly regarded in both the legal and health policy blogging worlds.  He speaks regularly before health care and legal industry groups on the uses of social media.

Dan HiDan Hinmon.Bordernmon is the owner and principal of Hive Strategies, a firm that helps health systems create HIPAA-compliant online communities for patient engagement. In that work he partners with CareHubs and Jennings Health.

Dan has spent a lifetime working in advertising, marketing and public relations, with a focus on healthcare. He’s a popular speaker at health care conferences and contributor to Ragan’s Health Care News Feed.




Melissa Hogan is a passionate "patient strategist" on all things rare disease. She's a lawyer and strategic consultant by profession who became a mom to a child with an ultra-rare disease. When her son Case was diagnosed with Hunter Syndrome (or Mucopolysaccharidosis II) in 2009, she began advocating, writing, and speaking on behalf of rare disease families about key issues such as medical research, pharma, clinical trials, therapies, social media and special education.

Her blog SavingCase is read in over 100 countries. She's the author of the e-book Calmer: Medical Events with Cognitively Impaired Children (2012) which shares strategies for preventing medical trauma in children with chronic medical conditions. Melissa is active on #raredisease, #socpharm, and #HunterSyndrome on Twitter.

Claire H. Johnston characterizes herself as a digital storyteller who helps health care organizations use technology to generate engagement. Her professional interests include social media strategy and policy, creative engagement plans, online identity management, workflow improvement of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and social media analytics.




Ahava Leibtag.BorderAhava Leibtag has 15+ years of experience in writing, messaging and marketing. She is a well-recognized content expert and writes thought leadership about content strategy and social media. Ahava is the President and owner of Aha Media Group, LLC, a content strategy and content marketing consultancy founded in October 2005.

Ahava's position as a Communications Strategist for a government agency fostered her unique perspective in writing customer-centric prose. She worked in the Corporate Communications department of Russell Reynolds Associates, a leading international executive recruiting firm, as well as for two major advertising agencies, a commercial production company, and also served as the metro beat reporter for The Jerusalem Post.

CynthiaManley.BorderCynthia Floyd Manley is a director of strategic marketing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she leads development of content marketing and social engagement strategies. She began her career as a newspaper journalist at The Tennessean and even after 20 years in health care, still considers herself a journo at heart. The emergence of social media has allowed her to bring her news experience and sense of news judgment to her role in health care marketing and public relations.

Before taking her current role in 2011, she spent 12 years as the senior media relations and communications officer for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. She also has served leadership roles in the National Cancer Institute Public Affairs & Marketing Network and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Cynthia is a member of the board of directors for Gilda’s Club Nashville, and she advises the non-profit cancer support organization on public relations and social media issues.

Greg Matthews.BorderGreg Matthews is the creator of MDigitalLife and a managing director at the W2O Group. At W2O Group, Greg provides strategic counsel to dozens of the largest and most successful healthcare companies in the world, including hospital systems, health insurers, pharma/biotech manufacturers, medical device companies, health IT companies, and consumer health companies. He also works extensively with physicians, helping them activate online networks safely, responsibly, and effectively.

A regular public speaker, Greg has been featured in numerous top-selling business books by authors such as Charlene Li (Open Leadership); Bill Taylor (Practically Radical) and Larry Weber (Everywhere) and in publications such as Health Affairs, Business Insider, KevinMD, MedPage Today, MedCrunch and Medical Marketing and Media.

LisaRamshaw.BorderLisa Ramshaw is Director of Communications and Marketing for the Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) and the first to receive Silver Fellow designation from MCCSM.

Her 25+ year career in marketing communications includes working with international companies like World Wildlife Fund and as well as the United Kingdom-based National Trust. Lisa has been instrumental in educating Australian health care professional about the value of online social networking and has co-authored Don't Be an Egghead, a guide to Twitter for health care professionals.


Mike Sevilla.BorderMike Sevilla, MD is a Board Certified Family Physician in full-time private practice at the Family Practice Center of Salem in Salem, Ohio. He also holds an appointment of Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University.

Involved with health care social media since 2005, Mike is considered a pioneer in the social media community that has emerged within Family Medicine. He’s a nationally-recognized speaker to physician organizations about the importance of online digital involvement by physicians, especially those practicing Family Medicine.

Christian Sinclair.BorderChristian Sinclair, MD is a board certified palliative medicine physician and an advocate for social media use by health care professionals. As a result of writing and editing for Pallimed: A Hospice and Palliative Medicine Blog, Christian became one of the youngest board members ever elected to AAHPM. He's known for leveraging an online social network to reverse an FDA decision to ban liquid morphine.

With a particular (but not exclusive) focus on hospice and palliative organizations and medical specialty societies, he believes doctors, nurses and other professionals can use Web 2.0 to increase collaboration, raise academic standards and promote good health education to other professionals and the public. In addition to blogging, he continues to be active in his medical practice, and can be found hosting #hpm (Hospice and Palliative Medicine) Tweetchat, Palliative Care Grand Rounds (monthly review of best blog posts) and sharing presentations on Slideshare.

HughStephens.BorderHugh Stephens is a fourth year medical student at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, currently performing research into Donation after Cardiac Death. Entering medicine with an IT background at a time when social media was first emerging, Hugh has a keen personal and professional interest in this area. In 2010 he co-authored the first Australian social media guidelines for medical professionals: the Australian Medical Association’s Guide to Social Media in the Medical Profession.

Hugh has been invited to speak to both healthcare professionals and students about online professionalism and the integration of social media into healthcare. Hugh has recently started Dialogue Consulting, a social media consultancy specializing in building communities through social media, and is a regular at the #hcsmanz tweetchat.

Bob West.BorderBob West, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at SUNY Upstate Medical University (Syracuse, NY). A molecular biologist and geneticist by training, he has taught medical students for decades. He serves as a Co-Director for a first-year medical student course in Molecular and Cellular Principles of Medicine, as Advisory Dean to 40 first- and second-year medical students, and as a member of several campus-wide committees dedicated to medical student education.

Most recently, his mission has involved educating medical students in the areas of genomic and personalized medicine. A medical elective devoted to this topic (BIOC1205: “Personalized Medicine 101: Digitizing Diagnosis for Doctors”), offered for the first time in the Fall of 2009, was among the first in the nation to offer training that incorporates genomic and personalized medicine into the existing curriculum. While a scientist and educator by training, Dr. West is also a staunch supporter of Patient Advocacy, and an ardent e-Patient.

Colleen Young.BorderColleen Young is internationally recognized for her expertise in building online health communities that thrive. She’s the Founder of Health Care Social Media Canada (#hcsmca) tweetchat. She’s also the Community Strategist for Canadian Virtual Hospice, a virtual community for people living with or caring for someone with a life-limiting illness.

In 2012, Colleen was awarded the Journal of Medical Internet Research Award at the Medicine 2.0 Congress at Harvard University. She frequently speaks and writes about chronic illness in the digital age and the impact of social web in health and health care, including presenting at Stanford Medicine X 2014.


Views expressed by members of the External Advisory Board are those of the individuals and do not represent the positions of Mayo Clinic or the Center for Social Media.