Twitter Heart Chat: Sharecare and American Heart Association

Thursday, February 20, 2014 10:59

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Twitter Chats are a powerful way to share valuable information in real-time.  Sharecare and the American Heart Association partner to host a Twitter Chat on Heart Health.

Please join the Twitter Chat today, February 20, 2014 from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. EST, and use the Hashtag #HeartChat.

Twitter Chat Sharecare American Heart Healthin30 Barbara Ficarra

In support of the 50th anniversary of American Heart Month, the American Heart Association (AHA) and Sharecare, the online health and wellness engagement platform founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Jeff Arnold, together are proud to host a Twitter chat to answer users’ questions about heart health. As the number one and number four respective causes of death in the U.S., heart disease and stroke claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

“On average, every 40 seconds, an American dies of cardiovascular disease or has a stroke making them the leading causes of death and disability in the United States,” said Dr. Mariell Jessup, president of the American Heart Association. “Educating people about how they can reduce their risk is literally a matter of life and death, and our #HeartChat with Sharecare has the potential to help millions of people get the information they need to fight heart disease and stroke.”

Twitter Chat Sharecare and American Heart Experts 1 Healthin30 Barbara Ficarra

Twitter Chat Sharecare and American Heart Experts 2 Healthin30 Barbara Ficarra

Scheduled for Thursday, February 20, from 12 pm to 3 pm EST, the Twitter chat will focus on living with heart disease and stroke; learning how to live healthy and reduce your risks; and the new heart disease and stroke prevention guidelines released last November. During #HeartChat, Dr. Jessup, also Medical Director of the Heart and Vascular Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, will be joined by the following experts from the AHA and the American Stroke Association (ASA) to answer users’ questions:

  •     Dr. Clyde Yancy, AHA past president and Magerstadt Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine
  •     Dr. Rachel Johnson, AHA Nutrition Committee chair and Robert L. Bickford, Jr. Green and Gold Professor of Nutrition and Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont
  •     Dr. Demetrius Lopes, national ASA spokesperson and Director of Neuroendovascular Surgery at Rush Hospital, Chicago
  •     Dr. Mary Ann Bauman, national AHA spokesperson and Medical Director for Women’s Health Community Relations at INTEGRIS Health, Inc., Oklahoma City

Cardiologists from select Sharecare hospital partners also will take part in Thursday’s chat, including AHA past president Dr. Gordon Tomaselli from Johns Hopkins Medicine; Dr. Tamara Horwich from UCLA Health; and Dr. Michael Emery from Greenville Health System.

Additionally, members of Sharecare’s Advisory Board will lend their expertise during the three-hour #HeartChat, including:

  • Dr. Randy P. Martin, Chief of the Structural and Valvular Center of Excellence at the Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta, and Physician Principal Advisor of Educational Programs at the Marcus Heart Valve Center: @DrRandyMartin1
  • Barbara Ficarra, RN, health educator and founder of @barbaraficarra
  • Patricia Geraghty, RN, nurse practitioner and Adjunct Clinical Faculty at Holy Names University in Oakland, Calif.: @PattyGeraghty
  • Dr. Robin Miller, medical director at Triune Integrative Medicine in Medford, Ore.: @RMillerMD

As a registered nurse, health educator and Advisory Board Member at Sharecare, I’m delighted to participate in this #HeartChat. I hope you’ll be able to join us.

Dr. Mehmet Oz will also be joining the #HeartChat Twitter event.

[Source: News Release Sharecare-Atlanta, February 18, 2014]

Virtual Summit to Empower Caregivers

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 8:31

Please join us today, February 11, 2014 for a virtual summit for caregivers.

Impact80 Virtual Summit is the first global conference, to be held online with 1 goal in mind – to support and reach as many women & men who work full or part-time while caring for a sick, disabled child or aging parent. Impact80 Summit will provide caregivers with mental health, caregiving, patient engagement resources, tips and information they need.

Goldina Erowele, PharmD, RPh, is a caregiver, clinical pharmacist, editor-in-chief of the award nominated (SeniorHomes, WegoHealth & HealthLine) CareNovate Magazine for Caregivers and is the founder of Impact80 Summit.

 Barbara Ficarra Impact80Summit Speakers

The summit begins at 11 a.m. EST (10 a.m. CST and 8 a.m. PST) with opening remarks by Dr. Erowele.

Speakers and topics include:

How to keep your dreams alive while caring for others by Ozioma Egwuonwu, CEO | Founder | Inventor BurnBright International LLC, Inventor, Day for Dreamers
Twitter: @bblifeworks, @dayfordreamers

Supporting Caregiving in 2014 & Beyond. What You Need in Your Caregiving Toolbox by Denise Brown. Founder & Caregiving Coach, Twitter: @caregiving

Health Advocacy: 10 best tips for patient/caregiver engagement By Martine Ehrenclou, Founder, author, health care advocate, The Take Charge Patient Founder, Author, The Take Charge Patient. Twitter: @Med_writer

Mental Health Check Up for Caregivers. What Have you done for yourselves lately? By Dr Tanya Douglas-Holland, Physician, Founder,  Unplugged. Twitter: @DrTanyaMD

Impact of Health Care Social Media on Patient & Caregivers Engagement by Barbara Ficarra, RN, Journalist, Founder, Healthin30. Twitter: @barbaraficarra

The Conversation Project & end-of-life care. Kelley Connors, President, KC Health & Host of Real Women on Health

Top 10 Medication Safety Tips- Over The Counter Medications, Herbals and Prescriptions by Dr. Goldina Erowele

Impact80 Virtual Summit:

Use the hashtag = #Impact80



You may register using this link:

Join the Summit via this link

I hope you’ll be able to join the conversation. Thank you for your time.

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 TEDMED Great Challenges-Medical Communication-Barbara Ficarra



Sharecare Helps to Engage and Empower Consumers with Mobile Health App-AskMD

Thursday, December 12, 2013 13:51

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Woman using smartphone for AskMD post on Healthin30

From digital to doctor with a click on your iPhone or iPod touch

Self-diagnosing is not a good idea, but arming yourself with accurate, credible and trustworthy information is a great idea.

It’s such an exciting time in health care today. Digital technology helps to empower and engage consumers to take charge of their health, and it fosters consumers to be active participants in their healthcare.

One way to become empowered is to research health information so you can arm yourself with necessary information you need. However, due to the massive amount of information flooding the web, searching for health information online can be confusing and overwhelming. Unfortunately, not all information is accurate; there is a plethora of inaccurate and misleading health information out there. If you’re like most of us, you have searched for health information online.

According to Pew Internet and American Life Project 72% of internet users say they have looked online for health information and 77% of online health seekers say they began their last session at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. (Eight in ten online health inquiries start at a search engine.) Additionally, 85% of U.S. adults use the internet and 56% of U.S. adults own a smartphone.

A new mobile health app developed by Sharecare is more than a symptom checker.

AskMD Image Sharecare for Post Healthin30

If you’re an iPhone user, you can now let AskMD, an iOS free app, developed by Sharecare, give you the tools you need to easily obtain information about a health condition, and so much more.

Sharecare, a trusted source of health information, has been answering your health questions since its launch in October 2010. Founded by the brilliant Jeff Arnold (founder of WebMD) and Dr. Mehmet Oz, Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University, and Emmy-winning talk show host, Sharecare is a health and wellness social engagement platform connecting consumers with health information from national experts, interactive tools and local healthcare providers. [Full Disclosure: I’m a member of the Advisory Board and Health Educator at Sharecare.]

There are many health, medical and fitness apps flooding the market. According to Research2Guidance (March 2013), “currently there are 97,000 mHealth applications in major app stores…” How do consumers sort through the maze of apps to know which are reliable? One way is to make sure the app developers are a reputable source.

Sharecare is trusted name in health and it’s a highly regarded resource. Take a look here at Sharecare’s advisory board. Also, a few of the many partners include the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, Harvard Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Hopkins Medicine, American Heart Association, Mount Sinai Health Systems and AARP.

A Symptom Checker Plus So Much More

With AskMD, an app developed by a reputable source, gives you personalized information based on the data you enter. Not only is it a symptom checker, it’s a health management tool. It stores your health information, including medications, insurance information, and contact details for all your doctors and specialists.

Other symptom checkers may provide you with only general information about a health condition, but AskMD takes your experience further. It takes you beyond your digital encounter; it takes you through to the real-life doctor visit and arms you with valuable information to help you communicate clearly and succinctly with your doctor.

Initiated with voice activation, AskMD organizes information about your symptoms. You simply use your voice to initiate a series of questions relevant to your issues, including medications. The app uses Pattern Recognition Technology and matches your answers to a clinical platform and provides you with results specific to you.

Based on your medical needs, you will be directed to find a doctor or specialist based on a robust physician directory, The Little Blue Book, which Sharecare acquired in 2012. You will be given a list or area map filtered by insurance, specialty and distance. Directly from the app you can call to make an appointment. The user experience doesn’t end here.

Doctor/Patient Relationship

Once you complete your “consultation” you will be given a summary of your results with details which you can access, print or share from the app. This information will allow you to ask the right questions during your doctor’s visit. Not only does the app keep track of your health including height, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and any known conditions; you can create multiple health profiles. That’s great news especially if you care for other members in your family.

Communication – Patient Engagement

Engaged, empowered and proactive consumers; that’s what health care is about. Having access to the right information at the right time can help empower you to communicate with your doctor and other health care providers. Communication and shared decision-making is a must in health care today.

Remember, prevention begins with you. Be proactive and in charge of your health.

Your turn
We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below and if you’ve downloaded the AskMD app, we would love to know what you think. Share your experience with us. Also, you’re welcome to share your comments on the Healthin30 Facebook page as well.

As always, thank you for your very valuable time and thoughtful comments.

Life-Threatening Emergencies

Always call 9-1-1 if you experience a medical emergency such as chest pain or severe bleeding, severe shortness of breath, facial drooping or weakness in an arm or leg, suicidal or homicidal feelings, severe burns etc.

To find out when to call 9-1-1 and to see  a list of other life-threatening symptoms, please go to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

AskMD for iPhone® is available exclusively on the App Store. Download it now for FREE and let it take you right to your appointment.

AskMD iTunes



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 TEDMED Great Challenges-Medical Communication-Barbara Ficarra

Image courtesy of Ambro/


Brief Recap of Tweets for The Great American Smokeout

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 14:52

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

The Great American Smokeout Twitter Chat presented by Sharecare was ongoing spirited conversation for five hours filled with valuable information. The Hashtag #quitforgood led the chat. Every third Thursday in November The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout.

First, thank you to all the participants. Thank you to all the smokers who were involved in the conversation. Whether you recently quit smoking, were looking for information on how to quit smoking or you just wanted to quit for that one day, thank you. The American Cancer Society states, “By quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.”

Secondly, below, please find a very small sample of Tweets from Otis Brawley, MD-American Cancer Society, CDC, Mount Sinai Hospital, and myself Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA, Editorial Advisory Board/Health Educator at Sharecare. For a complete list of the health experts who contributed, please click here.

Otis Brawley, MD, Chief Medical Officer for the

American Cancer Society

Twitter Chat The Great American Smokeout Otis Brawley for Healthin30 Post

American Cancer Society-Otis Brawley

  • #quitforgood nicotine is more addictive than cocaine. Do not risk the addiction
  • #quitforgood nicotine is as addictive as cocaine even 2 cig/day can also cause lung disease
  • #quitforgood 2nd hand smoke in childhood causes crib death, asthma, bronchitis and later can lead to lung cancer
  • #quitforgood Smokers should know risks and benefits of lung screening. There are risks. Make an informed decision.
  • #quitforgood flavored tobacco, menthol especially has been used to lure folks into smoking. Nicotine is then the handcuff of addiction
  • #quitforgood It is far easier for light to moderate smokers to quit. Heavy smokers need help from addiction specialists.
  • #quitforgood no data show ecigs help smokers quit.


 Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA, Health Educator, Editorial Advisory Board for Sharecare @BarbaraFicarra

Twitter Barbara Ficarra for Healthin30 Post

Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

  • Delighted 2 join #quitforgood @OtisBrawley @AmericanCancer @CDCgov @DrFriedenCDC @Sharecarenow @HopkinsMedicine @MountSinaiNYC @RMillerMD
  • Each year about 443,000 people die prematurely fr smoking or exposure 2 secondhand smoke #quitforgood
  • Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the US #quitforgood
  • It’s never too late to quit, but the sooner the better. You can do it! #quitforgood
  • Prevention is key-Must focus on preventing tobacco use among youth! #quitforgood
  • Per CDC Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body… #quitforgood
  • The cigarette industry spends billions ea year on advertising/promotions #quitforgood
  • When smokers quit, the risk for a heart attack drops sharply after just 1 year #quitforgood
  • When smokers quit, risk for dying of lung cancer drops by half after 10 years #quitforgood
  • Quitting gives your body a chance to heal the damage caused by smoking #quitforgood
  • Do you want to quit? Write down the reasons-Acknowledge-Take action! You can do it! @Sharecarenow Guide  #quitforgood
  • There’s a smoking quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW 1-800-784-8669 #quitforgood
  • Be empowered and take charge of your health! You can do it! #quitforgood

 CDC Tobacco Free

Twitter Chat The Great American Smokeout CDC Tobacco Free for Healthin30 Post

CDC Tobacco Free

  • For most, it takes several attempts before succeeding at quitting smoking, but don’t give up trying to #QuitForGood.
  • More than 1/2 of Americans who have ever smoked have already quit & 70% of current smokers say they want to quit. You can #QuitForGood.
  • Tobacco smoke is a toxic mix of over 7,000 chemicals & compounds. Inhaling it causes short & long-term damage. #QuitForGood
  • Make a list of reasons for quitting. Keep handy & read it when you get the urge to smoke. #QuitForGood
  • The younger kids begin smoking, more likely to become addicted. Quit now, or better yet- don’t start. #QuitForGood
  • Tobacco smoke is a toxic mix of over 7,000 chemicals & compounds. Inhaling it causes short & long-term damage. #QuitForGood
  • Call quitline & speak to smoking cessation counselor who can provide advice, support, & help you make a plan. #QuitForGood
  • #Smokers are 2-4x more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease. Be heart-healthy & #QuitForGood

  Mount Sinai Hospital

Twitter Chat The Great American Smokeout Mount Sinai NYC for Healthin30 Post

Mount Sinai Hospital

  • It ages your face. Makes your teeth yellow & effects your entire body. #quitforgood
  • Ask to create smoke free environments at work & public places. Heart attacks decrease as soon as these bans are in place #quitforgood
  • Even if you’re not a smoker, you can still be at risk for #LungCancer. Assess your risk at @DrOz #quitforgood
  • The sooner you #QuitSmoking, the sooner your #HeartDisease risk will decline! Learn tips from Dr Myerson #quitforgood
  • Even if you’re not a smoker, you can still be at risk for #LungCancer. Assess your risk at @DrOz #quitforgood

Lastly, I’ve never been a smoker so I can’t imagine what you’re going through. It must be very hard to quit. However, According the American Cancer Society, “research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support.”

Know there are professionals out there who can help you if you need it. Once you choose to quit, carry on. Be empowered. Be in charge of your health. You can do it! I wish you all the best.

Your turn

Are you a smoker? Did you participate in The Great American Smokeout Twitter Chat? What tips do you have to quit? Please share them in the comment section below. As always thank you for your very valuable time.

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Sharecare Presents: The Great American Smokeout Twitter Chat

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 16:07

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 43.8 million people (18 years or older), in the United States smoke cigarettes. What’s even more astounding is that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Every year in the United States more than 440,000 deaths occur. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction).

The Good News–Ask your questions now @Sharecare and use Hashtag #quitforgood

More than half of all adult smokers have quit, and millions of people have learned to face life without a cigarette, and you can too. What’s so exciting is that you don’t have to do it alone. You can find valuable information in real time by taking part in the The Great American Smokeout Twitter Chat presented by Sharecare. The experts from the American Cancer Society and Sharecare will answer your questions and provide you with resources to help you.

Sharecare Twitter Chat American Cancer Society #quitforgood


Sharecare Twitter Chat The Great American Smokeout - Experts American Cancer Society, Sharecare, CDC, Johns Hopkins Barbara Ficarra


Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, Director Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sharecare Presents: The Great American Smokeout Twitter Chat

Quit smoking for good with live help from the American Cancer Society.

When: November 20 & 21, 2013
Where: Right here! And on Twitter!

Ask your questions in advance on November 20!

Have a question about how to quit smoking? Just starting to quit and need tips and tricks? Wondering about ways to improve your health once you quit? Want to know how lawmakers can help in the fight against tobacco use?

On Wednesday, November 20, ask your question on Twitter to @sharecarenow using the Hashtag #quitforgood. Go online Thursday, November 21, 11 am to 4 pm EST to see the answers roll in from the American Cancer Society and other experts!

Ask away and follow #quitforgood – I’m thrilled to participate in Sharecare’s Twitter Chat. Start asking your questions now.

More information on the Sharecare Twitter Chat may be found here.

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