External Advisory Board

Our External Advisory Board (EAB) includes individuals from every sector of the health care industry. Several former EAB members have received Platinum Fellow designation to recognize their extraordinary service.


Patricia 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 to facilitate outreach and support for health care consumers and educators. Additional professional interests include education, science 2.0, consumer health, health literacy, and community building. Publications include the Medical Library Association Encyclopedic Guide to Searching and Finding Health Information on the Web. She blogs at ETechLib and Cool Toys.

Kristine Austin is CEO of KS Austin Communications, which has created strategic digital marketing programs for clients like Stanford Healthcare, The Turek Clinic and EMQ FamiliesFirst.

Before going solo, Kris introduced social media and online marketing at one of the country’s largest behavioral health care agencies. 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.

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 colleagues on SuperDocs, a site dedicated to doctors, digital health, and social media.

Andre Blackman is Principal of Pulse + Signal, a communications consultancy that helps clients navigate health care innovation. Passionate about the intersection of media, technology and design to improve health and social change, 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 is a senior social media marketing analyst for Highmark Inc., a Blue Cross Blue Shield company based in Pittsburgh, PA, where she’s the Twitter Lead and blog Co-lead.

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.

David 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 goals in a highly-regulated environment, focusing on a range of issues from facilities development to social media strategies to avoiding fraud and abuse. His blog, HealthBlawg, is highly regarded in both the legal and health policy blogging worlds.

Dan Hinmon is Principal of Hive Strategies, a firm that helps health systems create HIPAA-compliant online communities for patient engagement. Dan has spent a lifetime working in advertising, marketing and public relations, with a focus on healthcare. He currently serves as Community Director for SMHN.

Melissa Hogan is an attorney and strategic consultant by profession who a became patient activist after her son was diagnosed with an ultra-rare disease (Hunter Syndrome or Mucopolysaccharidosis II).

She’s an internationally-known advocate for rare disease families about key issues such as medical research, pharma, clinical trials, therapies, social media and special education. She blogs at SavingCase and authored Calmer: Medical Events with Cognitively Impaired Children.

Claire H. Johnston is 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 is President and Owner of Aha Media Group, LLC, a content strategy and content marketing consultancy. She’s a well-recognized content strategist who also writes about social media.

Before founding her company in 2005, Ahava 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 metro beat reporter for The Jerusalem Post.

Cynthia Floyd Manley is 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 still considers herself a journo at heart.

Before 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.

Greg Matthews is the Creator of MDigitalLife and a managing director at the W2O Group where he provides strategic counsel to dozens 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.

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.


Lisa Ramshaw is is CEO of Navigate Communications and the first to receive Gold Fellow designation from MCSMN. She led the program team for Mayo Clinic's first international Social Media Summit held in Brisbane, Australia in September 2015.

Her 25+ year career in marketing communications includes working with international companies like World Wildlife Fund and Amazon.com as well as the United Kingdom-based National Trust. In the eight years she was Director of Communications and Marketing at the Australian Private Hospitals Association, Lisa was instrumental in educating Australian health care professionals about the value of online social networking. She co-authored Don't Be an Egghead, a guide to Twitter for health care professionals.

Andy Sernovitz

Andy Sernovitz teaches word-of-mouth marketing and social media. He's the New York Times bestselling author of Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking. He leads SocialMedia.org, the community for social media leaders at the world's greatest brands, and WordofMouth.org, for marketers and entrepreneurs.

Andy taught at Northwestern University and Wharton School of Business, ran a business incubator, and started half a dozen companies. He created the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and the Association for Interactive Marketing. His blog is called "Damn, I Wish I'd Thought of That!"

Mike 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, 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.

In addition to blogging, he continues to be active in his medical practice, and can be found hosting #hpm (Hospice and Palliative Medicine) tweetchat and Palliative Care Grand Rounds.

 Hugh Stephens is a 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 recently started Dialogue Consulting, a social media consultancy specializing in building communities through social media.

Bob 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 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 scientist and educator by training, Bob is also a strong supporter of Patient Advocacy, and an ardent e-Patient.

Colleen 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 and Community Strategist for Canadian Virtual Hospice.

In 2012, Colleen was awarded the Journal of Medical Internet Research Award at the Medicine 2.0 Congress at Harvard University. Publications include Community Management That Works: How to Build and Sustain a Thriving Online Health Community. She frequently speaks and writes about chronic illness in the digital age and the impact of social web in health and health care.

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


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