Social & Digital Innovation Team

Mayo Clinic’s Social and Digital Innovation (SDI) Team manages Mayo Clinic’s overall presence on general-purpose social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Periscope and Google+, and collaborates with Human Resources on LinkedIn.

The SDI team (a.k.a. the “Star Wars” team) provides consultation, guidelines, training and tools to help Mayo Clinic stakeholders develop and effectively apply social and digital strategies to meet their clinical practice, education, research and administrative goals.

Through the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (#MCSMN), the team offers these resources not only to Mayo Clinic employees, but also to individual and organizational premium members worldwide.

We also host various Mayo Clinic communities and blogs in addition to this site, including Mayo Clinic Connect, Mayo Clinic News Network, and Sharing Mayo Clinic.

Here’s our Team:

Lee Aase, Communications Director. In collaboration with Medical Director Farris Timimi, M.D., Lee leads the Star Wars team and #MCSMN. After 14 years in government and political roles at the local, state and federal level, Lee came to Mayo Clinic in 2000 as a member of the Media Relations team and became manager of that team in 2003. He began Mayo’s exploration of social media applications in 2005 and started his personal blog a year later. In addition to overall team leadership and strategy development, Lee is an evangelist for Mayo Clinic and for application of social media in health care. Connect with Lee on Twitter, LinkedIn, and #MCSMN.


Shawn Bishop, Communications Specialist. Before joining the Social and Digital team, Shawn spent over 20 years in IT at Mayo Clinic. Shawn joined the team in 2010 as one of the founding team members.  He is our lead for Mayo’s external facing WordPress sites (over 50 sites). Shawn created Mayo Clinic's Pinterest page and patient webinar process, which he continues to support.  He was also instrumental in taking the “Mayo Clinic Radio” live radio show on the road. Connect with Shawn on Twitter and #MCSMN.



Dan Hinmon, Senior Communications Specialist (Supplemental). Dan is Community Director for Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (#MCSMN). He has spent his career in advertising, marketing, and public relations with a focus on healthcare. Dan worked as a hospital marketing director and managed his own agency for 26 years. He is a popular presenter at healthcare marketing conferences. Dan joined #MCSMN in 2011 and became Community Director last year. Connect with Dan on Twitter, LinkedIn, and #MCSMN.



Shea Jennings, Communications Associate. A recent graduate of Yale University, Shea joined the Social and Digital Innovation team at Mayo Clinic in July 2016. She supports the Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine’s continuous professional development courses, using social media and digital tools to promote additional attendance for the courses, and also to improve the course experience and participant engagement. Connect with Shea on Twitter, LinkedIn, and #MCSMN.



Makala Arce (Johnson), Senior Communications Specialist. Makala leads our team’s data-driven social media analytics, and oversees the governance and onboarding of Mayo Clinic’s social media management system. After working as an intern and freelancer for the Department of Public Affairs, Makala became the first new hire to the social media team in 2010. She has since consulted many internal clients and presented internally and externally on behalf of the #MCSMN. Makala has been the managing editor of the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog, led the production of the Patient Video Guide series, and produced, directed, and edited the “Know Your Numbers” healthy heart awareness music video. Connect with Makala on Twitter, LinkedIn, and #MCSMN.


Taryn Offenbacher, Communications Specialist. Taryn joined Mayo Clinic in 2016 as a member of the Social and Digital Innovation team. Previously, Taryn served nearly seven years at a national anti-trafficking organization, leading an integrated communications strategy and overseeing the implementation of social, digital, and traditional media campaigns. Currently, Taryn covers Arizona news on Mayo Clinic’s social media channels and provides strategic leadership and consultation to equip and encourage Mayo Clinic staff to contribute to the health care community on social media. Connect with Taryn on Twitter, LinkedIn and #MCSMN.


Audrey Laine Seymour, Communications Specialist. Audrey Laine joined the Star Wars team in 2016, and serves as the social media specialist at Mayo Clinic in Florida. After 10 years in Marketing and Public Affairs at Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross, Georgia, she came to Mayo Clinic to follow her passion for social media in health care. Audrey Laine provides leadership and consultation to inspire Mayo Clinic staff to “get social." Connect with Audrey Laine on Twitter, LinkedIn, and #MCSMN.



Margaret Shepard, Communications Associate. Before joining the Social and Digital team at Mayo Clinic, Margaret received her Master’s of Science degree in Communications at North Dakota State University. Margaret joined the team in May of 2015, maintaining the editorial calendar for Mayo Clinic’s main social media platforms, including creating and scheduling content, and daily monitoring. She also helped with the logistics of Mayo Clinic Social Media Network’s first Member Meeting. Margaret currently provides technical support for patient webinars, consults with Mayo Clinic departments on how to use social media, and works with Marketing to further digital strategies for engagement. Connect with Margaret on Twitter, LinkedIn, and #MCSMN.


Stacy Theobald, Coordinator – Social and Digital Innovation. Stacy works with content moderation, creation, and posting for social and digital platforms, webinars and event planning. Stacy is a 21 year employee of Mayo Clinic with previous positions in the department of Cardiology as an appointment secretary, administrative assistant in Public Affairs with 3 of those years supporting the News Delivery and Social Media teams. She also spent time working for Mayo Medical Laboratory Finance as a Financial Representative as well as in Provider Relations – Mayo Clinic Care Network. Connect with Stacy on Twitter, LinkedIn, and #MCSMN.


Farris Timimi, MD, Medical Director. In collaboration with Communications Director Lee Aase, Farris leads the Star Wars team and #MCSMN. Farris joined Mayo Clinic in 1997, after completing training in Internal Medicine at Washington University and Cardiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Farris joined Social and Digital Innovation in 2011 as an extension of work he did over the last fifteen years, focusing on operationalizing the strategic engagement of patients as care partners. Farris also serves as the Program Director for the Advanced Heart Failure/Cardiac Transplantation Fellowship program and the Associate Medical Director for the Midwest Region of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. In addition to provider engagement and the professional application of social media to health care, Farris is an advocate for the Mayo Clinic model of care and for the application of social media in health care education, research and practice. Connect with Farris on Twitter, LinkedIn and #MCSMN.

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