Health Informatics Advisory Board

by The Bridge Newsletter Team | School of Nursing and Health Professions

Featured Board

The Health Informatics Advisory Board consists of a variety of leading professionals in Health IT Administration, Venture and Consulting for Biomedical Organizations, and Global Health Informatics. Ruth Amos, RN, JD, is the Board Chair and also serves as an adjunct faculty member teaching the Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Informatics course. In the early stages of the Health Informatics program, the board is instrumental in guiding faculty to create a curriculum that will meet the present and future needs of the emerging digital health community. Looking ahead to the 2015-2016 academic year, the board is expected to be more deeply engaged in helping the Health Informatics program to build ties to public and private healthcare organizations, medical research centers, and digital health startup communities to create internship and career opportunities for students as the program matures.

The USF Health Informatics Advisory Board Members are:
Ruth Amos, RN, JD is a registered nurse and attorney with extensive experience in clinical workflows, hospital operations, change management, EHR deployment/optimization, data privacy, and healthcare regulatory compliance. She is the former NCAL regional lead for KP Health Connect in Maternal Child Health at Kaiser Permanente. Ruth has expertise in EHR business process improvement, Healthcare Regulatory/Compliance, EPIC, EMTEK, ClinicComp, Cerner, LINKS, and CIPS systems. She is also fluent in Spanish. Her current activities include: HIMSS Legal Task Force, United States Supreme Court Bar member, Information Privacy and Protection: CIPP/IT pending. 

Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA is founder of, an award-winning broadcast journalist, featured writer for The Huffington Post, contributor to, and other websites. She is an advisory board member and health educator for the consumer health website Barbara is an international speaker and she 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 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 award-winning Health in 30® radio show. (A new radio show is currently under development). Barbara is a contributor to many health sites, is frequently quoted and featured by numerous media outlets, and has appeared on FOX News Live. She served as faculty for the American Medical Association’s former Medical Communications Conferences, has taught classes in media broadcasting, and, 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.

Currently she is president of Barbara Ficarra Productions, LLC, and is a consultant, moderator on panels and webinars, and media trainer. She speaks internationally on health care issues, focusing on professional development, patient engagement and empowerment, social media, and digital technology, including mHealth (mobile health), gamification, health apps, telemedicine and telehealth, leveraging her experience as former senior director of clinical affairs for a telehealth company. Barbara is a newly appointed board member for the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions Health Informatics Advisory Board.

Presently Barbara is engaged by Ernst & Young for special projects. She is also 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.

Barbara is presently working on writing her first book. You can follow Barbara on Twitter @BarbaraFicarra.

Manuel López-Figueroa, PhD is a VP at Bay City Capital and has been with the firm since 2001. He specializes in evaluating investment opportunities with an emphasis on CNS. In addition, Dr. López is the Scientific Liaison for the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium, a collaborative research enterprise comprised of a group of leaders in psychiatry, neuroscience, and genetics from Stanford University, University of Michigan, Cornell University, and the Universities of California at Davis and Irvine. The consortium aims to discover the neurobiological and genetic determinants of mood disorders and schizophrenia with the goal to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics. Dr. López is responsible for planning and directing all aspects of the consortium including strategy, R&D, legal (IP & contracts) and financial, to facilitate the commercialization of discoveries to fund additional research. Dr. López has over 15 years of experience in the field of neuroscience, has won numerous awards during his academic research career, and has published extensively. He completed post-doctoral work at the University of Michigan and at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Dr. López received a PhD in Medicine and Surgery, and a MS in Molecular and Cell Biology from the Universities of Las Palmas and La Laguna, Spain, respectively.

Josh Nesbit is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Medic Mobile, a nonprofit technology company focused on improving health in under-served communities. Josh also created Hope Phones, a cell phone recycling campaign designed to engage millions of Americans in global health efforts. He is an Ashoka Fellow, PopTech Social Innovation Fellow, Echoing Green Fellow, and Rainer Arnhold Fellow. Josh was selected by Devex as one of 40 Under 40 Leaders in International Development, received the Truman Award for Innovation from the Society for International Development, and, in 2011, he was named by Forbes as one of the world’s 30 top social entrepreneurs. Medic Mobile supports 8,000 community health workers across 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the US. The company develops mobile and web platforms coordinating maternal and child healthcare, stockout monitoring, disease surveillance, and emergency response. Josh and Medic Mobile recently received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship from the Skoll Foundation.

Connie Taylor, originally from the Midwest has been at Stanford Hospital and Clinics for nearly 34 years. During her tenure at SHC, she has served in multiple capacities. She started as a staff nurse and then manager in critical care, followed by various positions in Nursing Administration, including Director of Nursing Informatics. In 2008, she moved to Information Technology Services (ITS) and founded the Clinical Informatics Department to support the newly implemented enterprise electronic health record. Her current role is Program Manager for EHR Business Continuity and Regulatory Compliance. Originally a diploma nurse, she obtained her BSN from UCSF and MPA from USF.