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Expert Interview #5: Kari Ulrich, RN

I was lucky enough to meet Kari in person a couple of weeks back in Rochester Minnesota of all places. We meet at the fist ever social media residency held at the Mayo Clinic. It was very eye opening to see her testimony (as well as other e-patients) on how social media opened up a door otherwise kept closed. This is why she is next in my expert interview series. Enjoy


Name: Kari Ulrich RN
Title: Vice President of the Joe Niekro Foundation
Twitter: @FMDGirl
LinkedIn: Kari Ulrich, RN

Bio: I am a registered nurse, e-patient and vascular disease advocate. I believe we can make a difference in health care through social media. I am the Vice President of the Joe Niekro Foundation a non-profit organization committed to brain aneurysm research. I am the Director of the Joe Niekro Foundation’s Midwest Chapter who’s mission is to support and educate those affected by vascular disease and brain aneurysms.

Q: So tell me a bit about your background. How did you find yourself dealing with social media and new technologies on a regular basis?

When I was diagnosed with a a rare vascular disease I relied on the internet to educate myself. Social media gave me the ability to connect with other patients around the world. It did not take me long to realize that social media could not only change lives, it could save lives. (see: FMDChat)

Q: In your field what has been the biggest win for social media and new technologies?

The ability to connect globally with other patients and physicians. Social Media allows accurate and updated medical information to be utilized by those who need it the most. We are now in an age of healthcare where we can bring light to rare a disease in a timely matter.

Q: As a follow up what is the next hurdle?

Bringing on more physicians to actively participate and understand the value of social media in health care.

Q: A year from now how do you hope social media has changed your job?

To have increased awareness of rare vascular diseases such as Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD) and brain aneurysms. I hope that when someone hears the letters FMD they will automatically associate it with vascular disease.

Q: Finally, what is your favorite new app or device?

That is a hard question- especially after just attending the Mayo Social Media Summit. But hats off to Chris Boyer- I have to say ROI tools such as google analytics (Yes, I am a newbie to ROI) QR Codes are awesome too!

Author Info

Reed Smith

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