8 (more) faces to follow in healthcare social media

Last year, FierceHealthIT published a report highlighting 11 faces in healthcare social media we believed were worth following. Shortly afterward, a commentary was published putting a spotlight on social media patients who we felt also deserve a following. While both lists, no doubt, were who's who's of healthcare social media personalities, by no means were they complete.

Since then, social media's impact on healthcare has only increased. With that in mind, we decided to highlight eight more faces to follow in healthcare social media. This year's list includes doctors, strategists and even a certain opinionated government employee.

Click on any of the names or pictures below to learn more--and feel free to tell us who you would add in the comments.

Who: Brian Ahier

Occupation: Health IT evangelist at The Dalles, Ore.-based Mid-Columbia Medical Center; President, Gorge Health Connect, Inc.

Twitter handle: @ahier

Blog: http://www.ahier.blogspot.com/

Why you should follow him: Ahier possesses knowledge about the healthcare IT industry like few others. His extensive experience with health information exchange is clear in his blog posts, and his Twitter feed is one of the most followed among healthcare IT personalities (more than 11,400 followers to date). What's more, he also is an active participant on Google+.

Who: Natasha Burgert, M.D.

Occupation: Pediatrician at Kansas City, Mo.-based Pediatric Associates

Twitter handle: @DoctorNatasha

Blog: http://kckidsdoc.com/

Why you should follow her: In addition to her pediatrician duties, Burgert serves as the administrator for her practice's social media sites. She also blogs regularly on a variety of subjects, from flu shots and baby bottle nipples to family vacations. Burgert, who started her social media journey in August 2010, has credited the medium with vastly improving her relationship with the parents of her patients. "My practice has seen tangible, real valuable benefits," Burgert said in a blog post a year after jumping on the social media bandwagon. "I have been intellectually challenged, and have professionally grown."

Who: Jennifer Shine Dyer, M.D.

Occupation: Founder and CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based mobile health and social media consultation EndoGoddess, LLC

Twitter handle: @EndoGoddess

Blog: http://endogoddess.blogspot.com/

Why you should follow her: Dyer is a social media enthusiast whose primary expertise lies in mobile health, her topic of choice in the blogosphere. She also speaks nationally about how providers can improve their care to patients by taking advantage of, rather than shunning, social media outlets. She has more than 8,400 followers on Twitter, and also has a YouTube channel.

Who: Gregg Masters

Occupation: CEO of Carlsbad, Calif.-based digital media company XanateMedia.com

Twitter handle: @2healthguru

Blog: http://xanatemedia.com/ and http://2healthguru.wordpress.com/

Why you should follow him: Masters has more than 20 years of combined experience in healthcare and digital media marketing. He publishes two healthcare-centric blogs--ACOwatch.com and JustOncology.com--and also has served as a new media journalist at several renowned healthcare conferences, including HIMSS and the Digital Health Summit. His Twitter feed boasts more than 6,700 followers.

Who: Farzad Mostashari, M.D.

Occupation: National Coordinator for Health IT

Twitter handle: @Farzad_ONC

Why you should follow him: Mostashari frequently takes to the Twittersphere to spread his message about the importance of health technology use by both doctors and patients, alike, providing links to relevant articles and studies, and even arguing his points to those who disagree with him. While he doesn't have an official blog, he does make posts to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Health IT Buzz site.

Who: Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

Occupation: Health economist at THINK-Health, a strategic health consultancy based in Philadelphia

Twitter handle: @healthythinker

Blog: http://healthpopuli.com/

Why you should follow her: Sarasohn-Kahn is one of the most respected thinkers in healthcare today. Posts to her Health Populi blog frequently focus on the role of technology and social media in healthcare, and her work as a consultant helps her to maintain an unbiased point of view, as she counts providers, payers, medical device makers, and many others among her clients. She boasts a Twitter following of more than 9,500.

Who: Reed Smith

Occupation: Founder of the Social Health Institute; healthcare social media consulting strategist

Twitter handle: @reedsmith

Blog:  http://reedtsmith.com/

Why you should follow him: Smith has established himself as one of the brightest minds in healthcare social media today. He serves on the advisory board for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, and his work as a consulting strategist focuses on making hospital social media efforts more interactive. Smith is in the midst of launching the Social Health Institute, which will help healthcare organizations make decisions based on social media data.

Who: Farris Timimi

Occupation: Medical Director at the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media

Twitter handle: @farristimimi

Why you should follow him: Timimi is one the only people on this list who doesn't have a blog, but that hasn't stopped him from becoming a social media force. His work at Mayo Clinic focuses on helping providers adopt social media tools for health-related purposes, not just marketing purposes. "Our moral obligation is to meet [patients] where they're at and give them the information they need so they can seek recovery," Timimi said at the ninth annual World Health Care Congress in Washington, D.C. last April. "This is not marketing. This is the right thing to do."