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2023 October Mag

September 26, 2023

Dr. Barbara Sharief’s journey has been one of dedication, breaking down barriers, and serving her community in South Florida. Not only has she excelled academically, but she has also made significant contributions to her community through her own pediatric and adult homecare services. As a Broward County Commissioner for 12 years, Dr. Sharief has made history as the first black female Mayor in 100 years and the first black female President of the Florida Association of Counties in 87 years. Her numerous awards and recognitions highlight her dedication and impact, and she continues to lead her community through challenging times.

Smiling black woman wearing a white button up shirt with a large black and white beaded necklace with a large gold pendant on a Cerese D Magazine Cover

Dr. Barbara Sharief’s life has been one of dedication, breaking down barriers, and service. Each stage prepared her to fight for her community in South Florida.

Bringing expertise in the healthcare space, Barbara is a fierce advocate for Medicaid expansion, improving Medicare and lowering prescription drug costs. Barbara obtained a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Nursing from Florida International University after graduating from Jackson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing at the University of Miami Jackson. Barbara graduated from Miami Dade Community College with an Associate of Science in Nursing. Barbara specialized in intensive clinical care and pediatrics, using her skills in a way that benefited those around her. In 2001, she continued her mission by opening her own pediatric and adult homecare service, which employed over 500 frontline heroes in her community. She is self-made, after growing her home health business for 22 years, she sold it and now operates her private family medicine practice. She learned how to run a business from her father, often helping him out with his small business while she was growing up. She comes from a large family of 10 with 7 siblings raised in Miami Florida.

Smiling black woman wearing a white button up shirt with a large black and white beaded necklace with a large gold pendant

Barbara has served as Broward County Commissioner for 12 years. She has also made history as not only Broward County’s first black female Mayor in 100 years but also the first black female President of the Florida Association of Counties in 87 years, where she advocated for all 67 counties in Florida.  Dr. Sharief received the African American Achievers Award for Business and Entrepreneurism in 2014. Later that year she received the Legacy Honors Award for Most Powerful Black Professionals in Business and Industry. She received the March of Dimes Woman of Distinction award in 2017. Dr. Sharief was inducted into the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2019 and was named Broward County Historical Society Trailblazer of the Year 2023. She is also a longtime member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and a member of the LINKS, Ft. Lauderdale chapter.

smiling balck woman wearing a bright green button up top and a long large beaded necklaceThroughout her career, she has seen her community face tragedy: from the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting, Hurricane Irma, environmental and water issues as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter the instance, Barbara brings strong leadership through problem-solving and critical thinking. Time and time again, she has guided her community through difficult times, helping others overcome obstacles and stay resilient. She will bring that same experience to the State Senate as she helps our community build back stronger after the pandemic.

Barbara has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Floridians, helping to generate a projected $130 billion for transportation and infrastructure improvement projects over a 30-year period in Broward County. Barbara serves as Chair of the Opioid Lawsuit Task Force. She was a member of the Pompano Beach Community Advisory Board and was on the Broward Metropolitan Transportation Committee for the last 13 years. Barbara led the successful passing of the transportation surtax initiative in Broward County. She was a board member of the 16 County Coalition for Water Resources and Chair of the National Association of Counties Health Steering Committee. 

She is a member of the Miramar Pembroke Pines Chamber of Commerce, Women in Healthcare Florida Chapter, and National Minority Supplier Diversity. She is also deeply involved in other facets of her community such as the Black Nurses Association, Florida Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, National Nurse Practitioner Association, Jewish Democratic Council of America, the National Organization for Women, the League of Women Voters, the Human Rights Campaign, Pembroke Pines Democratic Club, Weston Democratic Club, Davie Cooper City Democratic Club, Miramar Democratic Club, Womens Democratic Club of West Broward.

Smiling black woman wearing a black top and a large beaded necklaceIn her spare time, she likes to collect African-American Memorabilia and owns one of the largest collections in the United States. Her collection was on display at the African American Research Museum in Broward County. She loves to travel and is a single mom of 3 daughters Amanda, Alyssa and Hailey. She is a proud mom and states her greatest hope is to leave a legacy of making the community a better place for her children and all of those who live in Florida. 

The quote she lives by: “Never allow someone else to determine your level of success based on their limitations for themselves”. She believes that positivity, perseverance and determination can propel you to achieve everything you desire. With Barbara comes hope for a better and brighter future. Hope for change. And that is the hope she wants to bring to her district and community when elected as our Senator for Florida District 35.

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