The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) named new officers and members to its Board of Trustees during its annual meeting, the Interdisciplinary Symposium on Osteoporosis, held in New Orleans from April 23-26. Bringing their leadership skills and specialized backgrounds to NOF, the new board officers and members will greatly benefit the organization as it works to reduce the two million broken bones that occur each year due to osteoporosis.
About NOF’s New Leadership:
Judy Black, Chair has been an instrumental member of NOF’s Board of Trustees for nearly 10 years. In addition to her current term, which began in 2013, Ms. Black completed Board terms from 1995-2000 and from 2006-2009. Ms. Black helped move osteoporosis to the forefront of health policy, successfully lobbying Congress to hold a special hearing of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services to discuss osteoporosis and explore the federal government’s role in increasing research, education and prevention efforts to curb the rising toll of the disease. Ms. Black testified at the hearing on behalf of NOF and subsequently worked with lawmakers to secure appropriations for the Office of the Surgeon General to conduct a study on osteoporosis.
Ms. Black is currently a Policy Director in the Government Relations Department of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, and Schrek, LLP. Recognized as one of the premier Republican lobbyists in Washington, DC, Ms. Black also enjoys bipartisan relationships and respect throughout the federal government. For more than a decade, she has helped Fortune 500 companies, leading non-profits and industry trade groups navigate and participate in the public policy process. Prior to her current position, Ms. Black co-owned and operated Evans and Black Capitol Strategies, a DC-based legislative and lobbying firm, and held Senior Vice President positions with Ticketmaster and the International Council of Shopping Centers. Ms. Black served in the White House from 1987 to 1989 as the Special Assistant to President Reagan for Intergovernmental Affairs, serving as the liaison to the nation’s governors and other statewide elected officials.
Robert Gagel, M.D., President is a Professor of Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Baylor College of Medicine. A medical expert in Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2 (MEN2) and medullary thyroid carcinoma, as well as bone biology and calcitonin, Dr. Gagel was appointed Professor and Chief of Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1991, Chairman of the Department of Medical Specialties in 1995 and assumed his current position of Head, Division of Internal Medicine in 2001. He also developed and worked with Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence (also an NOF Board Member) to establish the Bone Program of Texas, a collaborative program of the Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where he currently serves as Director.
Dr. Gagel and colleagues developed and validated strategies for early detection of medullary thyroid carcinoma and pheochromocytoma through a 15-year series of articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine. While subsequently pursuing a laboratory fellowship at Harvard Medical School and The Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Gagel was introduced to bone biology and the physiology of calcitonin, where he has made significant contributions, including studies of transcriptional regulation of the calcitonin gene, recognition of one of the elements that regulates alternative RNA processing of the calcitonin gene, and most recently the creation of a mouse in which the calcitonin gene has been deleted.
Kenneth Saag, M.D., Vice President is a Jane Knight Lowe Professor of Medicine in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology at the UAB School of Public Health. He is the founding Director of the Deep South Musculoskeletal Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics, and Associate Director of the Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center. Dr. Saag also serves as Director of the UAB Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education, a university-wide supported interdisciplinary research center. A practicing rheumatologist and outcomes researcher with expertise in musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and pharmacoepidemiology with a clinical focus on bone health, Dr. Saag is the only rheumatologist on NOF’s Board of Trustees. He is experienced in designing and conducting clinical trials in the therapeutics of MSD and in population-based investigations, working with large databases, and quality indicator development. Dr. Saag served on the FDA Arthritis Advisory Committee and co-chaired the American Medical Association Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement on Osteoporosis. He has also served on several NIH study sections, IOM Committees and National Committees to develop arthritis and osteoporosis guidelines.
Ann Miller, M.D., Secretary has served on NOF’s Board of Trustees since 2008, contributing more than 20 years of biopharma marketing experience across many therapeutic areas and all phases of the product lifecycle. Dr. Miller received her BA and MD degrees from Duke University. Currently, she is VP, Marketing at Sanofi. She previously worked at Merck, Amgen and Eisai in roles of increasing responsibility in Business Unit management, Marketing, Business Development and Medical Affairs across a range of therapeutic areas, including osteoporosis.
About NOF’s New Trustees:
Barbara Hannah Grufferman, a nationally recognized expert on healthy and positive aging, is the author of the best-selling resource book, The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More. She serves as the chief on-air contributor for AARP, appearing regularly on the Today Show. Ms. Grufferman writes weekly columns for Huffington Post and AARP and is the Positive Living Editor for GLOW Beauty Magazine. In addition to the Today Show, she has also appeared on CBS’ The Early Show, Good Morning America Health, as well as numerous radio and Internet programs and also hosts the “Best of Everything After 50” video series on the AARP You Tube Channel where she offers tips on fitness, health, nutrition, style, sex and more. Ms. Grufferman received NOF’s Generations of Strength Award in 2012 for her outspoken support of positive and healthy aging in America and was named NOF’s first Bone Health Ambassador, a role in which she uses her positive example, reach and influence to raise awareness for osteoporosis and the importance of building strong bones – at any age.
Mary G. McKinley, RN, MSN, CCRN is a critical care nurse with more than 30 years experience. Married to Congressman David B. McKinley, Ms. McKinley works as a nursing consultant and resides at the couples’ home in Wheeling, West Virginia, while making frequent trips to Washington, DC. A graduate of West Virginia University, Ms. McKinley is a partner at the firm Critical Connections and is a Clinical Educator at Ohio Valley Medical Center. She is also the past President of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and is a published author on nursing, critical care and health policy.
Robert S. Understein, CPA is President of the Government Transformation Initiative (GTI) and Manager of the Federal Sector Business Development Practice for McGladrey LLP in Washington, DC. His nearly 50-year career has focused on financial and tax planning, equity placements (real estate and communication properties), commercial real estate financing, and commercial real estate advisory services. Mr. Understein began his career working with Understein and Associates, a family owned business. As a CPA and high-end financial and tax planning firm in the Greater Metro Washington D.C. area, the firm's clients were among the "Who's Who" of business and political Washington in the late 60's, 70's and 80's. After the practice was sold at the end of the 1980’s, Mr. Understein worked with large and mid-sized companies for the next 20 years. In June of 2010, he joined McGladrey as Manager of Business Development on a national level. He currently works with the firm and is transitioning to the Federal Sector Practice.
About the National Osteoporosis Foundation
Established in 1984, the National Osteoporosis Foundation is the nation’s leading health organization dedicated to preventing osteoporosis and broken bones, promoting strong bones for life and reducing human suffering through programs of awareness, education, advocacy and research. For more information on the National Osteoporosis Foundation, visit www.nof.org.
An original article published by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that calcium supplementation with vitamin D does not appear to increase the risk of coronary heart disease or all-cause mortality in postmenopausal women.
NOF today released updated prevalence data estimating that a total of 54 million U.S. adults, representing more than one-half of the total U.S. adult population, is currently affected by osteoporosis and low bone mass. Recently published online by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, the study reveals that 10.2 million adults have osteoporosis and another 43.4 million have low bone mass.