NIH Director's Council of Public Representatives Welcomes Nine New Members
Bethesda, Maryland The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
has selected nine individuals to serve as members of the Director's
Council of Public Representatives (COPR), a committee that advises
the NIH Director on issues of public importance. They join 12 current
members of the Council.
"I am very pleased to welcome the nine new members to the
NIH and to COPR," said NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni, M.D.
"These new members bring a wealth of knowledge and professional
experience in the areas of medicine, public service, journalism,
and public affairs as well as a strong commitment to the advancement
of public health and medical research."
The new members are James J. Armstrong of Sagamore Hills, Ohio;
Ruth C. Browne, M.P.P., M.P.H., Sc.D., of Brooklyn, New York; Barbara
D. Butler of St. Louis, Missouri; Frances J. Dunston, M.D., M.P.H.,
of Atlanta, Georgia; Rafael Gonzalez-Amezcua, M.D., of San Francisco,
California; Jim Jensen of Lincoln, Nebraska; Dawna Torres Mughal,
Ph.D., R.D., of Erie, Pennsylvania; William D. Novelli of Bethesda,
Maryland; and Ellen V. Sigal, Ph.D., of Washington, DC.
James J. Armstrong
is the Director of News and Information at the Cleveland Clinic
Foundation, where he works with journalists from around the globe
to bring their readers, listeners, and viewers the latest news in
medicine. Mr. Armstrong has worked in radio, television news, and
public affairs for more than 25 years and has earned three local
Emmy awards for his work as a television journalist, including a
13-year stint overseeing news coverage at local Cleveland television
station WKYC-TV. Mr. Armstrong is also an advocate of health education
and has a special interest in heart and kidney disease. He has been
involved in many health-related public awareness campaigns, including
efforts to promote colorectal and prostate cancer screening.
Ruth C. Browne, M.P.P.,
M.P.H., Sc.D., is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the
College of Health Related Professions and the Department of Preventive
Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She has also served as
the Executive Director of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health
(AAIUH) since the organization was founded in 1993. Dr. Browne's
commitment to community health empowerment is evident in her work
with AAIUH, where she has created behavioral health intervention
programs in low-income communities of color. These intervention
programs make use of lay leadership in churches, schools, beauty
salons, barbershops, tattoo and body piercing salons, and laundromats.
She has also held diverse program, research, and health policy positions.
Barbara D. Butler
was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus at the age of 22
and has since become an advocate for lupus patients and their families.
She was an original member of the Board of Directors for the Lupus
Foundation of America and chaired its Public Relations Committee,
where she was responsible for developing the first series of radio
and television public service announcements featuring a nationally
recognized spokeswoman. Ms. Butler has received many local and national
awards for her work and remains an active and passionate advocate
for federal funding of medical research and professional training.
Frances J. Dunston,
M.D., M.P.H., is Chairperson of the Department of Pediatrics
at Morehouse School of Medicine, where she is a Professor of Pediatrics
and of Community Health and Preventive Medicine (Secondary). She
is also a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is board
certified in Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine. Her publications
and research interests address health services delivery for poor
and medically underserved children. Dr. Dunston served as New Jersey's
State Commissioner of Health, a cabinet-level position responsible
for state health policies, health regulation, health planning, and
public health services. She has also served as Assistant State Health
Commissioner in Virginia and as Director of Public Health in Richmond,
Gonzalez-Amezcua, M.D., hosts a live TV weekly medical segment
during the evening newscast for Univision's KDTV Channel 14 in San
Francisco, California. He is also a clinical instructor in medicine
at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine
and a staff physician for On Lok SeniorHealth, which offers comprehensive
medical and support services to the frail elderly via an interdisciplinary
team approach. His involvement in the delivery of care to the frail
elderly in a predominantly Hispanic community has led him to participate
in other areas of health care delivery. He was one of the founding
members of the Medical Scientific Advisory Committee to the Alzheimer's
Association of the Greater San Francisco Bay area and has participated
in several community forums to educate providers, patients, and
families about Alzheimer's Dementia.
Senator Jim Jensen
was elected to the 20th District of Nebraska in 1994 and has since
worked to improve health care for Nebraskans. He has introduced
significant health care legislation as the chairperson of the Health
and Human Services Committee of the Nebraska Legislature, which
is currently involved in a broad evaluation and planning study of
publicly funded health and human services in the state. Much of
Senator Jensen's work is devoted to Medicaid-related issues; for
instance, he is the chair of the Medicaid Reform Task Force, which
he established in response to the increasing Medicaid costs and
Nebraska's budgetary shortfalls, and is a member of the Nebraska
Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Project Advisory Committee.
Dawna Torres Mughal,
Ph.D., R.D., is Associate Professor and Dietetics Program
Director at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, as well as
Director of the Consortium Coordinated Program in Dietetics of three
neighboring academic institutions. She is a registered dietitian
and is certified as a charter Fellow of the American Dietetic Association
(ADA). Her research and professional interests in foods and nutrition
include aging, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, intellectual
disabilities, patient/client education, and women's health. Dr.
Mughal has held leadership positions in the Pennsylvania Dietetic
Association as well as in the ADA. She has also extended her volunteer
work to the international community as the secretary and a member
of the Steering Committee of the Special Interest Research Group
on Aging and Intellectual Disabilities.
William D. Novelli
is Executive Director and CEO of AARP, a membership organization
of more than 35 million people aged 50 and older, half of whom remain
actively employed. Prior to joining AARP, Mr. Novelli was President
of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, whose mandate is to change
public policies and the social environment and limit marketing and
sales practices to children; he now serves as Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Novelli was also Executive Vice President of CARE, the world's
largest private relief and development organization. In addition,
he co-founded and was President of Porter Novelli, now one of the
world's largest public relations agencies. Mr. Novelli is a recognized
leader in social marketing and has managed programs in cancer control,
diet and nutrition, cardiovascular health, reproductive health,
infant survival, and other programs in the United States and the
Ellen V. Sigal, Ph.D.,
is the founder and chairperson of Friends of Cancer Research, as
well as President of the Creative Community Task Force for Cancer
Research. Her philanthropic and public pursuits for these two organizations
are aimed at the eradication of cancer through public awareness,
education, and advocacy on the benefits of cancer research. Dr.
Sigal also serves on the National Cancer Institute's Board of Scientific
Advisors and is a member of the American Association for Cancer
Research, where she has been appointed to serve on their Strategic
Planning and Development Committee. In addition, Dr. Sigal is a
board member of the ASCO Foundation and serves on the National Dialogue
on Cancer, where she is a member of the cancer research team.
New COPR members joined the full Council for their first meeting
on April 24, 2003, at the NIH campus. The meeting highlighted topics
such as the NIH Road Map Initiative and a report on the National
Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. This was the
second COPR meeting chaired by Dr. Zerhouni, M.D. The COPR next
will meet at the NIH in October 2003.
The COPR brings important matters of public interest forward for
discussion and advises and assists in enhancing public participation
in NIH activities and in increasing public understanding of the
NIH. Additional information is available at http://copr.nih.gov.