NIH News Update
Office of the Director

Office of Research on Women's Health

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Ellyn Pollack
(301) 402-1770

NIH Names Five New Members For Advisory Committee on Research on Women's Health

BETHESDA, MARYLAND — Five new members recently joined the NIH Advisory Committee on Research on Women's Health (ACRWH). They are Myrna Blythe, Senior Vice President, Publishing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Ladies Home Journal and More magazines; Otis Brawley, M.D., Associate Director for Cancer Detection, Control and Intervention, Emory University Winship Cancer Institute; Teri Fontenot, President and Chief Executive Office, Woman's Hospital, Baton Rouge, LA; Martha A. Medrano, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Hispanic Center of Excellence, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; and Irene Pollin, Founder and Chairperson, Sister to Sister Foundation.

Ms. Blyth has worked with the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) for many years to bring women's health research to the public. Blyth is the senior vice president, publishing director, and editor-in-chief of Ladies Home Journal Magazine and More magazine. She has been with Ladies Home Journal since 1981, and under her direction, More, a lifestyle magazine designed for women over 40, was launched in September 1998. She recently received the Athena Award from the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia University. She was an official American delegate for the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and served on the host committee which organized the Beijing Plus Five meeting.

Dr. Brawley is an oncologist with a wealth of experience in cancer detection, control, and community prevention, particularly among minority populations. As Co-Chair of the Surgeon General's Task Force on Cancer Health Disparities and former Director of the National Cancer Institute's Office of Special Populations, he is adept at marshaling Federal resources to further research and improve health. A Commissioned Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service, Brawley currently serves as Associate Director for Cancer Control at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. He brings to the ACRWH experience in Federal community and minority initiatives, as well as knowledge of cancer prevention and control.

Ms. Fontenot brings to the ACRWH many years of experience in hospital and health care administration. As President and CEO of the Women's Hospital Foundation, parent organization of the Woman's Hospital and Woman's Health Research Institute, she has directed the financial turn-around of a major medical institution and is responsible for its day-to-day and long-range financial management. Her organizational expertise and financial perspective will provide unique insights into trends in health care that affect women's health research.

As Director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence at the University of Texas Science Center at San Antonio and South Central Regional Director for a National Cancer Institute-supported project targeting cancer awareness, training, and research within Hispanic communities, Dr. Medrano brings to the ACRWH a unique understanding of the influence of culture on health and health-related decision making. A psychiatrist with a degree in public health, she is an expert on the effects of childhood trauma on women drug addicts and has worked to develop cultural competence teaching materials at the University of Texas.

As founder and director of several organizations dedicated to improving health, Ms. Pollin has long been an asset to the Washington, D.C. community, and brings the same intelligence, dedication, compassion, and persistence to her role as a member of the ACRWH. As Founder and Chairperson of Sister to Sister: Everyone Has a Heart, she has launched programs to improve women's knowledge of the threat of heart disease. As President and Founder of the Linda Pollin Foundation, she works to improve the psychological care of chronically ill patients and their families.

The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 charges the Advisory Committee with advising the Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health on appropriate research activities to be undertaken by the national research institutes with respect to research on women's health.