News Release

Monday, March 20, 2006

Five New Members Named to NIH Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health

Bethesda, Maryland — Five new members have been appointed to the Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health (ACRWH), which will hold its semiannual meeting on March 27 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md. The new members are: Constance Howes, J.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Women and Infants Hospital in Rhode Island; Nancy J. Norton, Founder and President of the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders; Eugene P. Orringer, M.D., Executive Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Susan P. Sloan, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Residency Program Director of Internal Medicine at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University; and Barbara W.K. Yee, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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 women’s health research. The committee is composed of up to 18 members who are appointed by the NIH Director.

Ms. Howes brings to the ACRWH many years of experience in hospital and health care administration. She is President and CEO of Women and Infants Hospital in Rhode Island, a regional perinatal center affiliated with Brown Medical School providing tertiary and primary services to women and infants. Ms. Howes has served as general counsel to businesses with concentration in general business and corporate law, administrative law, and hospital law, and as General Counsel of Care, New England Hospital System. Her legal expertise and administrative perspective will provide insights into trends in health care that affect women’s health research.

As Founder and President of the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) and as Chairperson of the Digestive Disease National Coalition, Ms. Norton brings the patient support group perspective to the ACRWH. Ms. Norton founded the IFFGD 14 years ago and continues to serve the digestive disease community in this capacity. She dedicates a great deal of time and effort to seeking scientific progress on functional gastrointestinal disorders, many of which disproportionately affect women. Her extensive knowledge in women’s issues will make her a valuable asset to the committee.

Dr. Orringer, a physician with a specialty in hematology/oncology, has extensive experience in research support infrastructure that can provide the ACRWH with the benefit of his long-standing expertise in these areas. As a Principal Investigator in the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program, Dr. Orringer brings knowledge about the importance of training a new cadre of researchers doing interdisciplinary research on women’s health as well as his unique and successful approaches to mentoring. His intimate knowledge of the ORWH career programs will be of great importance in evaluating career development efforts.

Dr. Sloan’s expertise and education span the fields of education, law, and medicine. She combined her research interest in osteoporosis with her work among the American Indian population most recently by looking at bone density in American Indians. She served as Secretary of the Association of American Indian Physicians and as President and committee member of the Association of Native American Medical Students, a national organization. She received the American Medical Women’s Association 2005 Local Legend from Tennessee Award as part of the National Library of Medicine “Changing the Face of Medicine” exhibit on women physicians.

Dr. Yee’s current research examines how gender, health literacy, and acculturation influences health benefits and lifestyle practices across three generations of Vietnamese and Pacific Islanders living in the United States. She served on the editorial boards of the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, Psychology and Aging, and Topics of Geriatric Rehabilitation. She is a member of the PHS Expert Panel of Minority Women’s Health, and the HRSA steering committee for the Bright Futures for Women’s Health and Wellness. Dr. Yee is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and Gerontological Society of America. She was awarded the Okura Community Leadership Award in 2004 from the Asian American Psychological Association, Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation, for outstanding community leadership that benefits the Asian American community.

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