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Patient Advisory Council

Last Updated on Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The Patient Advisory Council (“PAC”) serves as an advisory resource to the Board of Directors and staff of the Preeclampsia Foundation, for the purpose of maintaining and furthering the Foundation’s position as a patient-centered, patient-driven, patient advocacy organization. The patient voice and experience are integral to the mission of the Foundation; therefore, the PAC operates to directly engage patients, the Board, and staff, in meaningful, ongoing communication, and keep the patient at the forefront of all we do.

Each member of the Patient Advisory Council is a preeclampsia survivor or a family member of a woman who suffered death or disability such that she is unable to represent herself as the result of preeclampsia. The Patient Advisory Council accepts applications for new members year-round via an online application, which is currently reviewed by the PAC on a biannual basis. Read the Press Release for more information.

Beth Frazer, JD


Beth Frazer is the Vice Chair of the Preeclampsia Foundation Board of Directors and the Board.  She received a Juris Doctrate from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and practiced as a civil litigator, representing clients in a variety of matters including employment disputes and civil rights claims.  In 2008, when Beth was only 20 weeks pregnant, she developed sudden onset HELLP Syndrome and severe preeclampsia, which resulted in the death of her twin son and daughter.  She immediately developed a passion for preeclampsia education and awareness, and began volunteering with the Preeclampsia Foundation.  Beth went on to have two healthy pregnancies.  She lives in Nashville, TN, with her son and daughter, and husband, Bryan, with whom she coordinates the Nashville Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. She has served on the Patient Advisory Council since its creation in March 2014.

Norlisa Abrenica-Keffer


Norlisa Abrenica-Keffer is a stay-at-home mom to her three children, boy/girl twins and their younger brother. In her twin pregnancy, Norlisa developed preeclampsia twice postpartum after delivering them at 38.4 weeks. She also developed preeclampsia with her singleton at 34 weeks resulting in delivery at 36 weeks, and had preeclampsia again one week postpartum. She credits much of her pregnancy success to the knowledge and vigilance of her perinatologist and nurses, and working with them and her husband as a team. She hopes to spread knowledge, awareness, and patient advocacy. Norlisa has also served on the Perinatal Advisory Council at the University of Washington Medical Center, and with other non-profits to help patients suffering from infertility and high-risk pregnancies. In a previous life before marriage and famiy, Norlisa was a biochemist with Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Delaware, working in both research and private tutoring. She live in the Southwest with her husband, Gordon, three children, and two pugs. She has served on the Patient Advisory Council since November 2014.

Heather Alonge, PhD, MPH, CHES


Heather Alonge holds a PhD in health services with an emphasis in health management and policy and a masters in public health. Heather has spent the past ten years of her career researching health issues and currently works in academia teaching public health and health care administration courses. Heather's research interests and experiences include: telemedicine utilization, access to care and outcomes, ethical frameworks, program evaluation, qualitative analysis and rural health outreach. Heather became involved with the Preeclampsia Foundation in 2013 after becoming a survivor. She was hospitalized at 28 weeks with severe preeclampsia and at 29 weeks Heather delivered her daughter after unsuccessful attempts at stabilizing her blood pressure and suffering a seizure. Today Heather is thankful her daughter is healthy and thriving and that her own health has returned to good condition. Heather currently serves on the Patient Advisory Council and wants to work with other champions, survivors and experts to improve outcomes and ultimately find a cure. She has served on the Patient Advisory Council since November 2014.

Meghan JS Canedy, MSN


Meghan JS Canedy received her MSN from Yale School of Nursing and works as a Pediatric Nurse Practicioner in a Level 2 Special Care Nursery and Family Birthing Center.  She is a clinical adjunct instructor for Yale School of Nursing advanced practice nursing students, and also helps mothers and families achieve their breastfeeding goals as an IBCLC. Meghan became acquainted with the Preeclampsia Foundation during her pregnancy; she delivered her daughter late preterm after struggling for ten weeks with preeclampsia. She resides in New England with her daughter and Active-Duty military husband. She earns her stress relief with distance running, biking and swimming. She has served on the Patient Advisory Council since its creation in March 2014.

Fathiyyah Doster


Fathiyyah Doster is a mental health therapist who received her master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Springfield College in 2009. Fathiyyah has several years’ experience in the field of severe and persistent mental illness as well as substance abuse. Fathiyyah joined the Preeclampsia Foundation in 2010 after her near death experience with preeclampsia in February 2010 with her, 37 week, first-born daughter. After a spike in her blood pressure, she suffered two seizures, shutting down her lungs, kidneys and liver. Alongside a four month hospital stay, Fathiyyah experienced a tracheotomy, multiple surgeries and procedures and had to continue dialysis for one year. Her daughter was healthy. She is currently the Southeast Regional Coach for the Preeclampsia Foundation as well as the walk coordinator for the Miami walk since 2011. She has served on the Patient Advisory Council since its creation in March 2014.

Carol Hamilton, PharmD


Carol Hamilton, PharmD, worked as a clinical pharmacist prior to having her first child.  During her first pregnancy in 1998, Carol developed sudden severe preeclampsia at 24 weeks and was forced to deliver.  Her daughter, Mary, was stillborn.   Her second pregnancy in 2000 resulted in a healthy daughter born at 36 weeks.  Her third pregnancy in 2002 resulted in a son born at 37 weeks, after which Carol suffered post-partum preeclampsia.  Carol has worked with the Preeclampsia Foundation in various capacities since 2002, including serving on the Board of Directors from 2004 – 2008.  She currently lives in Naples, FL with her husband Jim and two children, a son and daughter. She has served on the Patient Advisory Council since its creation in March 2014.

Ushma Patel, MSPH


Ushma Patel is a health services researcher with experience in qualitative research, and training in cognitive interviewing and conducting focus groups. She has contributed to survey development, program implementation and evaluation, engaging consumers in safety and quality, and explaining evidence-based medicine to consumers and clinicians. She received a Masters of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Health Policy and Management. In January 2014, Ushma developed severe preeclampsia and partial HELLP syndrome at 36 weeks pregnant and suffered complications from the high blood pressure. Given her career and experience, she developed a strong interest in representing the patient voice and raising awareness for preeclampsia. She lives right outside of Raleigh, NC with her daughter and husband. Ushma has served on the Patient Advisory Council since November 2014.

Joy Victory


Joy Victory is a digital content editor specializing in environmental and science issues. She currently works in marketing and communications for the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund. In 2013, she developed severe preeclampsia and partial HELLP syndrome late in her pregnancy, but her symptoms were disregarded and treatment was delayed. Her newborn daughter required immediate NICU care after being born in respiratory distress with suspected meconium aspiration syndrome. Joy’s highly chaotic and poorly managed hospital care was nearly as life-threatening as her disease. As a result, she became motivated to help women and families grappling with pregnancy complications in a broken healthcare system. She lives in Queens, N.Y., with her husband, Brendan, and daughter, who is now a spry, gregarious toddler. Joy has served on the Patient Advisory Council since November 2014.

Laney Poye

Staff Liaison

Laney Poye, Director of Community Relations, serves as the Patient Advisory Council's Staff Liaison. Laney currently manages the organization’s volunteer leaders and community partners in development, patient support and communications, and leads the national team for the Foundation's signature awareness event, The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia.

Laney received her Master’s degree in International Affairs from Florida State University. Her studies focused primarily on global issues of women’s health and welfare, with an emphasis on determining sustainable change for women in low-resource settings.  She has spent many years volunteering for health causes and is an enthusiastic supporter of increasing awareness and advancing medical understanding of this devastating pregnancy condition.


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