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Foundation Expands Board of Directors, Reflecting Growing Influence and Impact

Created on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Last Updated on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Melbourne, Fla. – April 15, 2014 – The Preeclampsia Foundation announced the recent addition of five new board members representing diverse professional expertise, as well as personal experience with preeclampsia. The all-volunteer Board of Directors provides oversight, governance and strategic direction for the Preeclampsia Foundation.

It is the Board’s responsibility is to ensure the Foundation’s mission is being executed as effectively as possible while ensuring fiscal responsibility and transparency, all within the duties of care, loyalty and obedience to which every not-for-profit board of directors is beholden.

“I’m confident the expertise we recently added to the Board will be a tremendous advantage for the future of the Foundation,” said Katie Rielly-Gauvin, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Beth Frazer, JD, an experienced civil litigator, is now a stay-at-home mom of two children. Frazer suffered HELLP Syndrome and severe preeclampsia in 2008, losing her twins at 20 weeks gestation. She received her law degree from Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. Frazer joined the Board of Directors in 2013 and is now Vice Chair, Chair of the Patient Advisory Council, and is also the Co-Coordinator of The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in her hometown of Nashville, Tenn.

Linda J. Murray is Senior Vice President and Global Editor in Chief at BabyCenter, the #1 parenting and pregnancy digital resource around the world. She brings considerable experience in communications, especially channels and technologies targeting women. Murray experienced preeclampsia with the birth of her daughter who was delivered early to manage the condition. She has worked closely with Foundation staff for several years, building an effective communication partnership. Murray lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. She joined the Board in 2013 and Co-Chairs the Corporate Advisory Council.

“I'm so grateful that my daughter and I survived preeclampsia but keenly aware that many women and babies don't,” said Murray. “The Preeclampsia Foundation is at the forefront in the fight to understand, treat, and prevent this disorder of pregnancy, and I'm thrilled to be a part of the team to advance that work.”

John Jacobson, MD, a retired anesthesiologist, learned of the Preeclampsia Foundation when the mother of his granddaughter died because of HELLP syndrome after delivery. He attended Saving Grace – A Night of Hope in San Francisco in 2006 and has supported the Foundation ever since. His knowledge of the medical field, perspective from healthcare providers, and lessons from the Closed Claims Program of the American Society of Anesthesiologists have contributed to our understanding of maternal mortality investigations. Jacobson lives in Rancho Mirage, Calif. and joined the Board in 2013.

Matthew Cooper, PhD, MBA, almost lost his wife, Amee, during the birth of his son, Zachary, to preeclampsia. This horrible episode woke him up to an unmet medical need. Matthew has since used his considerable experience in biotech to start Carmenta Bioscience, a Stanford University School of Medicine spin-out dedicated to developing diagnostic tests for preeclampsia. Using a systems biology approach and highly robust computational algorithms, the company hopes to identify novel serum protein measurements to classify pregnant mothers at risk for preeclampsia. Cooper has over 15 years of experience in biomarker and drug development at such companies as Biogen Idec and Roche. He also serves as an advisor to several biotech and healthcare IT companies. Cooper lives and works in Palo Alto, Calif. and joined the Board in 2014.

“I am honored to help the Preeclampsia Foundation fulfill its mission to support and educate patients, the public, and healthcare providers on the dangers of preeclampsia. I envision a world where no family should experience what mine did… and I see the Preeclampsia Foundation leading the way,” said Cooper.

Jerri Anne Johnson, recently retired from Abbott Vascular, a division of Abbott, has spent the last three years of her career building partnerships and advocating for greater awareness of women’s heart health and its relationship to pregnancy as the Director of the Women’s Heart Health Initiative. In 2013, nominated by the Preeclampsia Foundation, she won the WomenHeart Wenger Award, recognizing her success with the patient screening pilot program. Johnson lives in Lancaster, Penn., joined the Board in 2014 and Chairs the Corporate Advisory Council.

“I first developed an interest in preeclampsia when my daughter suffered the condition in her first pregnancy. That interest grew into a desire to become an advocate for preeclampsia awareness and the associated long-term cardiovascular risks for both mothers and their offspring,” said Johnson in her acceptance of her nomination.

These accomplished individuals will serve three-year terms and join Katie Rielly-Gauvin and Kathy Maguire who continue to serve the board with distinction. Photos and more information about each can be found on the Foundation’s website.  

The Board of Directors is still looking for additional qualified and highly committed candidates, particularly in the areas of finance, government relations and development. Accomplished professionals interested in being considered for a seat on the Board of Directors should contact the Chairman of the Board, Katie Rielly-Gauvin.

About the Preeclampsia Foundation: The Preeclampsia Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2000. It is dedicated to providing patient support and education, raising public awareness, catalyzing research and improving health care practices, envisioning a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, visit www.preeclampsia.org.



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