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Appointment of Members, March 31, 2006


Appointment of Members

Friday, March 31, 2006

Contact: Office of the Assistant
Secretary for Health
(202) 690-7694

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt recently appointed five new members to the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC). The new members have been appointed to fill positions, including the Chair, that became vacant on September 30, 2005.

CFSAC was established in October 2002 to provide expert advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the Assistant Secretary for Health, on a broad range of issues and topics pertaining to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

CFS is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest. No specific and testable biologic markers have been found for CFS, and the cause or trigger for the disease have not yet been determined.

The Committee focuses its discussions on the current state of knowledge and research about the epidemiology and risk factors relating to CFS, and identifying potential opportunities in these areas. The Committee provides advice and counsel on the development and implementation of programs to inform the public, health care professionals, and the biomedical academic and research communities about CFS advances.

The Committee is authorized to have 11 members. The composition of the Committee consists of seven biomedical research scientists with demonstrated expertise in biomedical research applicable to chronic fatigue syndrome and four individuals with expertise in health care delivery, private health care services or insurers, or voluntary organizations concerned with the problems of individuals with CFS. Information on the new members appointed to the Committee follows:

Rebecca Artman is the Legislative Affairs and Advocacy Committee Chair for P.A.N.D.O.R.A. (Patient Alliance for Neuroendocrineimmune Disorders Organization for Research and Advocacy), Inc. P.A.N.D.O.R.A., Inc., is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization that works to provide local resources to CFS patient and their families in the Florida area.

Lucinda Bateman, M.D. , is a private practitioner who has limited her practice to the diagnosis and care of persons suffering with CFS and fibromyalgia (FM). She founded the Organization for Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Education and Research (OFFER) to provide local information resources to patients and health care providers in the Salt Lake City, Utah region.

Kristine Healy is an assistant professor in the Physician Assistant Program at Midwestern University. Ms. Healy currently provides instruction on CFS and related disorders to students who are pursing certification in her chosen allied health profession. She also works with CFS patients in her clinical practice.

James Oleske, M.D., is the Director, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School. His specialty area is pediatric immunology and infectious diseases. Dr. Oleske is an advocate for children and adolescents who suffer with chronic life limiting diseases, such as CFS.

Morris Papernik, M.D. is a member of a private medical practice. Dr. Papernik is a clinician and researcher and is board certified in internal medicine. He works to educate his colleagues and other health practitioners, as well as the lay public, about CFS and FM.

The Chair position had been occupied by Dr. David Bell. One of the current members, Dr. Nahid Mohagheghpour, was selected to assume responsibility as the Committee Chair. Dr. Mohagheghpour is a private consultant. Her area of expertise is microbiology/immunology. Dr. Mohagheghpour was a key member of the assessment panel for the 2001 CFS Assessment Symposium on immune system dysfunction in the chronic fatigue syndrome symposium that was co-sponsored by the CFIDS Association of America, CDC, and NIH.