BOARD OF DIRECTORSLEADERSHIP TEAM
Michael R. Wittek, MSW, joined the WFF Board of Directors in late 2012. Securing services for women in need of fistula repair provides Mr. Wittek an ongoing opportunity to continue his career-long work of advocacy for access to preventive services and effective health care interventions.
Prior to his semi-retirement in May 2012, Mr. Wittek worked for decades to ensure patient access to health care from a number of perspectives. He managed employee health benefits for a large international computer firm and served on the management team of one of Minnesota’s largest health plans where he was a member of the plan’s health technology assessment committee. Most recently he was responsible for the health policy and planning function for the gastroenterology and urology area of Medtronic’s Neuromodulation Division. In his capacity with Medtronic, Inc., Mr. Wittek was responsible for paving the way for patient access to a number of new and novel therapies, including some with humanitarian use device designations. Medtronic, Inc. is a multinational medical device manufacturer that uses technology to transform the way debilitating, chronic diseases are treated.
Nancy Muller, BA, MBA, PhD, is a seasoned executive with 21 years of experience in the healthcare sector alone. Leading a national public education and patient advocacy organization in continence care in the US since 2000 and serving on both domestic and global boards and advisory teams, she has published widely in journals and made numerous presentations before audiences at national and international conferences. With an additional 15 years of prior corporate business experience, her track record includes achievements in international sales management, strategic planning and business development, product line marketing and corporate finance.
Following her university degree magna cum laude from Duke University, Muller earned her master’s degree in business administration from The Darden School at the University of Virginia and subsequently her PhD in health services research from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her doctoral dissertation was on service line specialization by community hospitals in a study of strategic management and issues of patient access. Fluent in French, she has lived abroad in both The Netherlands and France and traveled extensively in 40 countries across the globe. Muller has remained active in local community leadership through volunteer service in education, the arts and her faith. As chairman, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Worldwide Fistula Foundation and dedicating a new hospital in Niger in February 2012 for obstetrical fistula repair.
Terry J. Wall, JD, MD, is a physician/attorney in the full time practice of Radiation Oncology at St Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO, where he also serves as president of the medical staff. Dr. Wall has been active in the affairs of his medical specialty society, American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), and also presently serves on the executive committee of the National Radiation Oncology Registry as well as serving as faculty advisor for the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology. He has long served as coordinator for humanitarian outreach to radiation oncology in the developing world through ASTRO, and has a long history of affiliation with the WFF.
Dr. Rahel Nardos was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.A Yale School of Medicine graduate, she completed her residency in obstetrics-gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis. Following her residency and with a Worldwide Fistula Fund grant, Dr. Nardos spent one year as staff surgeon at the Hamlin Fistula Hospital and its multiple satellite medical centers in Ethiopia . She then returned to the United States and completed her fellowship training in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, as well as her master’s degree in clinical research at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Currently Dr. Nardos holds joint positions: urogynecologist at Kaiser Permanente Northwest and assistant professor in research and global health at OHSU. In collaboration with her colleagues at OHSU, Dr. Nardos founded Footsteps to Healing, a global women’s health initiative originally focused on providing surgical services to rural Ethiopian women with pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence. Under Dr. Nardos’ leadership, Footsteps at OHSU expanded its mission and joined Worldwide Fistula Fund’s broader vision in sub-Saharan Africa: increase access and capacity for expert care by training local OB-GYNs. Footsteps at OHSU provides expert subspecialty training to care for women with pelvic floor disorders.
Benson F. Smith is the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Teleflex Incorporated, a leading global provider of specialty medical devices for a range of procedures in critical care and surgery. Teleflex’s mission is to provide solutions that enable healthcare providers to improve outcomes and enhance patient and clinician safety. Headquartered in Limerick, PA, Teleflex employs approximately 11,000 people worldwide and serves healthcare providers in more than 130 countries.
He was previously on the board of Rochester Medical Corporation and chairman of the board of Zoll Medical Corporation until its sale to Asahi Kasei Group in April 2012. He also serves on a variety of academic and health-related organizations.
Theresa Monaco Spitznagle PT, DPT, MHS, WCS, is currently an Associate Professor in the Program in Physical Therapy, and Coordinator of the Residency in Diagnosis and Management of Impairments in Women’s Health at Washington University in St Louis.
Tracy, as she likes to be called, is a 1986 graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee Wisconsin. She completed her Masters in Health Science in Physical Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis in 1994 and she completed her post-professional Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy in December of 2006. She was part of the inaugural class of board certified women’s Health Clinical Specialists (WCS). She was the recipient of the Section on Women’s Health Elizabeth Noble award in 2011.
Her teaching responsibilities in the entry level doctoral program at Washington University include coordination of the gender related health material including lectures and labs on rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, pregnancy, urinary incontinence and musculoskeletal pelvic pain. Her research interests include investigation into abdominal wall and pelvic floor muscle and fascial changes associated with pregnancy, incontinence and pelvic pain. Her clinical practice is focused on gender related disorders of the abdominal wall and pelvis, including incontinence disorders, spine, hip and pelvic pain syndromes. She has received focused training in the use of Rehabilitative Ultrasound to assess abdominal wall, multifidus and pelvic floor muscle impairments.
Professional organizations that she currently participates include the APTA and Section on Women’s Health (SOWH) member, Chair of the SOWH Diagnosis Dialog Task Force Committee, Chair of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialist’s and Abstract reviewer for the SOWH programming, past Director of Education for the SOWH, and Board Liaison for the Post Professional Education Task Force which created the template for a board certification in women’s health.
Maureen Powers is the Executive Director of the Worldwide Fistula Fund. Previously, she served as Executive Director and Director of Programs for Zonta International and Zonta International Foundation, where her work focused on preventing gender-based violence and improving the health, education and economic security of women and girls. She has provided program development, grant-making, strategic planning and public relations services to a wide range of organizations. Early in her career, she directed an emergency shelter and outreach services for victims of domestic violence, where she became deeply committed to empowering women and girls. Maureen earned her BA in Interpersonal/Group/Organizational Communication from Loyola University, Chicago, IL.