2015 ACE Election Results

Harold I. Feldman, MD, MSCE, FACE is the George S. Pepper Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Professor of Epidemiology, and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and the Director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

Dr. Feldman is a Fellow of the College having served as a member of its Board of Directors from 2011-2014.  He has been a member of the Membership Committee since 2012.  Dr. Feldman also sits on the Congress Executive Committee for the 2016 Congress of the Americas.  Dr. Feldman holds A.B. and M.D. degrees from Boston University and an M.S. in Clinical Epidemiology from Penn.  He is also a board certified physician in internal medicine and nephrology.  Dr. Feldman is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Epidemiological Society.  He has been an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association.  Dr. Feldman’s chronic disease epidemiology research program focuses on diseases of the kidney and has been supported by >$50M in federal grants.  He leads several of NIH-NIDDK’s largest epidemiological research initiatives in chronic kidney disease including the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study, the “Framingham Study of Renal Disease.”  He is a past Deputy Editor of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and past Co-Director of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, which trains leaders in HSR and clinical epidemiology.  He directs multiple NIH-funded institutional training grants in clinical epidemiology.

Statement:  The American College of Epidemiology has played a critical role in shaping the discipline of epidemiology.  It has bolstered career opportunities for those entering the field and serves as a strong voice promoting the importance of population science in practices and policies related to the health of the public.  For more than two decades, my professional activities have been devoted to the integration of epidemiology and clinical medicine.  Leading and managing one of the nation’s largest clinical epidemiology programs, I have witnessed the power and impact from integrating epidemiological and biostatistical methods with clinical research.  I deeply believe that these synergies can potently impact clinical care, health policy, and the discipline of epidemiology.  The marked growth in the number of population researchers at academic institutions, industry, foundations, and governmental organizations, such as the national CTSA Program at NIH, has created new opportunities for ACE to advance epidemiology through broader outreach to clinical communities.  As President of ACE, I will draw on this experience to promote yet greater integration of clinical epidemiology within the College.  Capitalizing on this opportunity can and must be done without diminishing the College’s focus on advocacy for the science and practice of epidemiology, on support for professional development of epidemiologists, or on enhancing the diversity and size of its membership.  This is a very exciting time for population sciences and the American College of Epidemiology.  I would be greatly honored if given the opportunity to serve as its president.

Board of Directors
Melissa M. Adams, MPH, PhD, FACE
Background: Melissa’s epidemiologic work has focused on birth defects, perinatal health and, most recently, on rare disorders. She received training in epidemiology from UCLA (MPH) and the University of Washington in Seattle (Ph.D.). From 1978-2001 she worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From 2003-2006, she was a professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health of the School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham. From 2006 through March, 2015, she worked at RTI International.  She currently seeks to use her experience with public health practice and rare disorders to improve the epidemiologic usefulness of longitudinal registries for individual rare disorders.  She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in epidemiologic and clinical journals.
Her contributions to epidemiology include:
• peer review of manuscripts submitted to epidemiologic and clinical journals during the past three decades;
• peer review of abstracts submitted to annual meetings of the American College of Epidemiology (ACE), Society for Epidemiologic Research and the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research (SPPER);
• service as the president (1990) and on the Executive Board (1994-1998) of the SPPER;
• service to the ACE as the Vice-Chair (2007) and Chair (2008-2009) of the Publications Committee and as member of the Board of Directors (2008-2011);
• organizing and conducting at the 2011 North American Congress of Epidemiology a symposium titled “Should “Disability Status” be a covariate in most epidemiologic research?” and serving as editor for the Annals of Epidemiology for manuscripts based on the symposium; and
• service on  a planning sub-committee (2014-15) for the 2016 Epidemiology Congress of the Americas.

Statement: Thank you for this opportunity to ask for your support to serve on ACE’s Board.  ACE’s annual meetings reflect its emphasis on the contribution of epidemiology to public health practice.  If elected to the Board, I will support this emphasis.  The plenary sessions address a single issue from perspectives that include epidemiologic methodology and substantive impact on health.  ACE is an organization whose existence depends on the work of its members.  As the need arises and as consistent with my abilities, I will contribute to ACE’s activities (regardless of whether you vote for me for the Board!).
Aside from ACE’s 5 Officers, ACE’s Board currently includes 11 academicians, 1 person working in a health department and 1 in industry.  All of the 4 Board members whose terms will end this September are academicians.  Although most of my professional career has been in a federal health agency, my experience in academia broadens my understanding of the needs of and the issues faced by epidemiologists in both settings.  I feel able to contribute the academic perspectives of departing Board members and to add to the Board’s awareness of situations encountered by epidemiologists in health departments.
Thank you for considering my statement.

Christine M. Branche, Ph.D., FACE is the Principal Associate Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Director of its Office of Construction Safety and Health, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Dr. Branche is an American College of Epidemiology Fellow, having joined the College in 1999.  She was a member of the Admissions Committee during 2008-2012, serving as its Chair during 2010-2012.  She still provides advice to the Committee in an ex officio capacity.  She was elected to the Board of Directors, serving during 2009-2012.  Dr. Branche holds a B.A. in biology from the University of Rochester, and completed her M.S.P.H. and Ph.D. in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill while on a National Science Foundation fellowship.  Her Master’s and doctoral work focused on occupational safety and health, but she also gained expertise in environmental epidemiology.  Working at Burroughs Wellcome Company (now Glaxo Smith Kline) as a research fellow allowed her to gain expertise in pharmacoepidemiology as well.

Dr. Branche began her career at the CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in what is now the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.  During 1996-2007, she was the first director of its Division of Unintentional Injury.  She has conducted extensive research in injury prevention including drowning, water recreation, fire-related injury prevention, motor vehicle-related injury prevention and sports and recreation, falls among adults and construction workers.  She joined NIOSH in 2007, and 2008-2009, she its acting director.  In late 2009 she began directing the new Office of Construction Safety and Health.  Dr. Branche has taught courses in epidemiology as a lecturer or adjunct faculty at the graduate and undergraduate levels and in medical school.

My experience with the Admissions and Membership Committees has helped me understand that as a College we must be on the cutting edge in understanding what an epidemiologist now is.  We need to be open to the valuable contributions that are being made to our field by individuals whose training may not mimic that of previous generations.  Furthermore, I think the College has an obligation to groom early and mid-level professionals who are practicing and teaching epidemiology.  Through such endeavors, we will maintain the quality and relevance of our discipline and the College and I hope, will increase our membership.  It would be an honor to serve my colleagues if I am elected.

Elizabeth (Terry) Fontham, MPH, DrPH, FACE is Founding Dean and Professor of Epidemiology Emeritus at Louisiana State University School of Public Health where she has been on the faculty since 1980.

Background:  Dr. Fontham holds an MPH and DrPH in Epidemiology from Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine.  Dr. Fontham’s primary research area is cancer epidemiology with a focus on tobacco and nutrition-related cancers.  She has conducted studies of lung cancer and secondhand smoke, including the largest early study in lifetime nonsmoking women that provided critical data leading to the classification of secondhand smoke as a human carcinogen.  She has studied gastric carcinogenesis in high risk regions in Colombia.  Her current research includes studies of innovative approaches to cervical screening in hard to reach women and studies of long-term human health effects of exposures as a result of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.  She is currently a member of the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors, having previously served an earlier term in 2000-2005.  She has served on numerous NCI advisory and ad hoc committees and as contributing author and reviewer for several Surgeon General’s Reports and IARC Carcinogenesis Monographs.  She served on the national Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society and as its President in 2009. She is active in a number of ACS committees and currently chairs the ACS Cancer Screening Guideline Development Group.  She is an elected member of the American Epidemiological Society.

Dr. Fontham has been a member and Fellow of ACE for 25 years.  She was a member of the ACE Board of Directors and Treasurer from 1992-2001.  She has served on the Admissions Committee, the Policy Committee, the Finance Committee, the Nominating Committee, and chaired the Awards Committee.  She has been on the Program Committee for two Annual Scientific Meetings (1991 and 2005) and abstract reviewer for the Epidemiology Congress in 2006 and the 2014 ACE Annual Scientific Meeting.  She recently served on the ACE Presidential Task Force on the Strategic Plan in 2013.  She received the Leadership and Distinguished Service Award from the College in 2000.

Statement:  I am honored to be nominated for a position on the ACE Board of Directors.  I have had the pleasure of participating in many aspects of the College over the years and have gained much from each experience.  I believe that the opportunity for involvement is a real strength of the College and one that we should continue to actively promote.   Recruitment and retention of new members is essential for our continued growth and should be the job of each of us in the College.  Continuing to grow the diversity of our membership in terms of personal and professional perspectives as well as epidemiologic subspecialties will strengthen our role in promoting and advocating for all aspects of our profession.

Jennifer Fergenbaum, MS, PhD is a Health Research Methodologist in cancer for the Program for Evidence-Based Care, which is situated within the Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Oncology at McMaster University, and linked to Ontario’s provincial organization in cancer, Cancer Care Ontario.

Background: Dr. Fergenbaum holds a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto, a MS in Community Health and Epidemiology from Queen’s University, and honors BS in Biology and Pharmacology from McMaster University. Currently, her work involves developing the clinical practice guidelines around imaging technologies for prostate cancer and lymphoma cancer. Prior to her return to academia and McMaster University, she spent the last five years as a clinical epidemiologist in government agencies, including the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and most recently, Health Quality Ontario. Her work in government involved evidence-based assessments in all areas of chronic disease. Although she has returned to cancer research where she first began with a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch in 2002-2003, she has also previously dedicated her time to brain injury research at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and Aboriginal Health issues. She actively participates in teaching, mentoring, and the editorial process. Her main research focus is to advance the health of populations using sound epidemiological methods.

Statement: As an ACE member, I am honored to be nominated for a position on the ACE Board of Directors. I first joined ACE in 2004 as an Associate Member. I was the first Associate Member to the BOD, which provided me with first-hand experience of the mission and governance of ACE and the commitment and enthusiasm of its board members, committee chairs, committees, and membership as a whole. Since then, I have participated on the Ethics Committee and I am currently the Chair of the Ethics Committee. If elected to the Board, I’d like to help foster the leadership of all professional epidemiologists by promoting ACE’s Strategic Plan, heightening the membership of ACE, increasing the transparency of ACE and its committee’s work, enhancing cross-committee activities, and supporting mentorship and the ACE Annual Meeting.