Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) Board of Directors include people with interstitial cystitis (IC), family members, physicians, and professionals. The ICA Board guides strategic planning and organizational direction. Board members offer support for and spur interest in programs and services, and provide fiduciary oversight of organizational activities. This group of volunteers dedicates their time, expertise, and enthusiasm to ensuring ICA mission fulfillment.
Irma Rodriguez, Chair
Irma Rodriguez, a patient and longtime supporter of the ICA. After a 25-year career in higher education, she has transitioned to a focus on furthering diversity in government and industry. Irma has also been a leader in professional, community, and national organizations dedicated to these issues, and has been honored as a Kellogg Foundation Fellow and a Hispanic Leadership Fellow. A resident of Georgia, she retired as the manager of Diversity and Workplace Fairness with The Coca-Cola Company’s Corporate Global Office of Diversity and Workplace Fairness.
Michael Greenwell, Vice-Chair
Having more than 25 years of extensive involvement with health and risk communications across the U.S. Federal Government, Michael Greenwell is an expert in communication and public health who has experience across multiple sectors such as healthcare, public health, and environmental science. Michael is responsible for offering a wide range of services to health-related contracts, especially with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where he served for 14 years as the communications director for two large centers. He serves on numerous boards, including the American Heart Association and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, and has served as a senior consultant to the Arthritis Foundation, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Deficiency Syndrome Association, as well as ICA.
Tony J. Tyler, Past Chair
Being born and raised in Oklahoma City, Tony J. Tyler is married to his high school sweetheart and is the father of four children. After earning a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Dallas in 1992, Tony began his career at Tyler Media—a media company consisting of 12 radio stations, five television stations, and an outdoor advertising company. Tony works alongside his brother Ty and his father Ralph.
Rick Lufkin, Treasurer
Rick Lufkin is a serial entrepreneur in the life sciences specializing in early stage pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. He currently serves as CFO and director of a firm exploring and advancing real-time protein identification. As president of a specialty pharmaceutical company, he was involved with the early drug approval process for Elmiron® working closely with IC patients, physicians, and regulatory authorities. Rick is an MIT graduate with an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife live in New Jersey.
Nicole Cozean, PT, DPT is a physical therapist who specializes in treating interstitial cystitis, pelvic pain conditions, and pelvic floor disfunction. She earned her advanced board certification as a Women’s Clinical Specialist (WCS), making her one of the select few holding this credential. Seeking to help patients beyond the walls of her clinic, Nicole founded PelvicSanity to provide practical, positive information for patients with pelvic pain conditions like IC. Her book on interstitial cystitis, The Interstitial Cystitis Solution, is being published in October 2016. Nicole is also the Medical Director of the non-profit East Africa Partnership and the 2012 Chapman University Alumnae of the Year.
Jane Elsten, MD
Jane Elsten, MD, is an anesthesiologist who developed symptoms of IC after many years of clinical practice and was misdiagnosed for many years. After finally receiving appropriate treatment, though she had to cut short her rewarding career in medicine due to IC, Jane is now dedicated to networking within the medical community to increase awareness of and support for ICA. Her medical training and compassionate nature are assets to the ICA. Jane has two grown daughters and currently lives in McLean, VA.
Michael Hsieh, MD, PhD
Michael Hsieh, MD, PhD, is a urologist at Children’s National Health System. Dr. Hsieh specializes in bladder diseases affecting children and young adults. He is board certified in urology and holds the certificate of added qualification in pediatric urology. Dr. Hsieh was recruited to Children’s National and the George Washington University to serve as Director of Transitional Urology. This joint venture is the East Coast’s first clinical program dedicated to the care of adolescents and young adults with congenital urologic disorders. Many of these patients have chronic cystitis and are at increased risk of bladder cancer, diseases which dovetail with Dr. Hsieh’s research interests. Dr. Hsieh also is the Stirewalt Endowed Director of the Biomedical Research Institute near Children’s National’s satellite facilities in Rockville, MD, where he runs an NIH-funded bladder biology research group and is developing a broader microbiology research program across multiple laboratories. Dr. Hsieh has been a Recognized Doctor on the Healthgrades Honor Roll and Best Doctors in America. He has been featured several times in the New York Times for his work in robotic surgery and bladder inflammation.
Ms. Abigail Jenkins is a visionary organizational architect specializing in launching brands into new, untapped markets with high unmet clinical needs. Currently serving as Chief Commercial Officer and US Business Head at Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, Ms. Jenkins is responsible for leading Commercial Operations and Corporate Communications as the company prepares for the launch of its first product, an oral treatment for IC/BPS. She brings with her nearly 20 years of commercial leadership in the bio/pharma industry with a focus on strategic marketing, sales and market access functions, most recently serving as Vice President, Market Access for Relypsa. As one of the founding members of the commercial organization at Relypsa, she played a key role in building and leading its infrastructure to support the successful launch of its lead CV/Nephrology product, Veltassa, in 2015. Prior, Ms. Jenkins was Vice President, Business Development at Actavis (now Allergan PLC). Ms. Jenkins held various senior commercial leadership roles over a nearly 6 year tenure at MedImmune, after beginning her career in sales and marketing with Pfizer where she helped launch Viagra as a sales representative. Ms. Jenkins holds a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology & Biotech Business Enterprise from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Biology from Indiana University. She is currently a member of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) Health Care Reform and Reimbursement Committee (HCRRC). She also spent seven years on the Chapter/Global Board of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), serving as Mid-Atlantic Chapter President from 2012-2014.
Paula Maxwell is a retired financial executive with significant leadership and corporate experience. An IC patient herself, Paula appreciates how ICA helped her find answers and support through the diagnostic and healing process. Paula also serves on the finance committee for Cristiana Care Hospital in Delaware. She has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from University of Colorado and is a CPA. Paula has two grown daughters and currently lives in Pennsylvania.
Robert M. Moldwin, MD, FACS
With a Masters in early childhood education from Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven, Connecticut, JoEllen was one of the first HeadStart teachers hired by the New Haven School System. After moving to California, she continued to teach part-time and began her work as a volunteer. For more than 30 years, JoEllen has chaired and co-chaired several galas and served on many boards including Board of Directors of the Friends of UCSD Healthcare, Board of Trustees of The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego State University Art Council, UCSD Healthcare’s Bannister Family House Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors for Chestnut Hill College. She currently lives in La Jolla, California with her husband Dr. C. Lowell Parsons who has been intimately involved in interstitial cystitis research and improving the quality of life for so many individuals for more than 30 years.
Laura Santurri, PhD, MPH, CPH
In addition to having lived with IC for the past 20 years, Laura has a history of engaging with and on behalf of the IC community through advocacy, research, and the development and implementation of health promotion programming. She has a master’s degree in public health and a doctorate in health education and promotion. Her professional experiences have largely been in the higher education setting with a focus on teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate level, the administration of academic programs, and community-based research. She recently accepted a position as a faculty member and director of a doctoral program in health sciences at the University of Indianapolis (starting in January 2017).
Dan Vickery, MBA, PhD
Dan Vickery, MBA, PhD, has focused on urology and bladder pain for most of his career. He possesses extensive experience in pharmaceutical development and regulatory affairs, and was previously the head of worldwide commercial development for the therapeutic urology department of a major pharmaceutical company. Dan is currently the Chairman of a small biotechnology company seeking FDA approval for a new IC instillation therapy. Throughout his career, Dan has had the opportunity to meet many IC patients and their caregivers, and understands how devastating and debilitating the condition can be. Dan’s credentials and passion for overcoming IC make him an invaluable addition to the ICA Board of Directors.
Revised Thursday, January 7th, 2016