Dr. Jennifer L. Howse Elected to Institute of Medicine

Nate Brown, 202-292-2755, nbrown@marchofdimes.com
Elizabeth Lynch, 914-997-4286, elynch@marchofdimes.com
Todd Dezen, 914-997-4608, tdezen@marchofdimes.com

WHITE PLAINS, NY, OCT. 18, 2011 -- Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President of the March of Dimes Foundation, has been elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine, the nation’s premier advisory group on improving health.

“Being named to the Institute of Medicine is a great honor, and it acknowledges the achievements of Dr. Howse’s career, as well as the important contributions of the March of Dimes to improving maternal, infant and child health,” said Richard B. Johnston, Jr., M.D., Associate Dean for Research Development and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and a member of the IOM.

The Institute of Medicine is a unique not-for-profit, non-governmental organization established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1970 to provide independent, unbiased, evidence-based information and advice on issues in the medical sciences, health care, and public health. Its members are scientists and other experts who work together under a rigorous, formal peer-review system. The New York Times recently said of the IOM, “Its reports can transform medical thinking around the world.”

“I am deeply honored to be selected to join the IOM, which includes many of the most transformational thinkers in science and medicine,” said Dr. Howse. “I hope that my experience in leading nationwide public health campaigns in the areas of newborn screening, folic acid awareness, and preventing premature birth can contribute in a meaningful way to the dialogue.”

Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. New members are elected by current active members through a highly selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. A diversity of talent among IOM's membership is assured by the Institute's charter, which stipulates that at least one-quarter of the membership is selected from such fields as the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; law; engineering; and the humanities.

Dr. Howse became president of the March of Dimes in 1990. She joined the March of Dimes as executive director of the Greater New York Chapter. Prior to that, she held several top public service leadership positions including state commissioner for Mental Retardation in Pennsylvania, associate commissioner for Mental Retardation in New York State, and executive director of the Federal Court-appointed Willowbrook Review Panel in New York City.

Dr. Howse holds a doctorate from Florida State University. She serves on the Board of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and the National Health Council. She has served on national advisory committees for the Secretary of Health and Human Services, including the Advisory Committee on Heritable Diseases in Newborns and Children. Dr. Howse is an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics. She received the 2002 Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the 2005 Stanley Graven Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Perinatal Association, the 2010 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and the 2010 National Association for Female Executives – Woman of Achievement award.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies®, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.

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