Board of Directors
Katherine Wilemon is the Founder and President of The FH Foundation.
Katherine’s own journey to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate care for Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) urged her to devote her life to this cause. After being turned away from the ER several times and having a heart attack at 38, Katherine set out to raise awareness of FH and save lives. Katherine has spoken to thousands of people across the US and Europe in her effort to bring FH into focus, both for the public and the medical community. In the USA alone there are more than 650,000 people in the USA affected by FH, yet only 10% of them are diagnosed. With the formation of The FH Foundation in 2011, Katherine’s goals are to reverse the shocking statistics and empower people with FH to have longer, healthier lives.
Dave Pickhardt is an FH patient who was diagnosed over 30 years ago. He believes that his early diagnosis and treatment have protected him against developing heart disease. In 1987 he was among the first people in the United States to begin statin therapy. He actively sought treatment from a lipidologist (a doctor specializing in the treatment of cholesterol disorders). This, in turn, has allowed him to participate in cutting edge research studies of new cholesterol medications. Along the way, Dave learned that all of his children have FH. This, in addition to becoming a grandfather, intensified his personal commitment to advancing the identification and appropriate treatment of FH. Professionally, Dave is a Senior Partner with The Archimedes Group and is a nationally recognized figure in Commercial Operations in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Dave brings the same passion and integrity to The FH Foundation as he has to The Archimedes Group.
Joyce Ross is a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Lipid Specialist. Joyce’s interest in preventive cardiology led her to work with Dr. Daniel J. Rader at the University of Pennsylvania. For over 13 years she treated patients in the Lipid Clinic and oversaw a large LDL apheresis program.Joyce’s interest in Preventive Cardiology sprung from her personal relationship with FH. Her husband, Jerry lost both of his parents in their early 40s as a result of premature cardiovascular disease. Jerry, unfortunately, followed in their footsteps and developed unstable angina but fortunately no heart attack at age 43. With 5 children at home, Joyce not only became an advocate for cardiac health, she obtained an advanced nursing degree. Degree in hand, Joyce changed the course of Jerry’s life and the lives of thousands of patients with FH. Two of her five children have FH, but with early identification and treatment, there is great hope that they will not develop premature heart disease. Jerry recently celebrated his 71st birthday, illustrating that aggressive treatment can change outcomes. Although retired from clinical work, Joyce remains extremely active lecturing and sitting on many boards. Joyce brings passion, commitment and knowledge to The FH Foundation.
Dr. Joshua W. Knowles is an Attending Physician in the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease where he treats patients with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). He has had a longstanding interest in the genetic (inherited) basis of cardiovascular disease and in particular the use modern genetic techniques to improve our ability to diagnose and treat patients at risk of heart disease. Josh completed his MD-PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he worked in the lab of Prof. Nobuyo Maeda and Nobel Laureate Oliver Smithies studying animal models of atherosclerosis and lipid metabolism. He then completed his Internal Medicine residency and Cardiovascular Medicine fellowship training at Stanford University working in the lab of Dr. Thomas Quertermous. He has published over 35 papers focused on heart disease with research projects currently funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. He is particularly excited to be involved with the FH Foundation in their mission to increase awareness of this condition, identify patients with FH, encourage screening of family members of those with FH and facilitate treatment of FH patients. He views FH as a “winnable battle” because once FH is identified, it can be usually be treated quite effectively. Josh and his wife Juliet live in Palo Alto with their daughter.
Ted Tussing is the Director of the Stanford Corporate Partners program at Stanford University Medical Center. There, he facilitates and enhances sustained strategic relationships with corporations, venture capitalist and entrepreneurs that generate financial resources, opportunities and alliances for Stanford University Medical Center. These relationships seek to accelerate the translation of technology solutions for improve patient care, research processes and innovative medical education. Ted participated in the launch of the Stanford Corporate Partners in 2011, a program he now leads. The Stanford Corporate Partners is philanthropic and idea-exchange network of Silicon Valley technology companies who have committed to support the build out of a state-of-the-art Medical Center facility. The program represents a long-term collaboration to create innovative new models for healthcare delivery and service for the benefit of the local and global community. Currently the program partners include: Apple, Cisco, eBay, HP, Intel, Intuit, NVIDIA and Oracle. Prior to Stanford, Ted worked at the University of Chicago where he led Industry Relations and New Initiatives efforts for the Graduate School of Business. In this role he initiated the development of the school’s global strategy and established partnerships and degree granting programs in Asia through strategic industry alliances and with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Economic Development Board.
Vaughn Davis is an FH patient who searched for years to find a physician who would successfully diagnose and treat his condition. A chance call from a recruiter resulted in his employment as the Director of Sales/Marketing with an apheresis company that treats FH patients. Through the company, Vaughn subsequently met and became a patient of the one of the leading lipidologists in the country. Within six months, Vaughn’s cholesterol was reduced significantly. Within a year, following a daily pharmacologic and exercise regime, Vaughn’s condition has normalized. Vaughn is dedicated to the FH Foundation’s mission to increase awareness of this condition and facilitate treatment for FH patients. Currently, Vaughn is a VP, Account Supervisor for DraftFCB, a healthcare advertising agency in New York City. Vaughn is an accomplished healthcare marketing specialist with over 15 years of diverse expertise in sales, sales management, marketing and advertising. Vaughn and his wife Diana live in New York City with their daughter.
Christian Jacobs is an honorary board member of the FH Foundation and a strong advocate for those with the Homozygous FH.