New Members Named to Children’s National Medical Center Boards January 18, 2013

Washington, DC — New officers and members have been named to the Children’s National Medical Center governing boards. Children’s National includes several corporate entities, each with its own board.

“We appreciate the energy and guidance that all of our board members bring to Children’s National,” said Kurt D. Newman, MD, President and CEO of Children’s National. “As Children’s National helps kids live healthy lifetimes, we’re pleased that our new and returning board members will be part of Children’s efforts to re-imagine how we care for kids/”

New members of the Children’s National boards and those with new roles, began their service with the new year, 2013. They include:

Children’s National Medical Center Board

  • Evan Jones has served on this Board and will now serve as Vice Chairman. He also serves on the Children’s Research Institute Board, of which he was Chairman 2005-2008.  Mr. Jones is the Managing Member of jVen Capital, LLC, a life sciences investment company. Prior to forming jVen Capital, Mr. Jones was co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Digene Corporation, a publicly traded biotechnology company focused on women’s health and molecular diagnostic testing. He has more than 25 years of operating and investment experience in the life sciences industry. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Children’s Research Institute.   
  • Toni G. Verstandig is a new member of this Board, and will continue her long-time membership on the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board. Ms. Verstandig currently serves as the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Programs and Senior Vice President at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.   
  • Scott Koenig, MD, is a new member of this Board.  He also will serve as the Chairman of the Children’s Research Institute Board. Dr. Koenig has been President and CEO of MacroGenics, a private biotechnology company in Rockville, MD, and South San Franciso, CA, since September 2001.  Prior to MacroGenics, he served as Senior Vice President of Research at MedImmune.   
Children's Hospital Board
  • Dianna Abney, MD, is a new member of the Children’s Hospital Board and also will continue her membership on the Children’s National Health Network Board of which she was Chairman 2008-2011. Dr. Abney is a pediatrician in private practice in Waldorf, MD, and also works for the Charles County Department of Health as Medical Director of the Child Abuse Program. Dr. Abney is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a member of the National Medical Association, and a member of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.   
  • Gregory O’Dell has served on this Board and will now take on the role of Secretary-Treasurer. He serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Washington Convention & Sports Authority, which owns and operates the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the historic Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, operates the non-military functions of the District of Columbia Armory, and serves as owner/landlord of Nationals Park.   

Children’s Hospital Foundation Board

  • Alex Barron is new to the Foundation Board. He is the Regional General Manager and Senior Director for Walmart. Previously, he served as Vice President of Retail Sales and Productivity – U.S. and Puerto Rico for OfficeMax, and prior to that was Regional Director of Stores for the Old Navy Division of Gap, Inc., and a District Manager for Target Stores.
  • Elizabeth Blalack, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who was a research faculty member in the Division of Cancer Control and Prevention within the Lombardi Cancer Center. Her research focused on women diagnosed with breast cancer and ascertaining the impact of disease on treatment and survivorship. Once she became a mother, she founded Elizabeth Kaufman Design, an interior designing business. She is active on various community projects at Beauvoir, The National Cathedral Elementary School. Following her daughter’s diagnosis and treatment for leukemia, she and her husband Lee Blalack agreed to chair the upcoming 2013 Heroes Curing Childhood Cancer Gala in support of Children’s National.  
  • Bradley Graham is currently the co-owner with his wife of Washington’s well-known Politics and Prose book store. Prior to this new venture, he was a reporter at The Washington Post, where he began in 1978, serving as a business reporter, foreign correspondent, editor and Pentagon correspondent. He is the author of two books, including “By His Own Rules,” a biography of Donald Rumsfeld. 
  • Carrie Marriott serves on the Board of the National Child Research Center and is involved with the Multiple Sclerosis Society. She and her husband David Marriott (COO of Marriott International’s Americas Eastern Region) have two sons. 

Children’s Research Institute (CRI) Board

  • Scott Koenig, MD, has served on this board and will now assume the role of Chairman. He also will serve as a member of the Children’s National Medical Center Board. 
  • Joel Wood has served on this Board and has had a long-term relationship with Children’s National. He will take on the role of Vice Chairman. Mr. Wood is Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers. In 2001, following the diagnosis of his son, James, with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, he and his wife, Dana, started the Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne, a 501(c)3 organization which has raised millions of dollars in funding for research into this catastrophic disorder.  
  • Fred T. Goldberg, Jr., Esq,. is the new Secretary-Treasurer. Mr. Goldberg and his wife Wendy have a long-standing relationship with Children’s National and have served in many capacities over the years. Mr. Goldberg is a partner in the Washington, DC office of the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom where he is co-chair of the firm’s global tax practice and global co-chair of the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiative. Mr. Goldberg previously served as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (1989-1991) and Assistant Secretary for the Treasury for Tax Policy (1992). He serves as a Trustee for the following nonprofit organizations: Doorways to Dreams and DC Appleseed.  

Safe Kids Worldwide Board

  • Donna Arp Weitzman is a new member of this Board. She is the CEO of Hall Real Estate Capital, LLC, which provides private equity, mezzanine, and debt financing to U.S. real estate projects through funds and individual partnerships. She has a long history of public and community service in her home state of Texas, where she recently served as Mayor of Colleyville. 
  • Sarah Colamarino has served on the Safe Kids Worldwide Board and will now take on the position of Vice Chair. Ms. Colamarino has been with Johnson & Johnson for more than 20 years in a variety of communications capacities.  She is currently Vice President of Corporate Communications with responsibility for equity communication and strategic publications.  She was most recently Vice President, Worldwide Communications for the DePuy Franchise.   
  • Elizabeth Flury joined Children’s National in 2012 as the organization’s first Chief Strategy Officer. She now joins the Safe Kids Worldwide Board to ensure that efforts between Children’s National and its affiliate are integrated. 

Children’s National Health Network and Children’s Pediatricians & Associates Board

  • Eugene Sussman, MD, has served on this board, and now takes on the role of Vice Chairman. Dr. Sussman has been a member of the practice group, Pediatric Associates, for nearly three decades.  Dr. Sussman has served on the Montgomery County Pediatric Society Medical Advisory Board and has been Chairman in Pediatrics at Holy Cross Hospital and later at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.   
  • Jeffrey Becker, MD, has served on this Board and now takes on the role of Secretary-Treasurer. Dr. Becker joined Children’s National in August 2008 and is currently Director of Outpatient Cardiology.  Before coming to Children’s National, he served as Assistant Chief of Pediatrics and Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, retiring as an Army Colonel.   
  • Michael Hopper, MD, is a new member of this board.  Dr. Hopper is based in Virginia where he works as a member of Pediatric Associates of Alexandria. He also serves as Chief of Pediatrics at Inova Alexandria Hospital and is on staff at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children. He is a faculty member with the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  
  • Lisa Rainey, MD, FAAP, has been a pediatrician since 1995 and is the founder of West End Pediatrics. She earned her BA from the University of Virginia, and her MD from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. She completed her residency at Children's National. Dr. Rainey is board certified in Pediatrics and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  
  • Elizabeth Watts, MD, is a new member of this Board. She has been practicing at the Vienna Pediatrics office of Capital Area Pediatrics since 1988, and currently serves as its CEO and Medical Director. Her focus is on the emotional needs and development of children and adolescents. 
  • David Wessel, MD, is a new member of this Board. He has been the Senior Vice President of Hospital-Based Services at Children’s National for six years and was recently also named Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer for Hospital and Specialty Services. He is internationally known for his pioneering work in caring for infants with heart disease. Dr. Wessel previously was a Professor of Pediatrics (anesthesia) at the Harvard Medical School. He was chief of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Boston Children’s for many years and also served for many years as president of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society. 

Children’s School Services Board

  • Elizabeth Singer is a new member of this Board and will be taking on the role of Chairman. She will continue to serve as a member of the Children’s National Medical Center and Children’s Research Institute Boards. Ms. Singer was an early internet entrepreneur. Since 2000 she has been at home with her three children. She was co-founder of Digital City, the private company and later division of America Online which localized information and business across the U.S. for the major markets. She also served as Director, AOL Foundation, where she launched AOL Achievers, a philanthropy designed to combine money and mentoring to deserving students of inner city schools.  Prior to AOL she helped create the internet division of The Washington Post newspapers, WashingtonPost.com.   

Children’s National Advocacy & Public Policy, Inc. (CNAPPI)

  • Wendy Goldberg has served on the CNAPPI Board and now takes on the role of Chairman. She has a long history as an advocate for children, and has served in many capacities with Children’s National, including serving as a member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board, and serving on the Children’s School Services Board. She has worked with the Children’s IMPACT DC program and on other initiatives to address high rates of asthma among children of low income families in urban areas. She has testified before the Food and Drug Administration as a parent spokesperson on the testing of pharmaceutical products in children and is a resource person on that issue for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Among her community activities, she has served on the boards of the Washington Episcopal School and St. Andrews Episcopal School.  
  • Artencia Hawkins-Bell has served on the CNAPPI Board and now takes on the role of Secretary-Treasurer. Ms. Hawkins-Bell recently joined Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) as a Senior Associate in the Health Services Group. Prior to joining BAH, she served as Vice President, Health & Community Services, for Raytheon where she led business strategic planning and development activities for state and federal agencies focused on public health and social service issues. Prior to joining Raytheon, Ms. Hawkins-Bell held a variety of leadership positions at the Washington Hospital Center, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Cancer Institute.
  • Lisa Bernstein is a new member of this Board. She has a long history of service focused in literacy and advancing best practices in education and instruction. She currently serves with Learn Zillion and is a self-employed staff development consultant. Prior to that, she co-founded the Teachers Institute.
  • Margaret O’Bryon is a new member of this Board. She is the founder of Accelerating Change Group, a new enterprise focused on leading change in communities and institutions.  Prior to this new effort, she was the founding president of the Consumer Health Foundation, the principal health philanthropy organization in the Washington, DC metro area. Ms. O’Bryon serves with many organizations, including the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Community Health Leaders Program, the National Hispanic Council on Aging, and with WAMU-FM, an NPR affiliate in Washington, DC.

Media contacts: Emily Hartman or Paula Darte at 202-476-4500.


About Children’s National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is Magnet® designated, and is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is one of the nation’s top NIH-funded pediatric institutions. With a community-based pediatric network, seven regional outpatient centers, an ambulatory surgery center, two emergency rooms, an acute care hospital, and collaborations throughout the region, Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as an advocate for all children. For more information, visit ChildrensNational.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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