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[Press Release]

Newly elected members to help guide AAFA's use of data and digital communications to support 60 million Americans

Landover, MD. (February 11, 2016) – The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), America’s leading advocate for individuals living with asthma, food allergies and allergic disease, today announced the addition of ten influential healthcare leaders to their Board of Directors. New members bring to AAFA additional expertise in advocacy, public policy, the pharmaceutical and payer industries, modern communications and the use of healthcare data analytics.

“I am excited to welcome every one of these distinguished experts and healthcare advocates to our Board of Directors. Each shares a commitment to enhancing the lives of individuals living with asthma and allergic disease, and I look forward to adding their expertise and energy to advance AAFA’s mission to improve the lives of Americans with asthma, food allergies and allergic disease through education, advocacy and research", said Heidi Bayer, Chair of AAFA's Board of Directors.

Newly elected members to AAFA’s Board of Directors include:

  • Calvin Anderson, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
  • Stephen Coy, Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy at IMPAQ International, LLC
  • Dennis Cryer, MD, FAHA, Founder of CryerHealth, LLC
  • Prue Fitzpatrick, MPH, Director of Federal Relations at the BlueCross BlueShield Association in Washington, D.C.
  • Colette Martin, food allergy advocate, author and photographer
  • Victoria Matese, JD, associate at Foley & Lardner, LLP and AAFA's General Counsel
  • Richard Murray, MD, Vice President and Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Merck & Co.
  • Ritesh Patel, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide
  • Francis Rienzo, MBA, Vice President, Partners in Patient Health at Sanofi-Aventis U.S., LLC
  • Lawrence Schwartz, MD, PhD, Chair of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology at the Virginia Commonwealth University

"Our new Board members offer us exciting new opportunities to further extend AAFA's influence in the payor, clinician, patient advocacy, population health and policy-making communities", said AAFA President and CEO Cary Sennett, MD, PhD, FACP. "I look forward to working with each of them to expand AAFA's online communities and to harvest from them the data and insights that are needed to drive more rapid improvements in the lives of the more than 60 million Americans living with asthma, food allergies and allergic diseases.”

About AAFA

Founded in 1953 and celebrating over 60 years of service, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the oldest and largest nonprofit patient organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions through education, advocacy and research. AAFA provides practical information, community-based services, support and referrals through a national network of chapters and educational support groups. Through its Kids With Food Allergies division, AAFA offers the oldest, most extensive online support community for families raising children with food allergies at In addition, AAFA sponsors and advocates for research to advance the basic science relevant to treatment and cure. It also champions translational research so that the science that we have is applied more consistently and reliably. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Alex Burgess
manxworx marketing

Tags: AAFA

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