Jason Wadler, President
Jason Wadler joined the VF Board of Directors in 2011 after being diagnosed with Granulomatosis with polyangiitis. He is is Executive Vice President/Strategy Officer for Leapfrog Online, one of the largest digital marketing companies in the country. Since 2000, Jason has delivered leadership, strategy and innovative ideas to the organization. He currently leads the company’s corporate marketing and business development efforts. Prior to his current responsibilities, Jason created and led Leapfrog Online’s Media/Distribution, Research & Analytics and Project Management teams.
“I am now “part of the community” with my diagnosis. It is now my personal mission to use my skills listed below to make a meaningful impact in the efforts to find a cure. Given the impact that vasculitis has had and will continue to have on my life, I do not take this responsibility lightly and will be focused and passionate as a board member.”
Karen Hirsch, President-Elect
Karen Hirsch joined the VF Board of Directors in 2012 after a family member was diagnosed with Granulomatosis with polyangiitis. She has a background in health care administration and coordinated strategic planning and marketing at Children’s Memorial Hospital and was previously at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center and the Illinois Hospital Association. She serves on the board of the Daughters of Ayacucho Education Foundation and the Skin of Steel Foundation where she focuses on Strategic Planning and Social Media for Skin of Steel.
She established the annual Vasculitis – Recognizing Early Diagnosis (V-RED Award), which recognizes early diagnosis of vasculitis in our community.
“As a parent of a young adult with vasculitis, I want nothing more than to see advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of vasculitis. The coordinated efforts of a foundation can best achieve results in the areas of patient/family/professional education and awareness and harness resources in support of research.”
George Casey, MBA, Treasurer
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Mr. Casey is a proven leader, business executive and technology evangelist. He is also a patient, diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s, GPA) in 2006. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Vasculitis Foundation as the Vice President of Resource Development and Treasurer since 2011.
In his professional role, Mr. Casey is the Chief Technology Officer for Junction Solutions, designing and implementing complex business systems for multi-billion dollar organizations. In this role, he directly advises clients on data strategy from both transactional and reporting standpoints, identifying opportunities to leverage “Big Data” concepts and predictive analytics to identify patterns and insight in data leading to truth and wisdom.
Mr. Casey strongly believes the combination of patient perspective he has gained over the past eight years along with his expert level knowledge of databases, data driven decision models and cloud integration techniques will make him an exceptional contributor to the investigative team for this exciting project.
Robert Lebovics, MD, FACS
New York City, New York
Dr. Lebovics joined the VF Board of Directors in 2010. He is a nationally known otolaryngologist with expertise in infectious and inflammatory disorders for both adults and children, nasal and sinus surgery, and disorders of the special senses. For nearly nine years Dr. Lebovics was Chief of the Clinical Otolaryngology Service at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. It was there that he oversaw a clinical program that was on the cutting edge of medical innovation and research. Besides ministering to senators, congressmen and diplomats, he interfaced in the medical frontiers of gene therapy, immunotoxins for treating head and neck cancer, and techniques of surgical rehabilitation for laryngeal and nasal disorders.
In 1997, Dr. Lebovics joined the Head and Neck Surgical Group, affiliated with the St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center with an interest in the medical/surgical treatment of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Dr. Lebovics was Chief of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City from 1999 through 2002. Among his accomplishments, Dr. Lebovics has authored over 25 articles and text book chapters in the field of otolaryngology head and neck surgery; most notably included are the ENT chapters in Harrison’s Textbook of Medicine and in the Critical Care Medicine textbook.
Grace Eisen, RN, MSN, Past-President
Lake City, Michigan
Grace is a 10+ year survivor of vasculitis and a healthcare provider with intense interest in patient education and health promotion. She has served on the board since 2005 and as president from 2012-2014; she has been active on numerous committees and served as a chapter leader. Her main focus has been to promote and support the VF mission and to make a difference in the lives of those who have been touched by vasculitis. She is on the faculty of the Mid-Michigan Community College School of Nursing.
Christine Cox, MD
Medicine Lake, Minnesota
Dr. Chris Cox joined the VF Board of Directors in 2011. She serves as the chair of the VF Research Committee, which oversees the VF’s Research Program and Fellowship Program. Dr. Cox collaborates with the VF Medical Consultants and Scientific Advisory Board to guide the annual application and selection process of studies and fellowship applicants. She was diagnosed in 2001 with vasculitis, ultimately called atypical Takayasu’s arteritis and understands the difficulty of diagnosis and effective treatment as well as resulting complications. Prior to her diagnosis, she practiced neurosurgery affiliated with the University of Minnesota with a subspecialty in epilepsy surgery.
Jeff Fishbein, PsyD
Dr. Fishbein joined the VF Board of Directors in June 2015. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and a partner in the practice of Drs. Gault, Fishbein and Associates. He is also a sport psychologist for the Chicago White Sox professional baseball organization. Dr. Fishbein was diagnosed with non-systemic microvasculitis with multiple neuropathies in 2013. He writes the “Fish’s Focus on Health” column for the VF newsletter and website.