Board of Directors & Committees

Meet the Board

If you are interested in serving on the board of directors, please first contact the Volunteer Chair, volunteer@tmsforacure.org.

Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

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Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

I first served as the TMS Vice Chair from 2002-2009, then assumed the Chair position when my dear friend Rita Barlow stepped down due to health issues. I have also served as Liaison to the Medical Advisory Board, Research Committee, Pediatric Committee, and to the MPN and Smoldering Mastocytosis Committee. I Co-Chair the Drug Shortage Committee with Emily Menard. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Syracuse University, summa cum laude, in 1975, and have 40 years of experience as a pediatric nurse in major hospitals including UCONN Health Center/John Dempsey Hospital Pediatric ICU and NICU, Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY in Pediatrics and Pediatric ICU, St. Peter’s Hospital Albany, NY, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and UMASS. My experience included many years of pediatric intensive care and pediatric hematology oncology. I also was an instructor in Pediatrics, Pediatric ICU, Fundamentals of Nursing and Maternal Child Nursing at Maria College in Albany, NY. Most recently, I was a pediatric triage nurse for Night Nurse of Framingham, MA. I am a sitting member of the Mast Cell Disorders Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. I collaborate with mast cell disorder patient organizations all over the world, their members and physicians. I work extensively with the TMS Research Committee, and am in touch with patients and physicians every day, as my disease allows.

I am fortunate to be happily married to Andrew Slee (41 years and counting!), have three wonderful adult children, and three amazing grandsons! I have had MCAS for many years, probably since age 6, but I was not diagnosed with a mast cell disorder until age 34. Currently, I am 63 years old. My own health has deteriorated in the last few years, and has made it necessary for me to go on disability. While I very much miss my pediatric patients, I enjoy working with the mast cell community! TMS is a wonderful organization, full of giving and supportive people who care so much for each other and for each of the members. I am proud to be Chair of these committed volunteers on behalf of our members worldwide!

Jan Hempstead, RN

Vice Chair, Education & Patient Support

I began as a volunteer RN for the Mastocytosis Society, helping on our TMS Facebook support page and answering patient, caregiver and physician calls and messages. I had left my position as a nurse manager after being too ill to work in the hospital. Volunteering was a way for me to give back and use my nursing skills.

After about two years, I became the TMS Patient Care Coordinator Chair, helping to write training material for other RNs, as well as coordinating patient care across the country. Most recently, I joined the TMS Board of Directors in my role as Patient Care Coordinator Chair and look forward to helping the TMS mission of continued research, education of patients, caregivers and medical professionals and advocacy.

My personal mast cell journey began in 2012 when I was attending an Ehlers-Danlos conference. I had been diagnosed three decades prior with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Hypermobility type. A physician was giving a presentation at the EDS conference about Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and that patients with EDS often also had MCAS. When he described the symptoms, I knew that’s what I had been experiencing for years. I saw Dr. Mariana Castells and was diagnosed with MCAS.

I always had an elevated tryptase and multiple anaphylactic episodes. Dr. Castells referred me to Dr. Joshua Milner at the NIH and I ultimately was diagnosed with Alpha Tryptasemia. My daughter, Carrie and son, Christopher both have EDS, MCAS and Dysautonomia too, as well as several other family members. I have a very supportive husband, Brian, who has learned more about mast cells than most physicians.

I am grateful for the support and community that the Mastocytosis Society provided to me when I first diagnosed and I encourage all who are diagnosed and in the process to take advantage of this support.

Celeste Finnerty, PhD

Vice Chair, Research

Celeste Finnerty, PhD

Vice Chair, Research

Rosemary Schultz

Interim Treasurer

I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating from Boston Latin School, I packed my bags and moved to Indiana where I completed my BS degree in Management and Finance from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. It was at Purdue that I met my husband of nearly 30 years who was finishing his PhD in geology. We then moved to suburban Washington, DC where I worked for USA Today before moving West to Reno/Carson City, Nevada. I earned an MBA from the University of Nevada in 1993. I have more than 20 years of work experience that includes analytical, supervision and management in finance, accounting and purchasing in a variety of mostly manufacturing settings. Our two wonderful sons were also born in Nevada! We enjoyed family skiing, golfing and hiking in the Sierra Nevada, before moving to the Houston area in 2011 when my husband embarked on a new career.

My journey that led me to TMS began with my younger son, who always had a variety of poorly understood health concerns, including being diagnosed with numerous food/environmental/pet allergies and very elevated IgE as a toddler; eosinophilic esophagitis at 8 years old; then anaphylaxis, elevated tryptase, mast cell activation, gastroparesis at 10 years old; and more recently with hereditary alpha tryptasemia and neurocardiogenic presyncope (dysautonomia). His Texas Children’s Hospital allergist recommended www.tmsforacure.org in 2015 and I became a caregiver-member shortly thereafter. We are also part of a research study at the NIH and he sees Dr. Mariana Castells at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. I feel very fortunate to have so many wonderful medical professionals’ help getting his symptoms better controlled.

 I have always enjoyed volunteering – from Brigham and Women’s Hospital volunteer in the 1980’s to current-day school volunteer. Now, it is with great privilege that I serve with the TMS team of volunteers to give back to the mast cell community!

Courtney Rabb

Vice Chair, Community Engagement

Courtney Rabb

Vice Chair, Community Engagement

Judith Emmel

Mrs. Judith Kain Emmel recently retired after 37 years of service to her country with the National Security Agency (NSA). Starting there in 1984, she was trained in Farsi and served as a senior linguist in a 24-hour watch center, providing real time support to US Military Forces deployed overseas.  She was the only female, non-military person to work this critical environment.

In 1992 Mrs. Emmel transferred to the communications division and became NSA’s first Chief, Public Affairs.  Mrs. Emmel joined the ranks of the Senior Executive Service in 2001 and was appointed the Director of NSA’s Corporate Communications. This portfolio included:  the National Cryptologic Museum, NSA’s external and internal web pages, all corporate-level visits, workforce communications, multimedia services, speechwriting, and all dealings with the media and general public.  In 2005, Mrs. Emmel was asked to serve as the first Director, Public Affairs, for the cabinet-level Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Mrs. Emmel was selected in late 2006 to serve as Assistant Director of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB).  While there, she was responsible for leading reviews of Intelligence Community issues of interest to the White House and preparing actionable recommendations from the PFIAB for the President.

Ms. Emmel’s favorite position was her last – as she was selected to be NSA’s first Director of State & Local Affairs and develop a new organization.  Here, she was responsible for working with Governors and state governments throughout the country. Also, for five years she was NSA’s Vice Chair of the Combined Federal Campaign, raising over $2M for charities every year.

Prior to her work at NSA, Mrs. Emmel taught foreign languages in junior high school and worked as a customer relations account manager for two Fortune 500 companies.  She has been the recipient of the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, a National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation, the Federal Executive Board’s Outstanding Supervisor Award, the Meritorious Civilian Service Award and the Superior Civilian Service Medal.  She has received countless letters of commendation, to include a citation from the Maryland Senate and the Governor’s Office.  She was also given the US Secretaries of State award for her exemplary service to state governments.

Most recently Mrs. Emmel was appointed by Governor Hogan to be a Commissioner on the Maryland Commission for Women.

Mrs. Emmel is a graduate of Rutgers University and holds a Public Administration Management Certificate from the University of Southern California.  She and her husband reside outside Annapolis, MD and Myrtle Beach, SC, and they are avid golfers. She is extremely proud of the many firsts she has accomplished and continues to mentor and give back to women to help them achieve their dreams.

 

Committees

Nominating Committee

Jan Hempstead, RN

Vice Chair, Education & Patient Support

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Jan Hempstead, RN

Vice Chair, Education & Patient Support

I began as a volunteer RN for the Mastocytosis Society, helping on our TMS Facebook support page and answering patient, caregiver and physician calls and messages. I had left my position as a nurse manager after being too ill to work in the hospital. Volunteering was a way for me to give back and use my nursing skills.

After about two years, I became the TMS Patient Care Coordinator Chair, helping to write training material for other RNs, as well as coordinating patient care across the country. Most recently, I joined the TMS Board of Directors in my role as Patient Care Coordinator Chair and look forward to helping the TMS mission of continued research, education of patients, caregivers and medical professionals and advocacy.

My personal mast cell journey began in 2012 when I was attending an Ehlers-Danlos conference. I had been diagnosed three decades prior with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Hypermobility type. A physician was giving a presentation at the EDS conference about Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and that patients with EDS often also had MCAS. When he described the symptoms, I knew that’s what I had been experiencing for years. I saw Dr. Mariana Castells and was diagnosed with MCAS.

I always had an elevated tryptase and multiple anaphylactic episodes. Dr. Castells referred me to Dr. Joshua Milner at the NIH and I ultimately was diagnosed with Alpha Tryptasemia. My daughter, Carrie and son, Christopher both have EDS, MCAS and Dysautonomia too, as well as several other family members. I have a very supportive husband, Brian, who has learned more about mast cells than most physicians.

I am grateful for the support and community that the Mastocytosis Society provided to me when I first diagnosed and I encourage all who are diagnosed and in the process to take advantage of this support.

Ariella Cohen

Ariella Cohen

Courtney Rabb

Vice Chair, Community Engagement

Courtney Rabb

Vice Chair, Community Engagement

Kris Greer

Kris Greer

Marla Barkoff, MD

Marla Barkoff, MD

International Mastocytosis & Mast Cell Diseases Committee

Jodylynn Bachiman, MS

Jodylynn Bachiman, MS

Advocacy

Courtney Rabb

Vice Chair, Community Engagement

Courtney Rabb

Vice Chair, Community Engagement

Jennifer Lockhart

Advocacy Special Projects

Jennifer Lockhart

Advocacy Special Projects

Alyssa Silkwood

Alyssa Silkwood

Education

Jan Hempstead, RN

Vice Chair, Education & Patient Support

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Jan Hempstead, RN

Vice Chair, Education & Patient Support

I began as a volunteer RN for the Mastocytosis Society, helping on our TMS Facebook support page and answering patient, caregiver and physician calls and messages. I had left my position as a nurse manager after being too ill to work in the hospital. Volunteering was a way for me to give back and use my nursing skills.

After about two years, I became the TMS Patient Care Coordinator Chair, helping to write training material for other RNs, as well as coordinating patient care across the country. Most recently, I joined the TMS Board of Directors in my role as Patient Care Coordinator Chair and look forward to helping the TMS mission of continued research, education of patients, caregivers and medical professionals and advocacy.

My personal mast cell journey began in 2012 when I was attending an Ehlers-Danlos conference. I had been diagnosed three decades prior with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Hypermobility type. A physician was giving a presentation at the EDS conference about Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and that patients with EDS often also had MCAS. When he described the symptoms, I knew that’s what I had been experiencing for years. I saw Dr. Mariana Castells and was diagnosed with MCAS.

I always had an elevated tryptase and multiple anaphylactic episodes. Dr. Castells referred me to Dr. Joshua Milner at the NIH and I ultimately was diagnosed with Alpha Tryptasemia. My daughter, Carrie and son, Christopher both have EDS, MCAS and Dysautonomia too, as well as several other family members. I have a very supportive husband, Brian, who has learned more about mast cells than most physicians.

I am grateful for the support and community that the Mastocytosis Society provided to me when I first diagnosed and I encourage all who are diagnosed and in the process to take advantage of this support.

Chantelle Cornwell

Shipping & Materials Manager

Chantelle Cornwell

Shipping & Materials Manager

Martha Barcenas-Mooradian, PhD

Education/Research Liaison, Hispanic Outreach/Translation

Martha Barcenas-Mooradian, PhD

Education/Research Liaison, Hispanic Outreach/Translation

Patient Support

contact committee

Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

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Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

I first served as the TMS Vice Chair from 2002-2009, then assumed the Chair position when my dear friend Rita Barlow stepped down due to health issues. I have also served as Liaison to the Medical Advisory Board, Research Committee, Pediatric Committee, and to the MPN and Smoldering Mastocytosis Committee. I Co-Chair the Drug Shortage Committee with Emily Menard. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Syracuse University, summa cum laude, in 1975, and have 40 years of experience as a pediatric nurse in major hospitals including UCONN Health Center/John Dempsey Hospital Pediatric ICU and NICU, Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY in Pediatrics and Pediatric ICU, St. Peter’s Hospital Albany, NY, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and UMASS. My experience included many years of pediatric intensive care and pediatric hematology oncology. I also was an instructor in Pediatrics, Pediatric ICU, Fundamentals of Nursing and Maternal Child Nursing at Maria College in Albany, NY. Most recently, I was a pediatric triage nurse for Night Nurse of Framingham, MA. I am a sitting member of the Mast Cell Disorders Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. I collaborate with mast cell disorder patient organizations all over the world, their members and physicians. I work extensively with the TMS Research Committee, and am in touch with patients and physicians every day, as my disease allows.

I am fortunate to be happily married to Andrew Slee (41 years and counting!), have three wonderful adult children, and three amazing grandsons! I have had MCAS for many years, probably since age 6, but I was not diagnosed with a mast cell disorder until age 34. Currently, I am 63 years old. My own health has deteriorated in the last few years, and has made it necessary for me to go on disability. While I very much miss my pediatric patients, I enjoy working with the mast cell community! TMS is a wonderful organization, full of giving and supportive people who care so much for each other and for each of the members. I am proud to be Chair of these committed volunteers on behalf of our members worldwide!

Jan Hempstead, RN

Vice Chair, Education & Patient Support

learn more >

Jan Hempstead, RN

Vice Chair, Education & Patient Support

I began as a volunteer RN for the Mastocytosis Society, helping on our TMS Facebook support page and answering patient, caregiver and physician calls and messages. I had left my position as a nurse manager after being too ill to work in the hospital. Volunteering was a way for me to give back and use my nursing skills.

After about two years, I became the TMS Patient Care Coordinator Chair, helping to write training material for other RNs, as well as coordinating patient care across the country. Most recently, I joined the TMS Board of Directors in my role as Patient Care Coordinator Chair and look forward to helping the TMS mission of continued research, education of patients, caregivers and medical professionals and advocacy.

My personal mast cell journey began in 2012 when I was attending an Ehlers-Danlos conference. I had been diagnosed three decades prior with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Hypermobility type. A physician was giving a presentation at the EDS conference about Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and that patients with EDS often also had MCAS. When he described the symptoms, I knew that’s what I had been experiencing for years. I saw Dr. Mariana Castells and was diagnosed with MCAS.

I always had an elevated tryptase and multiple anaphylactic episodes. Dr. Castells referred me to Dr. Joshua Milner at the NIH and I ultimately was diagnosed with Alpha Tryptasemia. My daughter, Carrie and son, Christopher both have EDS, MCAS and Dysautonomia too, as well as several other family members. I have a very supportive husband, Brian, who has learned more about mast cells than most physicians.

I am grateful for the support and community that the Mastocytosis Society provided to me when I first diagnosed and I encourage all who are diagnosed and in the process to take advantage of this support.

Kolleen Barlow

Kolleen Barlow

Emily Menard, BA

Co-Chair

Emily Menard, BA

Co-Chair

Susanne Bragg

Susanne Bragg

Jennifer Mohr

Jennifer Mohr

Carlene Bartolotta, RN, B.S.N

Carlene Bartolotta, RN, B.S.N

Stacy Sheldon

Support/Pediatrics Liaison

Stacy Sheldon

Support/Pediatrics Liaison

Sara Gemmill, RN, BSN

Patient Care Coordination

Sara Gemmill, RN, BSN

Patient Care Coordination

Deb Watson

Physician Database Assistant

Deb Watson

Physician Database Assistant

Pediatric Committee

contact committee

Kolleen Barlow

Kolleen Barlow

Susanne Bragg

Susanne Bragg

Jennifer Mohr

Jennifer Mohr

Stacy Sheldon

Support/Pediatrics Liaison

Stacy Sheldon

Support/Pediatrics Liaison

Nicole Fox MSN, RN, OCN

Nicole Fox MSN, RN, OCN

Advanced Variants Committee

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Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

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Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

I first served as the TMS Vice Chair from 2002-2009, then assumed the Chair position when my dear friend Rita Barlow stepped down due to health issues. I have also served as Liaison to the Medical Advisory Board, Research Committee, Pediatric Committee, and to the MPN and Smoldering Mastocytosis Committee. I Co-Chair the Drug Shortage Committee with Emily Menard. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Syracuse University, summa cum laude, in 1975, and have 40 years of experience as a pediatric nurse in major hospitals including UCONN Health Center/John Dempsey Hospital Pediatric ICU and NICU, Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY in Pediatrics and Pediatric ICU, St. Peter’s Hospital Albany, NY, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and UMASS. My experience included many years of pediatric intensive care and pediatric hematology oncology. I also was an instructor in Pediatrics, Pediatric ICU, Fundamentals of Nursing and Maternal Child Nursing at Maria College in Albany, NY. Most recently, I was a pediatric triage nurse for Night Nurse of Framingham, MA. I am a sitting member of the Mast Cell Disorders Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. I collaborate with mast cell disorder patient organizations all over the world, their members and physicians. I work extensively with the TMS Research Committee, and am in touch with patients and physicians every day, as my disease allows.

I am fortunate to be happily married to Andrew Slee (41 years and counting!), have three wonderful adult children, and three amazing grandsons! I have had MCAS for many years, probably since age 6, but I was not diagnosed with a mast cell disorder until age 34. Currently, I am 63 years old. My own health has deteriorated in the last few years, and has made it necessary for me to go on disability. While I very much miss my pediatric patients, I enjoy working with the mast cell community! TMS is a wonderful organization, full of giving and supportive people who care so much for each other and for each of the members. I am proud to be Chair of these committed volunteers on behalf of our members worldwide!

Michele Q. Kress

Smoldering Systemic Mastocytosis (SSM)

Michele Q. Kress

Smoldering Systemic Mastocytosis (SSM)

Support Groups Committee

contact committee

Stacy Sheldon

Support/Pediatrics Liaison

Stacy Sheldon

Support/Pediatrics Liaison

Jan Marie Smith

Support Groups Co-Chair

Jan Marie Smith

Support Groups Co-Chair

Volunteer Coordinator

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Research Committee

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Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

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Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

I first served as the TMS Vice Chair from 2002-2009, then assumed the Chair position when my dear friend Rita Barlow stepped down due to health issues. I have also served as Liaison to the Medical Advisory Board, Research Committee, Pediatric Committee, and to the MPN and Smoldering Mastocytosis Committee. I Co-Chair the Drug Shortage Committee with Emily Menard. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Syracuse University, summa cum laude, in 1975, and have 40 years of experience as a pediatric nurse in major hospitals including UCONN Health Center/John Dempsey Hospital Pediatric ICU and NICU, Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY in Pediatrics and Pediatric ICU, St. Peter’s Hospital Albany, NY, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and UMASS. My experience included many years of pediatric intensive care and pediatric hematology oncology. I also was an instructor in Pediatrics, Pediatric ICU, Fundamentals of Nursing and Maternal Child Nursing at Maria College in Albany, NY. Most recently, I was a pediatric triage nurse for Night Nurse of Framingham, MA. I am a sitting member of the Mast Cell Disorders Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. I collaborate with mast cell disorder patient organizations all over the world, their members and physicians. I work extensively with the TMS Research Committee, and am in touch with patients and physicians every day, as my disease allows.

I am fortunate to be happily married to Andrew Slee (41 years and counting!), have three wonderful adult children, and three amazing grandsons! I have had MCAS for many years, probably since age 6, but I was not diagnosed with a mast cell disorder until age 34. Currently, I am 63 years old. My own health has deteriorated in the last few years, and has made it necessary for me to go on disability. While I very much miss my pediatric patients, I enjoy working with the mast cell community! TMS is a wonderful organization, full of giving and supportive people who care so much for each other and for each of the members. I am proud to be Chair of these committed volunteers on behalf of our members worldwide!

Celeste Finnerty, PhD

Vice Chair, Research

Celeste Finnerty, PhD

Vice Chair, Research

Andrew M. Slee, PhD

Andrew M. Slee, PhD

Pamela Farthing, RN, MSc

Pamela Farthing, RN, MSc

Susan Jennings, PhD

Research Committee Co-Chair

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Susan Jennings, PhD

Research Committee Co-Chair

Dr. Jennings received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego and her PhD in Cancer Biology from Stanford University School of Medicine. Her earlier research interests focused on harnessing the power of the human immune system to fight disease and improve patient health. She has worked in the biotechnology industry and has spent many years volunteering, including for the Association for Women in Science, Girl Scouts of America, and her local school district.

Since 2009, Dr. Jennings has served on The Mastocytosis Society, Inc. (TMS) Research Committee, first as Co-Chair with Dr. Nancy Russell for seven years, and as Chair since the beginning of 2017. She serves as an adviser to our TMS Board of Directors, attends medical conferences as a representative of TMS, in both a scientific capacity and as a resource at TMS booths, and works closely with other Research Committee members, our TMS Board of Directors and our TMS Medical Advisory Board. Also as part of the Research Committee, Dr. Jennings works with other organizations, specialty physicians, government entities, and industry on joint TMS projects and in an advisory role as a representative of TMS. She serves, with Valerie Slee, RN, BSN, Chair, TMS Board of Directors, on the Mast Cell Disorders Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), of which TMS is a Lay Organization. Her activities with this committee resulted in the first ICD-10-CM code set for mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) variants and updated codes for mastocytosis. Dr. Jennings has co-authored mast cell disease research and review articles and research presentations on behalf of TMS, including the publication of two research articles based on findings from our 2010 TMS Mast Cell Disorder Patient Survey, in collaboration with mast cell disorder specialists and others from TMS. Her latest research involves a 2018 MCAS Patient Survey, findings of which were presented at the National Institutes of Health in September 2018.

Dr. Jennings feels very strongly that, as a rare disease organization, bringing together groups within and affecting the mast cell disorder community, to explore and address the challenges these parties face, is an important way that TMS can help to improve the lives of patients, their families, and caregivers. She is highly dedicated to the successful formation of the American Initiative in Mast Cell Diseases, a future mast cell disease network within the Americas actively partners with others to develop TMS educational material for health care professionals and patients, and works to help TMS provide much-needed funding for mast cell disease research.

Angela Bowman PhD

Angela Bowman PhD

Dr Catherine Weiler, MD

Dr Catherine Weiler, MD

Barbara Ruby, MA

Barbara Ruby, MA

Martha Barcenas-Mooradian, PhD

Education/Research Liaison, Hispanic Outreach/Translation

Martha Barcenas-Mooradian, PhD

Education/Research Liaison, Hispanic Outreach/Translation

Chronicles Committee

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Judy Thompson

Copy Editor

Judy Thompson

Copy Editor

Grant Committee

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Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

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Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

I first served as the TMS Vice Chair from 2002-2009, then assumed the Chair position when my dear friend Rita Barlow stepped down due to health issues. I have also served as Liaison to the Medical Advisory Board, Research Committee, Pediatric Committee, and to the MPN and Smoldering Mastocytosis Committee. I Co-Chair the Drug Shortage Committee with Emily Menard. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Syracuse University, summa cum laude, in 1975, and have 40 years of experience as a pediatric nurse in major hospitals including UCONN Health Center/John Dempsey Hospital Pediatric ICU and NICU, Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY in Pediatrics and Pediatric ICU, St. Peter’s Hospital Albany, NY, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and UMASS. My experience included many years of pediatric intensive care and pediatric hematology oncology. I also was an instructor in Pediatrics, Pediatric ICU, Fundamentals of Nursing and Maternal Child Nursing at Maria College in Albany, NY. Most recently, I was a pediatric triage nurse for Night Nurse of Framingham, MA. I am a sitting member of the Mast Cell Disorders Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. I collaborate with mast cell disorder patient organizations all over the world, their members and physicians. I work extensively with the TMS Research Committee, and am in touch with patients and physicians every day, as my disease allows.

I am fortunate to be happily married to Andrew Slee (41 years and counting!), have three wonderful adult children, and three amazing grandsons! I have had MCAS for many years, probably since age 6, but I was not diagnosed with a mast cell disorder until age 34. Currently, I am 63 years old. My own health has deteriorated in the last few years, and has made it necessary for me to go on disability. While I very much miss my pediatric patients, I enjoy working with the mast cell community! TMS is a wonderful organization, full of giving and supportive people who care so much for each other and for each of the members. I am proud to be Chair of these committed volunteers on behalf of our members worldwide!

Celeste Finnerty, PhD

Vice Chair, Research

Celeste Finnerty, PhD

Vice Chair, Research

Drug Shortage Committee

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Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

learn more >

Valerie M. Slee, RN, B.S.N.

Chair, Medical Advisory Board Liaison, Research Advisory Committee Liaison
Drug Shortage Co-Chair

I first served as the TMS Vice Chair from 2002-2009, then assumed the Chair position when my dear friend Rita Barlow stepped down due to health issues. I have also served as Liaison to the Medical Advisory Board, Research Committee, Pediatric Committee, and to the MPN and Smoldering Mastocytosis Committee. I Co-Chair the Drug Shortage Committee with Emily Menard. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Syracuse University, summa cum laude, in 1975, and have 40 years of experience as a pediatric nurse in major hospitals including UCONN Health Center/John Dempsey Hospital Pediatric ICU and NICU, Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY in Pediatrics and Pediatric ICU, St. Peter’s Hospital Albany, NY, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and UMASS. My experience included many years of pediatric intensive care and pediatric hematology oncology. I also was an instructor in Pediatrics, Pediatric ICU, Fundamentals of Nursing and Maternal Child Nursing at Maria College in Albany, NY. Most recently, I was a pediatric triage nurse for Night Nurse of Framingham, MA. I am a sitting member of the Mast Cell Disorders Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. I collaborate with mast cell disorder patient organizations all over the world, their members and physicians. I work extensively with the TMS Research Committee, and am in touch with patients and physicians every day, as my disease allows.

I am fortunate to be happily married to Andrew Slee (41 years and counting!), have three wonderful adult children, and three amazing grandsons! I have had MCAS for many years, probably since age 6, but I was not diagnosed with a mast cell disorder until age 34. Currently, I am 63 years old. My own health has deteriorated in the last few years, and has made it necessary for me to go on disability. While I very much miss my pediatric patients, I enjoy working with the mast cell community! TMS is a wonderful organization, full of giving and supportive people who care so much for each other and for each of the members. I am proud to be Chair of these committed volunteers on behalf of our members worldwide!

Jan Hempstead, RN

Vice Chair, Education & Patient Support

learn more >

Jan Hempstead, RN

Vice Chair, Education & Patient Support

I began as a volunteer RN for the Mastocytosis Society, helping on our TMS Facebook support page and answering patient, caregiver and physician calls and messages. I had left my position as a nurse manager after being too ill to work in the hospital. Volunteering was a way for me to give back and use my nursing skills.

After about two years, I became the TMS Patient Care Coordinator Chair, helping to write training material for other RNs, as well as coordinating patient care across the country. Most recently, I joined the TMS Board of Directors in my role as Patient Care Coordinator Chair and look forward to helping the TMS mission of continued research, education of patients, caregivers and medical professionals and advocacy.

My personal mast cell journey began in 2012 when I was attending an Ehlers-Danlos conference. I had been diagnosed three decades prior with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Hypermobility type. A physician was giving a presentation at the EDS conference about Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and that patients with EDS often also had MCAS. When he described the symptoms, I knew that’s what I had been experiencing for years. I saw Dr. Mariana Castells and was diagnosed with MCAS.

I always had an elevated tryptase and multiple anaphylactic episodes. Dr. Castells referred me to Dr. Joshua Milner at the NIH and I ultimately was diagnosed with Alpha Tryptasemia. My daughter, Carrie and son, Christopher both have EDS, MCAS and Dysautonomia too, as well as several other family members. I have a very supportive husband, Brian, who has learned more about mast cells than most physicians.

I am grateful for the support and community that the Mastocytosis Society provided to me when I first diagnosed and I encourage all who are diagnosed and in the process to take advantage of this support.

Emily Menard, BA

Co-Chair

Emily Menard, BA

Co-Chair

Carlene Bartolotta, RN, B.S.N

Carlene Bartolotta, RN, B.S.N

Media Relations Committee

contact committee

Ariella Cohen

Ariella Cohen

Courtney Rabb

Vice Chair, Community Engagement

Courtney Rabb

Vice Chair, Community Engagement