The OIF is pleased to announce the appointment of four new board members!

The Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation (OIF) is pleased to announce the appointment of four new board members, Dr. Kara Ayers, Julie Hocker, Tony Jacobsen, and Cindy Medina.

“We are thrilled to welcome these accomplished individuals to our Board,” said Tracy Hart, CEO of the OI Foundation. “The new members bring a wealth of expertise and diverse perspectives that will undoubtedly contribute to the mission of the OI Foundation.”

The Board Development Committee searches for nominees with a personal connection to osteogenesis imperfecta and experience in one or more of the following areas: accounting, finance, fundraising, organizational management, public relations, strategic planning, business or law. Board members commit to two onsite board meetings per year (8-12 hours each), one teleconference board meeting per year (3 hours) and 8-10 hours per month of committee or task force assignments. Members of the OI Foundation Board of Directors serve three-year terms.

Learn more about the new Board Members below!

Dr. Kara Ayers is an Associate Professor and the Associate Director of the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She is trained as a psychologist and leads the National Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality. Dr. Ayers’ research interests include health equity, disability ethics, and parenting with a disability. She enjoys applying what she learns through research by educating policymakers about ways we can improve outcomes through better policies for all.

Julie Hocker is a Director of Public Health at Guidehouse. Ms. Hocker leads advisory work for federal, state, industry, and nonprofit executives and experts who are transforming the lives of Americans with disabilities, complex medical conditions, and rare diseases. Most recently, she has been instrumental in reimagining how regulators, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and patient groups can transform their partnerships and interactions to accelerate the development and approval of life-saving treatments for ultra-rare conditions and underserved populations. Prior to joining Guidehouse, Ms. Hocker served as the U.S. Commissioner on Disabilities. As Commissioner, Ms. Hocker directed the nation’s leading agency, the Administration on Disabilities at the Department of Health and Human Services, charged with executing a $375 million budget and ensuring the nation’s 60 million Americans with disabilities have access to the services and supports they need to live in their communities and fully pursue the freedoms and rights we all enjoy.  Ms. Hocker earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and resides in Arlington, Virginia.

Tony Jacobsen (O.I. Type 1) is the author of “Disable Your Disability: Live the Healthy Life You Deserve!” and a certified personal trainer specializing in empowering individuals with disabilities. Tony is committed to helping people lead healthier, more fulfilling lives regardless of their limitations. When he’s not busy coaching clients, you can catch him energizing audiences as a motivational speaker, spreading his message of resilience and possibility. In addition to his professional pursuits, Tony actively supports the O.I. community by hosting monthly online group meetings and dreaming up creative ventures to bolster support and foster connections. Tony is all about spreading positivity, pushing boundaries, and having fun while doing it. He’s ready and excited to amplify the OIF’s already tremendous support for empowering, educating, and advocating for those touched by Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

Cindy Medina I am a mother and healthcare executive in Houston, TX. In both my personal and professional life, I have a passion for improving access to quality healthcare and improving overall quality of life! Currently, I hold the role of Chief Operating Officer for Fairmont Healthcare. Throughout my career I have honed my skills in strategic planning, budget management and community engagement. But what sets me apart is my passion for using those skills to make a positive impact in the world. I have co-chaired fundraising events, led a Girl Scout troop and even developed a scholarship program for a youth volleyball team. I also take immense pride in coordinating the best care possible for my son with special needs. All of these experiences have taught me that with passion, dedication, and commitment, parents can accomplish extraordinary things in both our personal and professional lives. Because of this and the meaningful impact the OI Foundation has made on my family, I am deeply committed to advancing the mission of the OI Foundation!