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The National Institutes
of Health (NIH) -
The Nation's Medical
Research Agency.

NIH Director's Council of Public Representatives Welcomes Six New Members

by Barbara Kram , Editor
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected six individuals to serve as members of the Director's Council of Public Representatives (COPR), the advisory committee to the NIH Director on issues important to the public.

"These new members bring a wealth of knowledge and professional experience in the areas of rural and community health, patient advocacy, health policy, nursing education, and communications, along with a strong commitment to enhancing public participation in the biomedical and behavioral research enterprise," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. "I am delighted to welcome them to the council and greatly value the significant advice I receive from COPR."

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The new members are Naomi Cottoms, M.S. of eastern Arkansas; Elmer Freeman, M.S.W., of Boston; Elizabeth Furlong, J.D., Ph.D., R.N., of Omaha; Brent Jaquet of Washington, D.C.; Matthew Margo, LL.M., of New York City; and Anne Munoz-Furlong, M.P.H., of Fairfax. See brief biographies attached.

New COPR members will participate as confirmed members at the next COPR meeting, scheduled for Oct. 26, 2007. The meeting will highlight such topics as Researcher-Community Engagement, NIH Pioneer and Innovator Awards, NIH Peer Review Process, and Director's Council Member reports. Dr. Zerhouni will chair the meeting.

The COPR brings important matters of public interest forward for discussion and advises and assists in enhancing public participation in NIH activities and in increasing public understanding of NIH. Additional information is available at www.getinvolved.nih.gov.

2007 New Members to the NIH Director's Council of Public Representatives

Ms. Naomi Cottoms is the director of the Tri County Rural Health Network, Inc. (TCRHN), a nonprofit grassroots organization that works to improve access to health care in the underserved rural counties of Lee, Monroe, and Phillips in eastern Arkansas. TCRHN collaborates with community organizations, including the Phillips County Health and Human Services Department, the Eastern Arkansas Hospice Center, and the Fay Boozman College of Public Health of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. TCRHN connects uninsured or underinsured disabled and elderly clients with available resources, including reduced-cost medicines.

Mr. Elmer Freeman is the executive director of the Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Inc. (CCHERS), and an adjunct assistant professor and director of Urban Health Programs and Policy for Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. CCHERS is a network of 15 academic community health centers providing health care access for underserved patients in Boston. Prior to this, Mr. Freeman was executive director of the Whittier Street Health Center for 17 years. He is the co-chair of Critical MASS, a multi-organizational, multicultural, multi-community, statewide coalition to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in Massachusetts.

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