Welcome to the Board: Patty Nece, JD
Throughout this past week, we’ve introduced you to our four newest Board Members who have since started their leadership roles serving the OAC. We hope that you have taken this opportunity to get to more about these amazing, passionate individuals who are excited to put their own stamp on the OAC’s mission, initiatives and future goals.
Now, we’d like to introduce you to our final new Board Member and dedicated OAC advocate – Patty Nece, JD! By day, Patty describes herself as a mild-mannered government attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor. But by night, she is a passionate advocate on obesity issues! When talking about her hobbies, Patty writes:
“I love hanging out with friends (including relatives!), doing everyday things like playing games, cooking meals, watching movies, or just enjoying the company of others. I also like spending quality time with my wonderful cat Sadie!”
Please join us in giving Patty a big WELCOME to the OAC National Board of Directors!
An Interview with Patty Nece
Q: How and when did you initially hear about the OAC? What was your impression, and did you immediately get involved with the organization?
A: My obesity medicine specialist, Dr. Scott Kahan, asked me to attend two roundtables held by the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance at George Washington University here in Washington, D.C. During the roundtables, I met Ted Kyle, who was the Chairman of the OAC at the time. Through Ted, I met other OAC leaders like Joe Naglowski, OAC President and CEO. Their passion for advocating for people with obesity was amazing – and contagious! Within a few weeks, I was testifying before the FDA and urging them to approve additional obesity treatments.
Q: What is your connection to the cause of obesity, and why do you choose to dedicate yourself to that cause?
A: I’ve had obesity for as long as I can remember – so I’ve been teased, bullied, and ridiculed my entire life because of my weight. People also make negative assumptions about me simply based on my size. It’s time to change those perceptions – they just aren’t true. I also want people to understand that obesity isn’t a choice. It’s a complex, chronic disease that isn’t entirely in my control.
Q: Why do you believe an organization like the OAC is essential to individuals who are affected by obesity, and what do you think others can gain from it?
A: For most of my life, I felt isolated, alone, and helpless when it came to my weight. No one understood what it was like to live with obesity. No one stood up for me. Instead, people blamed and shamed me for my weight. With the OAC, I’m no longer alone. The OAC provides an understanding community – OAC members “get it.” The OAC is also the only patient-centered organization that gives people with obesity a voice in important policy and legislative decisions. These decisions can have a big impact on access to care, weight-bias in employment, and other topics affecting people with obesity.
Q: What motivated you to join the OAC National Board of Directors?
A: The OAC’s work is so very important, and being on the Board gives me an opportunity to contribute in a new way. I want everyone to know that the OAC is a voice for ALL individuals affected by obesity, no matter what (if any) type of treatment or care they seek.
Q: What do you hope to see in the future of the OAC? In what ways do you think the organization can work to achieve those goals?
A: In one word – growth. More advocates challenging weight bias wherever it appears, influencing public policy, and teaching the public about obesity. Growing numbers of insurers who cover science-based obesity care. More physicians and other medical providers fully trained in obesity care. And a large membership base with local OAC chapters so that everyone has a supportive weight-management community nearby.