Tampa, Fla. – The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a more than 54,000 member-strong 501(c)(3) National nonprofit organization dedicated to giving a voice to the individual affected by the disease of obesity and helping individuals along their journey toward better health through education, advocacy and support, is proud to announce the addition of four new members to the National Board of Directors.
For 2017, the OAC welcomes Scott Kahan, MD; Nikki Massie, MA; Patty Nece, JD; and Rob Portinga as new members of the OAC National Board of Directors. The Board is responsible for directing the organization and its activities, setting long-term goals for the association and ensuring that all programs and initiatives are in the interest of individuals affected by obesity.

Dr. Kahan is the director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness and a faculty member at The George Washington University’s School of Public Health & Health Services. As the 2015 OAC Healthcare Provider Advocate of the Year, Dr. Kahan is a leading voice in the fight for access to care and a tireless advocate for patients, the OAC and the cause of obesity.

Nikki Massie, MA, is a professional writer and communications strategist based in Baltimore, Md. Ms. Massie underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in 2008, and is well-known for her blog, Bariatric Foodie. The 2016 OAC Member of the Year, Nikki has been an avid supporter and advocate for OAC since she first joined the organization. Most recently, Ms. Massie held a successful membership drive through which she joined 236 new members to the OAC in four weeks.

Patty Nece, JD, is the Counsel for Regulations and Legislation in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor’s Division of Black Lung and Longshore Legal Services. The recipient of the 2015 Barbara Thompson Award for Advocacy, Ms. Nece is a tireless advocate for the OAC and has testified many times before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, advocating for the approval of new obesity treatments.

Rob Portinga is a gastric bypass patient who has transformed nearly every aspect of his life in the six years since his surgery. Mr. Portinga currently works for a company that offers support services to a variety of obesity treatment-related companies, and continues to blog about healthy living, obesity bias, and weight-loss from a “dude’s” perspective. Mr. Portinga was the recipient of the Barbara Thompson Award for Advocacy in 2014 and the OAC Member of the Year Award in 2015.

“Throughout the past year as Chairwoman of the OAC, I’ve seen significant growth in this organization. The addition of these new members to the Board will help us continue to guide the organization and represent the millions of Americans impacted by obesity,” said Amber Huett-Garcia, MPA, OAC Chairwoman.

As a nonprofit organization, the OAC is governed under the authority of a National Board of Directors. All members of the OAC’s National Board are volunteers. The 2017 OAC National Board of Directors are as follows: Amber Huett-Garcia, MPA, Chairwoman of the Board; Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA, Treasurer; Michelle Vicari, Secretary; Tammy Beaumont, BSN, RN, CBN; Sarah Bramblette; Pam Davis, RN, BSN, CBN; Jaime Fivecoat, MBA; Scott Kahan, MD; Holly F. Lofton, MD; Tracy Martinez, RN, BSN, CBN; Nikki Massie, MA; Walter Medlin, MD, FACS; Patty Nece, JD; Rob Portinga, and Melinda J. Watman, BSN, MSN, CNM, MBA.

The 2017 Board of Directors’ slate was presented to the membership in November 2016. We invited our members to review the slate and submit their own candidate, if desired. The OAC received full support of the slate and we now welcome these individuals to the Board. For more information on the OAC National Board of Directors, please visit the OAC Web site at www.ObesityAction.org.

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a more than 54,000 member-strong National nonprofit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support.