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Oley Foundation Board of Trustees 2015



Harlan Johnson


Park Rapids, MN



Harlan Johnson has been an Oley Foundation supporter since 1991. Harlan’s wife, Mary Patnode, was serving as Oley President when she passed away in the spring of 2014. This was a great loss to our community, and we were pleased and honored when Harlan accepted the board’s invitation for him to complete Mary’s term. Harlan says, “I am the first non-consumer president, but I do bring both the consumer and caregiver perspective to the position. I hope to serve the Oley Foundation and its members well.”


Mary was a long-time home parenteral nutrition (HPN) consumer because of short bowel syndrome caused by Crohn’s disease. She had been on HPN for thirty-five years and had had Crohn’s for fifty years. Harlan says, “I was fortunate to be able to help Mary with her daily routine and care. I learned alongside her at the Oley Foundation conferences, and under her direction, I soon was confident enough to be her caregiver when needed.”


Harlan is now retired, after having served as a police chief and later as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association. “In my six years as executive director,” Harlan says, “I learned much about non-profit leadership and responsibilities. I learned about supporting the membership and about advocating for good, ethical practices for the profession. I worked to ensure that all members were represented, and that they received the best, most current information available.”


Terry Edwards

Vice President
HomeEN Consumer
Port Coquitlam, BC Canada


Terry Edwards is currently serving his second term on the Oley board. Terry has been on home enteral nutrition (HEN) since 2005, after having had a tumor removed from the base of his brain. He has attended several Oley conferences and represents the consumer voice at professional meetings. Terry lives in Vancouver, Canada, and travels frequently in the United States and internationally for work.


After finding himself on tube feeding, Terry writes, “There came a point when I had to decide how I was going to deal with all this. After six months of taking it easy, I needed to get on with it—the charm of hanging around the house was wearing thin. I gradually went back to my Vancouver office and set my sights on making all my feeding and sundry medical supplies as portable and easy to deal with as possible. Lucky for me, I came across the Oley Foundation Web site and learned some of the positive things I could do to make life simpler.” Thus began his involvement with the Foundation.



Rex Speerhas, RPh, BCNSP

Westlake, OH

  Rex Speerhas, RPh, BCNSP, is serving a second term on the Oley board. After working for thirty years at Cleveland Clinic, Rex retired in 2014. Rex joined Cleveland Clinic as a staff pharmacist, then became a staff development specialist, and from 1985–2013, served as a Nutrition Support Clinical Specialist. In addition to being a Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist, Rex has also been a Certified Diabetes Educator. Rex’s areas of interest include blood glucose management and trace elements. “I have enjoyed being a member of the Oley Board of Trustees,” Rex says, “and am excited to continue as secretary. I am proud to represent the profession of pharmacy on the board.”



Lynn M. Anderson

Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Holiday Companies
Minneapolis, MN




Debbie Fox, RD

Amarillo, TX


Debbie Fox, MS, RD, LD, graduated from college with the intent to attend medical school. However, her health began to deteriorate shortly after graduation, and she began the very long and difficult journey of searching for a cause. After two years of massive weight loss and multiple mis-diagnoses, she eventually learned she had a severe motility disorder, affecting sections throughout her GI tract. Debbie underwent numerous GI surgeries and developed a deep interest in nutrition. She eventually returned to school to become a registered dietitian (RD).


Debbie has worked in the field of dietetics for almost thirty years. For the past twenty years, she has served at the 475-bed tertiary facility of Northwest Texas Healthcare System in Amarillo, Texas, in numerous roles, including critical care/trauma RD, on the nutrition support team, and, currently, in management. She has spoken at local and national conferences for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.), local and state dietetic conferences, and Oley Foundation events, and has presented various patient perspective programs for national and international nutrition providers. She has served as president of a local A.S.P.E.N. affiliate, was a nominee for Oley’s Celebration of Life Award, and currently serves on the Dietetic Internship Advisory Committees for both ARAMARK and Texas Tech.

She has greatly enjoyed the opportunities that having a “dual perspective” as patient and practitioner have afforded, including a career in the field of nutrition, learning from other consumers/families, and having opportunities to educate other medical caregivers regarding both the challenges and successes of a home parenteral nutrition (HPN) consumer. This past February, Debbie completed twenty-six years of continuous HPN therapy. “I celebrate every day as a gift,” she says.

Her areas of interest regarding nutrition support include safety issues with PN formulation/ administration in the home and in acute care settings, prevention/amelioration of long-term complications of PN, and improvement in quality of life for home nutrition support patients.

Debbie and her husband will celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary in January 2016, and although he is an engineer by occupation, her husband has done all her “home nurse care” since she first began PN. They have one son that, in Debbie’s words, “keeps them young.” In her spare time, she loves playing the piano and spending time with her family.
Debbie has been a supporter of Oley for many years. “I am greatly humbled and honored,” she says, “to be chosen to serve on your Board of Directors!”



Shirley Huang, MD

Newtonville, MA




Arlet Kurkchubasche, MD, FACS, FAAP

Providence RI Hospital
Providence, RI

  Arlet Kurkchubasche, MD, FACS, joined the Oley Foundation Board of Trustees in the fall of 2014. Dr. Kurkchubasche is a board certified General and Pediatric Surgeon. She practices at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, where she has been faculty at the Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University since 1997. She received her medical degree from the University of California, Irvine, and then completed her general surgery residency in Portland, Oregon, a research fellowship at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and a clinical fellowship in pediatric surgery at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis.

Dr. Kurkchubasche's interest in intestinal failure developed as a consequence of her involvement with short bowel syndrome patients in Pittsburgh. She was actively involved in clinical and basic science research that related to the developing intestine in the neonate and its host defense, particularly in the setting of necrotizing enterocolitis, the major etiology of intestinal failure in the newborn. This was the foundation for her later work on intestinal adaptation, bloodstream infections and cholestasis, which was enhanced by collaboration with her mentors from St. Louis. Further basic science work on liver injury and liver repair mechanisms continued at Brown University with Dr. Thomas Tracy.

Clinically, Dr. Kurkchubasche's focus has remained on intestinal rehabilitation, looking for the best ways to incorporate both medical and surgical interventions to achieve successful adaptation. She is also the associate program director for the fellowship in Pediatric Surgery at Brown and has championed the need for pediatric surgeons to remain educated and integrally involved in the nutrition care of their patients. We are pleased to have her on the board.


Laura Matarese, PhD, RDN, LDN,CNSC, FADA, FASPEN

East Carolina University
Brody School of Medicine, and Department of Nutrition Science
Greenville, NC

  Dr. Matarese is Associate Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Brody School of Medicine, and Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition Science at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Previously she was the Director of Nutrition at the Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplant Center, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, and an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Before thatDr. Matarese helped develop the intestinal rehabilitation program at the Cleveland Clinic. She has more than twenty-eight years experience in nutrition support, education, and has been an Oley Foundation trustee since 2008.

Dr. Matarese has written over 150 books, chapters, manuscripts, abstracts, and videos (including several articles for the LifelineLetter). She has lectured extensively, both nationally and internationally, and has spoken at several Oley conferences. Dr. Matarese has held numerous positions within the American Dietetic Association and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition; has received numerous awards; and is currently President of the National Board of Nutrition Support Certification. She is devoted to improving the quality of life for patients with intestinal failure as well as making enteral and parenteral nutrition safe and effective.



Ann Michalek, MD

Albany Medical Center
Albany, NY

  Dr. Ann Michalek specializes in Clinical Nutrition at Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York. She completed her fellowship with Oley’s co-founder, Lyn Howard, MD, and assumed responsibility for many of Dr. Howard’s patients when Dr. Howard retired in 2007.



Lauren Schwartz, MD

Concorde Medical Group
New York, NY




Bob and Mary Smithers

HomePEN Consumer/Caregiver
Gainesville, FL
Mary: marysmithers944@yahoo.com
Bob: smithersb@yahoo.com


Mary and Bob Smithers joined the Oley Foundation Board of Trustees in the summer of 2014. Together, they bring the perspectives of consumer and caregiver to the board. Bob and Mary have been members of the Oley Foundation since 2002, and have served as Oley Ambassadors since 2011. They live in Gainesville, Florida.


Mary was diagnosed with idiopathic gastroparesis in 1985. In 1998, after her third episode, her stomach no longer emptied enough for her to sustain herself by eating orally. She went home on parenteral nutrition (HPN) for several short periods, but was taken off due to repeated infections. Instead, a G-J tube was placed and Mary began tube feeding. After bouts with dehydration, her doctor recommended a daily liter of IV fluid, which was subsequently changed to lactated ringers (LR). She adds multivitamins and trace elements to the LR three times per week. In addition, in 2001 Mary had a gastric stimulator placed, which helps reduce the feeling of nausea. She is currently on her third gastric stimulator. Mary still uses LR today to stave off dehydration and balance electrolytes, and remains on tube feeding, using a pump 16-18 hours a day. She supplements her tube feed formula with Proteinex daily. She eats orally only for taste and only in very limited quantities and uses her G-tube to vent. She currently has a PICC for administering the lactated ringers, and has had Power Ports in the past.


Mary retired on disability in 1999 from her job as a speech therapist at a special needs school. Bob is a retired high school math teacher. He is also retired military, having served three years on active duty and more than twenty years in the Florida Army National Guard.

Board Advisors




Lyn Howard, MB, FRCP, FACP

Medical Director, Co-Founder

Poestenkill, NY

  Dr. Lyn Howard graduated from Oxford University England in 1964. She completed her internship and residency in Kansas, and a fellowship in Clinical Nutrition and GI at Vanderbuilt University. She came to Albany Medical Center to head the brand new Clinical Nutrition Department in 1973, and shortly afterwards sent her first (and one of the world’s first) patient home on TPN.

Managing patients on this new, complex therapy was exciting and very time consuming. She soon realized patients needed information and support beyond that which their physicians could provide. So together with Clarence “Oley” Oldenburg, Dr. Howard established the Oley Foundation in 1984.

Dr. Howard is widely published in the field of nutrition support and has spoken at countless consumer and clinician meetings. She has received many honors for her work, including having an endowed chair named after herself and long time HPN patient and friend, Donald Young.

She has been a tireless advocate for HomePEN patients, and encourages clinicians, caregivers and patients to empower everyone on HPEN so they might reach their fullest potential.



Darlene Kelly, MD, PhD

Science & Medicine Advisor
Rochester, MN 



After retiring from her 22 year role as Medical Director for the Home Parenteral Nutrition program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in 2012, Dr. Kelly was appointed to the Oley Foundation staff where she has actively guided research projects and provided advice on medical-related content for publications. Previously she supported Oley as a board member and research committee chair for more than eleven years. She has a doctorate in nutrition, and a medical doctorate with a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in gastroenterology and GI research. Her areas of interest include: HPN, short bowel syndrome, and malabsorption.



more Calendar

Oley Regional Conference - St. Louis, Missouri

Oley Regional Conference - Minneapolis, Minnesota

This website is an educational resource. It is not intended to provide medical advice or recommend a course of treatment. You should discuss all issues, ideas, suggestions, etc. with your clinician prior to use. Clinicians in a relevant field have reviewed the medical information; however, the Oley Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented, and is not liable if information is incorrect or incomplete. If you have questions please contact Oley staff.


Updated in 2015 with a generous grant from Shire, Inc. 


This website was updated in 2015 with a generous grant from Shire, Inc. This website is an educational resource. It is not intended to provide medical advice or recommend a course of treatment. You should discuss all issues, ideas, suggestions, etc. with your clinician prior to use. Clinicians in a relevant field have reviewed the medical information; however, the Oley Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented, and is not liable if information is incorrect or incomplete. If you have questions please contact Oley staff.
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