Board of Directors and Advisory Board

The NAF is operated by a talented volunteer Board of Directors and an Advisory Board comprising members with diverse backgrounds in healthcare, nonprofit management, neuropathy research, law, patient advocacy and government. Each lends his or her extraordinary skills and experience to carry out the NAF’s mission.

Dominick V. Spatafora

President

Dominick Spatafora received a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University. He also holds a Master of Public Administration from The American University in Washington, D.C. While in D.C. he worked for Congressman J. Dennis Hastert where he assisted with sweeping health care reform efforts. He then joined the Arizona Medical Board in 1998 as the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Director. In this position, he developed and wrote the standards that govern the practice of medicine for Arizona.

Dominick then moved to California where he formed DVS Governmental Consulting Solutions, a full-service public affairs firm specializing in strategic planning and communications, political consulting, and grassroots development. Dominick was also a member of the Health Care Administration faculty at the University of Phoenix for over six years. He was awarded the 2001 Outstanding Faculty Award for the College of Health Care Services and Nursing at the Phoenix campus. After giving up DVS Governmental Consulting Solutions due to insurance coverage issues, he became the Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Medical Association. Then in March 2009 he joined Pfizer, Inc. where he now serves as a Director of Advocacy and Professional Relations and is responsible for a ten-state region.

Dominick was diagnosed with multifocal motor neuropathy at the age of 30. Shortly after being diagnosed Dominick became a patient advocate, almost by accident, because of his personal struggles accessing appropriate treatment. Dominick’s neuropathy is not typical and does not fall neatly into the treatment guidelines established by his managed care company. At one point Dominick went three months without his IVIG treatment before he lost the use of his right hand. After working cooperatively with his physician and others Dominick finally prevailed and resumed treatment which gave him back the use of his hand. Dominick founded the NAF because of his commitment to educate the public on what neuropathy is and most importantly to help other neuropathy patients obtain and maintain appropriate individualized care.

Kathleen S. Creason

Secretary

Kathleen S. Creason has served as Executive Director of the Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California since 2003. She is a Board member of Health Services Advisory Group (California’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization) and a past president of the Association of Osteopathic State Executive Directors. She was the 2009 recipient of the Bob E. Jones national osteopathic Executive Director award.
Ms. Creason obtained a Master of Business Administration degree from CSU Sacramento and a BA degree in Communication Studies and Public Relations from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Christopher Buchanan

Treasurer

Christopher Buchanan is Senior Manager of Public Affairs and Government Relations currently responsible for state and local government and community relations for the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire on behalf of Walmart Stores and SAM’S CLUBS.
In addition, Chris manages media relations and is Chairman of the company’s Foundation Philanthropic Advisory Councils.
Chris joined Walmart in January 2000 as Regional Manager of State Government Relations.

Buchanan was responsible for all state government relations programs in the 12 state region of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and all of New England. In 2003, Chris became Senior Manager of State Government Relations and has achieved significant proactive and defensive legislative successes.

Buchanan holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from The American University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Providence College. Meeting newly redefined business objectives and strategies, Chris and his wife Alessandra moved from Annapolis, Maryland to Plymouth, Massachusetts in July 2006. Born and raised in Boston, Chris and his wife celebrated the birth of their first child, Ronan, in November 2006.

Dustin Corcoran

Dustin Corcoran is Chief Executive Officer for the California Medical Association (CMA), a non-profit professional organization of physicians dedicated to protecting public health and promoting the science and art of medicine. As CEO, Mr. Corcoran has the responsibility for the overall supervision, direction and control of the business and staff of CMA. 

Mr. Corcoran joined CMA in 1998 as the membership coordinator for the association’s political action committee. Within a year, Mr. Corcoran moved to CMA’s Center for Government Relations where he worked under the guidance of the legendary Steve Thompson. Over the next six years Thompson mentored Corcoran, who was primarily responsible for legislation related to emergency medicine, hospitals, access to care, tobacco, public health, and health care system reform. When Mr. Thompson passed away in 2004, Dustin succeeded him as Vice President of Government Relations.

As Vice President of Government Relations, Mr. Corcoran managed CMA’s overall legislative program, representing physicians’ interests before the State Legislature and the Governor. In 2005, Mr. Corcoran was named the “Most Effective Lobbyist Under 40” by AroundtheCapitol.com.

In 2009, Mr. Corcoran was promoted to Senior Vice-President, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of CMA, as well as the Center for Government Relations.
Prior to joining CMA, Mr. Corcoran was a lobbyist for the Community College League of California, a not-for-profit organization representing the CEOs and Trustees of the 110 community colleges in California.

Mr. Corcoran serves on the Board of Directors for the Neuropathy Action Foundation, Physicians Advocacy Institute, the Institute for Medical Quality, and the California Medical Association Foundation.

Dustin lives with his wife Glenda, and their daughter Dylan in Sacramento. Glenda, a member of the California State Bar, works for California State Assembly Member Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate).

James D. Lee, JD


James Lee is Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Specialist with Wells Fargo Private Bank. James provides wealth management services to high net-worth individuals and families with a focus on values-based estate planning, charitable planning, private foundation consulting, asset protection and financial planning.

Prior to joining Wells Fargo, James worked as a Wealth Management Strategist with Merrill Lynch and was an Estate Planning Attorney at the San Francisco based law firm of Steefel, Levitt & Weiss.

James has served as the Chair of the Estate Planning Committee for the Barristers Club of San Francisco, is a member of the Bay Area Red Cross Professional Advisory Committee, and has been actively involved with the Northern California Planned Giving Council and the Planned Giving Round Table – Southern California.

James received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota. He earned his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law and received a Master’s of Law in Taxation from Golden Gate University Law School.

Leslie MacGregor Levine, V.M.D., Ph.D., J.D.


Leslie MacGregor Levine is a patient advocate.   She runs a large support group for neuropathy patients in the Boston area, and provides counsel to and shares resources with patients from many regions of the country.  She works with patients at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  Leslie is on the Advisory Board for a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)- funded national data networking program, and is a PCORI grant reviewer.    

After graduating from Princeton University with an A.B. degree in biology, Leslie attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she completed a veterinary medical degree and a Ph.D. in physiology.   She then worked for several years doing research on diabetes at Harvard Medical School.  Leslie then obtained a J.D. from Harvard Law School, then trained as a biomedical patent attorney.  She practiced patent law first at two law firms, then joined a succession of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies before becoming Director of Intellectual Property at Harvard University.  

One day while at Harvard, Leslie developed acute neuropathy, which left her unable to walk and in great pain. The neuropathy forced her to go on disability from her much valued position.  It took about nine months before she was diagnosed with autoimmune small fiber neuropathy, and another year before she started treatment with IVIG.  This treatment almost totally relieved her symptoms.   Leslie played a lead role in her medical care to obtain appropriate diagnosis and therapy.  This process made her realize how hard it must be for people without her background to self educate, advocate and effectively work within the medical system when faced with the debilitating and typically painful symptoms of neuropathy.  At that point she became involved with helping other neuropathy patients to gain knowledge and to help facilitate their effective diagnosis and treatment.

Astrid G. Meghrigian, JD

Astrid Meghrigian received her law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1985. After graduating, she was in private practice with the law firm of Hassard, Bonnington, Rogers & Huber, where she was involved in complex antitrust litigation and researched bad faith and ERISA issues for a large healthcare service plan.

Ms. Meghrigian joined the California Medical Association in 1987, where she has been responsible for handling legal issues relating to antitrust, allied health professions, health delivery systems, clinical laboratories, drugs and reimbursement.

In addition, Ms. Meghrigian has been involved in a number of professional activities, including serving as a Board member of the California Society of Healthcare Attorneys and publishing numerous articles of interest to the health care community.

Jeffrey W. Ralph, MD

Dr. Jeffrey W. Ralph is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of California San Francisco, and is a practicing neurologist who specializes in diseases of the nerve, muscle and neuromuscular transmission. In 2004, he was appointed director of the Neuropathy Center at UCSF Medical Center, founded in part with funding from the Neuropathy Association. In addition to treating patients in the clinic, he is an electromyographer, performing specialized tests such as laryngeal electromyograms. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine where he graduated with honors and distinction. He then completed a neurology residency and fellowships in neuromuscular and clinical neurophysiology at the University of California, San Francisco. His research has addressed treatments for HIV-associated polyneuropathy and traumatic neuropathies.

Dr. Ralph is currently a member of both the American Academy of Neurology and the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine.

Richard S. Zimmerman, MD

Dr. Zimmerman attended Boston University where he received his undergraduate and graduate medical degrees with honors. He completed a residency in Neurological Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia followed by a fellowship in cerebrovascular and skull base surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute. He is Professor at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, and is a practicing member of Mayo Clinic Arizona. His neurosurgical practice focused on the surgical treatment of epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease, and trigeminal neuralgia, and he serves on the Medical Advisory Board of the National Trigeminal Neuralgia Association, and the Board of Directors of the Neuropathy Action Foundation.

Dr. Zimmerman had served as Medical Director of Mayo Clinic Hospital for over 10 years. He is currently a member of the Mayo Clinic Arizona Executive Board, chairs the Mayo Arizona Quality and Process Improvement Committee, and is the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education. In addition to Mayo activities in Arizona, Dr. Zimmerman chaired the Mayo Clinic Quality Care Subcommittee, which integrates and coordinates quality and safety initiatives for Mayo Foundation at all Mayo Clinic sites including Rochester, Jacksonville, Arizona, and the Mayo Health System. Dr. Zimmerman has worked closely with the Arizona Hospital Association and the Arizona Quality Improvement Organization (H.S.A.G.) on statewide healthcare quality and safety improvement initiatives. He was elected to two terms and served as vice-chair of the Arizona licensing and regulatory board for physician assistants, has been a member of and teaching faculty for the American College of Physician Executives, and has completed Leadership Black Belt training at the Juran Institute of the Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis. Dr. Zimmerman has met with and presented to representatives of the United States Congress, the Rand Corporation, and international public health officials and healthcare leaders from Mexico, Japan, and Taiwan. Dr. Zimmerman has been a repeat course director and presenter at the Mayo Clinic Conference on Quality in Rochester, Minnesota, and has served as a panelist and participant in the national Mayo Clinic Conference on Medicine and the Media and the Mayo Clinic/Rand Health Policy Forum. In 2007 Dr. Zimmerman received the Innovation in Patient Safety Award from the Arizona Partnership for Implementing Patient Safety.

DIRECTOR EMERITUS

Claudia Foutz

Advisory Board

Richard J. Barohn, MD
Gertrude and Dewey Ziegler Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology, University Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center

Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS

17th Surgeon General of The United States

David R. Cornblath, MD
Professor, Johns Hopkins University

Jonathan M. Goldstein, MD

Director, Yale Neuromuscular/EMG Program

Mazen Dimachkie, MD

Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center

Kenneth C. Gorson, MD

Director, Neuromuscular Service, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center , Boston MA; Professor of Neurology, Tufts University School of Medicine

Jonathan Katz, MD

Chief of Neuromuscular Services at California Pacific Medical Center

Todd Levine, MD

Co-Director of Neuropathy Association Certified Clinic, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center and Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

Tahseen Mozaffar, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology and Orthopaedic Surgery,
Director ALS and Neuromuscular Center, University of California, Irvine

David Saperstein, MD

Co-Director of Neuropathy Association Certified Clinic, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center and Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

Annabel K. Wang, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology, Director of Neuromuscular Diagnostic Laboratory, Director, Neuromuscle Medicine Fellowship, UC Irvine ALS and Neuromuscular Center

Gil I. Wolfe, MD

Irvin and Rosemary Smith Professor, Chairman, Dept. of Neurology
State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences,
Buffalo General Medical Center