Jennifer Canvasser, MSW
Founder & Executive Director
Jennifer Canvasser founded the Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) Society after her son Micah died from complications of the disease. Jennifer completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California, and is currently a part-time doctoral student studying sociology at UC Davis. Jennifer serves as an expert panelist for the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative, an advisor for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Patient Engagement Advisory Panel, and co-chairs the International Neonatal Consortium workgroup on NEC. She has served as the project lead on three PCORI Engagement Awards.
Erin Umberger, M.Arch
Erin’s professional history is as a healthcare architect and graphic designer, with undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Biology. Erin lost her daughter Sarah to necrotizing enterocolitis at two months of age. Erin was then motivated to change her professional path to advocate for babies and families affected by NEC. She draws on her project management, graphic design, and science literacy skills in her work for the NEC Society.
Linseigh Green survived necrotizing enterocolitis as an infant in 1997 and discovered she had long-term complications from NEC when she was 16. Now, she’s able to help raise awareness about the disease and advance the needs of patients. An alumna of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study (BA Social Impact Storytelling ‘19) and a current Creative Writing MSt student at the University of Cambridge, she is a devotee of stories that promote empathy within and between communities. In addition, she is an artist in residence at the Orchard Project’s Liveness Lab, a transmedia performance initiative.
Alison Oliver, RN, BSN, RNC-NIC
Alison is a Registered Nurse with 13 years of experience working with NICU babies and families. She is driven to use her skills and background to help build a world without this devastating disease. Alison’s work focuses on building meaningful relationships with patient-families, clinicians, and others who share our vision of a world without NEC. She also identifies new funding opportunities and help ensure the NEC Society has adequate resources to advance its work.
Erin Pryor, MPH, RDN, LD
Erin is a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Texas, Houston Health Sciences Center. Erin comes to us with extensive knowledge from her clinical work as a neonatal nutritionist in a Level IIIB NICU in Ohio. As a clinician, she has seen the devastating effects of NEC on patient-families and the entire care team. Erin also brings a personal perspective to this role as her oldest son was born 2 months prematurely and spent five weeks in intensive care.
Board of Directors
Jolene Jacobs, MBA
Jolene is the General Manager of Caliper Commercial Ingredients, a division of Caliper Foods. Prior to joining Caliper, Jolene had established a presence for herself as an award-winning medical marketing, sales, and operations professional known for leading with a passionate, entrepreneurial spirit and a keen focus on infant health & nutrition. Jolene was responsible for helping to start Evolve BioSystems, a spin-off from the Foods for Health Institute (FFHI) at the University of California, Davis, and launch their infant probiotic Evivo. She brings over 25 years of experience from leading retail, consumer packaged goods, and ingredient companies. A long-time supporter of the NEC Society, Jolene is thrilled to contribute to a world without NEC.
Adam Masin, Esq.
Adam is a partner at the law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, and has a national practice representing physicians, medical institutions, and pharmaceutical/medical device companies in negligence and product liability litigation. Adam represents Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University, and he was the lead lawyer in the case involving a contaminated probiotic in a baby with NEC who tragically died.
Amena Mebane, Esq.
Amena graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in American Studies Honors with an emphasis in Race, Law and Social Movements. After completing her undergraduate studies, Amena attended the University of Washington, School of Law where she graduated Order of Barristers. She served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the King County Prosecutor’s Office in Seattle for five years doing rotations in the District Court, Felony Trial and Domestic Violence units. After moving back home to California in 2016, Amena has enjoyed her work as a mother, wife and estate manager. In January 2019, Amena and her husband lost their youngest daughter, Makenna, to NEC at 7 weeks old. Amena is hopeful to use her advocacy skills to help create a world without NEC.
Rebecca Meuninck, Ph.D.
Rebecca is the Deputy Director for the Ecology Center, a Michigan-based non-profit working to protect human health and the environment. She has worked on environmental health and environmental justice issues for more than 17 years. Rebecca coordinates the environmental health work for the Ecology Center and the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health and serves on the steering committees of several state and national environmental health coalitions. In the wake of the Flint Water Crisis, Rebecca was appointed by Governor Snyder to the state’s Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission. Rebecca’s work centers around her passion for protecting children’s health. Rebecca holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology, with a graduate specialization in Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change from Michigan State University, and a BS from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan.
Susan Perez, MPH, PhD
Susan focuses research on understanding consumers’ decision-making processes in order to develop healthcare policies, information, and resources to promote high value decisions. Dr. Perez has conducted studies that classified approaches to processing Internet health information among vulnerable populations; addressed statewide overuse of healthcare services; identified approaches for patients and providers to discuss cost; developed a statewide campaign to address variation in C-section rates by working with both patients and hospitals; and illuminated consumers’ views of cost sharing, quality and network choice. Prior to her appointment as an assistant professor at California State University, Sacramento, Dr. Perez completed a postdoctoral fellowship in quality, safety, and comparative effectiveness research and earned a doctorate in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership program at the University of California, Davis.
Lindsay M. Pollak, MBA
Lindsay is the head of global programs and analytics for McKinsey & Company’s Diversity and Inclusion function; she is part of a global team focused on developing strategy and implementing key initiatives to ensure that McKinsey develops, advances, and retains the best talent. She has extensive consulting experience focusing on organizational transformation and design. Lindsay has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in international relations and a secondary major in economics from Stanford University. She lives in California with her family.
Jenny Quinn, PhD, NNP-BC
Jenny is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at NorthBay Healthcare and serves on the Perinatal Quality Improvement Panel for the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative. Dr. Quinn has practiced neonatal nursing for 20 years and has cared for dozens of infants and their families who have been affected by NEC.
Noelle Sechrest, RDN
Noelle is a Regional Director for Cognoa, a pediatric behavioral health company. She is also a Registered Dietitian with over 20 years of experience that includes healthcare leadership and new business development in the infant nutrition and microbiome industry. Her passion for making a lasting impact on all infants and children is what keeps her motivated. Noelle is delighted to be supporting NEC Society’s mission, a world without NEC.
Simone Rosito, MBA
Tom and Dani’s auntie, Simone holds a degree in Management and International Relations by the University of Aberdeen, a Masters in Middle East Politics, from the University of Durham and is currently specializing in Social Projects. With a long international career in Latin American Equities desks, Simone has lived in the UK and Australia and is a keen traveler with a taste for exotic locations. Her trips to places such as Syria, Bhutan and Algeria resulted in the book “Oh My Buddha” soon to be available in English and proceeds to be donated to Instituto PGG.