PF Warriors is excited to announce the appointments of Teresa Barnes and Dolly Kervitsky to executive leadership positions. Barnes will serve as the prominent face and voice of the organization, while Kervitsky will join as its president, executing programs to benefit the global pulmonary fibrosis (PF) community. Both will work closely with the Executive Committee to develop and execute plans with clear pathways to improving the quality of life for PF patients.
The appointments of Barnes and Kervitsky will not eliminate Bill Vick’s and Shelly Mathis’s current roles. As the founder, Vick will continue to focus on providing inspiration, hope, and support to members, while Mathis will continue leading the organization’s education programs.
“PF Warriors is truly lucky to have these ‘superstars’ on our team,” said Vick. “Teresa and Dolly have been entrenched in the PF community for many years, fighting for patients and their families. Teresa has collaborated with many leading organizations and researchers advocating for PF patients. Dolly has built her PF experience working closely with physician researchers in lung disease research and also served for many years as the VP of patient relations for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Both will bring a whole new dimension of growth and opportunity for PF Warriors.”
Teresa Barnes has a long history of purpose-driven commitment, which began with her father being diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) decades ago. Later, four more relatives from her father’s side succumbed to IPF. Barnes was a founding board member for the first IPF organization — the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) — in 2001 and later served as the organization’s vice president until it merged its key programs with the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) in 2015.
Barnes’ personal and professional experience helped her develop a strong network within the medical and patient communities, serving on boards of directors or trustees and research advocacy committees. She was appointed as the advisory roundtable chair for the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and has worked as a lung research and patient advocate on Capitol Hill. Barnes established the Fibrosis Across Organs Symposium, which ATS convened in 2012, resulting in the first-of-its-kind funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Since 2007, Barnes has served on the Westie Foundation of America’s (WFA) board of directors, given the natural occurrence of PF in the canine breed. Through her efforts with the WFA, the Fibrosis Across Species Symposium was convened in 2014 and the first canine pilot drug study in IPF was conducted in collaboration with Yale and Tufts universities in 2019 and 2020. As an entrepreneur, Barnes co-founded fluidIQ in 2020, a public-benefit company that offers solutions based on a proprietary fluidics technology platform.
“Despite the number of potential new molecules and life-extending therapies now available, we still lose thousands of patients to PF annually,” said Barnes. “I am excited to begin my role as the organization’s ‘Chief Executive Warrior’ to accelerate our fight to the forefront and help patients and caregivers overcome the challenges of living with PF.”
Dolly Kervitsky began her career working in critical care as a respiratory therapist. She was then recruited to join a team of world-renowned researchers at National Jewish Health investigating rare lung diseases. Kervitsky helped develop the Interstitial Lung Disease Clinical and Research Program and established collaborations with physician researchers globally. She also worked closely with the NIH on developing and implementing clinical trials for rare diseases.
As an avid advocate for rare diseases, Kervitsky collaborated with advocacy organizations as a medical educator, developing and hosting patient and healthcare provider symposiums and workshops, as well as actively advocating for patient rights on Capitol Hill. After leaving the research division, she worked for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation as vice president of Patient Relations and Medical Affairs, developing signature programming and educational literature. Through global networking, she also helped form PF support groups and implement programming in Europe.
After leaving PFF, Kervitsky supported small, clinical-stage and large, global pharmaceutical companies as a medical science liaison, providing technical/practical education to various stakeholders within the pulmonary, hematology, autoimmune and infectious disease communities. Dolly also worked alongside Barnes at fluidIQ as vice president of Medical Affairs.
“PF Warriors touches so many patients and caregivers globally because of its empathy and ability to give families hope,” noted Kervitsky. “I will use my extensive experience in the PF community to expand membership and the breadth of educational resources we deliver to patients and families.”
Barnes and Kervitsky begin their new roles March 1 with plans to quickly execute strategies to increase membership, add educational resources for families, and partner with potential sponsors.