Thursday, January 5, 2017

Meet the director: Elizabeth Olear

We're pleased to have a new board member, Elizabeth Olear, joining us. To help you get to know her, she's answered a few basic questions about what she sees as her role on the board.

How did you become involved with the Network? I began working with Dr. Thomas Carpenter in Pediatric Endocrinology at Yale in 2006 and started learning about XLH and meeting all of our wonderful patients. Somewhere along the way I was introduced to the XLH Network and immediately wanted to be involved in connecting patients to each other and to the greater XLH community, as well as providing opportunities for education. It was in this spirit that I conceived the first XLH Day which was held on September 10, 2011. What's your superpower (a skill that you'll be using as a director)? This one was a challenge so I ended up polling my colleagues for their thoughts and I was told that my super power is finding the eye of the storm. When things get hectic, as they inevitably always do, I have a knack for finding the center and the calm, and am generally able to bring some of the chaos going on around me to a peaceful and composed landing. When things seem impossible, I usually find a way to make things happen. And most importantly, if all else fails, I make a great chocolate cake! I’m not sure if it is a superpower, but I believe that my combined backgrounds in Child Development (note, this is not Child Life) and medical science give me a unique perspective to understand both the human experience (& needs, fears, hopes, etc.) of living with XLH (or having a child/family member with XLH) and the science of the disorder. Some of my favorite people have XLH so I hope that, as a member of the Board, I can do my best to represent their needs and give them hope for the future. What Network project are you particularly excited about that you're working on? I am particularly excited about education. One of our greatest responsibilities as clinicians and researchers, is to educate our patients about their health and about XLH; a well-informed patient has their own unique super-power in that they can advocate for themselves and their family members and provide the best possible health outcome in the face of this disorder. Secondly, as always, I am looking forward to bringing the XLH Network to a new generation of patients and their families. We are on the brink of some new developments for the treatment of the disorder and I hope, in a small way, I can be a unifying member of Team XLH especially for some of our younger patients and their parents, for patients with related disorders and for our international members around the globe. Rachael Jones and I have a special project we have already begun working on and we can’t wait to share it with you later in 2017!

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