Advisory Board

Suzanne LeBlang, M.D.
University MRI
Boca Raton

John H. Fischer II, M.D.M
Department of Radiology
St. Lukes Episcopal Hospital

Dr. Fischer is a partner in Singleton Associates, P.A., a large sub-specialized radiology practice, and has practiced at St. Lukes Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas since October 2001. He graduated with high honors from The University of Texas @ Austin in 1990 and received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in 1994. After serving an internship at Baylor College of Medicine, he performed his diagnostic radiology residency training at The University of Washington in Seattle from 1995-1999 where served as chief resident from 1998-1999. Dr. Fischer then returned to his hometown of Houston in 1999 and performed his fellowship training in interventional radiology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and affiliated hospitals from 1999-2000. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology (ABR), holds a certificate of added qualifications (CAQ) in interventional radiology, and is an assistant professor of radiology at Baylor College of Medicine. He is also a member of numerous professional societies, including the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS), the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Texas Medical Association (TMA) and the Harris County Medical Society (HCMS). Dr. Fischer began performing uterine fibroid embolization in 2000. To date, he has performed thousands of minimally-invasive, image-guided procedures and hundreds of embolization procedures, many of them for uterine fibroids.

Robert K. Zurawin, M.D.
Associate Professor of Gynecology
Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Zurawin is an Associate Professor in the division of Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. He received his medical degree with honors from Baylor College of Medicine in 1977 and completed his residency at Baylor in 1982. Dr. Zurawin is Director of the Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and is the Director of the Baylor Clinic Hysteroscopy Program. He specializes in minimally invasive surgery and alternative procedures to hysterectomy. He also treats urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and problems of the menopause.

Dr. Zurawin is a member of many professional and scientific societies and has numerous committee appointments, both with national organizations and also at the hospitals at which he practices. Dr. Zurawin was recently elected to the Board of Trustees of the Americal Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL). He is involved nationally in the training of advanced endoscopic surgery to residents and practicing surgeons. He has held the position of Chief of the Gynecology Service at Texas Children’s Hospital and is past-president of the Houston Gynecological and Obstetrical Society.

Clare Tempany, M.D.
Professor of Radiology
Vice Chair of Radiology Research
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Elizabeth A. Stewart, M.D.
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Mayo Clinic

Dr. Elizabeth AnNella (Ebbie) Stewart is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota. She received her undergraduate degree in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She is board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has subspecialty certification in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology.

Dr. Stewart has conducted both basic science and clinical research regarding uterine fibroids and other uterine problems. She has authored many scientific publications and a book Uterine Fibroids: The Complete Guide. She has received funding from both the National Institutes of Health and numerous industry sources and currently serves as president of the Fibroid Foundation. Her primary research interests are minimally invasive therapies for uterine fibroids and the genetics of uterine leiomyomas. Her clinical practice is devoted to uterine fibroid treatment in women who want future fertility and infertility diagnosis and treatment.

Samantha Allison
Former General Manager
GE Women’s Healthcare

Samantha Allison is currently providing strategic planning and marketing consulting services to healthcare companies. Prior to starting her own consulting business, Samantha was responsible for leading the HPSC Division of GE Healthcare Financial Services (HFS). HPSC, Inc. was acquired by GE in January, 2004, providing a platform to offer comprehensive financing solutions to office-based, licensed healthcare professionals. Samantha transitioned into the role after managing the integration of HPSC into GE HFS, leading a cross-functional business team to integrate the $1 Billion portfolio and 130 employees.

Prior to this role, Samantha was the Managing Director of Quality, developing and implementing the Six Sigma Quality initiative at GE Healthcare Financial Services (HFS), striving to ensure that GE HFS’ performance continually exceeds customers’ expectations. Prior to this appointment, Samantha was General Manager, Women’s Healthcare Business, bringing all of GE’s medical technologies and services to the growing women’s healthcare market.

Samantha began her career with GE in 1990 in the company’s Financial Management Program, completing a variety of financial projects in the GE Healthcare magnetic resonance (MR) and nuclear magnetic resonance businesses. In 1992, Samantha became a member the Corporate Audit Staff and completed assignments across the GE businesses worldwide. She returned to GE Healthcare in 1995 to assist in the start up of GE Healthcare Performance Solutions, a consulting organization providing solutions to healthcare customers. In 1998, Samantha joined the company’s business development organization where she led GE’s efforts to acquire multi-vendor services businesses. Samantha was promoted to Director, Global eCommerce, in 1999, developing technology based learning solutions for employees, customers and patients.

Dr Sue Zaher
Clinical Manager
MR Therapy Centre

Dr. Zaher graduated in 2001 with honours from the University of Dundee, Scotland. She started O&G training in Scotland, becoming a Diplomat of the royal college of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and continued with training towards achieving membership. She initially started at Imperial College, working with Professors Regan and Gedroyc as their joint Gynaecology research fellow. Her research provided material for the study towards a Medical doctorate and she is currently completing her thesis, the first MD to be done purely in this field.

Throughout the past 3 years, she has been involved heavily in the practical side of FUS, perfecting patient selection over time in the out-patients clinic, undertaking treatments and follow up. She is part of the first centre to have created formalised guidelines to our scientific colleagues on patient suitability. These have been published in the European journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She has been involved in the treatment of over 200 patients and has been a certified FUS practioner, the first gynaecologist in the UK to be so, for the last 15 months, and is currently a senior trainer, developing continuing educational programs and training for others.

The centre at St Mary’s currently stands as the leading European site and continues to be a show-site for others in the region and beyond. As such her vision in joining the MRTC was to build on this and further their reputation as a centre for clinical excellence. They continue to be involved in world-leading research.One of her goals as Clinical Manager of the MRTC was to set about increasing both patients’ and physicians awareness on this treatment, and she looks forward to continued collaboration with the FUS foundation in this common aim.

Dr Paul Crowe
Consultant Interventional Radiologist
Birmingham Fibroid Clinic

Dr Shirin Irani
Consultant Gynaecologist
Birmingham Fibroid Clinic

Joy Polefrone, Ph.D.
Clinical Marketing Manager MR-HIFU
Philips Healthcare, BU MR, Vantaa, Finland

Dr. Polefrone is the Focal Drug Delivery Program Director at the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation, an internally driven research initiative at the Foundation which was launched in early 2010. Previously, Dr. Polefrone served as the Director of Patient Support Organizations at the Foundation from May 2008 – January 2010. During this time, she founded the FUS Foundation’s first Patient Support Organization, Fibroid Relief, and served as its Executive Director from October 2008-February 2010. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Polefrone worked as a biotech equity analyst at CRT Capital Group in Stamford, CT. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Virginia in the fall of 2006 in the Laboratory of Donald F. Hunt, Ph.D. The focus of her doctoral dissertation was the use of mass spectrometry to interrogate research questions related to cancer immunology and immunotherapy.