Meet the Board Members

DIANA KINCAID, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Diana returns to the Northwest Lymphedema Center as Executive Director after having practiced with founder, JoAnn Rovig at our original location in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, early in her career. That she is passionate about all things lymphatic is no understatement.  Diana studied at the Foldi Clinic in Germany where she met Lynn Fass, our longstanding President and now Board Co-Chair, in what became a lifelong pursuit for the both of them. In 2019, Diana renewed her well-established Certified Lymphedema Therapist credentials with Klose Training to be able to bring state of art therapeutic expertise to our mission.  Besides specialized technical skills and understanding, Diana is an experienced educator and trainer, having been on the faculty at the Seattle Massage School for 8 years and serving in a national capacity setting standards for therapeutic massage. Diana also has considerable community leadership experience, having served as the Chair of the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners. In addition to her own research on fascia—connective tissue—and effects on lymph flow, staying current with the latest research on the Lymphatic System is a priority.  Diana maintains a small private therapy practice for select clients and coordinates with the ‘Lymphettes’, s small group of Lymphedema Therapists also in private practice.

 

LYNN FASS, Current Board Co-Chair, and Past PRESIDENT

Lynn, a Registered Nurse and a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and has been a true guiding force behind the Northwest Lymphedema Center for over 25 years and luckily for us continues in that capacity to this day. She trained at the Vodder and Casley-Smith Schools. She also speaks from experience, having had Primary Lymphedema in her legs since she was a teenager and in her arms which developed about 10 years later. Lynn is also a former patient at the Foldi clinic in Hinterzarten, Germany. She particularly enjoys teaching others about lymphedema management with the goal of improving their quality of life. Lynn has a loyal following of former students and patients whom she has guided, and who often who return to take her classes again.

LAURIE JONES, Board Co-Chair

Not until midlife after taking the flagship self-care class taught at our then headquarters at Jovi-Pak ‘s manufacturing plant in Kent, Washington by Lynn Fass and JoAnn Rovig, did Laurie ever meet anyone else with Lymphedema, or who knew much about what to do about it!  Inspired by the education and support she had received and in being designated a Lymph Science Advocate by the National Lymphedema Network in 2016, Laurie has more recently taken on administration and management duties for our nonprofit. With a background in public policy for an agency of the U.S. Congress, Laurie is honored to have a leadership role at this critical time of promising developments in lymphatic science and medicine, and the new hope that brings for patients. Laurie is a breast cancer survivor, and is especially proud of two beautiful knee replacements in her legs with Primary Lymphedema.  She credits that success to what she has learned, and the support she has received from the special community of the Northwest Lymphedema Center.

Julie Venn, Vice President

Julie has a very comprehensive approach to caring for those with Lymphedema. With engineering in her professional background, after a diagnosis of breast cancer and treatment for her own Lymphedema, Julie redirected her talents toward intensive training to treat Lymphedema patients as a certified massage therapist in private practice. Along with this she also became a certified fitter for compression garments and created Custom Fit Therapies in Auburn, Washington. Her combined therapeutic practice and compression garment business holistically focuses on tailoring the many steps to move forward with each person’s Lymphedema care and healing. Julie has committed countless leadership hours and hands-on efforts to teaching our self-care class and supporting the organization’s mission as a whole. Julie has also led numerous Lymphedema support groups and is responsible for developing the outstanding and very popular, Harmony Hill Lymphedema Retreats.

 

KAREN GILLESPIE, Board Member

Karen is trained as both a Registered Nurse with experience mostly in intensive care and outpatient services, and as an Educator having spent the latter part of her career as an elementary school teacher.  In 2010 Karen developed Lymphedema in her left arm because of breast cancer treatment.  Three years later she had Lymph Node Transfer surgery that included  compression as an integral part of the protocol which she credits with the fact that her Lymphedema is now well managed. Karen’s medical and educational backgrounds, as well as her own Lymphedema experience, have inspired her to make a difference for other Lymphedema patients by joining the Board in 2017.  She is particularly interested in working with the medical community to increase awareness of Lymphedema and in making information about Lymphedema care more readily available to both doctors and patients.

JoAnn Rovig, Board Member, Founder & Advisor EMERITUS

JoAnn is and always has been a true champion for Lymphedema patients. As the one of the first licensed Lymphedema therapists in the Pacific Northwest; Founder of the first Lymphedema Clinic in Washington State; and Founder and Chief Product Designer for JoViPak Corporation for over a decade, JoAnn knows Lymphedema and its treatment very well. She received a breast cancer diagnosis during the last month of her massage training where she was fortunate to see a demonstration on Manual Lymph Drainage. After having 22 lymph nodes removed and seven weeks of radiation, JoAnn headed for Austria to specialize as a Lymphedema therapist.  With one of her first patients, Jane Gordon, they immediately recognized the need to expand Lymphedema awareness in our community, so they co-founded the Northwest Lymphedema Center as an educational facility for patients and their caregivers. After JoAnn sold JoViPak to BSN Medical, she started Lymphedema Challenger to continue to focus on her health and therapeutic priorities. Jovi-Pak products are now sold under the Jobst label by Essity Corporation. JoAnn’s newest series of videos are available at her website!

SEAN KU, Technical Advisor and BOARD MEMBER

Sean started his journey with NWLC as an IT Consultant for Plan IT Fall Program at 501 Commons in 2016. He and another consultant worked with Laurie and Karen and delivered an action plan to drive a transformation of NWLC. Sean was inspired by the dedication of Laurie and Karen and accepted the invitation to continue providing his services to NWLC.

He has over ten years of people, project and program management experience to accelerate changes and deliver results in both the business and IT initiatives. Sean also has seven years of learning and performance experience and served as a data analyst, facilities engineering coordinator, IT lead, IT liaison, systems analyst, IT consultant, business analyst, lead user support analyst, privacy analyst, project and program manager at non-profit, public and private sectors.

CHENG KU, TECHNICAL ADVISOR AND BOARD MEMBER

Cheng joined NWLC as another IT Consultant after hearing so much about the work which has been completed by this non-profit organization. Cheng is a senior business leader with over ten years of experience in program management, consulting and business process automation. Cheng comes with diverse industry experience in successful internet start-ups, B2B and B2C services, clinical information technologies, and international telecommunications. Cheng brings a proven track record to resolve issues from technical, analytical and business perspectives, providing solutions which are holistic and utilize the latest management methodologies. Having also served many years for other non-profit organizations, Cheng brings his passion and energy and looks to grow with NWLC for many years to come.

BOARD MEMBER IN HONORARIUM:
ELAINE GOLDEN EIGEMAN
APRIL 23, 1943 – APRIL 24, 2019

A teacher by mindset and a force of nature, Elaine led by example in advocating for lymphedema patients everywhere. Her goal was that “lymphedema patients understand how their lives can be full and active, especially if they learn how the lymphatic system works and how to effectively manage their particular form of lymphedema.” As Board Chair of the Lymphedema Advocacy Group representing patients nationwide, she tirelessly worked to pass the Lymphedema Treatment Act in the U.S. Congress, often traveling to Washington D.C. to do so. She was devoted to getting a Medicare related law passed that requires insurance coverage for compression as an essential part of lymphedema treatment. Getting Medicare coverage will set a standard for private insurance companies to follow. In 1999, Elaine developed lymphedema in both arms and hands while being treated for bilateral lobular breast cancer. That cancer returned in 2015. Throughout her journey, she unwaveringly encouraged and supported creating a vibrant local community for lymphedema patients in the Pacific Northwest.  We are extremely grateful for a generous bequest from her estate to continue that work.  A memorial for Elaine was held on Sunday, July 14th at the Mountaineers Club, 7700 Sandpoint Way, Northeast, Seattle, Washington.