Family Heart Foundation Board of Directors
Joshua W. Knowles, MD, PhD - Board of Directors

Joshua W. Knowles, MD, PhD

Chairman of the Board
Chief Research Advisor

Dr. Joshua W. Knowles is an Attending Physician in the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease where he treats patients with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). He has had a longstanding interest in the genetic (inherited) basis of cardiovascular disease and in particular the use modern genetic techniques to improve our ability to diagnose and treat patients at risk of heart disease. Dr. Knowles completed his MD-PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he worked in the lab of Prof. Nobuyo Maeda and Nobel Laureate Oliver Smithies studying animal models of atherosclerosis and lipid metabolism. He then completed his Internal Medicine residency and Cardiovascular Medicine fellowship training at Stanford University working in the lab of Dr. Thomas Quertermous. He has published over 35 papers focused on heart disease with research projects currently funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. He is particularly excited to be involved with the Family Heart Foundation in their mission to increase awareness of this condition, identify patients with FH, encourage screening of family members of those with FH and facilitate treatment of FH patients. He views FH as a “winnable battle” because once FH is identified, it can be usually be treated quite effectively. Josh and his wife Juliet live in Palo Alto with their daughter.

Dr. Seth Baum - Family Heart Board Member

Seth Baum, MD, FACC, FACPM, FAHA, FNLA, FASPC

Vice Chairman of the Board

Dr. Seth J. Baum, a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, completed training in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, and Electrophysiology. He has directed and founded multiple Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology laboratories. Dr. Baum has worked extensively in Integrative Cardiology, directing the Boca Raton division of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medicine Institute.

Dr. Baum is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the National Lipid Association, and the American Society for Preventive Cardiology. He is a Founding Physician/Scientist Member of the Society for Cardiovascular CT and is board certified in Cardiovascular CT. Dr. Baum served as treasurer of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids. He founded and directs the Women’s Preventive Cardiology program at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. He is the President of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology (ASPC). Annually, Dr. Baum chairs the ASPC’s Conference on CVD Prevention. Dr. Baum is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Family Heart Foundation. He sits on the American Heart Association’s Council for Epidemiology and Prevention as well as its Leadership committee, the Interdisciplinary Council for Prevention, and the Prevention Science Committee. He has written numerous peer reviewed papers as well as two books, The Total Guide to a Healthy Heart, and Age Strong, Live Long; Lessons from my Patients. In 2013 he was awarded Cleveland Heart Lab’s “Heart Award” for lifelong dedication to Preventive Medicine. Dr. Baum is the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Excel Medical Clinical Trials, LLC, a consortium of clinicians dedicated to the safe and professional conduct of high-level scientific trials. He has served as Principal Investigator in over 100 clinical trials covering a broad band of disease states. Since 2022 he has been the Chief Scientific Officer for Flourish Research, a leading national clinical research company.

Clinical Affiliate Professor of Medicine at FAU Medical School, Dr. Baum has a practice in Boca Raton, Florida that is devoted solely to Clinical Lipidology - he is board certified by the American Board of Clinical Lipidology - and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. Dr. Baum also founded and directs the only lipoprotein apheresis program in southeast Florida. He lectures both nationally and internationally, emphasizing Familial Hypercholesterolemia, ASCVD prevention, lipid disorders and evolving therapies, Integrative Cardiology, sex distinctions in CVD, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Allison Jamison - Board of Directors

Allison Jamison, MBA

Treasurer

Allison serves the Family Heart Foundation as a volunteer FH Advocate for Awareness and as a Board Member. She earned her BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia, and her MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She currently works as the Assistant Dean of Admissions for the Daytime MBA program at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

Keith Ferdinand, MD, FACC, FAHA, FNLA, FASCP

Board Member

Dr. Keith Ferdinand is Professor of Medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine and previously Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Xavier University, New Orleans and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Ferdinand received his medical degree from the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC. He is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease, certified in the subspecialty of nuclear cardiology, and a specialist in clinical hypertension.

Dr. Ferdinand is a member of the Association of University Cardiologists, past Chair of the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and prior Chief Science Officer and chair of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC). He has also served on the board of the American Society of Hypertension, the Southwest Lipid Association, and International Society of Hypertension in Blacks. He is presently on the board of the Partnership to Advance Cardiovascular Health, National Lipid Association, and the American Society for Preventive Cardiology.

He is presently chair of the ABC Access to Care Initiative and co-chair of the ABC CME Committee. ABC Access since 2016 is a multi-organizational working group targeting disparities in the access to evidence-based medications and devices. He also serves the AHA National Hypertension Control Initiative (NHCI) Advisory Group, reflecting his  unique perspective, experience, and expertise in hypertension. This group provides leadership and guidance to our national blood pressure initiative in the areas of clinical care and community health as an AHA cooperative agreement with the Office of Minority Health (OMH) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).He serves advisor to the National Association of Community Health Centers Million Hearts initiative with the CDC.

He has conducted numerous trials in hypertension lipids, cardiometabolic risk, and cardiovascular disease especially in racial/ethnic minorities, with over 250 peer-reviewed publications and lectures nationally and internationally.

In 2004, Dr. Ferdinand received the Louis B. Russell, Jr. Memorial Award of the American Heart Association. Other awards include the Congressional Black Caucus Health Trust for journalism, the Charles Drew award for medical excellence from the National Minority Quality Foundation, the Wenger Award for Medical Leadership  by WomenHeart and ABC Spirit of the Heart Distinguished Leadership Award and in the 2019 Xavier University Champion Award for health equity and AHA 2019 James B. Herrick Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cardiology. He received a 2021 and again in 2022 Health Care Heroes honor, for health care professionals in the New Orleans area.

Brian Mittman, PhD

Board Member

Dr. Brian Mittman is a Research Scientist, Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation, Division of Health Services Research and Implementation Science. He co-leads the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Implementation and Improvement Science Initiative and has additional affiliations with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (voluntary position) and RAND Health Program.

Courtney Riley, MD

Courtney Riley, MD

Board Member

Dr. Courtney Riley is a practicing pediatrician in Central Vermont. She has a family history of elevated Lipoprotein (a) and tragically lost her sister to a fatal heart attack at just 23 years old. She has since joined the Family Heart Foundation as an Advocate for Awareness in an effort to educate providers, patients and families about this incredibly common yet wildly under recognized condition.

She is a proud graduate of Clarkson University and attended medical school at New York Medical College. She completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She  serves on her hospital’s ethics committee and has played an active role in helping her practice gain statewide and national recognition for outstanding vaccination rates.

As a director she will deepen her commitment to the organization and more effectively support the move to include Lp(a) awareness and research to our mission. She is hopeful that her involvement will allow her to better advocate for universal screening, early detection, increased education, and the discovery and implementation of appropriate interventions. She is honored and proud to do this work in memory of her sister and grandmother. She is further motivated to make a difference for her family, friends, and patients who live with elevated Lp(a) , both known and unknown.
Katherine Wilemon - Board of Directors

Katherine A. Wilemon

Founder, CEO

Katherine's own journey to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate care for Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) urged her to devote her life to this cause. After being turned away from the ER several times and having a heart attack at 38, Katherine set out to raise awareness of FH and save lives. Katherine has spoken to thousands of people across the US and Europe in her effort to bring FH into focus, both for the public and the medical community. In the U.S. alone there are more than 1.3 million people affected by FH, yet 90% of them are undiagnosed. With the formation of the Family Heart Foundation in 2011, Katherine's goals are to reverse the shocking statistics and empower people with FH to have longer, healthier lives.