On April 3, Catrell Harris began as NOF’s new Director of Science and Education, taking the helm from Susan Randall, who retired after 13 years of dedicated service. Catrell comes to NOF after serving in several capacities with the non-profits, federal government, and medical associations. In the following Q&A, Catrell speaks about his initial impressions and ideas for the organization.
What led to your interest in NOF, and this position in particular?
For me, it’s always been about an organization’s call to mission, and how strong their mission is in what they do on a day-to-day basis. What appealed to me most about NOF was how strong the mission is, and at the center of it, that it’s all about our patients and doing what we need to do help them as they struggle with this disease.
What are your priorities getting started?
One of my first priorities is of course, learning and understanding what we do in our many programs, and meeting our patients and the external stakeholders. Looking to the future, it will be continuing the primary focus on the patient and their families by providing help and education. Also, helping patients become empowered as self-advocates as they move through the healthcare system.
This also includes working with the medical community and healthcare providers, so they are better able to diagnose osteoporosis quickly and get treatment to the patients. Lastly, continuing to provide continuing education opportunities for healthcare professionals.
Do you have immediate and long term goals for NOF programs and services?
Our immediate goals are ensuring that everything we are offering is useful to the patient – this is making sure that everything we deliver to them is of the highest quality and value. That’s the short-term. Long-term is looking at where the gaps may be – finding what we are not offering our patient and provider communities, and then developing the programs and services to make sure we’re able fill those gaps.
How would you describe your time at NOF thus far?
So far, it’s been great! The staff working here are very passionate and dedicated to the mission. The Board is highly engaged and have made themselves accessible to me when clinical questions arise. I’ve done a lot of learning over the past few months to say the least, but so far it really has been a fantastic experience.