Douglas A. Drossman, MD


Dr. Drossman has been in academic medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 40 years. He has committed his career to patient centered care and recently left UNC to devote his time to helping clinicians and patient optimize their communication skills through a variety of educational formats. He is recognized internationally for this work as well as in the areas of Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine and crossover areas of Biopsychosocial Medicine.

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Johannah Ruddy


Mrs. Ruddy is the Executive Director of the Rome Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors of DrossmanCare, and is a Co-Facilitator for Teaching Communication Skills to Patients and Providers. Mrs. Ruddy has a BS in Political Science and an M.Ed. in Curriculum Development and 20 years of executive leadership experience working with a variety of nonprofit organizations nationwide. 

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Albena D. Halpert, MD

Board Member

Dr. Halpert is a gastroenterologist at Harvard University Health Services, Cambridge, MA and an adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Gastroenterology at the Boston University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. She trained with Dr. Drossman at the University of North Carolina and is an expert in communications skills and managing patients with Functional GI Disorders.

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Dr. William E. Whitehead

Board Member

Dr. Whitehead served on the board of the Rome Foundation since 1992. He was Chair of the Research Committee, co-chair (with Dr. Olafur Palsson) of the Questionnaire Development and Validation Committee. He was also a member of the Executive, Finance, Editorial committees, and the Steering Committee of the Global Epidemiology of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Study. He chaired the Questionnaire Development Committee for Rome IV and co-chaired the global validation of the Rome IV criteria in 8 countries.

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Jennifer Layton

Board Member

Jennifer has worked with Dr. Drossman at the University of North Carolina, and with Drossman Gastroenterology for nearly a decade.  She has a BS in Communication and an MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Administration, and collaborates with the Center to assist in program coordination and development.

Mark Drossman

Creative/Marketing Advisor

Mark has over 30 years of experience in advertising, as an art director, copywriter and creative director at many of New York’s top agencies, including Della Femina Travisano & Partners, Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer (now Havas) and Ogilvy & Mather.

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Davis Stillson

Director, Editor, and Videographer for DrossmanCare/Drossman Center

Davis is the founder of Davis Stillson Associates, a video production group based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Davis Stillson Associates (DSA) creates high definition video projects in the areas of health, education and the humanities.

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nikki shafer

Nikki Shafer

Digital Media and Communications Specialist

Nikki Shafer is the digital media and communications specialist for Drossman Care/Drossman Center and is responsible for developing, advancing and executing an integrated communications strategy that includes creating compelling multimedia content packages and helping to engage physicians, patients and the media online through a variety of social network channels, including Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.