The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America Announces Four New National Board of Trustees New Members

February 25, 2014

New York, NY-- February 25-2014 – The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of  America (CCFA) is delighted to announce Dr. Maria Olivia-Hemker, Eric Stone, Bishop Walter Thomas, and Paula Hilbert as the new members of the Board of Trustees for 2014.

“We are thrilled to have these passionate, accomplished leaders join our board,” said Richard Geswell, President and CEO of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. “This is an exciting time at CCFA and I am confident these new board members will help us carry out our vision of a future free from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in a fresh, new way.”

Maria Olivia-Hemker, M.D.

Maria Oliva-Hemker, M.D., is director of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and  Stermer Family Professor of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Her clinical practice focuses on inflammatory intestinal disorders such as IBD, autoimmune enteropathy and eosinophilic gastroenteritis although she diagnoses and manages the full spectrum of pediatric gastrointestinal conditions.

Dr. Oliva-Hemker has been named among “America’s Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. for more than 10 years and is among Marquis’ “Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare.” She has been named a Baltimore “Top Doc” and has received a U.S. News and World Report “Top Doctor” designation for being in the top 1 percent of pediatric gastroenterologists in the nation. Dr. Oliva-Hemker began the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center at Johns Hopkins in 1998, which provides medical care to hundreds of children and adolescents with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis from all over the world. She is the inaugural recipient of the Stermer Family Professorship in Pediatric IBD and is also a Professor of Pediatrics.

She is an active clinical researcher who has co-authored numerous articles, and reviews and has served on multiple editorial and organizational boards including the Pediatric Gastroenterology Subboard of the American Board of Pediatrics.She is editor-in-chief of the book, Your Child with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Family Guide for Caregiving. She received her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed her residency in pediatrics and did a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins before joining the faculty in 1993. 

Eric Stone 

A veteran marketer, Stone is a founder of Creative Vascular.  Before starting his own medical device company, he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for MolecularHealth, an oncology personalized medicine firm, and prior with Abbott (NYSE: ABT), he launched a series of pioneering medical technologies while based in Brussels, Belgium and the Bay area.  Stone a founding member of Model Nʼs (NYSE: MODN) Life Sciences division, and began his career in Marketing with Austin, Texas-based Trilogy Software.

Stone is active in the social sector, co-founding Harvardʼs Student-Alumni Mentoring Initiative and Wharton’s Health Care Board Fellows Program, and is former Committee Chair and Director of Harvard University’s Alumni Association Board of Directors.  He currently serves as a Director of Vigilant Biosciences and as an Advisor to 3NT Medical, Empower Interactive, and PENNʼs MyHeartMap Challenge.  Stone received an MBA in Health Care Management from The Wharton School, a Master’s degree from Harvard University, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.  He and his wife live in New York City.
Paula J. Hilbert          


Since 2013, Paula J. Hilbert has served as Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Synchronoss Technologies, a world leader in cloud solutions and software-based activation serving communication service providers across the globe. Prior to that position, Ms. Hilbert served as Executive Vice President of Global Operations and Chief Service Officer since she joined Synchronoss in October 2010. Prior to that position, Ms. Hilbert served as a Managing Director/Global Client Service and Offshoring at JP Morgan Chase Treasury and Securities Services and a number of senior positions at AT&T, including Vice President-Customer Relationship Management. Ms. Hilbert holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Clarion University and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

Bishop Walter Scott Thomas    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Bishop Walter Scott Thomas has served as the pastor of the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland since 1975. Under his leadership, the church body has grown from 200 to more than 7,000 active members. The church also has a national television broadcast, "Empowering Disciples,” which can be viewed on the Word Network and on WJZ TV in Baltimore. He is highly regarded executive and personal coach with more than 30 years of experience in working with church leaders, pastors, church staffs in addition to being an accomplished author. 

Bishop Thomas has served as the past president of the Hampton University Minister's. He has received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland in Economics. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Howard University School of Religion in Washington, D.C. and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Saint Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the recipient of the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Virginia Seminary and Bethune Cookman College.




About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). CCFA’s mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit, call 888-694-8872, like us on Facebook, find us on LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter and Pinterest. 

Media Contact:
Erin Mulvey Stoeber


Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, with more than 80 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends going to mission-critical programs. The Foundation consistently meets the standards of organizations that monitor charities, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance ( and the American Institute of Philanthropy (

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