Our Leadership

Cure JM is led by a passionate team of volunteers, staff, and medical experts in juvenile myositis research and care.


Dr. Van Ness, PH.D., DHSc, PA-C


Location: Bayport, New York

In 2014, Dr. Van Ness stepped forward to become involved in Cure JM when her son was diagnosed with JDM. Since then, she and her family have participated in many Cure JM fundraising events. Dr. Van Ness’s leadership as co-Chair of the Walk Strong Across America New York event has been an exceptional part of its success.

With her medical background, Dr. Van Ness also plays an important role in guiding Cure JM’s future research investments. In 2016, Dr. Van Ness received the Jefferson Bronze Medal Award from the Jefferson Foundation for her work with Cure JM. Known as the “Nobel Prize for public service,” the Jefferson Awards recognize and honor individuals whose community service efforts best exemplify dedication to enhancing the quality of life in their community. Dr. Van Ness was awarded the Cure JM Hero award in the summer of 2018. The award recognizes significant contributions to the Cure JM mission.

She received her Doctorate of Health Science with a concentration in Healthcare Profession Education” from Nova Southeastern University. She received her Master of Science in Health Technology and Management from Stony Brook University in Health Care Policy and Management and a bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University. Dr. Van Ness works full time as an Associate Clinical Professor at Pace University New York City-Lenox Hill Hospital and also works as a physician assistant in adult and pediatric neurosurgery on Long Island in New York

Dr. Van Ness and her family reside in New York.

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