I’m Nancy Muller, Executive Director of the National Association For Continence, also known   as NAFC.  The organization celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year!  We are among the oldest and most prolific consumer education and advocacy organizations in the world devoted to the field of continence care.  Specifically, we strive to provide public health education to people about bladder and bowel control problems, voiding dysfunction such as retention, nocturia and bedwetting, and related pelvic floor disorders including pelvic organ prolapse.  We collaborate with professional societies, such as those of specialty doctors, nurses, and physical therapists, in our efforts to advocate for access to safe, proven medical technology and care.  NAFC is broadly funded by patients, providers, private foundations, and industry.

NAFC was founded in 1982 by Dr. Katherine Jeter as Help For Incontinent People and became known as HIP.  We changed our name over a decade ago to be more inclusive of people with symptoms of bladder and bowel control.  I have been involved with NAFC since first being elected to its Board in 1996.  In 2000, I became the Executive Director and in 2003 relocated its national headquarters to Charleston, South Carolina.

My background, however, is not in not for profit work. I actually have a business management background, with an MBA degree.  I’ve always been drawn to healthcare because everyone needs it, the field is constantly changing with new discoveries every day, and there are lots of challenging problems to be solved.  As a director of marketing for a medical products company specializing in the design and manufacturing of patient surface support products to help prevent and treat pressure ulcers, or bed sores, I quickly became acute aware of how incontinence was the greatest risk factor for skin breakdown, after immobility itself.  No matter how good our products were, I concluded, if the nurses weren’t looking after the incontinence problem, pressure ulcers would appear or worsen.  Determined to learn more led me to NAFC, at that time still HIP.  The rest is history.

So here I am, in the best job I have ever had.  I love what I do:  Intellectually challenged every day, encouraged by the questions we receive and the answers we must find and deliver, yet eternally renewed by the lives we are changing when we connect and help individuals. I’ve become so lured by the importance of healthcare that I am now a candidate for my PhD in health services research and administration and expect to complete my doctorate degree in 2010.


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