After five years of advocacy leadership, Carol Head, the President of Solve ME/CFS (SMCI), will be stepping down from her position for health reasons.
Head, a graduate of Wellesley and Stanford’s School of Business, contracted ME after a viral infection and was deeply affected for years. However, she describes herself as “95% recovered” and added that she “dodged a bullet” regarding illness severity.
In 2013, she became the President and CEO of the Solve ME/CFS Initiative, one of the oldest advocacy organizations for ME/CFS in the United States. SMCI is known for their Ramsay Awards, which have funded such luminaries in the ME world as Carmen Scheibenbogen, Jarred Younger, Fane Mensah, Jonas Blomberg, Jonas Bergquist, and Christopher Armstrong. Solve ME/CFS also launched a biobank under Head’s leadership. In 2015, she gave a report in Washington D.C. after the release of the IOM Report, and in 2017 she received O Magazine’s Health Hero award. Head also took on an active role in #MEAction’s #MillionsMissing protests every May, and rallied other advocates to the cause. You can read a transcript of her talk at the 2016 #MillionsMissing here.
#MEAction is incredibly grateful for Carol’s role in helping to shape #MEAction and SMCI’s Advocacy Week, a joint effort in which people with ME and their representatives will be storming Congress to fight for a better world for people with ME. More than 200 individuals have signed up to take part, many of whom will be attending multiple meetings with congressional staff.
Carol Head will be transitioning from the role of president to a member of SMCI’s Board of Directors over the next several months.
SMCI’s Scientific Director, Dr. Sadie Whittaker said, “Carol has been a bright light in the ME/CFS community for over five years. I am privileged to have been able to work alongside her for these past months to grow my understanding of this difficult disease. While Carol will be missed as our CEO, she will stay formally engaged with SMCI as well as continuing to dedicate her time to the broader ME/CFS community. We wish her well as she takes the time she needs to regain her health.”
Carol has shown strong leadership over the last five years and made significant inroads to achieving better funding, clinical care, and governmental oversight for ME. Please join us in our gratitude for her hard work!
To read SMCI’s statement, click here.