The Sansum Diabetes Research Institute is pleased to announce the election of new officers and new members to the organization’s Board of Trustees.

Robert Nagy, M.D.

Robert Nagy, M.D., has been elected board president, replacing outgoing president Ellen Goodstein, Esq., who completed her two-year tenure in June.

“Dr. Nagy is the perfect leader to take over the helm as board president of the institute,” Goodstein said. “He has been a long-standing board member and has provided excellent guidance through his work on various administrative and diabetes research committees. I leave my watch knowing that the organization is now in his capable hands.”

Dr. Nagy is a practicing physician in Santa Barbara. He obtained his medical degree from USC after graduating with a degree in biology from UC Los Angeles. Since 2001, Dr. Nagy has had a private practice in general and geriatric psychiatry in Santa Barbara.

In addition, he is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at USC, a clinical instructor at the Department of Education’s Hosford Clinic at UC Santa Barbara, and is a member of the American Medical Association, Southern California Psychiatric Society and the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Nagy joined the Sansum Diabetes Research Board of Trustees in 2008 and served as member-at-large on the Executive Committee, chairs the Bylaws Committee and also serves on the Objectivity and Integrity in Science Committee.

He is an avid cyclist, having just completed a bicycle tour of the French Riviera, and has competed in short and long distance races.

Sandra Tillisch Svoboda

Joining Dr. Nagy is newly elected board vice president Sandra Tillisch Svoboda.

Formerly a nurse clinician, Sandra has been a Sansum Diabetes trustee for six years. She is the program director for the institute’s Summer Student Intern Program.

She is the president of the American Orchid Society, as well as editor-in-chief of the international publication, the Orchid Digest. She has also served as a board member of CALM, Planned Parenthood and Camerata Pacifica.

Other new officers are treasurer Michael Hopkins, who serves as general counsel/executive vice president for Ice Energy and Secretary Anne Patterson, R.D., M.P.H., who served as the director of nutritional programs at the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department prior to her retirement.

Sharon Kennedy

Sharon Kennedy has been elected as a new board trustee, after serving on the institute’s Planned Giving Committee for six years, chairing it since 2012. She is the owner of Sharon Kennedy Estate Management, a company that manages the care needs and financial affairs of its clients.

Kennedy is an attorney of 25 years and serves as a professional fiduciary. She is a California licensed professional fiduciary at the state level and a certified national guardian at the national level.

In addition to being a member of the California State Bar, she is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Estate Planning Council and the Center for Successful Aging. She is also a member of the Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Prevention Council and the Association for Senior Care.

Michael McColm

Michael McColm has also been newly elected to the Sansum Diabetes Board of Trustees.

He is a Santa Barbara native. He has been a merchant most of his adult life, managing the family furniture businesses, Danica House, Neuvie and, for the past three years, president of MichaelKate Interiors and Art Gallery. He attended Santa Barbara City College and UCSB.

The McColm family was first introduced to Sansum Diabetes Research Institute when daughter Kate was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, three weeks before her fifth birthday.

Over the past 18 years, McColm has witnessed firsthand the difference the institute makes in the life of a child living with diabetes, providing treatment, education and love. The staff has not only improved Kate’s quality of life, but has given her and her family hope.

— Sarah Ettman-Sterner is the director of communications for the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.