External Advisory Board Bios
Click on the IOA External Advisory Board member's name below to learn more about each individual and the expertise he/she brings to the IOA.
|Sally J. Bellet||Alexander J. "Sandy" Brucker, MD|
|Patrick J. Brennan, MD||Willo Carey|
|Richard P. Brown, Jr., Esq.|
Sally J. Bellet received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Temple University in 1972 and completed graduate work at Columbia University School of Social Work in 1973. She then attended the Fordham University School of Law, graduating in 1976. Immediately thereafter, Ms. Bellet worked in the Philadelphia City Solicitor’s Office through 1992, followed by a position with the City Council President through 1994. That year, Ms. Bellet became Vice President of Real Estate for Amtrak, where she worked until 2006.
While pursuing her professional aspirations, Ms. Bellet also undertook a number of educational and philanthropic endeavors. She was on the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (1981-1990) and served as Trustee for: the Friends Select School (1989-1994); the Jewish Family and Children’s Agency (1989-1995); and the Prince Music Theatre (1995-2005).
Upon her retirement from Amtrak, Ms. Bellet devoted herself fully to philanthropic endeavors. She became President of the Stein/Bellet Foundation. Started by her grandfather, the Foundation supports education, medical research and the arts. Her parents, Marilyn and Edward Bellet, established the Bellet Fellowship at the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement and Disorder Center at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, where Ms. Bellet continues this annual program. Ms. Bellet is currently a Trustee of the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts as well as Chair of the School Committee and the Human Resources Committee. She established the Bellet Scholarship at Fordham University School of Law and since 1989 has served on the Selection Committee for the School’s Fordham-Stein Award. She is a member of the Advisory Board for Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Ms. Bellet also currently serves as Chair of the Hope Lodge for the Philadelphia Council of the American Cancer Society, an organization she has served since 1990 as both a member of the Major Gifts Committee and the Hope Lodge Committee.
Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President
Dr. P. J. Brennan is the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Professor of Medicine at the School of Medicine and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
From 2001 to 2005, Dr. Brennan served as the Chief of Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety at Penn. In that capacity, he led the patient safety and quality initiatives for UPHS, focusing on medication safety, better communication, and improved reporting of errors and near misses.
Dr. Brennan also oversees Medical Affairs and has developed a Center for Evidence-Based Practice to apply much-needed scientific evidence to clinical operations. Dr. Brennan leads the UPHS effort to develop a new model of transparency and integrity in interactions between PENN Medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.
A specialist in infectious diseases, Dr. Brennan served as director of Infection Control at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for 11 years. He has also held comparable positions at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.
For seven years, he was director of Tuberculosis Control for the City of Philadelphia. He is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). In 2008, he served as president of SHEA.
Dr. Brennan served as chair of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) from 2004 to 2010. This committee advises the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a broad range of issues related to control of infectious diseases. In 2010 Dr. Brennan received a CDC Lifetime Achievement Award in the discipline of Policy Impact for his contributions to infection prevention, healthcare epidemiology, and patient protection.
Dr. Brennan is also a member of the Patient Safety Advisory Group (formerly called the Sentinel Event Advisory Group) of The Joint Commission. The group provides expert advice on developing national patient-safety goals as they relate to unexpected occurrences involving death or serious physical or psychological injury, or the risk thereof, and which require immediate investigation and response.
A 1982 graduate of Temple University School of Medicine, Dr. Brennan received Temple’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2007.
Richard P. Brown, Jr., Esq.
Richard Brown has been an integral member of the IOA External Advisory Board since the IOA’s evolution in 1990 from the Center for the Study of Aging. Mr. Brown brings with him a storied personal career in volunteerism and non-profit leadership. Throughout his professional career in law as a partner in the firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, Mr. Brown has devoted his time, expertise and imagination to organizations working to improve the health and welfare of the Philadelphia region and the world.
While still active as counsel at Morgan Lewis, Mr. Brown currently participates as a board member of the Eisenhower Fellowships; the International Peace Institute in New York; International House Center; WHYY, Inc.; the William Penn Charter School; the Foreign Policy Research Institute; the Friends of the Wissahickon, and the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His relationship with Penn has included service as a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and as board chairman of the University of Pennsylvania Health System until 1990. Mr. Brown is an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and also a past chairman of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association.
Alexander J. "Sandy" Brucker, MD.
Professor of Ophthalmology
Alexander Brucker was educated at the University of Maryland and received his M.D. degree at New York Medical College. After completing a residency at the Fridenwald Institute of Maryland General Hospital, he did a Fellowship in Diseases of the Retina and Vitreous under the mentorship of Dr. Arnall Patz at The Wilmer Ophthalmologic Institute of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
In 1977, Dr. Brucker relocated to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where he was appointed to the faculty as Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and in 1994 became Professor of Ophthalmology, a position which he holds since that time. He served as Chief of the Retina and Vitreous Service at the Scheie Eye Institute/Department of Ophthalmology from 1979-1995.
During the course of his career, Dr. Brucker has served in many leadership capacities, too numerous to list in this short biography, but a sample which is listed herein. He is a member of societies and organizations such as the Macula Society of which he served as President in 1992, the Retina Society, the American Society of Retina Specialists, Club Jules Gonin, and the American Uveitis Society. He served as Chairman of the Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Philadelphia from 1987-90, holding other positions within that Foundation over the years.
Dr. Brucker has received numerous awards which have acknowledged his leadership in education, research, and patient care. He has been honored by Philadelphia Magazine with “Best Doctors” on numerous occasions, has received the Golden Apple Award for outstanding teaching in the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Pennsylvania on three occasions, was the recipient of the Albrecht von Graefe Award for distinguished contributions in ophthalmology by the American Society of Contemporary Ophthalmology, was the recipient of the Life Achievement Award from the Ophthalmic Club of Philadelphia, received the Life Achievement Honor Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and was the recipient of the J. Donald M. Gass Medal by the Macula Society at its meeting in Phoenix, Arizona in 2010.
Dr. Brucker has been invited to give numerous Named Lectureships throughout the world, some of which include the C.S. O’Brien Professorship Lecture at Tulane University, the Nachazel Lecture at William Beaumont Hospital, and the Albert C. Snell Memorial Lecture at the University of Rochester.
Dr. Brucker is the Editor-in-Chief of the foremost retina journal, RETINA, the Journal of Retinal and Vitreous Diseases, a position he has held and currently holds since 1981. He is currently Editor of Retinal Cases and Brief Reports, and is Section Editor for the Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Brucker has received innumerable invitations to be moderators of panels and honored guest lecturers locally as well as worldwide in such venues as Cape Town, Berlin, Sydney, Milan, Geneva, Bali, and Bangkok, just to name a few.
He has authored over 100 papers which have been printed in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, and has been the author of published books, texts, and chapters, the list too large to mention. His special interests have been the surgical treatment of vitreoretinal disorders, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, vascular occlusive diseases, and clinical trials to evaluate treatments for retinal diseases.
Dr. Brucker has been Principal Investigator of multiple clinical trials including the Diabetes Control and Complications and Trial (DCCT), the Age-Related Eye Disease Study II, the MacTel Study, and a multitude of other randomized controlled trials of retinal and vitreous diseases. He has served as P.I. of two recent diabetic retinopathy trials sponsored by the DRCR.net of the National Eye Institute. He has served on the Executive Committee of that organization.
Dr. Brucker has also served for seven years as a voting member of the Department of Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Ophthalmic Device Panel, an important regulatory panel for ophthalmology.
Dr. Brucker has been a role model for generations of medical students, residents, fellows, and colleagues, many of whom continue to contact him with regard to his expertise in the field of ophthalmology and specifically, diseases of the retina and vitreous.
Willo Carey is Executive Director of Wider Horizons, a multimedia service developed by WHYY, the premier public broadcasting service for the Greater Philadelphia market, to address the needs and interests of the growing population approaching and in the second half of life - baby boomers planning their retirement or new careers, retirees and active elders, children of aging parents, and the frail homebound.
Willo has been with WHYY since 1981, as Director of Development, Campaign Director of a $15 million capital campaign completed in 1999, and a member of WHYY’s executive management team concerned with strategic planning, institutional branding and development of new services across a multimedia environment. Prior to joining WHYY, she was a fundraising professional for Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania. She has an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College and did graduate work in sculpture at Tyler School of Art in Rome. She serves as Vice Chair of the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging and on the board of CARIE (Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly), the External Advisory Board of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute on Aging, the Executive Committee of the Section on Medicine and the Arts of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the Advisory Board of the Delaware Valley Schweitzer Fellows Program, and the Pennsylvania Task Force for Quality at the End of Life. Willo was honored for her work in Wider Horizons with the Eastern Pennsylvania Geriatric Society’s 2005 President’s Award, given for the first time in 15 years.