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20 December 2023

Overcoming MS announces Emeritus Board

Overcoming MS, the world’s leading multiple sclerosis healthy lifestyle charity, announces the appointment of its first Emeritus Directors.

The newly appointed Emeritus Directors are:

Professor George Jelinek

Professor Jelinek developed the Overcoming MS Program and founded the Neuroepidemiology Unit at the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health which continues to research its benefits. Since he was diagnosed with MS in 1999, Professor Jelinek has adhered to the set of lifestyle recommendations he put together from medical literature, which he later detailed in his book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, that  are now referred to as the Overcoming MS Program.

Caroline Clarke

Caroline Clarke is the London Regional Director for NHS England and has an ambitious transformation agenda for the capital. Caroline was previously Group Chief Executive (2019 – 2023) and Deputy Chief Executive (2012 – 2019) at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, leading one of the largest healthcare and teaching trusts in the country. Caroline was a trustee for Overcoming MS from 2017 to 2023 – also leading a board and governance review in 2022 which has been a springboard for success.

Director Emeritus is an honorary advisory position awarded to individuals who have a track record of sustained, outstanding contributions to Overcoming MS and our community. The non-statutory appointment serves as a testament to a person’s valuable experience and dedication to our purpose. These individuals are invited to support the key priorities of Overcoming MS as we continue our growth and service to the community.

Dowshan Humzah, Chair of Overcoming MS, said “I am delighted to announce that Overcoming MS Program founder, Professor Jelinek, and former Overcoming MS Trustee and Board Director, Caroline Clarke, are our first two Director Emerati. They have contributed greatly to the development of Overcoming MS and their service has benefited many, many people affected by MS worldwide. During my tenure as Chair of Overcoming MS – myself and the Overcoming MS community have greatly appreciated the input and support of Professor Jelinek and Caroline Clarke in showing how lifestyle interventions improve the lives of individuals with MS.

Professor George Jelinek said:  ‘I am delighted to have been appointed as Director Emeritus of Overcoming MS. It has been a great privilege to be involved with the charity since its inception, and I look forward to continuing to work with them through their second decade, as we try to inform and assist as many people living with MS as we can with our simple message of hope. The growing research evidence base continues to assert that attention to key lifestyle risk factors, in combination with the best available medical care, offers the best chance of living a long and healthy life with MS.’

Caroline Clarke said ‘As a person living with MS, I can see the great things that OMS continues to do, and am really pleased to be able to continue to support this amazing organisation as it goes from strength to strength’.

Linda Bloom, President of Overcoming MS, said “I am delighted that both George and Caroline have agreed to step into the role of Director Emeritus. George’s Overcoming MS program has transformed thousands of lives around the world for the better, including mine. His dedication and immense contribution in the MS lifestyle space is unparalleled. Caroline was a Trustee of Overcoming MS during our formative years and has been pivotal in guiding and strengthening the direction of the charity. I am extremely grateful for her dedication and leadership over the years and for her continued support going forward”