Jan Gnall, Montville, NJ, a professional healthcare industry expert and patient advocate, has joined the Raynaud’s Association as Secretary of its Board of Directors. The appointment was made by Lynn Wunderman, founder and chair of the Association.
The Raynaud’s Association is a 501c3 non-profit organization providing support and education to the many sufferers of Raynaud’s Phenomenon – an exaggerated sensitivity to cold temperatures. The disease causes an interruption of blood flow to the fingers, toes, nose and/or ears when a spasm occurs in the blood vessels of these areas.
According to Wunderman, approximately 5-10 percent of all Americans suffer from Raynaud’s, but only one out of five sufferers seeks treatment*. “There isn’t a cure,’ she says, ‘but there are treatments that effectively reduce the onset and severity of symptoms.”
During her professional career, Gnall served in a number of executive positions at Becton Dickinson, Franklin Lakes, NJ – including clinical management, sales, marketing, information technology, and research and development. Prior to that, she was a technical consultant at POL Consultants, Haddonfield, NJ. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Medical Technology.
As a Raynaud’s sufferer herself, Gnall has held a leadership role in lecturing and counseling patients in navigating their healthcare. She is author of the workbook, “Be Your Best Advocate: Living with an Autoimmune Disease, Scleroderma.” As Wunderman points out, “In some cases, Raynaud’s may be a sign of an underlying disease such as scleroderma or lupus, which is an important reason for sufferers to seek treatment.” Gnall has been diagnosed with systemic scleroderma in addition to Raynaud’s.
In addition to her new role with the Raynaud’s Association, Gnall is an active member and leader of the Northern New Jersey Scleroderma Foundation Support Group.
Founded in 1992, the Raynaud’s Association — originally called the Raynaud’s and Cold Sufferers Network — has grown rapidly from a regional to a national organization and now serves members worldwide. The Raynaud’s Association has developed working relationships with leading researchers from the National Institutes of Health, the country’s top rheumatologists who serve on the organization’s Medical Advisory Board, and manufacturers actively investing in products to provide warmth and comfort to the Raynaud’s community. It maintains an active website and Facebook page, supported by member donations and sponsor grants.
*Editor’s Note: Since publishing this post, we’ve discovered new research that confirms that only one in ten Raynaud’s sufferers visit their doctors to seek treatment. We have a lot of work to do!