ROW = "Rest of World"
A Global Name for a Global Mission
The names “ROW Foundation” and “ROW Global Health” have origins tracing back to when OWP Pharmaceuticals’ (OWP) and ROW Foundation’s co-founder, Scott Boyer, worked as a consultant in the pharmaceutical industry. Viewing sales bar graphs in company meetings, Scott witnessed firsthand the high quantities of sales in wealthy places like the United States, Japan, and the European Union. While there were moderate sales in emerging markets like China and India, every other country in the world was together relegated to one small and barely noticeable bar at the far right titled “ROW,” or “Rest of World.” Though negligible as markets from the perspective of most pharmaceutical companies, these ROW countries are where about half of the global population lives, often in poverty and unable to pay for the standard of healthcare available in the developed world. Scott named the “ROW Foundation” in honor of those living in the Rest of World, with the name serving as a constant reminder to all why OWP and ROW are here.
Founded in 2014, the ROW (“Rest of World”) Foundation (ROW) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit private foundation that exists to help transform the lives of people with epilepsy and associated psychiatric disorders in under-resourced areas of the world.
ROW’s focus on epilepsy is grounded in the core belief that proper diagnosis and treatment can dramatically improve and even transform the lives of individuals and families. ROW Foundation serves as project manager for all ROW Foundation and ROW Global Health projects.
ROW Global Health was formed to bring additional resources to the fulfillment of the ROW Foundation mission. Founded in 2021, ROW Global Health is a 501(c)(3) public charity.
ROW Global Health shares the vision of the ROW Foundation to transform the lives of people with epilepsy and associated psychiatric disorders in under-resourced areas of the world. While initially focused on epilepsy, ROW Global Health anticipates filling additional healthcare gaps in the future, to improve the quality of life for those in need.
What We Do
ROW works to improve the quality of training, diagnosis and treatment available to people living with epilepsy and associated psychiatric disorders in under-resourced areas of the world. We partner with other organizations to maximize impact in under-served areas, both domestically and internationally.
ROW works with a range of health partners to maximize impact in unreached areas by:
Supporting epilepsy training for health care providers at all levels
Funding access to diagnostic tools
Providing treatment options through ongoing grants of ASMs, donated by OWP Pharmaceuticals
Addressing pervasive stigma by promoting epilepsy awareness in communities and schools
Ensuring poor communities are reached through support of rural/peri-urban NGOs and community health worker programs
Where We Work
Our focus is on under-resourced areas of the world where those with epilepsy cannot access healthcare providers knowledgable about epilepsy, modern diagnostic tools or effective medications.
The ROW Team
Meet our Board, Advisors, and Staff
The Board of Directors and Advisory Council of the ROW Foundation do not receive any financial compensation. These men and women serve from a sense of conviction and calling. Each one brings to the Foundation a unique blend of skills, abilities, experience and passion for the fulfillment of our vision and mission.
Scott has been in the pharmaceutical industry since graduating from college. His education includes a B.S. in Business Administration and Management from Morningside College. He has led multi-million dollar sales and marketing efforts for numerous branded drugs for Abbott and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Scott is the founder of OWP Pharmaceuticals, the partner with the ROW Foundation in working to improve the lives of people with epilepsy and associated psychiatric disorders in under-resourced areas of the world.
Kurt Florian, JD
Kurt is the COO and General Counsel of Loan Ecosystem LLC, which provides an efficient and economical platform for the loan syndication process. Kurt has extensive experience in corporate finance and previously was the COO, Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer for Vanderbilt Capital Advisors, LLC. Kurt was previously a partner at Lord, Bissell & Brook and Katten Muchin Rosenman law firms. Kurt comes to the OWP board with a passion for epilepsy patients, having served as the President and Chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. He has a BA from the University of Chicago and a JD from Duke University School of Law.
Lisa is the mother of 5 children and grandmother to 7. Her youngest child, Amanda, died at age of 8 from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) and inspires Lisa to bring hope and help to people living with epilepsy in under-resourced areas. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ and has a Paralegal Certificate from Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL. Lisa worked in the telecommunications industry as a tariff analyst and in Regulatory Affairs before enjoying the privilege of being a full time mom. She returned to work as a paralegal and enjoyed 15 years in family law before her recent retirement.
Mike has been in the pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years. He has held various leadership roles in sales and marketing at Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal and Syneos. He currently serves as Executive Vice-President, Integrated Commercial Strategy at EVERSANA. Mike earned his MBA from Pepperdine University. He is committed to helping maximize the impact ROW has on epilepsy patients in underserved communities.
Mark Petersen, MBA
Mark earned an Executive MBA in Pharmaceutical Marketing from St. Joseph University. He has more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical sales and management, including experience as a Director of Communication and Coordination with Astellas Pharma. Away from the job, Mark is involved in volunteer work and serves on the board of directors of a nonprofit serving at-risk youth in inner city Chicago.
Bruce Duncan, JD, CPA
Bruce is a Certified Public Accountant and has a law degree from Case Western. He has more than 30 years of experience at the C-level in accounting and tax management, including a decade at a Big 4 accounting firm and a decade managing the tax department of a Fortune 500 company. Bruce is one of the co-founders of the ROW Foundation.
Ruth Boyer, RN
Ruth has worked as a registered nurse for more than 35 years. She has spent time in oncology, emergency room, surgery, and home health care. She’s an active member of Willow Creek Community Church and does volunteer work with the Willow Creek Care Center, Northern Illinois Food Bank, and Feed My Starving Children ministry. Along with her husband, Scott, she was an integral part of starting OWP Pharmaceuticals.
Patricia A. Gibson, MSSW, DHL, ACSW
Patricia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She also serves as Director of the Epilepsy Information Service, a nationwide telephone information line for patients and their families. Ms. Gibson has organized numerous state, regional, national and international conferences on epilepsy and is the recipient of national and international awards for her work to improve the care of those with epilepsy.
Marvin A. Rossi, MD, PhD
Dr. Rossi is a neurologist and epileptologist with a doctorate in molecular biophysics. He has more than 25 years of experience within regional NAEC-affiliated specialized epilepsy centers. Dr. Rossi served as Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Multimodality Neuroimaging & Neuroengineering Laboratory, and as Associate Director of Translational Research of the Rush Epilepsy Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He now serves as Medical Director, Summa Health Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in Ohio.
Emilio Perucca, MD, PhD
For 20 years, Dr. Perucca served as Professor of Pharmacology at University of Pavia (Italy) Medical School and, for 12 years, as Director of the Clinical Trial Centre at IRCCS C. Mondino Foundation’s National Institute of Neurology in Pavia. He has contributed to several advocacy initiatives to improve epilepsy services and funding for epilepsy research in Europe and beyond. He has served many roles with the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), including four years as President. Dr. Perucca currently serves as Adjunct Professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
Carol Coghlan Gavin
Carol Gavin is an experienced attorney and executive with more than thirty years’ experience advising and serving on boards of directors in both the private and non-profit sectors, with particular expertise in corporate governance. At Beatrice Company, she supervised the divesture of subsidiaries and assets, and moved to Tellabs, Inc. where she was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, directing all legal services and its subsidiaries globally. Carol served as President and Executive Director of the Tellabs Foundation, a 501(c)(3) private foundation which was founded in 1997 by Tellabs, Inc. from 2013 until its dissolution in December of 2021.
Samuel O. Okpaku, MD, PhD
Dr. Okpaku is the Founder/President of the Center for Health, Culture and Society in Nashville. He is a graduate of Edinburgh University Medical School and holds a Ph.D. in Social Research and Welfare from Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. He has been on the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Yale University, Vanderbilt University Medical and Meharry Medical School Nashville. He’s a Fellow of the College of Surgeons and Physicians Canada and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Aashit Shah, MD
Dr. Shah earned his medical degree from Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College at Gujarat University in India and completed his residency and a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center. He is the Chief of Neurology for Carilion Clinic in the Roanoke, VA area. Dr. Shah has dedicated his professional life to the research, diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy.
Serge Pierre-Louis, MD
Dr. Serge Pierre-Louis attended medical school at the State University of Haiti. He trained in Internal Medicine and Neurology in Cleveland, then in epilepsy in Chicago. He is Associate Professor of Neurology at Rush University Medical Center and Director of the Epilepsy Clinic & the Clinical Neurophysiology Lab at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in Chicago.
Archana A. Patel, MD, MPH
Dr. Patel is a pediatric epileptologist based at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital. Her clinical and research interests are centered around improving care for children with epilepsy in low-resource regions. She leads global neurology efforts at Boston Children’s Hospital, working in regions of sub Saharan Africa, primarily in Zambia and Rwanda.
Paul has spent his professional career leading nonprofit organizations, with experience in foundations, philanthropy, international relief, associations and partnerships, and health care delivery. He has degrees in psychology and counseling, and a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. As President of ROW Foundation, Paul helps to facilitate efforts — both within ROW and between ROW and OWP Pharmaceuticals — to improve the quality of life for persons living in under-resourced areas.
Ken has more than 25 years of experience with international nonprofits, both on staff as well as in a consultancy role. He holds a dual major MBA in International Business and Finance. For Ken, the ROW Foundation is a perfect fit as he was diagnosed with epilepsy at a young age, which has been effectively controlled by medication. He knows the critical importance of effective diagnosis and treatment and the life-changing impact they can have on individuals and families.
Lori earned her degree in Applied Psychology/Business from North Central College in Naperville Illinois. Since graduating, she has been professionally involved in adult education, community education, social services, and refugee relief. Most recently she served as Program Developer for ROW Foundation, from before the first funded program through early 2023.
As a member of the Advisory Council, Lori continues to provide counsel as needed in the areas of programming priorities and partnerships. Her great joy is equipping others to overcome obstacles and gain self-sufficiency.
Jeremy has over 22 years of experience spanning business, nonprofit, and higher education. With degrees in communication and social entrepreneurship from North Central College, he served for 17 years at his alma mater as a senior administrator, founder of the Center for Social Impact, and instructor of social innovation courses. For ROW Global Health, Jeremy builds relationships with donors and philanthropic organizations to help advance the mission.
Steve Coates, FRCP, MBBS
Dr. Coates is Founder and CEO of the UK-based charity TeleEEG, which brings high quality EEG interpretation for epilepsy to under-resourced countries throughout the world. He holds a BSc in Electronics systems engineering from Cranfield Institute UK, and graduated from Newcastle University Medical School UK with an MBBS. He became a clinical neurophysiologist in 2007 and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He is the clinical neurophysiologist for NHS Trusts in the Northeast and Northwest of England.
Tolu Olaniyan, BSc LD Nursing, MSc Epilepsy
Tolu Olaniyan is the CEO of Pretola Global Health and Consulting, an organization that provides specialist training internationally. She is a registered Learning Disability Nurse (RNLD) specializing in epilepsy management. She has an undergraduate degree in Learning Disability Nursing from the University of Southampton, UK and a Masters degree in Epilepsy/Epileptology from Kings College London, UK. Tolu is a program lead in one of the NHS Integrated Care Boards in England. She is also involved in several international projects to address the awareness and treatment gap of epilepsy in low- and middle-income countries.
Matt Litfin, CFA, MBA
Matt has 30 years of investment-related career experience and today is a results-driven, objective leader who uses technology, experience and investment team talent to drive profitability and growth. His education includes a B.S. in Finance (summa cum laude) from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), and an M.B.A. from Harvard University Graduate School of Business. Matt has worked for large financial services firms such as William Blair and Columbia Threadneedle, was Chief Financial Officer of Sympathy Brands, and has served on many non-profit boards. His health care investing experience is extensive and he is passionate about improving the lives of people with epilepsy worldwide.
Catherine is a passionate global leader motivated by delivering meaningful business results. In the past decade, she has dedicated her career to transforming healthcare through the power of technology and AI – with the aim of improving access and patient outcomes. Passionate about the ROW Global Health mission, Catherine seeks to leverage her privilege of access to treatment and care for her seizure disorder to bring hope and assistance to those with epilepsy in underserved areas.