Cochrane Governing Board announces new trustees - Embedding evidence and governance expertise into Cochrane’s Governing Board

Abstract image of Cochrane Board members silhouettes in a meeting

Cochrane appointments of two new governing board members, Professor Gillian Leng and Professor Wendy Levinson and says farewell to two retiring Trustees, Rae Lamb and Marguerite Koster.

Cochrane is an international non-profit network, which sets the gold standard for synthesizing health research findings  to facilitate evidence-based health care.  Cochrane Reviews, found in the Cochrane Library, are up-to-date, follow a rigorous scientific methodology, and are free from commercial conflicts of interest. Health professionals, patients, and policy makers trust Cochrane Reviews for their healthcare decision-making. Cochrane works with researchers, health professionals, patients, policy makers, and media representatives from around the world to make Cochrane Reviews relevant and usable.

Cochrane's Governing Board is responsible for setting Cochrane's strategic direction and overseeing the work of the Chief Executive Officer, Editor in Chief, and Central Executive Team. Tracey Howe has recently been appointed for a second term as Co-Chair of the Cochrane Governing Board.  Along with Co-Chair, Catherine Marshall, Tracey Howe,  announced the appointment of two new governing board members, Professor Gillian Leng and Prof essor Wendy Levinson and farewell to two retiring Trustees, Rae Lamb and Marguerite Koster.

Gillian Leng

Gillian Leng, former Chief Executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and current trustee of the Guidelines International Network, has over 30 years’ experience of working within the national and international worlds of guideline development and associated evidence and research functions. Her knowledge and understanding of the development and use of evidence based health advice, in the Uk and internationally, will be valuable as the Cochrane Board continues its work developing a secure and strong role for the future.

Gill Leng said, "Cochrane is hugely important for international healthcare and plays a vital function in ensuring effective, robust evidence is available at a global level. As the trend for ‘living guidelines’ increases, the role of Cochrane as an evidence provider will become ever more essential, bringing alignment where appropriate with the needs for guideline developers. I have been a strong ‘Evidence advocate’ since I was a junior doctor, I contributed as a Cochrane Editor for many years, and I welcome the opportunity to help shape the future of Cochrane."

Wendy Levinson

Wendy Levinson, is a Professor of Medicine at University of Toronto, currently Chair of Choosing Wisely Canada. She has a wide range of experience from her volunteer roles as Chair or President of the boards of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the Society of General Internal Medicine, the Professors of Medicine, and the Canadian Association of Professors of Medicine and full-time positions including serving as the Chair of Medicine at the University of Toronto  and the Division head of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the University of Chicago. 

Wendy Levinson said of her appointment, "I admire the work of Cochrane and use the reviews frequently. Cochrane is undergoing major changes and I look forward to using my skills in leadership of large organizations, strategic planning, and fundraising to help support Cochrane’s future. Furthermore, my international network through Choosing Wisely may also serve to support Cochrane and build a useful collaboration, especially as we continue our important work identifying low value health care."

Catherine Spencer, Cochrane CEO said, ‘Wendy and Gill both bring an inspiring range of professional experience, which we welcome to help us navigate a new future for Cochrane. Both new Trustees also bring links with organisations Cochrane has partnered with and that rely on Cochrane Evidence for their work – the Guidelines International Network and Choosing Wisely.

We would also like to warmly thank leaving Trustees, Rae Lamb and Marguerite Koster for their service to and support for Cochrane.

Rae Lamb

Rae Lamb, is the Chief Executive of Te Pou in NZ, a national centre for workforce and leadership development for the mental health workforce in New Zealand, specialising in the development of evidence-based mental health resources and Deputy Chair of the NZ Quality and Safety Commission.  Ms Lamb initially trained as a reporter and broadcaster, then undertook a Harkness Fellowship in Health Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health and Institute for Healthcare Improvements in the United States. Rae has also served as a former New Zealand Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner and Australian Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.

Catherine Marshall, Co-Chair, said "Rae brought a wealth of experience in governance, organisational leadership, change management, complaint resolution and working with diverse stakeholder groups nationally and internationally. Rae understands the importance of evidence-based health care and decision making, and her professional, ethical approach has made a significant contribution to the governing board. We thank her for her work on our Complaints Policy and with the Complaints Committee and as a member of the Governance Committee."

Rae Lamb said “Cochrane and the work of its community is more important than ever in this late pandemic world where misinformation is rife. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to be part of Cochrane. I strongly believe there are exciting opportunities and times ahead for the organistion, its work and its people.”

Marguerite Koster

Marguerite Koster,  Director of Evidence-Based Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, one of the largest not-for-profit health plans in the U.S., serving 12.2 million members. She oversees the efforts of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group’s Evidence-Based Medicine Services Unit within Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California Region, which provides medical care to more than 4.5 million members.   Marguerite will continue to serve Cochrane as a member of the Future of Evidence Synthesis Oversight Committee.

Tracey Howe, Co-Chair Governing Board, said "Marguerite was appointed to the Cochrane’s Governing Board in 2016 as one of its first externally appointed members. Marguerite has played an invaluable role as a Co-Chair of the Governing Board, Treasurer, Chair of the Finance, Audit & Investment Subcommittee, a member of the Remuneration and Governance Subcommittees, and the Cochrane/Guidelines International Network Partnership Advisory Group. Cochrane has benefited from Marguerite’s valuable experience in using Cochrane evidence to develop clinical practice guideline development, and inform health technology assessment, knowledge translation and evidence-based implementation."

Marguerite Koster said,  “Cochrane’s systematic reviews have been invaluable in informing evidence-based health care decisions within Kaiser Permanente. It has been my pleasure to serve on the Governing Board, especially to emphasize the vital role of the Cochrane Library in influencing health care policy and practice within a large health delivery system.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2022