About Us

Our Story

The Obesity Care Advocacy Network (OCAN) was formally announced during ObesityWeek® 2015. Our founding members formed an advocacy network to change how we perceive and approach obesity in the U.S.

OCAN works to increase access to evidence-based obesity treatments by uniting key stakeholders and the broader obesity community around significant education, policy and legislative efforts.

What We Do


OCAN’s mission is to change how the nation perceives and approaches obesity in the United States. We seek to elevate obesity on the national agenda by uniting and aligning obesity stakeholders and the community around key obesity-related efforts.

Who We Are

OCAN is a diverse group of organizations that have come together to change how we perceive and approach the problem of obesity in this nation.

Working Groups


The Congressional Advocacy Priorities and Strategies (CAPS) Workgroup advocates for policymakers to pass legislation, including the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA), that supports coverage of and access to obesity treatment, prevention and care.


Our Leadership

Hannah Martin, MPH, RDN, co-chair

Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists, Director of Advocacy

Hannah is the Director of Advocacy at the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES). She oversees the development and implementation of ADCES’ public policy program, federal legislative and regulatory initiatives, and state advocacy priorities. She works to cultivate relationships with ADCES members and volunteer leaders, policymakers, allied professional and advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders to advance policy priorities that improve access to care for people with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes. Hannah is serving as an interim co-chair for OCAN after having previously served a full term in the role. She has also served as co-chair of the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance.

Prior to joining ADCES, Hannah was the Director of Legislative and Government Affairs at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Hannah is a registered dietitian nutritionist with an MPH and BSPH in nutrition, both from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is currently a DrPH candidate in health policy at the George Washington University.

Catherine Ferguson, co-chair

American Diabetes Association, Vice President, Federal Advocacy

Catherine Ferguson serves as Vice President of Federal Advocacy for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). With over twenty years experience in policy and advocacy at the state and federal levels, Catherine has worked to advance solutions to improve prevention, care, treatment for various infectious and chronic diseases. Prior to joining ADA, Catherine led governance for a rural health care system Montana. Previously, she served as staff of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and was involved in passage of seminal in legislation in Congress including the Affordable Care Act.

Tony Comuzzie, PhD, FTOS, co-chair

The Obesity Society, Chief Executive Officer

Tony is the Chief Executive Officer of The Obesity Society and is responsible for overseeing implementation of the goals and mission of the society. He works closely with the elected leadership of TOS to set both strategic and tactical objectives and to coordinates resources to achieve the desired outcomes. In addition, Tony serves as a primary point of contact between TOS and other professional organizations with an interest in obesity.

Tony received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1981 and a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology in 1987 from Texas A&M University and his Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Anthropology in 1992 from the University of Kansas. Prior to taking on the role of TOS CEO in 2017, Tony spent nearly 25 years as a member of the faculty in the department of Genetics at Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio where his research focused on the genetics of complex chronic diseases with a particular emphasis on obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. His work was conducted in a wide range of ethnic populations including Mexican Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, as well as a variety of nonhuman primate species, publishing extensively on this work with over 250 articles in peer-reviewed journals to date. Additionally, he served as a member of the NHLBI Expert Panel which produced the 2013 guidelines for the treatment of Obesity and Overweight. He has also served as Editor of Frontiers in Applied Genetic Epidemiology, an Associate Editor for BMC Medical Genetics, and as a member of the editorial boards of Obesity and the International Journal of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics.

Cristine Gallagher, MPAff, OCAN Coordinator

Sumner M Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Senior Center Administrator

Christine is the Senior Center Administrator for the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. In her current role, Christine performs research and manages the many outreach, operational and administrative functions of the Redstone Center, in addition to serving as a key advisor to the Center’s Chair, Dr. William Dietz. She has been managing the STOP Obesity Alliance since she began at GW in 2011. Much of her research on obesity treatment and coverage has been published in the journal Obesity.

Christine received her Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs, and has spent over 25 years working in Washington DC. She began her career at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she worked in the Secretary’s office and for the Assistant Secretary for Legislation. In 2001, Christine became the Director of the Governor of Missouri’s Washington office, where she held several leadership positions on key National Governors Association panels and task forces. Before joining GW, she spent time as a consultant researching and writing on health care issues.

Get Involved
Interested in joining the Obesity Care Advocacy Network (OCAN)? Our membership comprises obesity-related disease organizations, patient groups and companies committed to chronic weight management and comprehensive, evidence-based obesity care.
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