The Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) is the professional scientific society made up of the experts that provide the MotherToBaby service, and the researchers that perform the MotherToBaby pregnancy studies. OTIS is governed by a board of directors, an elected body consisting of a president, president elect, immediate past president, secretary, treasurer, and three members-at-large. OTIS has an executive director who manages the OTIS National Office located in Brentwood, Tennessee. OTIS has several working committees including education, research, website, abstract, public affairs, meeting planning, elections, and membership.
Robert Felix, President, Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS)
Robert Felix is the President of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS), the professional scientific society behind the MotherToBaby service. Robert is a Senior Teratogen Information Specialist with MotherToBaby California. He started as a volunteer over 20 years ago and assumed counseling, outreach, and programmatic responsibilities in 1986.
As MotherToBaby California’s Community Outreach Coordinator and Data Resource Manager, he is responsible for publicizing and increasing awareness about the value of MotherToBaby California and its services. He cultivates new partnerships by identifying healthcare providers and communities throughout the state so that MotherToBaby California’s services can be targeted to these groups. Robert is actively involved with a variety of programs, locally and statewide. These include the Perinatal Care Network, Black Infant Health, California’s Comprehensive Perinatal Service Program, California Smokers Helpline, California’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC), March of Dimes, and Planned Parenthood.
The Board of Directors
President: Robert Felix
President-Elect: Stephen Braddock, MD
Past President: Kenneth Lyons Jones, MD
Treasurer: Beth Kiernan
Secretary: Al Romeo, RN, PhD
Member-at-Large: Anna Pupco, MD
Member-at-Large: Patricia Cole, MPH
Member-at-Large: Sarah Obican, MD
OTIS National Office
Organization of Teratology Information Specialists
5034A Thoroughbred Lane
Brentwood, Tennessee 37027
Phone: (615) 649-3082
Fax: (615) 523-1715
The OTIS National Office handles all administrative inquiries. If you have questions about exposures during pregnancy or breastfeeding, please call (866) 626-6847 to speak with a MotherToBaby expert.
The Abstract Committee evaluates and selects all abstracts presented as poster and platform presentations at the Annual Education Meeting for OTIS Members and MotherToBaby Affiliates. The abstract selection process is held each year in the spring before the annual meeting in June.
The Education Committee is responsible for selecting topics, assigning writers, preparing text, reviewing, publishing and periodically updating MotherToBaby Fact Sheets. The fact sheets provide information about many different exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and are available in both English and Spanish. MotherToBaby Fact Sheets can be downloaded for free here.
The Elections Committee is responsible each fall for soliciting nominations for positions that will become vacant on the Board of Directors for the upcoming year. Nominations of suitable candidates are submitted for a vote to the membership in the spring of the year of the election. The Elections Committee calls for the vote, receives and qualifies ballots, and announces results to the Board of Directors and the membership.
Marketing & Website Committee:
The Marketing & Website Committee is responsible for reviewing and approving all marketing activities for OTIS, including but not limited to print collateral, blogs, ad campaigns, and press releases, ensuring that all marketing materials adhere to brand standards. The Committee also reviews updates or additions to the MotherToBaby website and approves these before submission to the webmaster for uploading; reviews the content, appearance, functionality, and appeal of the website; and recommends upgrades or revisions to the Board of Directors. The Committee also monitors web activity through the webmaster.
Meeting Planning Committee:
The Meeting Planning Committee organizes the Annual Education Meeting for OTIS Members and MotherToBaby Affiliates. The Executive Director serves as Chair of the Meeting Planning Committee, and is responsible for coordinating the planning activities, providing continuity and procedural support, and working with the other members of the committee on the meeting program.
The Membership Committee establishes and maintains criteria for OTIS individual membership. Membership recruitment, maintenance of the new member information packets, and maintenance of the membership list falls under the duties of the Secretary as a member of the Board of Directors who works with the Executive Director at the National Office where all membership applications are processed and archived.
Public Affairs Committee:
The Public Affairs Committee is responsible for selecting public health or current event topics that are of relevance to the mission of OTIS, and outlining the committee’s stance or recommendations on these topics either through published position papers, or other media. The Public Affairs Committee may also encourage or support research projects or other activities that address these public health concerns.
The Research Committee is responsible for selecting topics/projects, approving protocols, and overseeing the conduct of MotherToBaby Collaborative Research. The Research Committee sets policy for MotherToBaby Collaborative Research publications, and approves requests by outside investigators to utilize MotherToBaby data. The Research Committee also oversees the selection and certification of Research Coordinators at each MotherToBaby affiliate. The Research Committee organizes and conducts two annual meetings for the Research Committee and Research Coordinators, one during the annual scientific meeting in June, and one freestanding meeting in January.
Lactation Research Subcommittee:
The Lactation Research Subcommittee is a subcommittee of the Research Committee that was formed from volunteers at the Mid-Year Research Team meeting on January 27, 2008. The subcommittee is charged with the responsibility to develop a framework for conducting and/or collaborating in studies about breastfeeding exposures.
Scientific Advisory Subcommittee:
The Scientific Advisory Subcommittee is a subcommittee of the Research Committee. It is comprised of 10 members representing both OTIS and the European Network of Teratology Information Services (ENTIS). The subcommittee is responsible for developing a process for building a partnership between ENTIS and OTIS that would include the establishment of a formal guidance document to maximize the benefits of collaborative research between the two organizations, while maintaining their core missions of research, education, and service. The advisory committee will also provide strategic advice on all ENTIS/OTIS collaborative research endeavors.