Board of Health Member --
Ruth B. Merkatz, PhD, RN, FAAN
Date Appointed: January 1, 2015
Term Expires: December 31, 2019
Ruth B. Merkatz joined the Board of Health in 2001 as a representative of the City of Rye. She serves as Director of Clinical Development for Reproductive Health at the Population Council, an international nongovernmental organization.
Founded by John D. Rockefeller III, the Council’s mission is "to improve the quality of people's lives, to help make it possible for individuals everywhere to develop their full potential." It confronts difficult issues facing people in the developing world—from stopping the spread of HIV and expanding contraceptive choices to improving reproductive health and ensuring youth lead full and productive lives.
Her work focuses on developing and testing the safety, effectiveness and acceptability of new reproductive health technologies designed to benefit women and men in developing countries.
She joined the Council following eight years at Pfizer Inc, where she was the Director and Team Leader of Women's Health. Prior to that, Merkatz worked at the US Food and Drug Administration in Washington, DC, first as the Special Assistant to the FDA Commissioner and then as the first Director of the Office of Women's Health. In the latter capacity, she took the lead in requiring inclusion of women in clinical trials and analysis of data for sex/gender effects, and requiring that sponsors of contraceptive products indicate on their labels whether or not the product provides protection against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.
She is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Women’s Health, is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Partnership for Microbicides, the ARCH Foundation, and is a founding member of the Rosalind Franklin Society.
Ms. Merkatz holds a B.S.N. from Cornell University, an M.S.N. from Case Western Reserve University, and a Ph.D. from Adelphi University. She has received recognition for her work in women's health awareness, mammography services, AIDS drug development, and excellence in nursing.
Ms. Merkatz has lived in Rye since 1982.