Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, M.D. joins the Board of the Directors of the Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation.


Contact: Deborah Marron, Ed.D.
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Press Release

Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, M.D. joins the Board of the Directors of the Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation.
Esteemed retina specialist and academic begins her term as a Director with the nation’s sole nonprofit that focuses on Coats’ Disease awareness and research.

Burlingame, CA, March 1, 2021:  The Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation, a charitable organization that seeks to find a cure for Coats’ Disease, a rare retinal disorder that can cause blindness in children and adults, announced that Dr. Mary Elizabeth Hartnett has joined the Board of Directors. Dr. Hartnett has served on the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) since 2018 and will serve as Chair of the SAB in addition to her role of Director. “It is a great honor to serve the Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation,” said Dr. Hartnett. “It is the only patient advocacy organization which is dedicated to finding answers and cures for this rare but visually disabling disease in children.” 

Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD holds the Calvin S. and JeNeal N. Hatch Presidential Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Utah and is Adjunct Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy and Pediatrics.

Dr. Hartnett provides medical and surgical treatment for adults, infants, and children. She is Director of Pediatric Retina at the John A. Moran Eye Center and is Principal Investigator of the retina and choroidal angiogenesis laboratory, funded through the National Eye Institute/National Institutes of Health to study conditions, including retinopathy of prematurity and age-related macular degeneration. After ophthalmology residency at Case Western/University Hospitals of Cleveland, Dr. Hartnett completed adult and pediatric vitreoretinal fellowships at Schepens Retina Associates and Schepens Eye Research Institute of Harvard Medical School.

“The mission of the Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation is to find a cure for Coats’ Disease,” said Foundation Chair and Co-Founder, Ed McGovern. “Dr. Hartnett is an internationally recognized expert in Coats’ and other pediatric retina diseases. We are grateful to her for her leadership and guidance as the Foundation moves forward to facilitate research on the causes of, and the most effective treatments of, Coats’ Disease with the goal of finding a cure for the disorder.”

Dr. Hartnett has over 180 peer-reviewed publications, 36 book chapters, and created the first- ever academic textbook on the subject, Pediatric Retina, contracted for a Third Edition. She served on numerous grant study sections including as Chair of Diseases and Pathophysiology of the Visual System of NIH and currently on the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee. She has delivered numerous national and international invited lectures. Dr. Hartnett was awarded the Physician Scientist Merit Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, the Honorary Lecture Award and Scientific Contribution Award from Women in Ophthalmology, the Paul Henkind Award and the Arnall Patz Medal from The Macula Society, a Laureate award from the Future Vision Foundation, the Weisenfeld Award from Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), and is an ARVO Gold Fellow. She has served on the University wide promotions committee and is currently co-director of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and the Chair of the Credentials committee of the international Retina Society.


About the Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation

The Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation was formed in 2006 by Tina and Ed McGovern in the name of their son, Jack, who was diagnosed with Coats’ Disease when he was ten. Despite partial loss of sight in one eye, Jack benefitted from prompt and excellent medical care. The Foundation funds research on Coats’ Disease and related retinal disorders and is the preeminent source for information and resources to help educate and support families in their fight against Coats’ Disease. The Foundation’s Mission is to Raise Fund to support research, raise awareness, expand patient resources and offer all Coats’ Disease patients hope and improvements as they wage a lifelong battle against Coats’ Disease and blindness

Research Grants and Education Grants are available for 2021. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website at


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