Leadership

Board of Directors

Our Board members are all women who chose flat closure after mastectomy, and are committed to advancing NPOAS’ mission and promoting our core values.


Kim Bowles

President

Kim is a scientist, artist, mother of two, and founder of Not Putting on a Shirt. She decided to go flat in 2017 as part of her breast cancer treatment plan, but her plastic surgeon intentionally left her with excess tissue to facilitate reconstruction.  Kim went public with her story, and upon realizing that flat denial is a systemic problem requiring institutional change, decided to invest in pursuing parity for flat closure and helping women protect their choice. Kim has been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine, Women and the World, on the Today Show, and more.

Email: bowleskb@notputtingonashirt.org

Christy Avila

Vice President

Christy Avila is the founder of Fierce, Flat, Forward, a support and advocacy group designed to help encourage, guide, and educate other breast cancer survivors, or previvors, about explanting their breast implants, and to promote flat closure for those who have not yet undergone reconstruction.

Her advocacy started following intense research on breast implants which began after she discovered breast implant illness (BII), as she was preparing for her first “revision surgery” of her original breast reconstruction.

Christy is also the co-founder of “International FLAT Day,” which had its inaugural celebration on October 7, 2019. The day was designed to promote breast reconstruction awareness/flat awareness, to galvanize and draw attention to the various issues affecting the flat community, and to celebrate and provide resources for women choosing the flat option

Christy testified before the US FDA at their Hearing on Breast Implant Safety in Washington DC on behalf of breast cancer survivors by advocating for proper informed consent. She currently serves on the faculty of the Communication Studies Department at San Jose City College, where she has taught for over a decade. She is very much looking forward to her continued advocacy work for breast cancer survivors, for women who make the choice go flat, and to promote going flat for women facing—or who have already faced—mastectomies(y).

Email: avilac@notputtingonashirt.org

Devorah Vester Borenstein

Secretary

Devorah Vester Borenstein lives in Boston with her partner and Great Pyrenees, and has a 25-year old daughter who lives in New York City. Devorah is an appellate attorney for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the area of mental health. Her representation of individuals whose liberty has been curtailed as a result of a mental illness has opened the door to advocating for a woman’s right to full disclosure and informed consent in the context of post-mastectomy options.

Devorah was very fortunate to have a breast surgeon who not only told her about all of her options, but spoke highly of the flat movement. Most importantly, he advised her to “think about the quality of life she wanted to have five years ahead, and to back track that to the present to know what procedure and outcome was right for her.” At the consult, her surgeon also informed her of the 2018 Cosmopolitan article about Kimberly Bowles and the intentional flat denial she was subjected to.

In July 2019, Devorah underwent a simple double mastectomy with a flat closure that yielded excellent symmetrical contours. Soon after her procedure, Devorah reached out to Kimberly and several other flat activists to discuss the legal issues facing women who undergo mastectomies. It did not take long for Devorah to realize that she wanted to work alongside these vibrant women in their mission to safeguard a woman’s right to full disclosure and informed consent, promote parity of the flat option with other reconstructive choices, and advocate for good surgical results.

Devorah’s closely held values of integrity, transparency and individual autonomy have made the leap to join NPOAS self-evident and organic. Her goals at NPOAS are to bring all parties to the table – doctors, legislators, health insurers and patients – to make certain that in every state women are informed, heard and respected as they navigate the often emotionally turbulent waves of a breast cancer diagnosis.

Email: devorah@notputtingonashirt.org

Shana Whitehead

Treasurer

Shana Whitehead is a wife, mother of four, and a Director of Operations for a publicly traded REIT. Shana was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in January 2018. As a part of the treatment plan, Shana had a double mastectomy with tissue expanders placed in July of 2018. After one year with tissue expanders and suffering from BII symptoms, Shana made the decision to have them removed and decided on a flat closure. Shana was denied a flat result and moved forward with a revision in September 2019. As a result of her experience, she decided to make it her mission to advocate for women and their right to be fully informed about flat closure and acceptable outcomes. 

Email: whiteheadsc@notputtingonashirt.org

BethAnne King

Board Member

Hi, I am BethAnne King. My interest in this movement is personal. I was denied the flat surgery I wanted and was inspired to establish Breastless and Beautiful, a social support group for mastectomy survivors. This group’s focus is body acceptance, regardless of surgical results. Members talk about adjusting to their changed bodies and new normal, since breast cancer. The validation and sisterhood there is healing and helpful.

I proudly advocate for informed consent for women who are facing mastectomy due to breast cancer (or risk of). My advocacy work is focused on helping to change laws that increase patient’s opportunities for informed consent so that they receive the surgical outcomes they expect.

My goal is to make changes so that no one else has to suffer this experience. We need to update the policies that restrict insurance coverage of revision procedures for those whose wishes were disregarded, and for those who, with more information, have decided they want to go flat.

Email: bethanne@notputtingonashirt.org


Advisory Council

Our Advisory Council consists of leaders in the professional community – stakeholders such as surgeons, other medical professionals, and legislators – who have generously donated their time and expertise to advise our Board of Directors. As with our Board members, our Advisors are committed to advancing our mission.

Dr. Rogsbert F. Phillips-Reed, FACS

Advisor, Breast Surgery

As one of the top breast surgeons in the U.S., Dr. Phillips-Reed is known for her excellent patient care, commitment to community service, and passion for her work in the fight against breast cancer. More

Dr. Yara V. Robertson, FACS

Advisor, Breast Surgery

A fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist, Dr. Robertson is passionate about eliminating disparities in breast cancer treatment, especially in the African American community. More

Rep. Charen Fegard (D-VT)

Advisor, Legislative

Charen Fegard of Berkshire, Franklin County, Democrat, was born on Howard Air Force Base in Panama. She lived in many states and countries growing up and through her twenties. Charen earned a Bachelors degree in Biology from the University of NC at Wilmington. She has worked in the Civil Service in Hazardous Materials/ Environmental Compliance on overseas military bases, and has owned and operated a registered home daycare as well as landscaping and cleaning businesses.

Charen worked for a variety of non-profits in Vermont over the years. Before starting the legislative session, she volunteered on the Richford Restorative Justice Panel. Currently, she consults for non-profits and waste municipalities throughout Vermont regarding recycling, composting, and Indoor Air Quality related to cleaning chemicals. She raises meat birds, sheep, laying hens, a lot of vegetables, and enjoys deer hunting with her husband, Russ Ford. They have 4 children in their blended family.

Legislative Website

Corine de Boer, MD, PhD

Advisor, Medical

Corine de Boer is a physician, wife and principal of her own consulting company. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and opted for a double mastectomy. Her female breast surgeon in Seattle was very supportive of her flat choice and did a great job but Corine has since learned, to her dismay, that this is not the case in other parts of the country. She fully supports the mission of Not Putting on a Shirt so every woman who chooses to go flat after mastectomy has a satisfactory outcome.

NAME

Advisor, Research

A short bio with personal history, key achievements, or an interesting fact.

NAME

Advisor, Explant

A short bio with personal history, key achievements, or an interesting fact.


Not Putting on a Shirt is a 501(c)(3) organization advocating for optimal surgical outcomes for women who choose to go flat after mastectomy.


REGISTERED CHARITY ID# 84-3021062