MyCARE’s mission is to provide a voice to mycology patients in order to increase awareness, educate and support patients and caregivers, share resources, and ultimately improve outcomes in mycology. We support patients and caregivers impacted by serious or invasive fungal infection through advocacy, research, and education.


  • Empower patients and caregivers to become active participants in their healthcare and the treatment of fungal diseases
  • Establish opportunities for patients and caregivers to advise government/regulatory agencies, mycology specialty groups, and industry on all topics affecting mycology
  • Address under-recognition and misinformation regarding fungal diseases by the public, healthcare providers, and legislators
  • Support legislative policies that promote improved mycology outcomes
  • Support improved agricultural practices to preserve available treatment options and prevent antifungal resistance


  • Influence research priorities to include patient and caregiver perspectives and needs in developing the overall mycology research agenda
  • Advance patient priorities in the development of treatment outcome measures to support improved clinical-trial design
  • Support the development of future researchers, clinicians, and epidemiologists through partnerships with stakeholders and industry


  • Provide advocacy resources for patients and caregivers including educational materials, support options, and financial resources
  • Identify the largest unmet needs educationally for patients and caregivers affected by chronic, serious, or invasive fungal infections
  • Develop and disseminate scientifically and clinically accurate educational materials for patients/caregivers and the public
  • Establish a network of clinicians to support improved patient care and support clinicians seeking resources or collaborators
  • Provide health care providers and stakeholders with a list of patient curated priorities as well as tailored resources to support improved provider education and practices

Rob Purdie

Founding Member, MyCARE
Coccidioidal Meningitis Patient
Patient and Program Coordinator, Valley Fever Institute
Bakersfield, California

With over a decade of experience fighting coccidioidal meningitis, Robert (Rob) Purdie brings a unique perspective and passion to mycology advocacy. Rob is the Patient and Program Development Coordinator at the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical Center and a founding member of MyCARE. He is a lifelong Bakersfield resident who was diagnosed with coccidioidomycosis in 2012. Since his diagnosis, he has been dedicated to raising awareness of the impact Valley Fever has on individuals and communities and fighting to improve outcomes for his fellow patients fighting this challenging fungal infection.

Rob has spearheaded several awareness campaigns for Valley Fever. He has shared his personal knowledge and experience with numerous media entities at the local, state, and national level as well as internationally. His efforts include bringing community awareness through events such as the Valley Fever Walk, which he has helped organize since 2016.

Rob’s legislative efforts have included involvement in multiple aspects of California Assembly Bills on Valley Fever, resulting in $8 million in budget allocations for awareness and research. Rob has continued his efforts at the federal level working with patients and stakeholders to support legislation to improve patient outcomes.

Rob has been a Sponsored Participant and Presenter at workshops hosted by the NIH and FDA, provided Patient Advocacy at a Valley Fever Roundtable in Washington DC and recently at an international roundtable on fungal infections. He coauthored an article published in Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID), a leading journal in the field of infectious diseases with a broad international readership. Rob has many additional presentations scheduled, providing a voice for patients at several research and policy symposiums and meetings in 2023.

Rob’s desire to become involved in broader advocacy efforts springs from the relationships he has built with researchers, clinicians, and stakeholders and the realization that the issues experienced by Valley Fever patients are similar to those of other patients with fungal disease. His path to addressing the broader need was provided through collaborations established under a CDC Cooperative Agreement in mycology. Through these collaborations, Rob connected with additional members of the mycology community who shared his passion and vision for improving the lives of those battling fungal diseases. We trust that with Rob’s passion and guidance, MyCARE will make a difference for patients across the mycology spectrum.

Lisa A Tushla, PhD, H(ASCP)

Founding Member, MyCARE
Managing Director, Integrita Healthcare Education Foundation
President, Terranova Medica, LLC
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Dr Lisa A. Tushla is a Founding Member of MyCARE and a managing director at Integrita Healthcare Education Foundation. She is also a president of Terranova Medica, LLC, a medical education and communication company based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In a career spanning over 25 years, Lisa has demonstrated a true vocation for medical education and advocacy, particularly in the fields of infectious diseases and oncology. A physiologist by training with more than 6 years of experience in clinical hematology, Lisa’s primary area of research interest has been in host defense mechanisms and the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory processes in acute lung injury. Lisa also completed postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania, including research peptide mimicry of HIV epitopes, followed by work on defensins at New York University.

Lisa has successfully participated in the launch and maintenance of medical education startups, including PharmAdura, LLC (currently Paradigm Medical Communications) in 2003—growing the award-winning CME unit and taking the company through accreditation. With a move to the West Coast in 2007, Lisa subsequently joined Quest MedEd, LLC, an innovative company focusing on high-quality E-learning activities, primarily in the field of hematology/oncology. Capitalizing on that experience, Lisa launched Terranova in the fall of 2009, and the company has delivered a variety of educational initiatives in live, print, and web-based formats. Since 2010, Terranova has successfully launched dozens of activities on invasive fungal infections in collaboration with the MSGERC, among other partners. In addition, Terranova has spearheaded multiple oncology-focused initiatives in collaboration with advocacy organizations that address supportive care issues (such as management of infectious complications), including,, and Lisa is excited by the opportunity to apply the learnings from Terranova’s advocacy work in oncology to MyCARE.

Lisa’s commitment to patient advocacy for underserved diseases was strengthened in 2020, when she was diagnosed with an in situ nail matrix melanoma. Despite Lisa’s deep connections in the melanoma field, she found the navigation of treatment options challenging for this rare malignancy. She is pleased to help build community and resources around fungal diseases.

Tom Davis, BS

Founding Member, MyCARE
Managing Director. Integrita Healthcare Education Foundation
Chief Operations Officer, Terranova Medica, LLC
Based in Ojai, California

Tom is a leading expert in the field of business transformation for companies engaged in the growth or creative stage of their life cycle. He has worked with countless companies, from those on the Fortune 500 to relative unknowns and start-ups as well as being a part of being a founding member of MyCARE.

Prior to joining the Terranova Medica team in late 2009, Tom had been a serial entrepreneur. With an educational background in information and computer science, economics, and philosophy, Tom founded Information Works, an Information Design and Development company, in 1996. Based on his experience delivering solutions that offered captivating designs coupled with tangible sales and marketing results, Tom founded the highly successful Elite Products Group in early 1999. It was at Elite Products Group that Tom helped pioneer the comprehensive online traffic and sales analysis system that allowed Elite to become one of the most coveted online distribution channels of the early 2000s.

Most recently, he had redefined business transformation by establishing Fluidity Partners, which works with growing businesses to leverage ideas and solutions across the areas of business development, design services, sales consulting, and marketing and strategic analysis. Tom’s understanding of business far surpasses that of a typical director. He truly understands what it takes to start, grow, and maintain successful companies and brings those strengths to Terranova as a whole, as well as each initiative he is involved in.

Tom’s personal connection to mycology and his younger brother’s battle with coccidioidomycosis presented him with profound challenges that ultimately spurred him into patient advocacy. Witnessing his brother’s struggle with this fungal infection highlighted the inadequacies and complexities of the healthcare system when it comes to treating such conditions. Tom witnessed his brother and parents confronting numerous challenges along the way, including misdiagnosis, limited treatment options, and a lack of public awareness about this disease. These obstacles motivated him to act, becoming a passionate advocate for patients affected by mycological diseases. Through these advocacy efforts, Tom strives to raise awareness, improve access to accurate diagnosis and specialized treatment, and support research initiatives. His personal experience ignited a deep sense of purpose, empowering him to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by similar challenges.

Andrej Spec, MD, MSCI

Founding Member, MyCARE
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Associate Director, Infectious Disease–Clinical Research Unit
Washington University
St. Louis, Missouri

Dr Andrej Spec is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, and a Fellow of the European Confederation of Medical Mycology (FECMM). He also is a founding member of MyCARE. Dr Spec’s research focuses on CryptococcusHistoplasma, and Candida fungal infections, particularly in immunocompromised patients, including those who underwent transplants. He studies the epidemiology and factors that affect outcomes in patients infected with fungus, both in the United States and globally in the resource-limited setting of Guatemala. He serves as the Associate Director of Washington University’s Infectious Disease Clinical Research Unit (ID-CRU) and is actively involved in the Mycoses Study Group (MSG), through which he participates in and conducts multicenter studies focused on new diagnostic tests and treatments for invasive fungal infections. In addition, he is the creator and leader of the Washington University Mycoses Group (a consortium of researchers interested in fungal infections). Dr Spec also oversees the division’s clinic that focuses on invasive fungal infections. There he takes care of both immunocompromised and immunocompetent patients with fungal infections, which he considers the best and most rewarding part of his job. Dr Spec has been working behind the scenes for years to help formulate an approach to patient advocacy for his patients with fungal infections. He is thrilled to see MyCARE launch and looks forward to guiding its efforts.

Carolynn Thomas Jones, DNP, MSPH, RN, FAAN

Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
Director, Master of Clinical Research Program
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

Dr Carolynn Thomas Jones is Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing and Director of the Master of Clinical Research at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Nursing with an appointment as Co-Director of workforce development for OSU Center for Clinical Translational Science. She is also the Consulting Executive Director of the Mycoses Study Group Education and Research Consortium (MSGERC). She received her Master of Science in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Public Health and her Doctor of Nursing Practice from UAB School of Nursing. She has 30 years of experience working in clinical research development and management focusing on infectious disease/mycology clinical trials/epidemiology and cardiology clinical trials. From 1990 to 2000 she was the administrator of the NIAID Mycoses Study Group Central Unit before returning to help form the MSGERC in 2013. Her other research interests include a focus in clinical research workforce development, and in that capacity, she is an originating member of the Joint Task Force for Clinical Research Core Competencies and is a Board Member of the Committee on Accreditation for Academic Programs in Clinical Research.

Carolynn is excited to bring the patient-directed efforts of the MSGERC, particularly the Faces of Fungal Infection video series and efforts on patient-important outcomes, to the table to assist MyCARE to hit the ground running in patient advocacy.