The Alliance Board of Directors is comprised of expert leaders from several key national organizations from across the organ donation, transplantation and healthcare community. They are the driving force behind the Alliance’s successful programs and activities. These valued partners work closely with the Alliance team to achieve optimal results on key issues that impact the donation and transplantation industry.
A psychiatrist by training, Dr. Hands is a skilled healthcare professional with over 25 years of experience. Since joining Ochsner in 2005, she has been responsible for overseeing all strategic planning, business development and operational components of the International Health and Multi-Organ Transplant Services. Dr. Hands has a distinguished career creating and operating new revenue programs for hospitals. She has had a crucial role in the post Katrina restructure of the Ochsner Multi-Organ Transplant Institute, leading with exceptional dedication assuring a multidisciplinary commitment to safety, quality, and the most current evidence-based practices making the Ochsner Transplant Program one of the top programs in the country.
She has also served as member of the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation- ACOT and is a member of the board of directors for the Alliance. Additionally, she serves on the board of the Legacy Donor Foundation in New Orleans and is a State of Louisiana representative for the Donate Life America Collaborative.
Jan Finn is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwest Transplant Network (MWTN). Prior to her current role she served as the Vice President & Chief Operations Officer from 1998 – 2017. As President and CEO, she provides executive leadership to team of 215+ full-time staff and is responsible for a budget of $68 million. Jan is a recognized leader for innovation and outcomes in the donation community, as noted by numerous awards, including the recipient of the 2004 Association of Organ Procurement Organizations Achievement Award for Excellence. She has served on numerous Boards and committees, including the UNOS/OPTN Board of Directors, NATCO Board of Directors, AOPO annual meeting chair, the HHS Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation, UNOS Patient Affairs Committee and the Missouri Governor’s Advisory Council on Organ and Tissue Donation. Jan is currently President-Elect for AOPO, the association for organ procurement organizations. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Kansas as well as other professional degrees.
Kevin A. Myer, MSHA, serves as president and CEO of LifeGift. LifeGift, based in Houston, Texas works with over 240 hospitals and 9 transplant centers in 109 counties.
Myer joined LifeGift in 2013 from the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), where he was the business director for the Center for Transplant System Excellence. Previously, Myer was the assistant director for the UNOS Department of Evaluation and Quality, where he oversaw policy compliance auditing, organ allocation analysis and led special projects in patient safety. Before his tenure at UNOS, Myer held the positions of executive director and vice president of LifeNet Health, an organ procurement organization (OPO) and biomedical implant agency based in Virginia.
Myer received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. and earned his Master of Science in health administration degree from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He also completed a fellowship in patient safety at Virginia Commonwealth University. Through Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, he has completed the Executive programs in Social Entrepreneurship, Innovative Health Care Leader-Design Thinking to Personal Leadership and most recently in July, 2019, the Mergers and Acquisitions Certificate.
He is a member of the American Society of Transplantation (AST), the International Society of Heart Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) and the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance (The Alliance).
Jon Snyder, PhD, MS, serves as the Director of Transplant Epidemiology for the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) in Minneapolis, MN. In his role as a solid organ transplant epidemiologist for HHRI, Dr. Snyder serves as the Director of the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, a federal contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration. In addition to his work with HHRI, Dr. Snyder serves as Treasurer of the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance, Secretary of Donate Life America, and he is a member of the Clinical Policy Board of LifeSource, the organ procurement organization serving Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and portions of Western Wisconsin. Dr. Snyder is a Statistical Editor for the American Journal of Transplantation and an Associate Editor of the journal Transplantation. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. He holds a doctoral degree in epidemiology and a master’s degree in biostatistics from the University of Minnesota.
Hepatologist & Medical Director, Liver Transplant Program
- Intermountain Medical Center, UT
Richard K. Gilroy, MD, is a hepatologist and medical director of the Liver Transplant Program at Intermountain Medical Center. Prior to his current role, Dr. Gilroy worked as a Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of Liver Transplantation at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. He maintains active membership in the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, United Network for Organ Sharing, International Liver Transplant Society (ILTS), and the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD). Among his many honors, he holds the position of United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Medical Director of Liver Transplantation and sits on the US Food and Drug Administration Gastrointestinal Drug Advisory Committee. He has authored numerous journal articles, book chapters, and presentations. He has also been a principal investigator or sub-investigator for various studies in the areas of short bowel syndrome, liver transplantation, hepatitis C and other liver diseases. He currently holds a research grant from the National Institutes of Health Liver Failure Studies Group and is a mentor for an AASLD Nurse Practitioner Training Grant.
Board Role: American Hospital Association (AHA) Representative to the Board
Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety Policy
- American Hospital Association, D.C.
Nancy Foster is the Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety Policy at the American Hospital Association, serving in this role since 2004. She advocates for the nearly 5,000 hospitals and health system members of the American Hospital Association and shapes national policy on health care quality and safety. She leads efforts to improve quality and safety through collaboration with key national health care organizations; advises CMS on quality measures and their application in various public programs; works with the AHA Committees on Governance and Equity of Care; collaborates with experts to translate safety research into improved policies and practices; and coordinates with leaders working on information technology, workforce development, organizational culture, and other issues affecting quality of care.
David Klassen joined UNOS in 2014 as Chief Medical Officer. In this role, Dr. Klassen provides an experienced clinical perspective the UNOS policymaking, research, education, and patient safety efforts. He assists the developing, planning and implementing UNOS’ strategic direction. Prior to coming to UNOS, Dr. Klassen was the Medical Director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Programs at the University of Maryland Hospital, where he was as a faculty member beginning in 1986. He has a long history of volunteer leadership with UNOS and many professional societies. Dr. Klassen served on the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors and as a member of the OPTN/UNOS Kidney Transplantation Committee and Membership and Professional Standards committee. He has published extensively in clinical kidney and pancreas transplantation as well as in transplant outcomes and policy.
Dr. Klassen earned his medical degree from the Ohio State University in Columbus and completed his Internal Medicine and Nephrology training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
Board Role: American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) Representative to The Alliance Board
Jeremiah & Claire Turcotte Professor of Transplant Surgery
- University of Michigan
John Magee, MD, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College. He completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Michigan in 1996. During his residency, Dr. Magee spent three years as a research fellow in the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center. He also completed the Post-Doctoral Research Training Program at the University of Michigan. Following General Surgery training, he completed a two-year Multi-Organ Transplant Surgery fellowship at the University of Michigan. He joined the faculty in 1998.
Dr. Sumit Mohan is an associate professor of medicine & epidemiology at Columbia University, the director of clinical research in the Division of Nephrology and the director of quality and outcomes research for the transplant initiative at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Dr. Mohan’s clinical and research career has been focused on improving access to care and outcomes for patients with kidney disease – especially those with end stage kidney disease and kidney transplantation. His research funding has come from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the American Society of Transplantation among others.
Dr. Mohan’s research findings have directly informed public policy at the federal level related to patients with kidney disease including access to outpatient dialysis for acute kidney injury, elimination of early outcomes as a regulatory measure for transplant center recertification as well as the ongoing efforts to lower the discard of deceased donor kidneys in the United States. His work on the inappropriate discard of deceased donor kidneys has helped bring significant attention to this problem nationally. He serves on multiple committees for UNOS, SRTR, ASN and NKF among others. In addition, he has contributed to several Technical Expert Panels (TEPs) for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) and has been invited to present his research to the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine.
Paul currently serves as the Senior Administrative Director of the Transplant Center, Division of Transplant Surgery, and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, MA. The MGH Transplant Center is the largest center in New England by total transplant volume, and the only center to offer the full range of services in kidney, pancreas, Islet cell, liver, heart, and lung transplants, including pediatric kidney and liver transplants. In close collaboration with key clinical leaders Paul is administratively responsible for the transplant service line, including hospital and ambulatory operations, finances, regulatory compliance, clinical research, business development, and overall strategic direction for the transplant service line. Paul is also the Chair of the MGH Organ and Tissue Donation Committee, a member of the MGH Ethics Committee, and serves as the Region 1 Representative on the OPTN/UNOS Transplant Administrators Committee.
Paul received his Masters in Healthcare Administration from University of Washington and his B.A. in Economics from New York University. He is also a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (CLSSBB).
Thomas A. Nakagawa, M.D., FAAP, FCCM, is a board certified pediatric critical care specialist. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at The University of Florida College of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Nakagawa serves as the Medical Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Nakagawa also serves as the Assistant Medical Director for Carolina Donor Services in Durham, North Carolina.
Dr. Nakagawa is actively involved with issues pertaining to end-of-life care, organ and tissue donation, neurologic and circulatory determination of death, and ethical issues. Dr. Nakagawa has served on numerous national and international organ donation and transplantation committees, and expert panels. He is a consultant to medical groups and societies for issues pertaining to pediatric organ and tissue donation and determination of circulatory and neurologic death. His leadership roles include involvement with regional advisory boards and national medical societies serving as the Pediatric Representative on the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Council, and as a member on the Board of Directors for the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance as the representative for SCCM.
Dr. Nakagawa has authored numerous articles and book chapters including pediatric donor management and dosing guidelines utilized by organ procurement organizations nationally. He is the lead author of the updated guidelines for the determination of brain death in infants and children from the Society of Critical Care Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Child Neurology Society.
Mr. Nathan began working at the Gift of Life Donor Program in 1978 as a transplant coordinator and has led the organization since 1984. Gift of Life is the largest and one of the oldest of the 58 organ procurement organizations in the United States, having coordinated more than 36,000 organs for transplantation and tens of thousands of tissue transplants since 1974. Mr. Nathan is also the President of the Transplant Foundation, Founder and President of the Gift of Life Institute, an international research and training center for donation and transplantation professionals established in 2004, and the President of the Gift of Life Family House.
Board Role: American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Representative to the Board
Director, Product Marketing
- American College of Healthcare Executives, IL
Emma O’Riley has over twenty years of experience as a marketing and communication professional, gaining experience and expertise through varied industries. She is a data-driven, operations-focused, creative marketing and brand strategist with a proven track record of success in new media and magazine publishing, advertising, product marketing and brand experience and design. As the head of marketing operations and brand experience for the American College of Healthcare Executives, she is managing and directing integrated marketing, editorial and design teams in creating effective, on-brand communications for all channels (print, web, email, mobile and podcast) for the organization. Additionally, Emma works to plan, lead and execute branding and creative strategies across multiple platforms and formats to support the organization’s communication and marketing initiatives.
With a tenure of more than 25 years in the organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation, Jennifer is the President and CEO of Donor Alliance. While there are organ procurement organizations in every state, Donor Alliance, under Jennifer’s leadership, stands out as a leader in the field and has improved the climate for transplant patients in Colorado and Wyoming.
Jennifer has been instrumental in raising Coloradans’ and Wyomingites’ willingness to sign up as organ and tissue donors. Last year more than 950 thousand residents added their names to the organ, eye and tissue donor registries. Colorado’s donor designation rate has climbed over six percent in her tenure, (to 68%) and now is the highest in the nation. Also, despite the pandemic, she was able to lead Donor Alliance to a record number of organ recoveries, and lifesaving transplants in 2020. Thanks to Jennifer’s leadership, Donor Alliance has achieved outstanding clinical and operational outcomes, culminating in a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2018.
As both a donor and recipient family, Jennifer and the Donor Alliance team continue to focus on maximizing donation and transplantation in Colorado, Wyoming, and across the country.
Laboratory Project Director, Standards and Survey Methods, Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation
- The Joint Commission
Thomas Strukl is currently the Project Director in the Department of Standards and Survey Methods at The Joint Commission. In this role, he serves as a subject matter expert for the development of laboratory accreditation standards, including the standards related to tissue safety and transplantation safety in the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Laboratory. He is The Joint Commission’s representative with the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies (AABB) and provides support for The Joint Commission’s Patient Blood Management certification program. The Joint Commission accredits over 21,000 organizations across the entire continuum of health care.
Prior to coming to The Joint Commission, Mr. Strukl served as the Laboratory Manager of AMITA Adventist Bolingbrook and Glen Oaks laboratories. He has experience as the Administrative Laboratory Director of St. Alexius Medical Center and participated on many regional and individual hospital safety and environment of care committees.
I started my career at CORE in 1987, rising to assistant executive director before accepting a position at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), overseeing clinical operations of 150 critical care beds and managing UPMC’s respiratory and renal dialysis departments. In 2004, I returned to CORE as president & CEO.
I serve on several boards including the community advisory board for WQED, the International Women’s Forum, the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE), and Rotary International. I have also held volunteer leadership roles with AOPO, UNOS and Donate Life America.
I have a BSN from Duquesne University and MPM from Carnegie Mellon University.
Janice Whaley serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Donor Network West in San Ramon, CA, the second largest OPO in the U.S., joining the organization in January of 2019. Four months after her arrival, the organization has moved well above the national average in recovery metrics. Her leadership, advocacy and operational efforts in both the state of California as well as the nation overall serve as evidence of her passion.
Prior to assuming the Chief Executive role at Donor Network West, Whaley held leadership and clinical roles in three other OPOs, achieving similar results. From 2014-2018, Whaley served as Chief Operating Officer of LifeShare of Oklahoma, essentially doubling the number of organ donors early on in her five-year tenure. Prior to her arrival at LifeShare, Whaley attended Harvard Business School in Boston. Whaley held the role of Managing Director of Clinical Operations at LifeGift in Houston, TX from 2003-2013. While in Houston, the fourth largest U.S. city, Whaley managed the complex processes involved in working with 5 transplant centers and 24 transplant programs, leading the region to record setting numbers of donors recovered. Whaley started her career and honed her skills in organ and tissue recovery at the University of Alabama, gaining expertise in numerous arenas, including organ preservation. Whaley is dually certified in organ and tissue recovery through ABTC and the AATB, respectively.
A committed advocate for donation, Whaley has served in multiple capacities on several national boards and committees related to organ and tissue donation and recovery. Most recently, she was appointed to serve a four-year term as a member of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Council on Transplantation (ACOT). Whaley is a member of the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) and served as president in 2003. She currently serves as an elected officer on the Board of Directors for AMAT. Whaley is also a member of the North American Association of Transplant Coordinators (NATCO), the American Society of Transplantation (AST), the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) and the American Association of Tissue Banking (AATB). She was appointed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to serve as a faculty member for the National Learning Congress (NLC) in 2012. Whaley served as the Representative for OPTN/UNOS Region 4 OPO Committee (2015 -2017).
Whaley received a Master of Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a post graduate certificate from Harvard Business School, Executive Management Program. She graduated from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry.