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Alliance Announces Inaugural Awards to Four Outstanding Leaders in the Community of Practice


This year, The Alliance introduced a series of awards to recognize individuals who have been invaluable in their contributions to our programs that advance the national community of practice. Four awards were presented to leaders in the community of practice at the National Donor Management Summit on September 1, 2021.

Rising Leader
The 2021 recipient is Ingrid Palacios, Multicultural Community Outreach Program Manager for New England Donor Services. Karri Hobson-Pape, Executive Director of The Alliance, presented the award and shared “Throughout her career, Ingrid has made it her personal and professional mission to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in all areas of her life. She has served as an invaluable member of The Alliance Conversation Series workgroup and The Alliance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion workgroup – giving of her immense passion and expertise to bring visibility to the critical issues that impact our world – both as professionals and members of society.”

Alexander Glazier, CEO of New England Donor Services, joined the awards ceremony and shared her comments about Palacios. “We are so pleased that Ingrid Palacios is receiving The Alliance Rising Leader award, a national recognition that she is a rising star in our community of practice. In her role, as a Community Outreach Coordinator at New England Donor Services, Ingrid’s work has really embodied our organizational values. She is driven, dedicated and incredibly dynamic. Ingrid has already accomplished so much in her leadership toward the mission…her leadership has been exceptional in developing regional and national community partnerships.”

Visionary Leader
The Alliance Visionary Leader Award recognizes a leader in the community of practice who guides The Alliance’s vision to ignite bold advancements in organ donation, transplantation and overall patient survival. As a valued thought leader, this individual has introduced important innovations to catalyze meaningful change for donation and transplantation.

The recipient of the 2021 Alliance Visionary Leader Award was presented to Dr. Dan Lebovitz, Pediatric Intensivist at Akron Children’s Hospital and Medical Director of Lifebanc in Ohio. Corey Bryant, Senior Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives presented the award and shared that “Dr. Lebovitz has been a long time contributor to a number of The Alliance’s programs and initiatives, including serving as a leader of our National Donation Leadership Council and helping to launch the DCD educational guide workgroup, and serving as faculty for The Organ Donation Exploratory Seminar and The Advancement Webinar Series. Dr. Lebovitz is always willing to raise his hand and lend his expertise (and humor) to jumpstart critical innovations that save and heal more lives.

In honor of Dr. Lebovitz, several members of the Lifebanc Team expressed their congratulations. Gordon Bowen, CEO of LifeBanc shared a personal message to Lebovitz, “Dan.. you and I go way back, we both started over 20 years ago in the same year. And during that time, you made great accomplishments for us to put us where we are today with Lifebanc. So, on behalf of Lifebanc, our great staff, our board, and all of those that serve here in northeast Ohio, we congratulate you.”

Committed Leader V2The Alliance Committed Leader Award award recognizes a leader in the community of practice who commits significant time and expertise to the many bold initiatives underway at The Alliance. Through establishing valued relationships, this leader has launched significant efforts to advance nationwide collaboration and engaged learning. By activating the “All Teach, All Learn” approach, this leader directly impacts a wide variety of relevant, targeted and scalable learning solutions in the bold pursuit to save and heal lives.

The recipient of The Alliance Committed Leader Award for 2021 is Joann Brooks, Interim Clinical Nursing Director at the University of Michigan Transplant Center. Deanna Fenton, Program Manager at The Alliance presented the award and shared that “Over the years, Joann has played a critical role in so many of The Alliance’s programs and initiatives, including The National Transplant Leadership Council, OnboardingU, The Advancement Webinar Series and more – and consistently demonstrates her commitment to elevating herself and those around her. That makes her the ideal candidate to receive this honor.”

Dr. John Magee, Section Head of Transplantation at the University of Michigan, joined the National Donor Management Summit presentation and shared, “On behalf of the entire transplant team at the University of Michigan, I am so delighted that Joann Brooks is receiving the first Alliance Committed Leader Award. I can think of no one more deserving. Joann joined our transplant team in 2010, first working on our inpatient transplant unit. Her dedication and mastery were quickly recognized and she was promoted to be the education nurse coordinator for our transplant center. For the past 2.5 years, Joann has served as a clinical nurse director, leading several of our teams with skill, grace, humility and dedication.… Joann has the respect of the staff and faculty within our transplant center and we are lucky to have her here. She is one of the most dedicated professionals I know. I am so glad that Joann has shared her talents and passions with the broader transplant community through her work with The Alliance. I know she has used these opportunities to gain new knowledge and grow as a leader.”

Transformational Leader
Finally, The Alliance Transformational Leader Award is a lifetime career achievement award dedicated to the individual that is generating bold impact. This award honors a leader in the community of practice who has generated the greatest results through their volunteer efforts at The Alliance. This leader has demonstrated consistent commitment, resulting in effective collaboration, cascading of innovations and sharing of best practices for the benefit of restoring lives through transplantation.

Hobson-Pape presented the inaugural recipient of The Alliance Transformational Leader Award to Howard Nathan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gift of Life Donor Program in Philadelphia. At the Summit, Hobson-Pape shared, “A founder and influential source of guidance to The Alliance, Howard has served on our board since 2006 – distinguishing him as our longest-serving board member. He also holds the distinction of being the longest-serving CEO of any OPO in the US and has mentored many other leaders in donation. As Howard has recently announced his retirement from his remarkable 43-year career, we could imagine no one more fitting to receive our first lifetime achievement award.”

To celebrate Howard, Rick Hasz, Vice President of Clinical Services and incoming President and CEO of Gift of Life Donor Program, shared a personal message. “There is no one more deserving of The Alliance’s Transformational Leadership Award than Howard… Howard has built the Gift of Life Donor Program brick by brick over a long period of time, surrounding himself with not only best-demonstrated practices but collecting relationships and people… but the thing that we are most proud of is the relationships that Howard has built along the way. He is an expert at not only organ and tissue donation, but an expert at making you laugh, making you feel included and making your voice be heard. For Howard, it has always been about the people. The people that are awaiting transplant. The people that he worked with day to day. And the people that make donation possible. Howard has built these relationships through his authenticity, his kindness and his genuine concern for your success. His commitment to donor families, the real heroes in this story, is unwavering… I was reminded by a quote, ‘Good leaders take you where you want to go; great leaders take you where you ought to be.’ Howard, thank you for taking us where we ought to be.”

The Alliance extends a sincere congratulations and deep appreciation to these outstanding leaders and the many other volunteers that support the Alliance efforts throughout the year.

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