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2023 Award Cover

The Alliance Presents Third Annual Leadership Awards, Introduces Glenn Matsuki Award for Mentorship


The Alliance is proud to announce the recipients of our third annual leadership awards, recognizing individuals who have been invaluable in their contributions to Alliance programs that advance the national community of practice. Today, five honorees were surprised by a virtual award presentation, with their physical awards also arriving by same-day mail. The Alliance team is proud to recognize and celebrate each honoree’s achievements below.

2023 Matsuki AwardThis year, The Alliance Team is pleased to introduce a new award, which celebrates the life and legacy of our late friend and colleague, Glenn Matsuki. The Glenn Matsuki Excellence in Mentorship Award honors a leader in the community of practice who supports the future of organ donation and transplantation by providing outstanding mentorship to the future leaders of our field. Glenn, whom so many in our community were honored to know, was a 27-year heart recipient and longtime member and advocate of the donation and transplantation community. He had a true passion for mentorship, and was truly committed to sharing his insight and professional experience with others growing in the field. We are proud and honored to carry on his legacy through this esteemed recognition.

The inaugural recipient of The Glenn Matsuki Excellence in Mentorship Award is Brandon Williams, Director of Organizational Outcomes and Quality at LifeSource in Minnesota. A volunteer of The Alliance Mentorship Program, Brandon serves as an invaluable mentor to budding leaders in the field of donation and transplantation. His mentees enthusiastically laud his ability to share valuable expertise, a warm smile and an infectious spirit, which makes him the ideal candidate for this namesake award.

Kelly White, CEO of LifeSource, congratulated Brandon by sharing, “I could not think of a more perfect person in receiving this. Your dedication and your drive in really sharing your experience and knowledge, not only within our organization but across our network, is just incredible. Our world of donation and transplantation will be better for it, and we will save more lives because of your experience and knowledge and mentoring those around you.”

View the award presentation below:

2023 Committed LeaderThe Alliance Committed Leader 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 taken on significant efforts to advance nationwide collaboration and engaged learning.

Our 2023 honoree is Lindsay Smith, Director of Transplant Quality at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. For many years, Lindsay has been an invaluable member of The Alliance National Transplant Leadership Council, as well as numerous initiative-driven workgroups, including The Alliance Mentorship Program, The Alliance Advancement Series Webinar Faculty. Most recently, Lindsay has served as the lead of The Alliance’s Transplant Quality Workgroup, which resulted in the creation of The Transplant Quality Corner, a new initiative that launched in 2023. Lindsay’s enduring commitment truly embodies the spirit of collaboration and all teach, all learn, which lie at the core of The Alliance mission.

Dr. Deonna Taylor, Associate Nursing Officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center congratulated Smith, along with a host of colleagues and friends. “Lindsay works tirelessly to advance quality of care for transplant patients,” said Taylor. “She is committed to developing educational offerings and content for both patients and transplant professionals. Her efforts improve care delivery and advance the field of transplantation. Congratulations, Lindsay. We are so proud of you.”

View the award presentation below:

2023 Rising LeaderThe Alliance Rising Leader Award recognizes an outstanding member of The Alliance’s national workgroups and committees. Through proven commitment to advancing the national community of practice, this individual establishes themselves as an emerging leader in the field of organ donation and transplantation.

The 2023 recipient of The Alliance Rising Leader Award is Dr. Matthew Kirschen, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, Pediatrics and Neurology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Kirschen has volunteered with The Alliance since 2018, and has been a highly-regarded speaker and faculty member of multiple Alliance events, including the most recent 2023 National Pediatric Donation and Transplantation Summit. His research and involvement in the evolving landscape of acute brain injury and the diagnosis of brain death has provided valuable insight for The Alliance’s diverse learning programs. His analytical, balanced perspective has become highly trusted and influential for our community.

Alliance Board Member Dr. Tom Nakagawa, along with a host of colleagues congratulated Kirschen by sharing, “I want to personally extend my thanks to you for all that you do for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, for The Alliance, and for the pediatric critical care community. Your work is truly making a difference in our field.”

View the award presentation below:

2023 Visionary LeaderThe Alliance Visionary Leader Award recognizes a leader in the community who guides The Alliance’s vision to ignite bold advancements in organ donation, transplantation and patient survival. As a valued thought leader, this individual has introduced important innovations to catalyze meaningful change for donation and transplantation.

This year’s honoree is Dr. Christopher Michetti, Chief of Trauma and Trauma Medical Director for the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center. Dr. Michetti’s involvement with The Alliance spans the greater part of a decade, beginning with his membership on The Alliance National Donation Leadership Council, where he identified a need for a highly specialized donation-specific training program for medical students and early-career healthcare and OPO professionals. Along with his colleague, Dr. Galen Henderson, they led the development of what is now The Alliance Foundational Perspectives of Organ Donation course. They also served as Senior Editors of the accompanying textbook, which continues to be a highly influential resource in the community of practice. Since the program’s inception in 2017, Dr. Michetti has consistently served as the lead facilitator of this program, guiding and equipping countless healthcare professionals to succeed in the nuanced field of organ donation and transplantation.

Dr. Harry Wilkins, President and CEO of Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network, congratulated Michetti, along with a host of colleagues and friends. “It is a great highlight of my career to have gotten to work with you on the inaugural ODASSCE [now Foundational Perspectives of Organ Donation] course,” said Wilkins, “and really get a chance to see, up front, your visionary leadership.”

View the award presentation below:

2023 Transformational Leader

The Alliance Transformational Leader Award recognizes lifetime career achievement and contributions to organ donation and transplantation. This award honors a leader in the community of practice who has demonstrated consistent commitment, resulting in effective collaboration, cascading of innovations and sharing of best practices for the benefit of restoring lives through transplantation.

This year’s honoree is Nancy Foster, Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety Policy at the American Hospital Association. Nancy has served on the board of directors for The Alliance since 2019, and has made an indelible impact on the organization. With her broad vantage point of national hospital leadership, she has been a dedicated advocate of donation and transplantation – and a champion of driving efficiency and effectiveness in the national system. In addition to serving on The Alliance Board and Strategic Planning Committee where she helps to guide the organization’s broad goals and objectives, she has served on the planning committee for multiple Alliance signature events, including the 2022 National Critical Issues Forum, focused on Optimizing Performance in an Age of Disruption. With a broad understanding of major trends in healthcare, especially the current state of hospitals and the mindsets of healthcare leadership, she brings the big-picture perspective to our often narrow and niche profession – embodying The Alliance’s commitment to cross-community collaboration.

To celebrate Foster, a host of friends and colleagues expressed their congratulations, including her former mentor Dr. Gregg Meyer, Senior Vice President of Quality and Safety for Massachusetts General Hospital. “Nancy’s combination of passion, rigor, extraordinary emotional intelligence and practical approach to getting things done has served us well in her many roles in academic medicine, at the agency for research and quality, at the American Hospital Association, and with her work with the transplantation community,” said Meyer.

View the award presentation below:

The Alliance team congratulates all honorees and thanks them for their immeasurable contributions to the field of organ donation and transplantation.

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