Eva Chess

Vice President, Communications & Marketing at the American College of Healthcare Executives, IL

Eva Chess, JD, is the Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the American College of Healthcare Executives, an international professional society of more than 40,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. In her prior role, she served as the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and External Communications at Aurora Health Care, the largest integrated health system in Wisconsin. Among several notable educational accomplishments, Ms. Chess holds a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Mark A. Crafton

Executive Director of Communications & External Relations at The Joint Commission, IL
Treasurer at the Organ Donation & Transplantation Alliance

Mark A. Crafton is the Executive Director of Communications and External Relations for The Joint Commission.  In this role, Mr. Crafton oversees all Joint Commission activities related to communications, corporate marketing, market research and state relations.  Mr. Crafton is a frequent speaker at national conferences on topics related to quality, safety and accreditation. Before joining The Joint Commission, Mr. Crafton was the Senior Director of advocacy for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

Betty Crandall

Administrative Director (Ret.), Transplant Services at Wake Forest Baptist Health, NC

Betty Crandall is the Administrative Director of Transplant Services (Abdominal Organ Transplant Program and Advanced Heart Failure Program (heart transplant and VAD), at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. She is an experienced leader in transplantation with over 25 years in the field at three different transplant institutions and a seasoned hospital leader with over twenty five years as a member of the management team in the acute care hospital setting.  She serves or has served on numerous professional committees and Boards, including the UNOS Transplant Administrators Committee, the AST Transplant Administrators Community of Practice and the Donate Life North Carolina Board of Directors. She holds a Masters degree in Nursing from the University of Maryland.

Nancy Foster

Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety Policy at the 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.  

Gerard Fulda, MD

Chairman, Department of Surgery at Christiana Care Health System, DE

Gerard J. Fulda, MD, MHCDS, FACS, FCCM, FCCP is highly regarded in the fields of Surgery and Critical Care Medicine.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Critical Care Medicine and the American College of Chest Physicians.  In January 2014, Dr. Fulda received the Distinguished Service Award for exceptional leadership from the Society of Critical Care Medicine.  He is a four-time recipient of the Presidential Citation Award for outstanding contributions to the Society of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Fulda graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1983, completed his surgical residency at Christiana Care and a fellowship in Critical Care and Traumatology at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems in 1989 (Shock Trauma Center). He is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College and a staff surgeon at A. I. DuPont Hospital for Children.

Jill Grandas

Executive Director of Tennessee Donor Services, TN

Jill Grandas is an organ procurement and tissue banking industry veteran with 30 years of experience.  In her role overseeing DCI Donor Services (DCIDS), Jill leads a team of selfless, hard-working employees who are committed to save and improve lives. Jill began her nursing work in Neurological Intensive Care where she became involved with organ and tissue donation and donor families on several occasions.  Because of those interactions, in 1987, she joined Tennessee Donor Services (TDS) as an Organ Recovery Coordinator and she has expanded her role over the years serving in several positions with DCIDS including Director of Hospital Services, Associate Director and Executive Director for the Tennessee location.  Since 2005, Jill has been the Corporate Executive Director for DCIDS. DCIDS, a family of companies totaling over 400 employees, includes the DCI Donor Services Tissue Bank, Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank, as well as New Mexico Donor Services, Sierra Donor Services and Tennessee Donor Services.  Jill is a Certified Procurement Transplant Coordinator (CPTC) and a Registered Nurse (RN).

Susan Gunderson

Chief Executive Officer at LifeSource, MN
Vice Chair at the Organ Donation & Transplantation Alliance

Susan Gunderson has served as Chief Executive Officer of LifeSource since its inception in 1989.  LifeSource is the federally designated organ procurement organization for Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and portions of western Wisconsin; and is also an AATB accredited tissue bank. Ms. Gunderson is a past president of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and has served on the boards of multiple national organizations including the United Network for Organ Sharing, the Alliance for Organ Donation and Transplantation, The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation and the Minnesota Medical Foundation. In 2001 she was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy G. Thompson, to the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation.

John Magee, MD

Professor in the Section of Transplantation, Department of Surgery at the University of Michigan, MI
Chair at the Organ Donation & Transplantation Alliance

John Magee, MD is a Professor in the Section of Transplantation, Department of Surgery. Dr. Magee 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.

Tom Mone

Chief Executive Officer of One Legacy, CA
Past Chair at the Organ Donation & Transplantation Alliance

Tom Mone is the Chief Executive Officer of One Legacy, US’s largest organ recovery agency, serving 19.5 million people, 200+ hospitals and 11 transplant centers.  OneLegacy annually recovers 400+ organ donors, 1,300+ organs for transplant and 2,000+ tissue donors; each a 60-100% increase since he arrived at OneLegacy. Mr. Mone has led the development of the first donation field invention and use of 1) electronic donor records and  web-based organ placement system, 2) real-time nucleic acid testing of all donors, 3) the Donate Life California DMV-linked Registry, 4) the Living Donation California Referral program 5) donor coordinator role specialization, 6) Spanish language paid media advertising, 7) multilingual family care staff, 8) created the world’s largest tissue recovery program, and 9) created the world’s largest public promotion of donation by creating the Donate Life Rose Parade Float that has 100+ national and international partners and is seen by 30 million+ people each year.

Howard Nathan

President & Chief Executive Officer at Gift of Life Donor Program, PA

Howard Nathan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia-based Gift of Life Donor Program which now employs over 200 professionals. 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.

David Nelson, MD

Chief of Heart Transplant Medicine at the Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center, OK

David Nelson, MD has been the Chief of Heart Transplant Medicine at the Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center since 1994. He is a graduate of the Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University in Chicago/Evanston, Illinois. The Honors Program admitted distinguished high school graduates directly into Northwestern University’s School of Medicine in an accelerated six-year program. He then completed his Internal Medicine residency at Northwestern followed by a Pulmonary and Heart/Lung Transplant fellowship at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, the site of America’s first successful heart transplant and the world’s first successful heart/lung transplant. Dr. Nelson trained at Stanford under Dr. Norman Shumway, the “father of heart transplantation”. Dr. Nelson has been UNOS approved in both heart and lung transplantation.

Patricia Niles

President and Chief Executive Officer at the Southwest Transplant Alliance, TX

Patricia Niles has over 25 years of experience in the organ transplant industry. Patti has developed a team of strategic leaders to increase productivity, enhance performance and focus on the mission to save and improve lives at Southwest Transplant Alliance (STA), one of the largest organ donor programs in this country. Her tenure at STA has seen a dramatic 60% increase in the number of organs recovered for transplant and has placed STA as the 3rd largest OPO in the country. Prior to her role with STA, Patti served as Executive Director with New Mexico Donor Services in Albuquerque, New Mexico for 9 years.  Patti has served in various capacities within AOPO and UNOS and is very active within her community, where she also serves on community boards and the Dallas Chamber events.

Kevin O’Connor

President and Chief Executive Officer at LifeCenter Northwest, WA

Kevin O’Connor has served as President and CEO of LifeCenter Northwest (LCNW), the OPO serving Washington, Montana, Alaska, and Northern Idaho, since January 2010. Prior to joining LCNW, he worked at New England Organ Bank (NEOB) for 26 years, serving as Senior VP from 2007 through 2009. He served as the Co-Director of the HRSA / US Organ Donation & Transplantation Breakthrough Collaborative from 2005 through 2007, and as a faculty member for the National Learning Congress through 2012. He served on the UNOS/OPTN Board of Directors, and on the UNOS Corporate Advisory Committee for two years ending June 2016. He is a member of the AOPO Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee and the AOPO Ad Hoc Steering Committee to Propose and Implement National Standards (PINS). He chairs the AST/ASTS/AOPO/UNOS Workgroup on Aligning Performance Metrics, and he recently served as a member of the HRSA/Lewin Group Technical Expert Panel on Organ Donation and Transplantation Goals. He serves on the Board of Directors for Life Alaska Donor Services, Community Tissue Services, and LifeCenter Northwest. He also serves on the MTF Donation Board of Trustees (DBOT), the DBOT Executive Committee, and the MTF Medical Board of Trustees. He holds an M.S. from Boston College, and a B.S. from Northeastern University, and he is a graduate of the Northeastern University Physician Assistant Program.

Brian M. Shepard

Chief Executive Officer at United Network for Organ Sharing, VA

Brian Shepard, as Chief Executive Officer, directs the efforts of more than 300 United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) staff to ensure that the nation’s transplant network efficiently and fairly serves the needs of transplant candidates and recipients, living donors and donor family members, and transplant professionals. He reports to the UNOS President and interacts routinely with the UNOS Board of Directors and staff of federal oversight agencies to plan and accomplish strategic goals and objectives. Mr. Shepard joined UNOS in 2010 as Director of Policy and has served as Chief Operating Officer and interim Chief Executive Officer.  Prior to joining UNOS, Mr. Shepard served 15 years in various high-level positions in Virginia state government, including the Director of Policy for the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In that position, Mr. Shepard worked directly with the Governor to help identify the policy priorities of the Commonwealth. Mr. Shepard holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg.

Cindy Siljestrom

Chief Executive Officer at Donor Network West, CA

Cindy Siljestrom is the Chief Executive Officer of Donor Network West (DN West), a federally designated Organ Procurement Organization. DN West’s 300+ staff works with more than 175 donor hospitals in Northern and Central California and Northern Nevada, along with transplant centers at California Pacific Medical Center, Stanford Medical Center, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital and UCSF to provide life-saving transplants to patients when organs become available. DN West also offers on-going support and resources for donor families. During her eight year tenure, Cindy has increased donation activity significantly through increased community awareness and business practice. In 2014, DN West facilitated over 1000 transplants via 305 donors. Additionally, she expanded DN West’s service line to include tissue donation. In 2014, this resulted in over 2300 tissue recoveries throughout California and Nevada.

Jon Snyder, PhD

Director of Transplant Epidemiology at the Chronic Disease Research Group, MN
Secretary at the Organ Donation & Transplantation Alliance

Jon Snyder, PhD, serves as the Director of Transplant Epidemiology for the Chronic Disease Research Group of the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In his role, he serves as Senior Epidemiologist for the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. He has more than 15 years of experience analyzing organ donation and transplantation data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). In addition to his work with the MMRF, Dr. Snyder serves on the Board of Directors for Donate Life America and holds an adjunct faculty position in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health in Minneapolis, Minnesota.