Eva Chess

Vice President, Communications & Marketing, 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, The Joint Commission, IL
Treasurer, Organ Donation and 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, 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, 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.  

Richard K. Gilroy, MD

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.

Jill Grandas

Executive Director, 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).

Ana Hands, MD

Vice President, International Health Services and Multi-Organ Transplant Institute, Ochsner Health System, LA

Ana Hands, MD, is the Vice President for International Health Services and the Multi-Organ Transplant Institute at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she oversees all business development, strategic planning and operational components, while assuring a multidisciplinary commitment to safety, quality, and the most current evidence-based practices. In 2009, Dr. Hands received the New Orleans City Business Health Care Hero award for her work on integrating Hispanic immigrants with optimal patient care in post-Katrina New Orleans. Additionally, under Dr. Hands’ leadership, the Ochsner transplant program has been awarded with the Healthgrades Transplant Excellence Award for Liver and Kidney, most recently ranked #1 in Liver Transplant for having one of the best clinical outcomes in the country. Ochsner has also become the largest liver transplant program by volume in the US. Dr. Hands is an active member of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas where she continues to work on fostering an understanding of the contemporary political, social and economic issues confronting Latin America and the Caribbean, while increasing public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage. She also serves as advisor to the board of the Legacy Donor Foundation in New Orleans and is an active partner of the Donate Life Louisiana Collaborative dedicated to save and heal lives through increase education and awareness on organ, eye and tissue donation.

John Magee, MD

Professor in the Section of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, MI
Chair, Organ Donation and 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, One Legacy, CA
Past Chair, Organ Donation and 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.

Kevin Myer, MSHA

President & Chief Executive Officer, LifeGift, TX

With more than 25 years of experience in health care leadership in organ donation and transplantation, Kevin Myer, MSHA, serves as the president and CEO of LifeGift. LifeGift, based in Houston Texas, serves 109 counties and over 200 hospitals and 10 transplant centers. Myer joined LifeGift from the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), where he served as the business director for the Center for Transplant System Excellence. In this role, Myer led efforts to improve the organ transplantation system through multiple funded research projects using non-traditional approaches and collaborative research teams. 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, N.Y. and earned his Master of Science in health administration degree from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. He also completed a fellowship in patient safety at Virginia Commonwealth University. In February 2016, he completed Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship and in March, 2017, the Innovative Health Care Leader program. He serves on the Boards of American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) as an at large member, Donate Life Texas, Donate Life America, The Alliance and is a member of numerous UNOS/OPTN workgroups.

Thomas A. Nakagawa, MD, FAAP, FCCM

Professor of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical School, MD
Chief of Critical Care & Director of Pediatric ICU, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, FL
Assistant Medical Director, Carolina Donor Services, NC

Thomas A. Nakagawa, MD, FAAP, FCCM, is actively involved with issues pertaining to end-of-life care, organ and tissue donation and ethical issues. Dr. Nakagawa served as national faculty and co-chair for the Organ Donation and Transplantation Breakthrough Collaboratives (now the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance) and currently serves as co-chair of The Alliance’s donor management taskforce committee. He has also co-chaired the 2007, 2011, and 2013 National Pediatric Organ Donation Summit and serves on the Secretary of Health of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation (ACOT). He is a member of the UNOS/OPTN Pediatric Transplant committee and has been a consultant to the American Academy of Pediatrics for the revision of the pediatric organ donation and transplantation policy statement.  Dr. Nakagawa 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 (SCCM), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Child Neurology Society (CNS).  He has been recognized with regional and national awards for his leadership and involvement with ethical issues, end-of-life care, donation and transplantation and his work in the field of pediatric medicine.

Howard Nathan

President & Chief Executive Officer, 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, 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, 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, LifeCenter Northwest, WA
Vice Chair, Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance

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, 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.


Jon Snyder, PhD

Director of Transplant Epidemiology, Chronic Disease Research Group, MN
Secretary, Organ Donation and 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.