Institute Faculty

Howard M. Nathan, Founder

Howard M. Nathan
Howard M. Nathan

Howard Nathan is Executive Director of the Transplant Foundation, a charitable organization supporting the mission of Gift of Life Donor Program (GLDP). He founded Gift of Life Institute in 2004 with the vision of creating a center of expertise for training, education, collaboration, and research for organ and tissue donation professionals. A leading authority on organ and tissue donation, Howard has published more than 300 scientific papers and abstracts, and is a regular presenter at national and international organ procurement and transplantation conferences.

Howard was presented with The Belzer Award for outstanding abstract at the 4th International Society for Organ Sharing Congress in 1997. He received numerous outstanding achievement awards from national organizations including: National Kidney Foundation, U.S. Transplant Games Committee (1992), National Kidney Foundation of Delaware Valley (1994), Association of Organ Procurement Organization (1996), American Liver Foundation “Celebrating Achievement Award” (2002), National Disease Research Interchange “Distinguished Service to Science Award” (2007), LifeNet Health “Exemplary Service Award” (2007), Juniata College “Alumni Achievement Award” (2017), and Donate Life America “Nicholas Green Lifetime Achievement Award” (2017).

Pamela L. Albert, RN, BSN, CPTC, CBF

Pamela Albert

Pamela Albert began her career in transplantation over 30 years ago, and at New England Donor Services Pam has worked as a donation and hospital development coordinator, educational specialist, donor family liaison, aftercare coordinator, Director of Tissue Operations and Donor Family Services.  She is currently serving as the Senior Director of  Tissue Donor Services Resource Development and is responsible for ongoing authorization training for tissue operations staff as well as coaching and mentoring new leaders in the organization.

Victoria A. Burns, RN, CPTC, CT

Victoria Burns

Victoria Burns has been in healthcare for over 30 years where she began her nursing career in critical care, hospice, and hospital administration. Her own personal experience with donation led her to Gift of Life in 2008 and since has extensive experience navigating through complex family and health care conversations. Victoria’s passion for coordinating a “good death experience” has led her to advance certifications in Thanatology as well as becoming certified as an end-of-life doula. She enjoys working alongside colleagues both at home and throughout the nation with cultivating their own hearts to have meaningful and proficient conversations with potential donor families while remaining present in the face of another person’s suffering.

John Edwards, RN, RRT, CPTC

John Edwards

John is the Clinical Operations Administrator for Gift of Life Donor Program in Philadelphia, PA, and has over 20 years’ experience in the AOC role at one of the busiest OPOs in the U.S.  Additionally, John is responsible for training personnel new to the AOC position and is a faculty member for Gift of Life Institute.

Jacqueline Giuffrida, BS

Jacqueline Giuffrida
Jacqueline Giuffrida

Jacqueline Giuffrida has been with Gift of Life Donor Program since 2003 and has worked with a variety of healthcare professionals to educate them on their role in organ and tissue donation. Through her collaboration with hospital leadership and critical care staff, processes have been put into place to improve donation outcomes with a focus on supporting families and increasing the number of organs available for transplant.

Richard D. Hasz, BS, MFS, CPTC

Richard Hasz
Richard Hasz

Richard Hasz is the President and CEO of Gift of Life Donor Program (GLDP), one of the largest and oldest of the 57 organ procurement organizations in the United States, having coordinated nearly 60,000 organs for transplantation and tens of thousands of tissue transplants since 1974. A past President of the Board of Governors for the American Board of Transplant Certification, Rick holds membership in the North American Transplant Coordinator’s Organization, The American Society of Transplant Surgeons, and the American Association of Tissue Banks.

Jennifer McKenna, BS, CTBS

Jennifer McKenna

Jenn McKenna has been with the Gift of Life Donor Program for over ten years. She worked as a Team Leader for the Transplant Information Center for nine years and is currently a Clinical Night Supervisor. She has worked directly with donor families and now supervises clinical activity for both organ and tissue donation, from referral to recovery. Throughout her tenure, she has served as a co-author and facilitator for many training materials, classes, and workshops. Jenn is a Certified Tissue Banking Specialist and has extensive experience coaching OPO professionals to have effective and compassionate conversations with potential donor families. 

Lara Moretti, LSW, CT  

Lara Moretti

Lara Moretti has been providing bereavement counseling and support for families of organ and tissue donors since 2003 at Gift of Life Donor Program. Currently the Director of Family Support Services at GLDP, Lara has served as secretary and co-chair of the AOPO Donor Family Services Council. She received her BS in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and her MS in Social Work from Columbia University in New York. Lara has presented at AOPO’s and NATCO’s national conferences and also at the national conference for the Association for Death Education and Counseling and the Society for Transplant Social Workers on donor family aftercare. In 2011, she co-authored an article about the unique grief of donor families in Progress in Transplantation.

Patricia Mulvania, RN, BSN, CPTC

Patti Mulvania gift-of-life-institute
Patti Mulvania

Patricia Mulvania has more than 30 years’ experience in the healthcare field, beginning her career by providing emergency patient care in the pre-hospital setting. Since, Patti has served in leadership roles in the emergency department, homecare, and hospice arenas. She has extensive teaching and leadership experience in both OPO and healthcare fields, and has personally conducted and supervised OPO clinical activity, from initial donor referral through completion of organ recovery. Training professionals to compassionately and proficiently lead conversations with potential donor families that result in proactive, informed, and enduring donation decisions is her specialty.

Gweneth O’Shaughnessy

Gweneth George O'Shaughnessy gift of life institute
Gweneth O’Shaughnessy

Gweneth O’Shaughnessy has been with Gift of Life Donor Program since 1996, and is the VP of the Hospital Services Department, where she leads a team of over twenty hospital development staff accountable for donation performance in the region’s acute care hospitals. Gwen has been an invited speaker at both national and international forums and has published numerous abstracts and presentations on the subject of hospital development and donation after circulatory death (DCD).

Ginny Robertson, BS

Ginny Robertson

Ginny Robertson has provided hospital development training and consulting services to OPOs in the U.S. and Canada since 2004. Prior to this, Ginny had 12 years of experience in the field of hospital development and held the position of Director of Hospital Services for Gift of Life Donor Program for eight of those years.

Emma Saxton, BS, CTSB

Emma Saxton

Emma Saxton has been employed by Gift of Life Donor Program since 2015, working in the Transplant Information Center (TIC). She started her journey as an In-house Transplant Coordinator, charged with taking intake information from hospitals in our service area of recent deceased patients to evaluate potential transplant opportunities, working directly with families of recent deceased patients to gain telephonic authorization for tissue donation, and seeing the donation process through to recovery. She also was charged with being responsible for placing deceased donor kidneys to patients on the transplant waiting list. In 2017, Emma was promoted to Team Leader in the TIC and now has recently started the position of Clinical Night Supervisor where she supports the department mainly during off hours to help reach our operational goals. Through her tenure at Gift of Life, she has had the pleasure of being a facilitator on the Authorization Team at many in-house workshops and has helped with the editing and rewriting of training materials. She looks forward to continuing her career in training donation professionals to compassionately lead conversations with potential donor families that will hopefully result in an increase to our donation outcomes to shorten the waitlist and create lasting legacies for the families we service..

Elizabeth Spencer, BS, MPH

Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth Spencer has been working in the OPO community since 2002. She was with Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) for nine years, serving as both Director of Hospital Services & Professional Education, and in the clinical division as a Senior Clinical Recovery Coordinator. As Director of Hospital Services & Professional Education, Elizabeth was responsible for oversight of partnerships with area hospitals regarding the implementation of donation best practices, donation educational programs for various hospital staff, hospital data analysis and reporting, hospital donation strategic planning, and hospital policies related to organ and tissue donation.

Kathy Yandle, BS, RRT

Kathy Yandle

Kathy Yandle worked at the Gift of Life Donor Program (GLDP) for over twenty years. In that time, she served as a Senior Hospital Coordinator (9 years) and as a Manager, Hospital Services (12 years). Skilled in the disciplines of Leadership Development, Curriculum Design, and Adult Training Strategies, Kathy is an experienced Respiratory Care Practitioner and Respiratory Therapy Program Faculty Member, and currently holds a PA License as a Registered Respiratory Therapist.  

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