Institute Faculty

Howard M. Nathan, DHL

Howard M. Nathan
Howard M. Nathan

Howard Nathan is Executive Director of Gift of Life Transplant Foundation, a charitable organization supporting the mission of Gift of Life Donor Program. He took the position in January 2022, after he retired from his position as President & CEO following 43 years with Gift of Life, 38 years of which he served as President & CEO. Under Mr. Nathan’s leadership, Gift of Life led the nation in the most organ donors of any OPO in the U.S. for 14 consecutive years. He is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on organ and tissue donation. 

Mr. Nathan 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, Mr. Nathan has published more than three hundred scientific papers and abstracts and is a regular presenter at national and international organ procurement and transplantation conferences. Mr. Nathan has served in leadership positions on numerous boards including United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), Donate Life America, Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance, National Kidney Foundation, (NKF), National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI), MTF Biologics Board of Trustees. Juniata College Board of Trustees, and International Society of Organ Donation and Procurement (ISODP).,  He has received several Lifetime Achievement Awards and numerous recognitions from  non-profit organizations.

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 Donor Program 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 (401 N 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19123), 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. Under John’s direction, Gift of Life developed its protocol in response to patient and family requests and in response to early referrals resulting from Pennsylvania’s routine referral legislation (passed in 1994).

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, MFS, CPTC

Richard Hasz

Richard (Rick) Hasz, Jr., is president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Gift of Life Donor Program where he has been on staff since 1993. Mr. Hasz started at Gift of Life as a transplant coordinator before serving as the program’s vice president of clinical services for 22 years, assuming the role of president and CEO on January 4, 2022. In addition to his roles at Gift of Life, he is also the president of the Transplant Foundation, Gift of Life Institute and Gift of Life Howie’s House.

Mr. Hasz is a respected expert in the field, delivering lectures and education sessions for organizations and professional societies at home and abroad. He has participated in publishing hundreds of scientific papers and abstracts, led collaborations with leading medical centers and shared his knowledge and expertise with government and other national organizations.

Mr. Hasz holds membership in the North American Transplant Coordinators Organization, The American Society of Transplant Surgeons, and The American Association of Tissue Banks. He is a member of the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health Institutional Review Board. He served as a board member of Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services and has served on the Transplant Alliance’s Donor Management Leadership Council.

Mr. Hasz has a Bachelor of Science in biology from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Forensic Science from George Washington University. He holds certifications as a certified procurement transplant coordinator (CPTC) and a certified transplant preservationist (CTP).

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, FT  

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. Lara was recently a named a Fellow in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement for demonstrating knowledge, experience, and education in death, dying, and bereavement.

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 is a Senior Faculty Consultant at Gift of Life Institute. She has provided training on topics in hospital development in over 20 US OPOs since 2004. During this time, she has also served as a lead author for consulting assessments in more than 15 OPOs and facilitated hospital-based focus groups in 22 large centers nationally.

Ginny was the first Associate Director, Gift of Life Institute in 2004, the year of its inception. She joined Gift of Life Donor Program in 1993 as a hospital services coordinator and then served as the Director, Hospital Services for eight years. During that time, she published scientific papers and abstracts on hallmark legislation and presented at national and international conferences. Prior to this Ginny was the Campaign Director at American Red Cross, Blood Services in Philadelphia.

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.

Tomeka Sanders, MBA

Tomeka Sanders

Tomeka Sanders joined the OPO community in 2021. She began working at LifeGift as a Family Care Specialist where she provided support to offer donation to potential donor families. She is currently a Family Engagement Trainer and is responsible for coordinating the training and development for the ongoing authorization of organ, tissue, and eye donation. Prior to joining the team Tomeka was employed as a Senior-Level Account Executive with 25 years of experience in business management and marketing.  

As a family member of an organ recipient, Tomeka understands firsthand the hope a family will need while going through the donor process. Tomeka’s personal experience led to her becoming a volunteer in 2017 as an Ambassador Hope, in which she participated in speaking engagements, donor registry drives, and community projects to help educate and bring awareness about donation to the community.

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.

Larry Suplee, MS, CTBS

Larry Suplee

Larry Suplee serves as the Director of the Transplant Information Center (TIC) at Gift of Life Donor Program. Larry oversees the triage and referral process for all tissue referrals, donation discussions, donor risk assessment interviews, and the coordination of all tissue donors for GLDP. He also oversees placement of organs for transplant and research as well as data and reporting activities within Gift of Life. Larry has presented at several national and international conferences and has been part of various AATB workgroups and taskforces. He is a Certified Tissue Banking Specialist and Emergency Medical Technician. Larry has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from West Chester University and a Master of Science in Organizational and Strategic Leadership at Neumann University.

Jen Timar, RN, BSN, CPTC

Jen Timar

Jennifer (Jen) Timar has worked at Gift of Life Donor Program since 2004 where, as both an Advanced Practice Coordinator and Transplant Coordinator, she has facilitated optimal organ donor processes, including the family conversation, medical management, and operative recovery. Jen has also served in various leadership roles, guiding, and developing new staff, and has presented on both local and national levels. She has experience in clinical course development, classroom instruction, and on-site clinical guidance. Presentations have encompassed clinical topics, family communication challenges with audiences in the organ donation community and affiliated professionals. Her 2021 publication, “Successful strategies to increase organ donation: The Gift of Life Donor Program Philadelphia model,” provides an overview of effective OPO practices. To balance her life, she treasures time spent with her family and beloved dogs. A lifetime Girl Scout, Jen finds joy in guiding young individuals towards impactful contributions to society, all while staying connected to medical practice through her role as a camp nurse.

Kathy Yandle, BAC, MS, RRT

Kathy Yandle

Kathy Yandle worked at the Gift of Life Donor Program 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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