Governing and Medical Advisory Boards
The following individuals and organizations play an essential role in providing guidance for Gift of Life Donor Program's services and programs.
Governing Board Officers:
Alan L. Brechbill, MBA, MHA, chair, executive executive vice president & chief operating officer, Penn State Health
Mr. Brechbill is the executive director for hospital operations for Penn State Health,
including the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, St. Joseph Medical Center and Penn State Children’s Hospital. Prior to joining the Medical Center in 2006, Mr. Brechbill served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer for Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia. He has more than 35 years of university hospital experience, the majority in leadership roles.
Mr. Brechbill has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Colorado, a Master of Health Administration from George Washington University, and a Master of Business Administration from Loyola University, Chicago.
Barbara Wadsworth, DPN, RN, vice chair, senior vice president, chief nursing officer, Main Line Health System
Barbara Wadsworth is the senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Main Line Health System. She has more than 26 years of experience in nursing and has held a variety of leadership and management positions in Virginia and Pennsylvania. She received a doctorate in nursing practice, health systems leadership, from Vanderbilt University.
Ms. Wadsworth recently completed the Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellows program and was appointed as an Academy of Healthcare Executives Fellow. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, PA State Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau and the American Organization of Nurse Executives. She has also served on the board of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders and the Immaculata University MSN Advisory Board, the La Salle Nursing and Allied Professionals Board and the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Nursing Leadership Committee.
Marshall Z. Schwartz, MD, secretary and treasurer, former chief of pediatric surgery and transplant surgeon, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
Marshall Z. Schwartz, MD, is professor of surgery and pediatrics, surgeon-in-chief for pediatric surgery at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. He was appointed as president-elect of the American Pediatric Surgical Association in 2010 and has a tenured position on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Surgery Residency Review Committee. Dr. Schwartz has previously been appointed to the American College of Surgeons Board of Regents, as director of the American Board of Surgery and as the chairman of the Pediatric Surgery Board. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School.
He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare and received recognition in Best Doctors in America, America’s Top Surgeons, Philadelphia magazine’s Top Doctors and Main Line Today’s Best Doctors for Kids. He holds four U.S. patents and is widely published. Dr. Schwartz is also a past chairman of Gift of Life Governing Board.
David A. Pierson, PhD, immediate past chair, donor family member and founder of The Pierson Group
David A. Pierson, PhD, is a donor family member and former president of The Pierson Group, which he founded in 1997. Mr. Pierson is a human resource consultant with extensive experience in developing performance-based compensation programs in a variety of industries including healthcare; medical equipment, electronic and general manufacturing; finance; distribution and consumer products. He was previously a tenured faculty member at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. He was also an instructor in World at Work’s certification series and was honored with their Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Pierson earned a BME in mechanical engineering, a master’s degree in industrial relations, and a PhD in industrial relations, all from the University of Minnesota.
Clyde F. Barker, MD, honorary chairman & co-founder, chairman emeritus, Department of Surgery and transplant surgeon, professor of surgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, co-founder, Greater Delaware Valley Society of Transplant Surgeons
Clyde F. Barker, MD, is an investigator in the transplant field. He initiated the transplant program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) in 1966 and helped build it into the largest program in the area. Dr. Barker’s recognitions include the presidency and the Medallion for Scientific Achievement of the American Surgical Association, and the presidency and the Pioneer Award of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. He has served as chairman of Gift of Life Donor Program’s Governing Board four times since 1974.
In 2010, Dr. Barker received the Medawar Prize from the International Transplant Society. In 2009, Dr. Barker received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society of the University Surgeons and the Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology of the Starzl Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. He has authored more than 400 scientific papers.
Governing Board Members:
Martha Anderson, executive vice president of donor services, Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation
Martha Anderson is the executive vice president of donor services at the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, where she manages and directs donor-related services provided to 36 tissue recovery programs. She also oversees two MTF subsidiaries: The International Institute for the Advancement of Medicine (IIAM), which links non-transplantable organs and tissues to scientific researchers, and Statline, which provides donor-related software and other support services for OPOs, tissue banks and transplant centers.
Ms. Anderson is currently a member of LifeSource and is the vice-chair of the board of directors of the New York Alliance for Donation and is a board member of Donate Life America. She has also served on Gift of Life’s Governing & MAPB Boards since 1999.
Margaret A. Belfield, BSN, MSN, chief operating officer/executive vice president, Atlanticare, a member of Geisinger Health System
Margaret A. Belfield, BSN, MSN, has been chief operating officer of Atlanticare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey since 2009. Mrs. Belfield previously served as vice president and administrator of Atlanticare Regional Medical Center’s City Campus, where she provided oversight for the building of the George F. Lynn Harmony Pavilion, the Level II Trauma Center and the Emergency Center. She has also overseen the clinical operations of AtlantiCare’s. Special Care Center (SCC).
Ms. Belfield earned a Master of Science degree in Nursing Administration from San Diego State University and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Northern Michigan University.
Stuart H. Fine, DHA, director of the Healthcare Management Program, Fox School of Business, Temple University
Dr. Stuart Fine serves as associate professor and director of healthcare management programs at Temple University’s College of Public Health. He is the past president & CEO of Grand View Hospital and its affiliates and serves on multiple boards of trustees. Dr. Fine has a Bachelor of Science degree in health planning & administration from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in health administration from Temple University, and a Doctorate in Health Administration from Medical University of South Carolina. He is a fellow in both the American College of Healthcare Executives and College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
Gerard J. Fulda, MD, chair, Department of Surgery, Christiana Care Health System
Gerard J. Fulda, MD is chair of the Department of Surgery at Christiana Care Health System and the program director for Christiana Care’s Surgical Critical Care Fellowship and director of surgical
research. He is on the Board of Regents of the American College of Critical Care Medicine and is the vice-chancellor for the College of Critical Care Medicine and the co-chair of the Organ Donor Guidelines Committee for the College of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Fulda has also held leadership roles in the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) and the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). He has a Doctor of Medicine degree from The University of Maryland School of Medicine and a Master of Health Care Delivery Science from Dartmouth College.
Warren R. Maley, MD, director, Live Donor Liver Transplant Program, Department of Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Warren R. Maley, MD, serves as the director of the Live Donor Liver Transplant Program, Department of Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He is also associate professor of surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Maley has performed extensive research in the fields of liver transplantation and surgical therapy to improve patient safety and care. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgery.
Dr. Maley received Doctor of Medicine and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. He has published research studies in such leading journals as Transplant Proceedings, Transplantation, Liver Transplantation and Annals of Surgery, and has authored or co-authored eight book chapters.
Howard M. Nathan, president & CEO, Gift of Life Donor Program
Howard Nathan is the president & CEO of the Philadelphia-based Gift of Life Donor Program, the largest and one of the oldest organ procurement organizations in the United States. He began working at the organization in 1978 as a transplant coordinator and has led the organization since 1984. 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, and president of the Gift of Life Family House.
Read Howard Nathan’s full bio here.
Medical Advisory and Policy Board Leadership:
Linda Barrasse, MD, chair, donor mom, cardiologist, Greater Valley Cardiology Associates
Linda Barrasse, MD, has worked in private practice as a cardiologist in Scranton, Pennsylvania since 1987. Active in local and national organizations, she serves as a cardiology expert for the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. She is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC) and a fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP). Her special interests involve non-invasive aspects of cardiology, as well as cardiovascular issues surrounding pregnancy.
Dr. Barrasse is a graduate of the School of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine, as well as a fellowship in cardiology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Dr. Barrasse is also a donor mother and strong advocate for organ donation. Her son, Cody, was fatally struck by a car in the midst of protecting a friend. Cody was able to save many lives through his generosity as an organ and tissue donor.
Christian Bermudez, MD, vice chair, chief, thoracic transplant surgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Dr. Bermudez is chief, thoracic transplant surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. He has been on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh since 2006 and from 2013-2015 was chief of cardiothoracic transplantation at Pittsburgh. His research and clinical interests are in thoracic transplantation ECMO and ventricular support devices. He has published 88 peer reviewed papers and he received his medical degree from the University of Concepcion.
Representatives of Transplant Centers:
Stephanie Fuller, MD, associate professor, clinical surgery, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Stephanie Fuller, MD, is an attending surgeon in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She lectures around the world and has published numerous articles in such journals as The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and The Journal of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery. She has authored and co-authored chapters in textbooks for medical students and doctors.
Dr. Fuller earned her medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School and had her residency in general surgery at Albert Einstein Medical Center, and in cardiothoracic surgery at George Washington University and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. She completed her training with a fellowship in congenital cardiothoracic surgery and currently performs heart and lung transplants at CHOP.
Velma P. Scantlebury, MD, associate chief of transplant surgery, Christiana Care Medical Center
Velma P. Scantlebury, MD, is the associate chief of transplant surgery at Christiana Medical Center. Dr. Scantlebury has served as a national spokesperson for Linkages to Life, an initiative to address the shortage of African-American organ donors. In her career, she has performed more than 1,000 kidney transplants.
Dr. Scantlebury earned her medical degree from Columbia University. She was an intern and resident in general surgery at Harlem Hospital Center. She completed her fellowship training in transplantation surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Surgery in 1989. She rose to the rank of Associate Professor prior to her appointment at the University of Southern Alabama. She has been recognized as one of the Best Doctors in America by BestDoctors.com.
Sunny Fink, MD, transplant surgeon, Crozer-Keystone Health Network
Sunny Fink, M.D., joined the Crozer-Keystone Health System in August 2013 as a transplant and general surgeon. By 2018 she was appointed Surgical Director of Kidney Transplant.
Fink specializes in multi-organ abdominal transplantation surgery with specific emphasis on kidney transplant, including laparoscopic donor nephrectomy and the care of living-donor kidney transplant patients. She also specializes in hepatobiliary surgery. Her practice includes the surgical treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, Hepatitis C, end stage liver disease, kidney transplant and a variety of other hepatobilliary surgical procedures performed either openly or laparoscopically.
Fink earned both a master’s degree in medical sciences and a doctor of medicine degree from American University of the Caribbean, in St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. She did post-graduate training at Northwestern Memorial Medical Center in Chicago, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, and Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Nikolaos Chandolias, MD, surgeon, transplant specialist, Einstein Healthcare Center
Anil Kotru, MD, abdominal transplant surgeon, Geisinger Medical Center
Anil Kotru, MD, is an abdominal transplant surgeon at Geisinger Medical Center. His practicing specialties are in transplantation surgery, pediatric transplant surgery and surgical oncology. His clinical interests are in adult and pediatric liver transplantation, kidney and pancreas transplantation, complex hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery and vascular access surgery. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Infant Aphakia Treatment Study, International AIDS Society, International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, International Liver Transplantation Society and Master of Royal College of Surgeons, England. Dr. Kotru has Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees from Indira Gandhi Medical College and he completed a fellowship in transplant surgery at Washington University Medical Center.
Stephen Guy, MD, FACS, director, Kidney Transplant Program, Hahnemann University Hospital
Stephen R. Guy, MD, is a kidney, pancreas and liver transplant surgeon specializing in multi-organ transplantation. His clinical and research interests include living donor kidney transplantation, long-term health after transplantation, and novel immunosuppressive techniques. Prior to joining Hahnemann’s transplant team, Dr. Guy served as the chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery at Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey. He has also served as an attending surgeon at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and St. Barnabas Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Guy has a Doctor of Medicine degree from Boston University School of Medicine.
Harold C. Yang, MD, PhD, Chief of Transplantation, Harrisburg Hospital
Dr. Yang received his medical degree at the University of Chicago, where he also completed his surgical residency. His fellowship was completed at Massachusetts General Hospital. His specialties include kidney and pancreas transplantation.
Dr. Yang was the Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center from 1987 until 1995. From 1995 to 1999, Dr. Yang was Chief of the Department of Transplantation at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Dr. Yang joined the Pinnacle Health Surgical Staff in October 1999. He currently serves on several hospital committees. Under his leadership, transplantation in central Pennsylvania has experienced both growth and great success.
Adam Bodzin, MD, associate professor, transplant surgery, Jefferson Health
Carlo Ramirez, MD, program director, kidney transplantation, Lankenau Medical Center
Carlo Ramirez, MD, is the program director of kidney transplant at Lankenau Medical Center. He is a multi-organ transplant surgeon with extensive expertise in deceased and living kidney and liver transplants, small-bowel transplants, as well as liver and pancreatic resection and surgery of the bile duct. His research interests include non-heart-beating donors and steroid-free immunosuppression in transplantation. Dr. Ramirez is a member of numerous professional and scientific societies, including the International Liver Transplant Society, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Transplant Society and Association for Academic Surgery. He received a MD from the University of Philippines College of Medicine and completed a clinical fellowship in multi-organ transplantation at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh.
Patty T. Liu, MD, transplant surgeon, Lehigh Valley Hospital
Patty T. Liu, MD specializes in general and transplant surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital. She received a Bachelor of Arts in biology and economics from Case Western Reserve University and a Doctor of Medicine from University of Toledo College of Medicine.
Stephen P. Dunn, MD, chairman, department of surgery, division of pediatric solid organ transplantation, Nemours A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children
TakeHiko Dohi, MD, assistant professor of surgery, division of transplantation, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Dr. Dohi is a transplant surgeon at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and an assistant professor of surgery at Penn State College of Medicine. He received his MD from Osaka Medical College in Japan. Dr. Dohi completed fellowships at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida and Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Massachusetts. His research interests include liver, cancer and ischemic cholangitis.
Antonio DiCarlo, MD, chief, abdominal organ transplant surgery, associate professor of surgery, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
Antonio DiCarlo, MD, is chief, abdominal organ transplant surgery at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and also serves as the chief of abdominal organ transplant at Temple University Hospital. An active researcher, Dr. DiCarlo is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a fellow of the Royal College of Canada and a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery.
Dr. DiCarlo earned his medical degree from McGill University Faculty of Medicine. He completed a general surgery residency at McGill University Health Center and an experimental surgery research fellowship at McGill University Faculty of Medicine. Dr. DiCarlo also completed a transplant surgery fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.
Suresh Keshavamurthy, MD, assistant professor of surgery and a thoracic transplant surgeon, Temple University Medical Center
Dr. Keshavamurthy is an assistant professor of surgery and a thoracic transplant surgeon at Temple University Medical Center. His focus areas include: heart and lung transplantation; donor heart/lung/heart-lung procurement; donor organ preservation and transport; coronary artery bypass grafting with arterial conduits-IMA and radial artery; redo sternotomy, redo CABG and redo valve surgery; minimally invasive valve surgery and ex-vivo lung perfusion, to prepare lungs for clinical lung transplantation. Dr. Keshavamurthy earned a BS, MB and JJM from the Medical College of Davangere. He completed residencies in general surgery at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India, and in cardiothoracic and vascular surgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India
Christian Bermudez, MD, vice chair, chief, thoracic transplant surgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center (see above)
Category of Representation:
Janine S. Begasse, MBA, BSN, RN, CPHQ, director of quality ARMC, Atlanticare, a member of Geisinger
Lanyce Roldan, MSN, RN, chief nurse executive, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health
Diane L. Wilson, BSN, MSN/MHA, chief operating officer, tissue services, Community Tissue Services in Kettering, Ohio
Diane L. Wilson, BSN, MSN/MHA, is the chief operating officer of tissue services, Community Tissue Services in Dayton, Ohio. Ms. Wilson’s 20 plus years in tissue banking started in 1988, when she became the first director of the Dayton Regional Tissue Bank, which later became Community Tissue Services. In 2005, she received the Kenneth Sell Award, which is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of tissue banking. In 2009, she was elected president of AATB. She is currently the chairman of the board for the Joint Restoration Foundation, which is the nation’s leader in fresh cartilage distribution. She has co-authored tissue bank standards for the Association of Orthopedic Nurses and the American Association of Blood Banks. Ms. Wilson has Associate of Science degree registered nursing/register nurse from Everett Community College and a RN, BSN, MSN/MHA nursing from the University of Phoenix.
ICU or Emergency Room:
Matthew Kirschen, MD PhD, assistant professor, department of anesthesiology and critical care medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Steven Zanders, DO, critical care medicine, Lehigh Valley Health Network Pocono Health System
Voluntary Health Organization:
Wayne A. Smith, president and chief executive officer, Delaware Healthcare Association
Jacqueline S. Urtecho, MD, assistant professor, neurology – cerebrovascular/critical care, Jefferson Health
Peter Lalli, PhD, director, HLA lab, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Hahnemann University Hospital, Carolinas Health Care System
Bishop Ernest McNear, D. Min., founder, True Gospel Tabernacle COGIC INTL
Bishop Ernest McNear founded the True Gospel Tabernacle Church in 1985. Aside from the pastorate at True Gospel Tabernacle Church of God In Christ, he is the Host of True Gospel Time Broadcast, a daily radio program heard daily in the Delaware Valley. Additionally, he is the Principal of True Gospel Tabernacle Learning Center, a state licensed pre-school and grade school. He also preaches locally at other churches and travels across the country and abroad, sharing his Evangelistic Anointing as a preacher. He is the chief adjutant for the COGIC National Orchestra and administrative assistant and district overseer of the Tri-State District, Penn State Jurisdiction Church of God in Christ. He serves as the district overseer of Cape Coast Central District Ghana COGIC, in West Africa.
Ian Hood, MD, chief medical examiner, Burlington County, NJ and forensic pathologist for Chester and Montgomery Counties, Pa.
Ian Hood, MD, is the chief medical examiner of Burlington County, N.J. and a forensic pathologist for Chester and Montgomery Counties, Pa. Mr. Hood worked as an assistant medical examiner in Michigan and as a pathologist in California before coming to Philadelphia in 1989, where he served as the chief deputy in the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office.
Organ Donor Family Member or Living Donor:
Linda Barrasse, MD, donor mom, cardiologist, Great Valley Cardiology Associates (see above: Chair)
Individuals awaiting organ transplant or organ recipient or family member of either:
Joseph Gargiulo, transplant recipient, former director of secondary education, West Shore School District, Lemoyne, PA
Diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease in 1993, Joe was forced to go on dialysis while serving as the school principal of West Shore High School.
He received his first kidney transplant in 1997. In 2003, Joe received his second kidney transplant and a liver transplant. Both took place at Hershey Medical Center.
As a result of his transplants, Joe is in good health and lives every day to the fullest. He and his wife enjoy being new grandparents – a jot he never would have been able to experience without organ donation. Joe volunteers for the Boy Scouts, is a church cantor and participates in local theater productions. In all that he does, Joe incorporates his advocacy for organ donation.
Lynn Fallon, executive vice president, CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services
Emily A. Blumberg, MD, director, transplant infectious diseases, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Emily A. Blumberg, MD, is the director of transplant infectious diseases at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; program director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship at University of Pennsylvania Department of Medicine; and a professor of medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Her research expertise is in infections in transplant recipients, transplantation in HIV infected patients, antiviral therapies in transplant recipients and donor derived infections. She earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University and had post-graduate training as a resident in medicine at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics. She was a clinical fellow and a research fellow in infectious diseases at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her research expertise is in infections in transplant recipients, transplantation in HIV infected patients, antiviral therapies in transplant recipients and donor derived infections.