Program Team

The Program team is composed of experienced multidisciplinary transplant professionals who are accomplished in clinical research, outcome studies and transplant management. They are responsible for operating and evaluating the program.
Akinlolu O. Ojo, MD, PhD
Associate Vice President for Clinical Research
and Global Health Initiatives
University of Arizona Health Sciences
Tucson, AZ
Deputy Director
Robert M. Merion, MD
Arbor Research Collaborative For Health
Ann Arbor, MI
Research Scientist
Barry A. Hong, PhD, FAACP
Professor of Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO
Program Evaluation Specialist
Amit Mathur, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Division of Transplant Surgery at Mayo Clinic
Phoenix, AZ
Kimberly A. Gifford, MBA
Executive Director/CEO
American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA
Holly Warren, RN
Program Coordinator
American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA
Marie-Claire Walters
Senior Program Assistant
American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA
Sofie Epshtein
Program Assistant
American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA

Advisory Group

The Advisory Group was established to assist the National Living Donor Assistance Center in:

  • Development and management of the program
  • Development of program policies and eligibility criteria
  • Monitoring outcomes and performance
  • Contributing relevant expertise to the program

The Advisory Group meets annually, holds periodic conference calls, and is comprised of a kidney donor, liver donor, transplant surgeons, transplant physicians, transplant nurse coordinator, transplant social worker, health economist, social scientist, financial administrator and a HRSA representative. Below is a list of current Advisory Group members.

Name, Title, & Affiliations
Expertise & Affiliated Volunteer Organizations
Zoe Stewart, MD, PhD, MPH, Chair
American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS)
Clinical Associate Professor
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
Surgical Director University of Iowa
UNOS Pancreas Transplantation Committee
UNOS Operations and Safety Committee
Brenda Dyson
The National Forum of End Stage Renal Disease Networks
Clinical Instructor, School of Allied Health Professionals University of Mississippi Medical Center
Jackson, MS
Transplant Recipient
Community Engagement Coordinator ESRD 8
Past-President of the American Association of Kidney Patients
Adam Gray, LCSW, CCTSW
Society for Transplant Social Workers (STSW)
Transplant Social Worker
University of Chicago,
Chicago, IL
Liver Transplant Social Worker
Living Donor Social Worker
Research Chair, STSW
Maryl R. Johnson, MD
American Society of Transplantation (AST)
Heart Failure & Cardiac Transplantation
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI
Cardiac Patients as live donors
Member of Advisory Group since 2006
Marie Morgievich, BSN, MS, APN.C, CCTC
NATCO - The Organization for Transplant Professionals
Director, Clinical Services and Living Donor Institute, Saint Barnabas Medical Center
Livingston, NJ
Transplant Coordination
Co-work group leader Living Donor Consensus Conference
Past Chair, National Kidney Registry
Lisa Morrison
Transplant Financial Coordinators Association (TFCA)
Waitlist Coordinator
Legacy Transplant Services
Portland, OR
Financial coordinator for transplant candidates
Insurance contracting
Advocating state and federal legislation for living donor support
Kay Payne, PhD
Minority Organ Tissue Transplantation Education Program (MOTTEP)
Professor Howard University
Washington, DC
Living kidney donor
Author, religious studies, communication science, and psychology
Al Roth, PhD
Professor of Economics
Stanford University, CA
Palo Alto, CA
Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
Guggenheim Fellowship for Social Sciences
Founder New England Program for Kidney Exchange
Jennifer Steel, PhD
National Kidney Foundation (NKF)
Associate Professor
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
Clinical Psychology
Independent Living Donor Advocate (ILDA)
UNOS Ethics Committee, Research, education for role of ILDA
Jane Tan, MD, PhD, MS
American Society of Nephrology (ASN)
Associate Professor of Medicine
Stanford University
Palo Alto, CA
Transplant Nephrologist
Live donor evaluations
Clinical and translational research
National Kidney Foundation, Medical Advisory Board
Betsy Walsh, JD, MPH
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
Novant Health, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
Charlotte, NC
Past-president, UNOS
Living Kidney Donor
Errol F. Williams
Living Kidney Donor
Chattanooga, TN
Living kidney donor
Alexander Wiseman, MD
American Society of Transplantation (AST)
Professor, Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Aurora, CO
Transplant Nephrologist
UNOS Pancreas Transplant committee
UNOS Kidney-Liver Consensus Committee
UNOS KDPI subcommittee member
Associate Editor, American Journal of Transplantation
Warren "Kip" Wright, MSW, LCSW
Society for Transplant Social Workers (STSW)
Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Program
Transplant Social Worker
University of Alabama
Birmingham, AL
Transplant Social Work
Member of Advisory Group since 2009
Mesmin Germain, MPH (ex officio)
NLDAC Project Officer
Department of Transplantation (DoT)/Health Resources Services Admin (HRSA)
Rockville, MD
Grant Management

Review Committee

The Application Review Committee (ARC) members are responsible for reviewing applications received by NLDAC each week. All confidential patient information is blocked to the reviewer.

ARC members approve or deny applications on the basis of whether or not the applicants meet NLDAC program criteria and eligibility. If a waiver for financial hardship is requested, ARC members make a recommendation to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to approve or deny the application. HRSA makes the final decision on the request for a waiver and their determination is not subject to appeal.

Name, Title, & Affiliations
Expertise & Affiliated Volunteer Organizations
Julie LaMantia, LCSW
Banner Good Samaritan Transplant Center
Phoenix, AZ
Transplant Social Worker
Society for Transplant Social Workers
Debra Washington, BS
Health Administration, Retired Army
Silver Spring, MD
Transplant Recipient
National Kidney Foundation
Roxanne Taylor, RN, MSN, CCTC, CPTC
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon, NH
Transplant Administrator
NATCO, The Organization for Transplant Professionals
Holly Warren, RN
American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA
NLDAC Program Coordinator
Marie-Claire Walters
American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA
NLDAC Senior Program Assistant
Patient Testimonials
Learn what you need to know before applying for NLDAC assistance by reading our Program Snapshot
Organ Donor
University of Arizona
Arbor Research Collaborative for Health
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