Advisory Council

Advisory Council2019-01-03T18:14:12+00:00
Our Advisory Council recommends policies to our Board of Directors on matters such as developing and managing organ and tissue procurement systems, maintaining effective agreements with donor hospitals and conducting professional education designed to increase donation. Advisory Council members include hospital administrators, physicians with specific expertise in neurosurgery and histocompatibility, transplant surgeons and donor family members among others.
Diane Hollingsworth, Chairperson
Diane Hollingsworth, ChairpersonEversight Illinois

Diane Hollingsworth is the Executive Director of Eversight Illinois (formerly Illinois Eye-Bank), a subsidiary of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Eversight. Ms. Hollingsworth has been with Eversight Illinois since August 2010, following eight years with the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, where she served as director of medical education. Prior to that, she spent 20 years in senior sales and marketing management positions at IBM, Siemens and Rockwell.

Ms. Hollingsworth has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University. She served as a board member at the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois for three years and is currently a member of the Naperville Noon Lions Club and Community Health Charities of Illinois. She also is immediate past chair of Donate Life Illinois and volunteers as a life coach for those in need.

Ms. Hollingsworth received a kidney transplant in November 1993.

Kevin Cmunt
Kevin CmuntPresident/CEO, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor

Kevin Cmunt is President/CEO of Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In that role, he provides overall leadership for the organization, guides its strategic direction and ensures that the organization stays true to its mission — to save and enhance the lives of as many people as possible through organ and tissue donation.

Before joining Gift of Hope in December 2012, Mr. Cmunt served as Executive Vice President of AlloSource, Gift of Hope’s Englewood, Colo.-based tissue processing and distribution partner. In that role, he was responsible for AlloSource’s external relationships, including management of donor agency partnerships and business relationships with customers, medical professionals and hospitals. He also was responsible for driving progressive product development that honored the gift of donation by maximizing its impact to the medical community and tissue transplant recipients. Before joining AlloSource, Mr. Cmunt held various engineering, operations and business development positions with the American Ref-Fuel Company, a Montvale, N.J.-based waste management firm.

In addition to serving as Gift of Hope’s chief executive, Kevin currently provides industry leadership as a Board member for the American Association of Tissue Banks, the national professional association that works to improve the quality and availability of donated tissue, and serves as the recognized voice for tissue donation, transplantation and tissue banking; LABS Inc., a leading provider of testing services for the tissue industry; and the Joint Restoration Foundation, which advances the use of allografts in sports medicine.

Mr. Cmunt holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois and Illinois Institute of Technology, respectively.

Maria Barrionuevo
Maria Barrionuevo Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Maria Barrionuevo is Clinical Manager of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and Cardiac Telemetry Unit for Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. Part of Advocate Health Care, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is a teaching, research and referral hospital, and Level I trauma center. In her role, Ms. Barrionuevo is accountable for management of patient care delivery to optimize patient outcomes, customer satisfaction and resource management.

Ms. Barrionuevo previously served as Clinical Manager of the Surgical ICU and Medical ICU at Advocate Ravenswood Hospital in Chicago and held nursing administrative positions at a trauma center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the Society of Critical Care.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Puerto Rico School of Nursing in San Juan.

Yolanda Becker, MD
Yolanda Becker, MDThe University of Chicago Medicine
Yolanda Tai Becker, MD, FACS, is Director of the Kidney and Pancreas Program at University of Chicago Medicine Transplant Center. An expert surgeon, Dr. Becker specializes in kidney and pancreas transplantation, dialysis access surgery and living-donor procedures.

Highly regarded for her scientific work, Dr. Becker is well known for her clinical research on reducing transplant rejection rates. She has written more than 100 articles and abstracts in publications such as Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, the American Journal of Transplantation and Transplantation, and has served as a peer reviewer in many others. She is a sought-after speaker and recognized leader in the field of transplantation, and has presented at medical conferences around the world.

Dr. Becker completed her residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and performed fellowships at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison and the Association for Surgical Education in Springfield, Ill. She is board-certified in surgery.

Dr. Becker is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and holds memberships in several professional societies, including the American Medical Association, American Society of Transplantation, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Vascular Access Society of the Americas and the Society for Executive Leaders in Academic Medicine. In 2014, she was named to Chicago’s Top Doctors and America’s Top Doctors.

Enrico Benedetti, MD, FACS
Enrico Benedetti, MD, FACSUniversity of Illinois at Chicago

Enrico Benedetti, MD, FACS, Warren H. Cole Chair in Surgery, Professor and Head of the Department of Surgery and Medical Director, Abdominal Organ Transplant Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Enrico Benedetti was born in Perugia, Italy, on Oct. 3, 1960. Dr. Benedetti graduated cum laude from the medical school in the University of Florence in 1985 and completed a surgical residency at the same university by 1989.

In 1989, he moved to Chicago to start a United States surgery residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which he completed in 1993. Dr. Benedetti earned a fellowship in transplant surgery at the University of Minnesota. Since 1994, Dr. Benedetti has been a transplant surgeon at the University of Illinois. He started as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and rose through the ranks first to Associate Professor in 1999 and then to Professor in 2005. Dr. Benedetti is also the recipient of the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Humanitarian of the Year Award. Dr. Benedetti has published more than 300 articles and more than 30 book chapters and is the editor of the seminal book, “Living Donor Organ Transplantation.”

Ankit Bharat, MD
Ankit Bharat, MDNorthwestern Memorial Hospital
Ankit Bharat, MD, is Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Surgical Director of Lung Transplant at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He earned his medical degree at Washington University in St. Louis where he also completed a post-doctoral fellowship, internship and residency, all in general surgery.

Previous to that, Dr. Bharat received his MBBS degree at Christian Medical College in Vellore, India, where he also served as a research fellow. He is board-certified in general surgery and thoracic and cardiac surgery.

Michael Bresticker, MD,
Michael Bresticker, MD,Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgical Associates
Michael Bresticker, MD, is a cardio-thoracic surgeon with Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgical Associates, S.C., in Oak Lawn.

Dr. Bresticker completed his residency in general surgery at Northwestern University Medical Center where he was Chief Resident. He completed his residency in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and holds a medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

Dr. Bresticker served as director of the Lung Transplant Program at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Rush University Medical Center from 1996 – 1999 and is a current member of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Lori Chana
Lori ChanaDonor Family Member

John Lunz, PhD, is Director of the Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics Laboratory for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In his role, Dr. Lunz is responsible for the overall supervision of lab activities. In addition, he serves on Gift of Hope’s Advisory Council.

Before joining Gift of Hope, he was the Assistant Director of the Tissue Typing Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Department of Pathology. He received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, was a post-doctoral scholar at the Thomas E.Starzl Transplantation Institute and is an ASHI Certified Laboratory Director.

Edward Hollinger Jr., MD, PhD
Edward Hollinger Jr., MD, PhDRush University

Dr. Hollinger’s clinical expertise includes abdominal transplant, kidney transplant, liver surgery and transplant, pancreas and pancreas-kidney transplant, and vascular access surgery.

Edward Hollinger Jr., MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He also serves as the Solid Organ Transplant Patient Safety Officer, Director of Transplant Quality and Surgical Director of Kidney Transplantation at Rush.

After successful completion of his general surgery residency at Rush, he completed a fellowship in the Section of Abdominal Transplant Surgery at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. He holds a medical degree from Rush Medical College and a doctor of philosophy degree in medical physics from Rush University. He is board-certified in surgery.

Dr. Hollinger is a reviewer for the American Journal of Transplantation andClinical Transplantation and served as an associate editor of the Rush Review of Surgery, 5th Edition. He also holds memberships on several departmental and institutional committees at Rush, including the Transplant Governance Council, Liver Transplant Quality Subcommittee, Heart Transplant Quality Subcommittee and Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Quality Subcommittee. In addition, Dr. Hollinger serves on the Illinois Gift of Hope Kidney Transplant Committee and is an institutional representative to United Network for Organ Sharing Region 7.

Dr. Hollinger is a member of several professional societies, including the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Society, the Association for Academic Surgery, Association for Surgical Education and the Chicago Surgical Society. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Hollinger is a frequent presenter and author and has participated in a number of clinical trials related to renal disease and transplantation. He also has research interests in pancreas transplantation, donor management and organ preservation, and imaging and functional evaluation of transplanted organs.

Martin Jendrisak, MD, FACS
Martin Jendrisak, MD, FACSGift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network

Martin Jendrisak, MD, FACS, is Medical Director and Vice President of Research and Development for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. As Medical Director, he provides medical oversight of all organ and tissue recovery operations for Gift of Hope. In his R&D role, Dr. Jendrisak oversees Gift of Hope’s research activities, including lab testing innovations and donor management enhancements, and he fosters research collaboration with universities, transplant programs and fellowship programs.

Stephen Jensik, MD, PhD
Stephen Jensik, MD, PhDRush University Medical Center

Stephen Jensik, MD, PhD, is Associate Director of the Renal Transplant Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, an academic medical center that includes a 613-bed hospital serving adults and children. He is also an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Section of Transplantation, at Rush University.

Dr. Jensik has been involved with kidney and pancreas transplantation since 1979. A past president of the Illinois Transplant Society, he is currently a member of the Medical Advisory Board for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois.

Dr. Jensik completed his fellowship at the University of Minnesota, completed his residency at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center (now Rush University Medical Center), and holds a medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Joseph Leventhal, MD, PhD
Joseph Leventhal, MD, PhDNorthwestern Memorial Hospital
Joseph Leventhal, MD, PhD, is a transplant surgeon on the medical staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of the Living Donor Renal Transplant Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

His clinical interests include abdominal organ transplant, kidney transplant, live-donor kidney transplant, pancreas transplant and pancreatic surgery, and vascular access for patients requiring hemodialysis. He also has expertise in laparoscopic donor nephrectomy and laparoscopic kidney transplant.

A member of the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, Dr. Leventhal was responsible for launching the Living Donor Renal Transplant Program at Northwestern, one of the most active in the country. An innovative researcher, Dr. Leventhal has studied the use of regulatory T cells to prevent transplant rejection. He is also interested in developing cell-based therapies to achieve tolerance induction in solid organ transplants. Dr. Leventhal has authored dozens of articles and book chapters and is a sought-after speaker at medical and scientific meetings around the globe.

Dr. Leventhal earned his medical degree at State University of New York at Brooklyn College of Medicine. He performed a residency at University of Minnesota Medical Center and fellowship at Northwestern McGaw/Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He is board certified in surgery.

Dr. Leventhal holds memberships in numerous professional societies, including the American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, Transplantation Society, American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the Vascular Access Society. He serves on the executive board of the National Kidney Foundation and is an invited journal reviewer for several professional medical journals.

George Lopez, MD, PhD
George Lopez, MD, PhDRush University Medical Center
George Lopez, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He specializes in neurology and vascular neurology.

Dr. Lopez completed his neurology residency at the University of California, San Francisco, and performed a fellowship in neurocritical care at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He earned his medical and doctor of philosophy degrees in physiology from University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Lopez has clinical expertise in arteriovenous malformations, brain aneurysm, carotid endarterectomy and stenting, coil embolization, neurocritical care, neurological trauma, stroke and vascular malformations. He is board-certified in neurology and vascular neurology.

A member of the Neurocritical Care Society, Dr. Lopez is a frequent presenter, author and researcher on stroke and intra-cerebral hemorrhage. He serves as a peer reviewer for several professional journals, includingNeurosurgery, American Journal of Critical Care, Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease and Critical Care Medicine.  He has also served as a Primary Stroke Center hospital reviewer for the Joint Commission.

Amy Der-Ching Lu, MD, MPH, MBA, FACS
Amy Der-Ching Lu, MD, MPH, MBA, FACSLoyola University Medical Center
Amy Der-Ching Lu, MD, MPH, MBA, FACS, is a Professor of Surgery at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill. There, she also serves as Division Director of Intra-Abdominal Transplantation and Surgical Director of Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery. Dr. Lu specializes in liver, kidney and pancreas transplant surgery, liver disorders, bile duct cancer, biliary disease and liver tumors.

A highly respected researcher, Dr. Lu has been principal investigator or co-investigator in a number of clinical trials related to kidney transplantation. She’s also authored numerous articles, abstracts and book chapters and has been invited to speak to medical groups across the U.S. and in Rome, Italy.

Dr. Lu earned her medical degree and master’s of public health degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Medford, Mass., and performed a general surgery residency at New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center. She completed a transplantation surgery fellowship at Stanford University in California and holds an MBA degree from Auburn University in Alabama. She is certified by the American Board of Surgery and American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

Dr. Lu holds memberships in numerous professional organizations, including the American Society of Transplantation, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Transplantation Society, American College of Surgeons, American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, and International Liver Transplantation Society.

John Lunz, PhD
John Lunz, PhDGift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network
Lori Linton Chana is the owner of Money Mailer of Eastern DuPage County. Her business provides direct-marketing services for local, regional and national companies. As owner, Ms.Chana manages all aspects of her business and has special expertise in developing and designing marketing plans and project management. She previously served as area director for Norrell Corporation in Los Angeles.

Ms. Chana earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from San Diego State University and studied international business at Richmond College Extension in Kensington, England.

A tireless philanthropist and community volunteer, Ms. Chana has served as a Gift of Hope Advocates for Hope volunteer in honor of her son, Cameron, who died in 2009. The donation of Cameron’s organs provided great comfort to Ms. Chana and her family. Cameron’s heart, lungs, liver and kidneys saved the lives of five people, and his tissue gifts have enhanced the lives of 54 other people. Ms. Chana lovingly shares her son’s story on behalf of Gift of Hope and educates the public about registering to become an organ and tissue donor.

Ms. Chana has also volunteered with the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, AYSO Region 210 Soccer and School Districts 181 and 86.

Deepak Mital, MD, MBA, FRCS, FACS
Deepak Mital, MD, MBA, FRCS, FACSAdvocate Christ Medical Center

Deepak Mital, MD, MBA, FRCS, FACS, is Director of the Kidney Transplant Program at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, and Clinical Professor of Surgery in the Division of Transplantation at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Dr. Mital’s clinical interests include dialysis access and kidney transplantation.

An esteemed researcher, Dr. Mital has been involved in dozens of clinical trials related to kidney transplantation. He is also a prolific writer and has been invited to author book chapters and has published numerous articles in scientific journals, including Transplantation and Transplantation Proceedings. Dr. Mital has also presented at many medical and scientific meetings in the United States and around the world.

Dr. Mital earned his medical degree at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India, where he also performed his internship and residency. He completed an additional residency at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, Scotland, and fellowships at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Dr. Mital holds memberships in numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Society of Transplantation, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Surgeons of Glasgow, International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association, National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, Chicago Surgical Society and Vascular Access Society of the Americas. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons.

Timothy P. O’Connor, MD, FACS
Timothy P. O’Connor, MD, FACSRenalCare Associates, S.C.

Timothy P. O’Connor, MD, FACS, is a kidney transplant surgeon with RenalCare Associates, S.C., in Peoria. His clinical interests include transplantation and vascular access. He is on the medical staffs of OSF St. Francis Medical Center, Methodist Medical Center, Proctor Hospital and Kindred Hospital in Peoria; Fresenius Dialysis Center in East Peoria; Renal Intervention Center in Morton; and Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. He is also a visiting clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.

Dr. O’Connor earned his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and performed a general surgery internship at Saint Louis University Group Hospitals in Saint Louis, where he also completed a general surgery residency. He completed a fellowship in transplantation surgery at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. O’Connor has served on numerous committees with Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network since 1995, including the Pancreas Transplant Subcommittee, Medical Advisory Committee, Kidney, Organ Procurement and Distribution Subcommittee, and the Finance and Administration Committee. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1998 to 1999.

Dr. O’Connor has served as principal or co-investigator in a number of kidney transplant clinical trials; has authored numerous articles and abstracts; and has presented to medical groups in Illinois and across the country.

He holds memberships in several professional societies, including the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, The Transplantation Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association and American Society of Transplantation.

John Renz, MD, PhD, FACS
John Renz, MD, PhD, FACSThe University of Chicago Medicine
John Renz, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Surgery and Director of the Liver Transplant Program at the University of Chicago. He is an expert in adult and pediatric abdominal organ transplantation and performs whole-organ, split-liver and living-donor transplantation procedures.

A nationally recognized authority, Dr. Renz’s pioneering research on donor organs that don’t meet the typical conditions for transplantation resulted in the creation of “extended-donor criteria” that ultimately expanded the pool of donors for successful liver transplantation. He has published dozens of articles on liver transplantation in medical and scientific journals; serves on the editorial board of Liver Transplantation; and is a reviewer for numerous medical journals, including the American Journal of Transplantation, Clinical Transplantation, Hepatology, and Journal of Transplantation. He has presented at medical meetings around the world.

Dr. Renz earned his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and doctoral degree in biochemistry and molecular biology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He performed a general surgery internship and residency at University of California, San Francisco, and a transplantation surgery fellowship at University of California, Los Angeles. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Renz holds memberships in numerous professional organizations, including the American Association for Cancer Research, American College of Surgeons, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, International Liver Transplantation Society, International Pediatric Transplant Association and the Transplantation Society.

Susan Schreier, CNO, VP
Susan Schreier, CNO, VPRockford Memorial Hospital

Susan Schreier is Vice President of Nursing Services and Chief Nurse Executive at Rockford Memorial Hospital in Rockford, Ill.

At Rockford Memorial Hospital, Ms. Schreier is responsible for the oversight of nursing services operations to ensure standards-based clinical care, superior patient satisfaction and a culture of life-long employee learning. She also is accountable for maintaining operational effectiveness and achieving positive patient care outcomes.

Ms. Schreier’s experience includes executive leadership in community and home health and clinical experience in critical care and home care in a nursing career that spans 35 years. She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and has served on boards of the Illinois Department of Public Health Home Health Advisory, Illinois Homecare Council, Northern Illinois AIDS Resource Center, Wesley Willows Retirement Center and District 3 of the Illinois Nurses Association.

Ms. Schreier holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in nursing from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. She also earned a certificate from the Wharton School of Business as a fellow in the Management Program for Nurse Executives.

Evelyn Schultz, CPTC
Evelyn Schultz, CPTCGift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network
Evelyn Schultz, CPTC, is Vice President of Internal Operations for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In her role, Ms. Schultz provides hands-on management of Gift of Hope’s four strategic drivers — donor management, organ placement, tissue recovery and donor authorization. She also oversees all phases of the organ and tissue recovery process, including requesting, organ allocation, and surgical recovery and preservation. Her responsibilities also include day-to-day management of all Gift of Hope organ recovery staff and oversight of the pulsatile perfusion laboratory and medical records.

Ms. Schultz began as an organ recovery coordinator with Gift of Hope in 1993, then known as the Regional Organ Bank of Illinois. Her subsequent positions include donor management specialist, team leader, supervisor and manager. Before joining Gift of Hope, Ms. Schultz was a registered respiratory therapist at a Level 1 trauma center for 13 years. A certified procurement transplant coordinator, she is a member of the North American Transplant Coordinators Organization and is a past member of the Pediatric Transplant Committee for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing.

Ms. Schultz holds an associate degree in applied science from Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Ill.

Riccardo Superina, MD, FACS
Riccardo Superina, MD, FACSAnn & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital

Riccardo Superina, MD, FACS, is Director of Transplant Surgery, Co-Director of the Siragusa Transplant Center, Division Chief of Pediatric Transplant Surgery and an attending staff surgeon at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, a 270-bed facility with 1,100 pediatric specialists focusing on 70 specialties. He is also a Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University ’s Feinberg School of Medicine and an attending staff surgeon at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center , Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Superina’s special interests include living donor, reduced-size liver, split liver and liver disease (biliary atresia) hepato-biliary surgery, as well as organ donation and bowel and kidney transplantation. A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he is a member of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

Dr. Superina completed fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Oxford, and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He completed residencies at The Hospital for Sick Children and Royal Victoria Hospital in Quebec, and holds a medical degree from McGill University in Montreal.

Ivo Tzvetanov, MD, FACS
Ivo Tzvetanov, MD, FACSUniversity of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System
Ivo Tzvetanov, MD, FACS, is a solid organ transplant surgeon and an Attending and Assistant Professor of Surgery at University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UIHHSS). A graduate of Medical University in Sofia, Bulgaria, Dr. Tzvetanov completed a five-year surgical residency at Medical University’s Fifth City Multiprophyle Hospital.

Following the successful completion of that residency, he served as an attending surgeon and associate professor for five years at Fifth City Hospital before moving to America to pursue a surgical internship at UIHHSS. After successfully completing that internship, Dr. Tzvetanov completed a residency in general surgery and a fellowship in abdominal organ transplantation at UIHHSS and became a board-certified surgeon.

A former member of the Bulgarian Armies Special Forces Division, Dr. Tzvetanov is an active member of the American College of Surgeons and the International Gastrosurgical Club and is fluent in Bulgarian and Russian.

 Roxane L. Cauwels, BSN, MBA
Roxane L. Cauwels, BSN, MBAAssociation of Organ Procurement Organizations

Roxane Cauwels is the Director of Program Operations at the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) where she is responsible for the leadership and management of all aspects of AOPO’s councils and the development and implementation of associational strategies, policies and practices.

Prior to joining AOPO in 2015, Ms. Cauwels served as an Independent Consultant for five years to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Special Donation Initiatives, Division of Transplantation and the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance, supporting national donation-enhancing efforts. In this role, Ms. Cauwels served as an expert faculty advisor to national teams, providing instruction/consultation for process improvement and as an organizational consultant to the National Learning Congress and other donation related organizations.

Ms. Cauwels worked at Gift of Hope as the Regional Manager of Hospital Development where she led a team overseeing the operations surrounding organ and tissue donation since 2003. During this time she served as the Chairperson and Co-chair for AOPO Hospital Development Council, Co-Chair Leader for the UNOS Region, and the National Improvement Leader for the Organ Donation and Transplantation Breakthrough Collaborative.

Prior to joining Gift of Hope, Ms. Cauwels was Assistant Director of Marketing for the University HealthSystem Consortium, a national alliance of academic health centers focused on clinical and operations performance improvement.

Ms. Cauwels holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

Gift of Hope has teamed up with LifeGoesOn.com to make it easy to become an organ and tissue donor. Visit www.lifegoeson.com to join the registry today.

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