MEET PHA’S TEAM

CONTACT US: 301-565-3004

President & CEO

Brad A. Wong

President & CEO x741

Brad joined PHA in June of 2016 as the organization’s second President and CEO in its 25-year history. Prior to assuming this leadership role, he served as Executive Director of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. His accomplishments included creating innovative programs, raising the foundation’s visibility, establishing strategic partnerships and increasing and diversifying funding. Brad also brings broad knowledge of academic medicine and biomedical research environments, having served as Assistant Vice President of the University of California, San Francisco Foundation. In addition to leading a dedicated and talented staff, Brad works closely with public stakeholders and the PH community and leadership—including the PHA Board of Trustees, Scientific Leadership Council and Corporate Committee—to further PHA’s mission.

Executive Team

Azalea Candelaria

Vice President, Development x767

Azalea got her start in fundraising in 1998 at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and went on to hold national and regional leadership positions at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, March of Dimes and the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. She has a strong track record in fundraising strategy and execution, and extensive experience in partnering with volunteers. Azalea leads PHA’s development efforts including individual giving, events, corporate and foundation grants and planned giving programs.

Lauren M. Lefkowitz

Vice President, Human Resources & Operations x802

Lauren Lefkowitz leads the human resources department and manages recruiting, employee relations, training, benefits and compensation. She also oversees the information technology and office management functions for PHA. Lauren’s prior experience includes human resources management in the financial services and retail industries, as well as pro-bono work and board service with a variety of non-profit organizations.

Karen Smaalders

Vice President, Communications & Marketing x750

Karen leads the Communications and Marketing department, which manages the PHA brand, web, print, social media and e-communications, as well as PHA’s marketing and advertising efforts. Karen started her career as a journalist, working for newspapers and magazines. Since then, she has directed communications and marketing for a variety of nonprofit organizations and higher education, including the International Association for the Study of Pain, the American Diabetes Association, the University of Washington and Seattle University. She holds a B.A. in mass communication from the University of California, Davis, and a Master in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University.

Elizabeth Joseloff, Ph.D.

Vice President, Quality Care & Research x759

Elizabeth leads PHA’s efforts to promote quality care and advance research through PHA’s accredited Comprehensive Care Centers, patient registry and research initiatives. Her department oversees health care professional and community educational programming. Before joining PHA, Elizabeth was the director of Integrative Biology at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where she managed basic research and industry-sponsored drug development programs. Her prior experience includes scientific research at biotechnology companies and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She received a doctorate in cancer biology from the University of Arizona.

Advocacy & Treatment Access

Katherine Kroner

Senior Director, Advocacy & Treatment Access x749

As PHA’s Senior Director of Advocacy and Treatment Access, Katie advocates on behalf of the PH community with federal policy makers, coordinates PHA’s grassroots advocacy network, and works to ensure that individuals living with PH have access to the specific PH therapies prescribed by their physician. She is the first point of contact for PH community members with insurance challenges and for anyone interested in fighting back through advocacy.

Communications & Marketing

Alanna Coogan

Design & Publications Coordinator x774

Alanna creates a variety of print and web materials for PHA, including brochures, posters, social media graphics, postcards, and PHA’s quarterly magazine, Pathlight. She loves the broad reach of visual marketing and hopes that her designs, whether in doctors’ offices, patients’ homes, community centers or online, effectively raise awareness of PH and inspire people to join the PH community.

Jim Wetherill

Web & Communications Manager x742

Jim manages PHA’s websites, email campaigns and other online communications. He supports all PHA departments to use web communications tools to meet their needs. Jim has prior experience in building and managing web communication projects for nonprofit health care organizations.

Lauren IntrieriLauren Intrieri

Digital Communications Associate x780

Lauren plans, crafts and monitors content on PHA’s social media platforms and email campaigns. She collaborates with the communications team to create and execute campaigns with the goal of informing and helping the online pulmonary hypertension community, as well as spreading awareness.

Development

Mira Kruger

Development Coordinator x810

As a member of the Development team, Mira leads PHA’s general membership, workplace giving and monthly donor programs. She also manages a number of nationally branded O2breathe events that support PHA’s educational, support and research programs. Mira’s grandmother was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2004, and Mira volunteered with PHA from 2008-2012. She feels lucky to have the opportunity to work for an organization that has made such an impact on her life, as well as her family members’ lives.

Breanna George

Administrative Assistant x766

Breanna produces acknowledgment letters, updates PHA member information audits the membership community database, and updates and audits PHA’s Find a Doctor directory. Previously, Breanna was a research assistant and a finance and administrative assistant.

Adrienne Ramos-Grant

Development Associate x753

Adrienne handles logistics for many PHA nationally branded O2breathe events. She also completes various essential administrative duties. Before coming to PHA, Adrienne worked at an NGO, planning international development workshops that took her to Thailand and Ethiopia.

Finance

Karen Jackson

Associate Director, Finance x747

Karen is responsible for managing PHA payroll and accounts payable functions and supports the VP of Finance with general accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting processes. Prior to joining PHA, Karen worked for over 20 years for the Montgomery County Government Department of Finance as well as Public Accounting and Professional Services firms. Karen is a CPA, licensed in the State of Maryland.

Randall McLeod

Associate Director, Database & Finance x748

Randall oversees PHA’s donor database, The Raiser’s Edge. Randall serves PHA by ensuring all data is entered in a timely and accurate manner, and maintaining accurate records for all constituents. Randall assists the staff with any issues related to the database, and trains staff on how to use the database to serve their needs most effectively.

Leonard SchneiderLeonard Schneider

Finance & Data Entry Associate

Leonard works with the PHA’s finance team to maintain its donor database. He ensures that constituent information, relationships and merchandise orders are up to date. Leonard also assists with monthly financial reporting and reconciliation.

Meeting & Conference Planning

Pat Reilly

Meeting Planner x803

In his role as a Meeting Planner, Pat manages full logistics for PHA On the Roads, Corporate Committee, Board, Scientific Leadership Council, and the PHCC/PHPN committee meetings. He also manages exhibits for the Biannual Conference as well as the Conference/Symposium mobile apps. Pat also partners with the Senior Manager, Meeting & Conference Planning on a variety of other logistics.

Chanel Ricks

Director, Meetings x779

Chanel Ricks’ primary responsibilities include site selection and contract negotiation for PHA meetings and conferences. The meetings team manages planning and onsite logistics for PHA’s major education events, symposia and committee meetings. She has experience planning meetings and conferences throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Her events have ranged from 50 to 1,500 attendees. Before joining PHA, Chanel worked at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in Washington D.C.

Operations & Administration

Bianca Woodard

Office Administrator x746

Bianca is PHA’s first line of communication, connecting patients, caregivers and health care professionals from the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community with PHA’s staff. From answering PHA’s phone lines to managing store orders and helping with mail donations, she answers any questions that come her way or will direct callers to the appropriate staff member. She has a passion for helping others, takes pride in her work and loves the fact that she can truly make a difference here at PHA.

Patient & Caregiver Programs

Michael Knaapen

Director, Patient & Caregiver Programs x758

Michael oversees PHA’s patient and caregiver programs. These programs ensure PHA’s patient and caregiver constituents are empowered to manage their health, develop resilience, connect to others and contribute to the PHA community in ways their health and interest allow. The department works with more than 400 community volunteers to provide peer support in person, online and by phone, as well as other resources to improve and extend the lives of people affected by PH. His team also supports PHA events like Conference and PHA on the Road, PHA’s international programs, Lantos Awards and more.

Abby Sickles

Patient & Caregiver Programs Program Manager x777

Abby connects patients and caregivers to PHA’s educational and support resources. She manages PHA’s support resources, including in-person support groups, telephone support groups, email mentors, support line and Facebook groups. Abby works to grow these programs to provide support to community members across the country. Abby also assists in planning programming for PHA’s Biannual Conference.

Seker Anderson

Program Associate, Patient & Caregiver Programs x757

Seker Anderson provides administrative support within PHA’s Patient & Caregiver Programs department. He also resources PHA patient/caregiver outreach events.

Quality Care & Research

Zan Laughlin

Professional Education Program Manager x776

As Professional Education Program Manager, Zan manages PHA’s live and online continuing education programs for health care professionals, including PHA’s largest biannual signature events, PHA’s PH Professional Network Symposium and PHA’s International PH Conference & Scientific Sessions. As well, Zan manages all content for PHA Online University, PHA’s online CME/CE platform. Zan works to ensure that PHA creates and delivers high-impact educational opportunities to PH-treating health care professionals to increase the knowledge and competence in treating pulmonary hypertension.

Jill ZajacJill Zajac

Patient Education Program Manager x744

Jill manages PHA’s patient education programs, as well as the development of print and online educational resources. She works closely with PHA’s volunteer committees to create and update resources and to ensure that patient-centered information regarding disease state awareness and education materials supplied to medical clinics and patients are accurate and relevant for the populations affected by PH.