About Howard M. Nathan

Learn more about the Family House Founder and his dream behind it all.


Gift of Life Family House, once affectionately referred to by friends as Howie’s House, is the fulfillment of Howard Nathan’s 20-year dream for a special “home away from home” for transplant patients and their families.

In 1991, Howard was already a leader in the field of organ donation and transplantation when he personally experienced the challenges of his sister Martha’s need for a liver transplant. He witnessed the generosity of a family who said “yes” to donation so that Martha could have a second chance at life. This personal experience provided a deeper understanding of the obstacles that families encounter when traveling to an unfamiliar setting, often without any caregiver support. Through Howard’s compassion and steadfast belief in the benefits of providing a homelike environment to support families of transplant patients undergoing treatment, he inspired his fellow board members, donor families, contributors, management team and staff to take action and meet this compelling need — and in the summer of 2011 Gift of Life Family House opened.

“I am privileged to lead our Gift of Life Team. Together we have provided world-class services for this community so that thousands received a ‘second chance at life’ due to the generosity of the gifts of others. Family House represents my vision for completing the circle of care for transplant patients and their families… I couldn’t be more humbled and proud.” —Howard

Since 1978, Howard M. Nathan has devoted his life to the success of Gift of Life Donor Program, Gift of Life Institute, the Transplant Foundation and now Gift of Life Family House. Today he is the President and CEO of Gift of Life Donor Program, the largest organ procurement organization in the world. Under his leadership, Gift of Life has led the nation in organ and tissue transplantation having coordinated more than 35,000 organ transplants and hundreds of thousands of tissue allografts. In addition Gift of Life has served as an international training and research center for donation and transplantation professionals.

Considered a leading world authority on organ and tissue donation, Howard has contributed greatly to the overall science of organ transplantation and the knowledge of professionals working in this field worldwide. A renowned speaker and the author of hundreds of scientific publications on organ procurement, transplantation, and related subjects, Howard’s contributions have greatly enhanced the level of patient care and family services available across the U.S. He has been a mentor to colleagues in more than 15 countries and has held leadership roles on numerous boards including United Network for Organ Sharing, Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, Donate Life America and International Society for Organ Procurement, among others.

The entire community expresses its sincerest gratitude to Howard for his vision, compassion, and determination in completing the “circle of care” for transplant patients and their families through the opening of Gift of Life Family House.

News & Events

Love Brings "Liver Sisters" Together

Ashley decided to donate a portion of her liver to a member of her church.

#VolunteerSpotlight: MTF Biologics

MTF Biologics has been spending a lot of time in our kitchen cooking meals for transplant families.

Hand Prints of Hope

NASRCAR's Joey Gase visited the Family House to help raise awareness of organ and tissue donation.

My First Home was Gift of Life Family House

When he was finally able to leave the hospital's care, the Family House became Asher's first home.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Pledges to Support Family House

Jefferson Hospital made a $250,000 pledge to support transplant families at the Family House.

We've Got You, Mom

Nicole became her mother Donna's caregiver and together, they navigated the transplant journey.

Corporate Spotlight: Laundry Made Easy

Our friends from Hercules Laundry generously donated five new washer and dryer sets!

Getting by With a Little Help From our Friends

As part of our Caregiver Lifeline Program, we bring in therapy dogs to spend time with our guests!

The Flight For My Life

Karen's life-saving transplant relocated her and her family over 350 miles from home.

#FacebookFUNdraiser: Anthony Vetrano

Learn why Anthony decided to host a Facebook fundraiser for the Family House!

From Hospital to Home

"My stay at the Family House gets better each time," says Lauren, a past Family House guest.

Grown Up and Giving Back

Read about Mya, a liver recipient and employee, and her experience here at the Family House.

Families Joined by Love and Life in Family House Kitchen

The Hess and Palmer families come together to celebrate the life of Mason Hess.

Family Close By

“Having my wife nearby was especially helpful to my recovery,” Tim says.

#SupporterSpotlight: Facebook Fundraisers

Did you know you can hold an online fundraiser to support the Family House on Facebook?

Gift of Life Volunteer Recognition Ceremony

Gift of Life Family House honors volunteers at the Gift of Life Volunteer Recognition Ceremony.

Peter Mansaray, father of a heart recipient and past Family House guest.

A Father & Son Journey

"...by the time we left [the Family House], I left with a whole family.”

Legacy Society members Elizabeth and David Kennedy.

Leaving a Legacy

David and Elizabeth are leaving a legacy with planned gifts to the Family House.

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