Staff

From Leadership to Guest Services, the Family House’s dedicated staff and advisory board are specialized in a variety of fields to best serve our transplant families.

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Howard M. Nathan

Founder and President, Gift of Life Family House

Howard Nathan is the President & CEO of Philadelphia-based Gift of Life Donor Program which now employs over 200 professionals. Howard began working at the Gift of Life Donor Program in 1978 as a transplant coordinator and has led the organization since 1984.

Howard is also Founder and President of Gift of Life Institute, an international research and training center for donation and transplantation professionals established in 2004, and President of Gift of Life Family House.

Considered a leading authority on organ and tissue donation, Howard serves or has served on numerous leadership boards including United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), the International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement (ISODP), Pennsylvania Governor’s Organ Donation Advisory Committee, North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO), among others.

Howard is a regular presenter at national and international organ and tissue procurement and transplantation conferences and has authored or co-authored more than 300 scientific papers and abstracts in his 39-year tenure with Gift of Life.  He has appeared on national TV news and talk shows and has received numerous outstanding achievement awards from national organizations. Howard and his wife, Liz, are passionate animal lovers and recently adopted a boxer-mix named Logan!

Learn more about the Family House Founder and his vision to complete the “circle of care” for transplant patients and their families here.

Jan L. Weinstock

Vice President, Administration and General Counsel

Jan is the Vice President, Administration and General Counsel of Gift of Life Donor Program and its affiliates, Gift of Life Family House and Transplant Foundation. She is proud to have an oversight role in the Family House and is excited about the extension of care and services that the Gift of Life Family House and the Caregiver Lifeline Program represent. Prior to joining Gift of Life in 1999, Jan was a partner with Blank, Rome LLP in its Health Law Department. She received her Bachelor of Science from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania and her law degree from Villanova University School of Law. As an avid runner and early riser, Jan can be spotted running the streets of Philadelphia every morning before dawn.

Talia Giordano, MSW, LSW

Social Worker and Manager, Caregiver Lifeline Program

In 2007, Talia graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Cabrini College and went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. Talia is licensed to practice social work in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey and previously worked with Davita Dialysis, Lankenau Medical Center and Jefferson University Hospital. Talia enjoys utilizing her healthcare and social work backgrounds to help families get the support they need while at the Family House. Talia also manages the Caregiver Lifeline Program for transplant caregivers who may not stay at the Family House. When she is not working she is staying in shape by chasing after her wild toddler Henry, eating at all of her favorite Philly restaurants, and traveling! Email Talia.

Aisha Shabazz, LSW, MSS, MLSP

Social Worker

Born in Washington State, Aisha grew up living and traveling all over the world with her family, as both of her parents served in the United States Military and in 2001, they settled in beautiful Delaware. From there, Aisha pursued a degree in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh and then relocated to Philadelphia to study Social Work at Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research where she received a Master in Social Service and Master in Law & Social Policy. Aisha joins us at the Gift of Life Family House with a vast experience in Medical Social Work as she has served as an inpatient discharge planner, outpatient medical social worker, and outpatient therapist. Aisha considers herself a foodie, enjoys leisure endurance runs, teaching & practicing yoga, and traveling. Email Aisha.

Sara A. Cohen

Development Manager

Sara is a Bucks County native and a graduate of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. She started working for Gift of Life Family House in 2009, taking part in its exciting journey from capital campaign, to construction and program development, to eventually helping open the doors of the Family House. It was a proud moment when she was able to witness the very first transplant family check-in on July 18, 2011. Sara is thrilled to be leading the Development Team where she gets to share her passion for the mission and help families during their time of need. Best of all, she gets to meet so many wonderful supporters who are also committed to welcoming families home at the Family House for years to come. In her spare time, Sara volunteers on the urban mission field at a ministry in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Jeremiah 29:11 Email Sara.

Genevieve Grabowy

Development Associate

Genevieve is from  Somerset County, NJ, and is a graduate of Rutgers University – New Brunswick. Her first exposure to development occurred while serving at a campus ministry center at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. After her year of service, Genna moved to the Philadelphia region to continue working in non-profit development, leading her to join the Gift of Life Family House team in 2018. A recently converted Philly sports fan, Genna is excited to be part of the mission of the Family House. Email Genna.

Val Casola

Writing/Communications and Development Fellow

Val is originally from Long Island, NY and moved to Philadelphia to pursue her master’s degree in writing. She graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in history and writing. Val began working at the Family House as an intern and accepted a Fellowship position in 2018. As the Writing/Communications and Development Fellow, Val manages the Family House’s social media pages, prepares internal and external communications, researches and writes grant proposals, and writes guest stories for the “Faces of the Family House” blog. Val is excited to help Family House guests find an outlet to share their stories with others who may have similar experiences, worries, or questions. When she is not writing, Val is reading, thrift shopping, or cooking. Email Val.

Joseph Kauffman

Family House Manager

Joe was born and raised in northeast Philadelphia and graduated in 2005 from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. In 2009, Joe donated a kidney to his younger brother, creating an intimate understanding of the needs transplant families and caregivers have while going through the difficult process. Joe has previously worked for Hyatt and Starwood Hotels and is excited to utilize his professional experience to help care for transplant families. Email Joe.

Diana Elbanna

Resident Manager

Diana was born in Philadelphia, PA and is an alumna of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Event Management. While at UCF, Diana worked in many hospitality roles with event companies, as well as for the Orlando Magic in Premium Services. Upon graduation, Diana returned to the Philadelphia area and began working at the Family House as an intern. In her role as Resident Manager, Diana provides a relaxing and warm atmosphere to transplant families. In addition to being Stevie Wonder’s number one fan, one of Diana’s favorite hobbies is putting together floral arrangements. Email Diana.

Genevieve Moore

Guest Service Liaison

Genevieve was born and raised in Media, PA. She graduated from the Community College of Philadelphia with her Associates Degree of Applied Science in Hospitality Management. She then went on to graduate from Widener University with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. Towards the end of her time at Widener University, Genevieve began working at the Family House as an intern. She is both excited and honored to be a part of the Gift of Life Family House and looks forward to continuing in helping transplant families. Also known as the “Queen of House Activities,” Genevieve is one of the most creative members of the Family House team and enjoys expressing herself through multiple forms of art. Email Genevieve.

Celine Brunetti

Guest Service Fellow

Celine is originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania and moved to Philadelphia to pursue a degree in Communications. While completing her co-op internship, Celine worked as a front desk agent and fell in love with the hospitality business. Celine began interning at the Family House in 2017, and accepted the Fellowship position in 2018. As part of a donor family, Celine has been involved with Gift of Life from a young age and looks forward to providing a home away from home for transplant families.  Celine spends most of her free time in the movie theatre, and has even worked on a few short films! Email Celine.

Stephen Tornone

Associate Counsel

Steve is a native New Yorker who spent seven years in Washington, DC studying politics and law. While working nights in property management and at a microbrewery, Steve obtained his Juris doctor from Georgetown University Law Center and is admitted to the state bars of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He has served as Associate Counsel to the Family House since 2010 where he served as the owner’s representative during the construction process and continues to assist the organization in legal and regulatory matters. Steve is a hobbyist woodworker and can often be found in the Family House garage making sawdust. Email Steve.

 

Meet our advisory board.

News & Events

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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