Happy International Women’s Day

March 8, 2024

To all the trailblazing women who have paved the way for progress, and to those who continue to champion equality and justice, Happy Women’s Day! Your efforts are changing the world for the better.

Happy International Women’s Day! Celebrated every year on March 8, International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

This year we celebrate women in leadership at DCIDS that we admire, appreciate and respect. Thank you for all that you do for organ donation and helping to end the waitlist for good.

Jill Grandas, Corporate Executive Director, DCIDS/TDS

Jill Grandas is an organ procurement and tissue banking industry veteran with over 30 years of experience. In her role overseeing Tennessee Donor Services, Jill leads a team of selfless, hardworking employees who are committed to saving and improving lives.

In 1985, she began her nursing career in a Neurological Intensive Care Unit and became involved in several experiences where patients became organ and tissue donors. As a result of those experiences, she joined TDS in 1987 as an Organ Recovery Coordinator and has expanded her role over the years. She served in several positions within DCI Donor Services including Director of Hospital Services, Associate Director, and Executive Director for the Tennessee location. Since 2005, Jill has also been the Corporate Executive Director for DCIDS.

Amy Bonser, Performance Improvement Director, DCIDS

Amy Bonser began her career over 20 years ago as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the Pediatric ICU. After her best friend received the gift of a life-saving double lung transplant in 2003, Amy refocused her career to work in organ procurement. She has held both clinical and leadership roles in the OPO industry and is professionally and personally committed to saving lives through organ and tissue donation.

Emily Bryan, Finance Director, DCIDS

Emily joined DCI Donor Services as a Staff Accountant in 2007 and was first promoted into a leadership role in 2014 as the Accounting Supervisor. In her current role as Director of Finance, she is responsible for all financial functions of the organization, including financial planning and analysis, fiscal and regulatory reporting, budgeting, and audits.

Emily is a licensed CPA in the state of Tennessee and earned a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

Gretchen Budde, Bridge2Life Director, DCIDS

Gretchen is a graduate of the Art and Science Leadership program at Wharton’s School of Business, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in both Public Administration and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, a Master degree in Counseling from Lakeland University.  She is also a Certified Tissue Banking Specialist (CTBS) and Certification in Thanatology (CT). With over 18 years of progressive experience in the field of donation, Gretchen continues to foster development through team collaboration and the pursuit of incremental and continuous improvement.

Stephanie Cozby, Senior Director, Quality & Compliance, DCIDS

Stephanie Cozby has been in organ procurement and tissue banking for nearly 20 years, with extensive experience overseeing hospital development, organ recovery, business operations, and IT staff. Over the last eight years at DCIDS, her leadership knowledge and deep understanding of healthcare and operations management has been a significant asset in developing and integrating the company’s quality and compliance systems within operations.

Leah Morrell, Birth Tissue Program Director, DCIDS

Leah earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Quinnipiac University, then spent several years in Pharmaceutical Sales.  However, she found her true calling in 2006, when she began her career in Tissue Banking.  Leah is AATB certified and serves on the AATB Living Donor Council and Education Committee.

Since joining DCIDS in 2019, her focus has been to expand the Birth Tissue donation program, enabling more mothers to give the Gift of Life through placenta donation.  Whether Leah is starting new hospital programs, managing her incredible team of Birth Tissue Coordinators, or speaking with potential donors, she strives to emanate passion for donation. 

Maria Nauman, Clinical Manager, SDS

Maria Nauman leads a team of Referral Responders and Organ Recovery Coordinators as the Clinical Manager at Sierra Donor Services. She joined Sierra Donor Services in 2006 as an Organ Recovery Coordinator after being inspired during a case as a Respiratory Therapist at UC Davis Medical Center.

She has served in a variety of roles in organ donation including Resource Triage, Clinical Operations Management and served as a leader of an internal Research Council. Maria earned a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy from Boise State University.

Kristen Pereira, Quality Assurance Director, DCIDS

Kristen Pereira is the Quality Assurance Director for DCI Donor Services. She has been a part of the organization’s Quality Assurance Department since 2009.

She is involved in all aspects of quality; executing process improvement initiatives, monitoring quality assurance systems to handling various types of third party inspections to serve our mission of saving and enhancing lives through organ and tissue donation.

She has achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in health care administration, along with the following certifications: Certified Eye Bank Technician (CEBT), Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA), Certified Quality Auditor (CQA), Certified Quality Manager of Organizational Excellence (CQM/OE).

Heather Pratt, Hospital Development Director, SDS

Heather and her team of Hospital Development Coordinators support 44 hospitals, 22 county Coroners and over 130 Funeral homes in the Greater Sacramento Area in their efforts to serve families, organ and tissue donors and those recipients waiting.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Sonoma State University in California. Heather was inspired by her work in critical care, caring for pre and post heart transplant patients to join the organ donation and transplantation community. Heather has worked in the organ procurement field since 2004 as a transplant coordinator, resource triage coordinator and as a clinical operations manager. In 2020, Heather joined the Sierra Donor Services team as the Hospital Development Director where she focuses on supporting local hospitals in developing successful processes that maximize the gift of organ donation.

Heather was a member of the 2022 class of “The Art and Science of Leadership; Driving Results for Donation and Transplantation Professionals” offered through the Gift of Life Institute. She currently co-chairs committee for the ESRD Treatment Choices Learning Collaborative sponsored by CMS and HRSA and serves on the Board of Directors for Easter Seals Superior California. Heather looks forward to saving more lives and serving more donor families through her work at Sierra Donor Services and DCIDS.

Michele Rosdahl, Aftercare Manager, DCIDS

Michele earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Rogers State University and a Master of Education in Counseling from Northeastern State University.

Michele Rosdahl and her team of Aftercare Coordinators are committed to supporting donor families in the months and years after their loved ones’ donation. Michele and her team have created a supportive program for donor families including scheduled mailings, access to DCIDS’s Caring for Families resource website, monthly live grief webinars, text-based grief support, and access to a wide range of grief-focused reading materials.  

For the past two decades, Michele’s career has focused on helping and supporting families through life transitions, first in the behavioral health and social welfare sectors, and now in organ procurement.

Kelly Scott, Tissue Bank Executive Director, DCIDS

Kelly earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Loyola University Maryland, a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology from the Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University – Owen Graduate School of Management.

She has worked for DCI Donor Services for over 14 years, and continues to expand the tissue bank program year after year. The tissue bank had a record year in 2023, with more than 58,000 tissue grafts recovered across all of DCIDS from 3,355 tissue donors.

Donna Smith, Senior Director, Clinical Services, SDS

Donna joined Sierra Donor Services in 2020 as the Senior Director of Clinical Services. She has worked in the field of organ donation since 2000, with experience in three Organ Procurement Organizations before SDS, where she led successful programs to increase donation and transplantation and build teams committed to the mission of saving and improving lives.

In her current role she is a member of the senior leadership team and oversees a team of dedicated individuals tasked with developing strategies and initiatives to increase organ donation in Northern California, and to increase the utilization of organs from SDS donors. Donna is a member of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) Impact Committee and COO council, Co-Chair of the ETCLC Quality Team, The Alliance Donation and Leadership Committee and the OPTN OPO Committee. Donna also served on the UNOS Membership and Professional Standards Committee in 2017 and 2018, and she was a member of the ODRC from 2013 to 2015 serving a one-year term as Treasurer on the Executive Committee.

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
– Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook)

About Sierra Donor Services

Sierra Donor Services (SDS) serves nearly three million people in Northern California and Northern Nevada. We are an exceptional team of professionals dedicated to saving and improving lives by connecting organ and tissue donation to the patients who need them. We strive to extend the reach of each generous donor’s gift to those who are always profoundly grateful for them.

#BeTheGift that saves lives!

When you register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, you leave a lasting legacy and bring hope to those waiting.

To access the National Registry, click here.