Transplant House of Cleveland

Transplant House of Cleveland is 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with an important mission: to provide temporary, affordable housing in a home-like environment for organ transplant patients and their families while they visit Cleveland for medical care.  

The Transplant House of Cleveland board is searching for a facility for renovation while simultaneously growing its base of friends and raising much-needed funding.

Please join us in this mission to create a cozy, welcoming home-away-from-home where transplant families can face medical challenges with the help and support of others.  You can make the difference in many lives by contributing financially, sharing your skills and connecting us to others who can help us open our doors.

Help this vision become a reality by making a financial contribution. Click Here to donate to a great cause. Thank You!

The Transplant House of Cleveland board is comprised of very committed volunteers, each of whom has been touched by organ transplantation and the special patients and family members whose lives are changed by that gift of life.  With many hundreds of families coming to Cleveland each year for evaluation and surgery, each of us believes it is time for Cleveland to create its own home-away-from-home for transplant patients and their families.

Board Members


ART THOMSON, President. For more than 25 years, Art Thomson has been working in healthcare – most of this time in organ transplantation. Art has shown tremendous support for all local donation-related initiatives at both Lifebanc and within the Cleveland Clinic Health System. Currently, the Administrator for the Digestive Disease Institute and the Transplant Center at Cleveland Clinic, Art recently served as Treasurer for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).


GORDON R. BOWEN, Vice President. Gordon is the Chief Executive Officer for Lifebanc, the organ and tissue recovery agency serving Northeast Ohio. He has spent most of his career in the organ and tissue donation and transplantation industry serving in a variety of roles.  Bowen, a certified Procurement Transplant Coordinator and Medical Technologist, serves on a variety of state, regional and national advisory boards and committees related to organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

Click Here to read about Gordon's involvement in his own words


JOANMARIE BUTTON, Secretary. Joanmarie has both a personal and professional passion for Transplant House of Cleveland. Currently the Family Services Manager at the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, a 37-bedroom home-away-from-home for families of pediatric patients, she has 19 years of experience in managing hospitality housing. Joanmarie and other family members have received organ transplants at the Cleveland Clinic, and she has provided online support to kidney transplant patients and families coming from out of town. Her previous work experience was in corporate human resources and professional relations.

ANTHONY PANZICA is President & CEO of Panzica Construction Company in Cleveland. Tony earned a B.S. degree in civil engineering from Purdue University in 1975 and his professional engineering license shortly thereafter. Mr. Panzica’s primary role as President/CEO is to market and maintain relationships with our clients. He carefully monitors client satisfaction, quality control and provides timely issue resolution.  For the past 37 years, Anthony has served on a variety of boards and committees in the nonprofit sector and maintains an active role in industry-related groups. Currently, he is serving as president of the Construction Employers Association.

BRIAN VITALE, Senior Partner, Vitale, Caruso & Associates, Warren, New Jersey. Vitale, Caruso & Associates is a 46 year old Financial Planning/Investment Advisory company with assets under management in excess of $150 million. Brian has been involved with many charities over his long career, but Transplant House of Cleveland holds special meaning. He and his wife, Diane, spent seven months living in a hotel across from the Cleveland Clinic pre and post-liver transplant, which he received December 2013. Transplant House was not open at that time, and Brian and Diane understand the need for housing and community support in Cleveland for transplant patients and their families.

BRIDGET COUGEVAN HOWARD serves as the Executive Director of the Institutional Review Board at the Cleveland Clinic, which protects the rights, safety and welfare of individuals recruited to participate in research activities. Bridget was previously an attorney specializing in health law at a local law firm, and was associate counsel in the Law Department at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.


ERICA MILLER, Past President of Transplant House of Cleveland, brings 15 years of experience from New York City, where she created a 10-bedroom facility for transplant patients visiting Mt. Sinai Medical Center. Her husband is currently director of Liver Transplantation at Cleveland Clinic.


KAY KENDALL, MSW has worked in outpatient mental health settings for the first 14 years of her social work career. She began working at the Cleveland Clinic as the Heart Transplant Social Worker and for 22 years she has been involved in the evaluation process of these patients and she has followed pre and post heart transplant patients and also individuals who have mechanical circulatory support devices placed. Kay has conducted research projects exploring patient’s quality of life pre and post-transplant. She has presented and published the results of these studies. Kay has been a member of the Society for Transplant Social Workers and was appointed to the UNOS Ethics Committee and the UNOS International Relations Committee in 2010.


MATTHEW MILLER, Vice President of Health IT & Services, BioEnterprise.  Matthew leads BioEnterprise’s efforts in serving and growing start-up healthcare software and service opportunities. He brings more than 25 years of technology, operational, entrepreneurial and executive leadership experience both domestically and internationally.  Matthew received an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh – Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Biology/Chemistry from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Matthew received a liver transplant at Cleveland Clinic in April 2015 and since that time, he and his wife, Lisa Vegas, have devoted most of their free time to volunteer work centered on the advancement of efforts designed to ensure a successful and emotionally supportive transplant experience for others.  


WILLIAM MULLIGAN is the Managing Director for Primus a private equity firm. Mr. Mulligan earned a BA in Economics from Denison University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Mr. Mulligan focuses on the firm’s business services and healthcare investment activities. Mr. Mulligan is a Director of Installed Building Products, LLC, PartsSource, Inc. and SPARTA Insurance Holdings, Inc.

Mr. Mulligan serves on the Board of Trustees of The Cleveland Clinic, Denison University and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

Click Here to read about Bill's involvement in his own words

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Andrew Greenwald is currently the Managing Partner at Gigantic Media LLC. working on Strategic Development and Acquisitions.  Before, his position at Gigantic Media, Andrew was the President of AD Digital Group and Media WebConnect.  Both companies provided digital-based software and strategic direction nationally. He earned his Bachelors of Arts degree from Cleveland State University. Andrew joined Transplant House of Cleveland Board in 2018.


Craig T. Beazer is Deputy General Counsel of KeyCorp. He manages the Mergers and Acquisitions, Securities, Governance and General Corporate section of the Law Group. Craig is a member of the American Bar Association (Business Law Section) and the Society of Corporate Governance for which he has been a panelist on several occasions at New York Chapter events.  Craig has been a faculty member at The Knowledge Group and the Practicing Law Institute.  He has also been a panelist at the SEC Historical Society’s Annual Meeting. Craig received a bachelor of arts degree from Iona College and his jurisprudence degree from the New York University School of Law.

Craig's interest in Transplant House of Cleveland stems from his wife's family experience; her loved one received a kidney transplant.  


Kenneth Chavin, MD, PhD, is the Division Chief of Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery at UH Cleveland Medical Center, Professor and Vice Chair of Surgery at CWRU School of Medicine and James A Schulak MD Endowed Director of the Transplant Institute at University Hospitals.  He completed his undergraduate degree at Lafayette College, he completed Medical School at Temple University School of Medicine, he completed his PhD and General Surgery / Chief Residency at Medical University of South Carolina and then he completed his Fellowship in Transplant Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Staff Members


ELAINE TURLEY, Co-Founder and Secretary, became Transplant House’s Executive Director on June 1, 2015.  She is passionate about this mission because of her family's personal experience during and after her father's liver transplant at Cleveland Clinic in 1992. She has 8 years of work experience at Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, where she was Director of Volunteers and helped with oversight of House operations. She more recently worked for Breakthrough Schools in Cleveland, where she was initially part of the development department.  She then focused on alumni tracking and support and did program development aimed at helping families with all aspects of student transition to high school, including the creation of a mentoring program for 8th grade students.

DEANNE LENTZ, Family Support & Program Coordinator. Deanne joined the staff full time on November 1, 2016, bringing a variety of skills, interests and capabilities to this work.  Hospitality and community have always been at the core of her family life.  She has also worked as an office manager in a small downtown law office, a bereavement coordinator at hospice, and a massage practitioner both in a business setting and to caregivers of Alzheimers and Parkinsons loved ones.  Deanne has degrees in religion and divinity and a certificate of massage.  She oversees daily operations of Transplant House.  


Lauren Mahajan Brocone, Development Manager.  Lauren joined the team in September 2018, bringing personal experience as a caregiver and an excitement to share Transplant House’s powerful mission and raise awareness .  Her previous professional experience includes over four years at Beck Center for the Arts, most recently as the Annual Fund Manager, and two years at Chagrin Arts as the Operations and Marketing Manager.  She has a B.A. in Speech Communications from Miami University in Oxford, OH and an M.A. in Global Marketing Communications and Advertising from Emerson College in Boston, MA. She enjoys getting to know supporters, volunteers and guests and hearing about their experiences and interests.


DAVID GRIER, Ambassador. Dave has been both a volunteer and a part-time paid staff member at Transplant House since October of 2014.  He is a two-time organ transplant recipient, and brings that important perspective and life experience to our staff and the families we serve.  Dave is also a pilot, and has been known to literally lift families up and out of the hospital routine for brief, scenic views of Cleveland.  Dave is also an active volunteer at the Cleveland Clinic Transplant Center.  There and here, he mentors liver transplant patients and family members.    


WESLEY McDONALD, Operations Coordinator. Wesley joined the staff in March of 2018, instantly getting swept up in the welcoming environment at the Transplant House. He joined the staff after a service year through AmeriCorps VISTA, which was spent at Catholic Charities of Boston. At Catholic Charities, he served as the Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator for the Refugee and Immigration Services department. He has a BA in International Studies from Susquehanna University, and has a passion for hearing stories from different perspectives.

Copyright 2016 by the Transplant House of Cleveland