Sisters by Heart - Board of Directors

Sisters by Heart is a group of heart moms who came together during their CHD journey – some of whom were fortunate to meet prior to their CHD warriors arrival. We’ve supported each other in our journeys with our congenital heart defect children. Knowing the challenges and difficulties we faced upon diagnosis, and more so, upon bringing our HLHS fighters into this world, we created Sisters by Heart to reach out and support parents of the newly diagnosed. A major aspect of our mission is to send care packages to new mothers (and fathers) who are at the beginning of their journey. We want them to know that they are not alone and provide resources and understanding while their child undergoes care and treatment from birth throughout recovery.

Stacey Lihn

Stacey Lihn

President
Email: Stacey@sistersbyheart.org

Stacey co-founded Sisters by Heart in December, 2010. After giving birth to her daughter with HLHS, Stacey’s taken on several roles in the pediatric cardiac field including Parent Lead with the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative (“NPC-QIC”), Transparency Workgroup Co-Lead with NPC-QIC, and Mortality Workgroup Member with NPC-QIC. Lihn also serves as a Public Member of the American Board of Pediatrics Foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of health care during infancy, childhood, adolescence, and transition to adulthood. Stacey works as a paralegal in Phoenix, Arizona and is also a certified Reiki Master. She firmly believes parents play an equal role, as partners with clinicians, in their child’s healthcare. Stacey continues to empower families affected by HLHS and works with clinicians to bridge the gap between patient and provider.

Jenny Lincoln

Jennifer Lincoln

Secretary
Email: Jenny@sistersbyheart.org

A founding member of Sisters by Heart, Jenny plays a valuable role within the organization, as well as in the heart community. She is a State of Michigan Newborn Screening Quality Advisory Committee Member, and a member of the Michigan Newborn Screening Critical Congenital Heart Defect Advisory Committee. Her work with the interstage team at C. S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan has allowed her the opportunity to participate and contribute to better outcomes for newly diagnosed and interstage families through the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative, which she has been a part of since 2012. Jenny holds a Masters Degree in Administration from Central Michigan University and works for the Dow Chemical Company in Michigan.

Amy Bennett

Amy Bennett

Treasurer
Email: amy@sisters-by-heart.org

A founding member of Sisters by Heart, Amy brings a wealth of financial and nonprofit experience to her role in the organization. Amy holds both her CPA and her JD, and provides financial and accounting consulting to nonprofit organizations. She is an active member of the heart community, both as a parent partner of the NPC-QIC as well as serving on her home hospital’s Family Advisory Council, as well as sharing her exceptional writing talents with The Mighty.

Erin Acevedo

Erin Acevedo

Director of Content Development
Email: Erin@sistersbyheart.org

Erin joined Sisters by Heart in 2014. Her background in media communications, as a radio personality and event organizer, makes her an ideal addition to our organization. She creates a Sisters by Heart presence at hospital events across the country. Erin is a parent partner of the advisory council with NPC-QIC, as well as a member of the Congenital Heart Defect/Disease Alumni Parent organization at Miami Children's Hospital.

Jennie Briend

Jennie Briend

Director of Technologies
Email: Jennie@sistersbyheart.org

Jennie joined Sisters by Heart in 2014 bringing her technological expertise to the organization. Jennie is a parent partner with NPC-QIC, the co-lead of NPC-QIC Neurodevelopmental Learning Lab, and has presented at multiple NPC-QIC Learning Sessions. She is active at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford as the Single Ventricle Heart Center Family Advisory Council lead, and on the Hospital Wide Family Advisory Council.

Erica Dudenhoeffer

Director of Social Media
Email: EricaD@sistersbyheart.org

Erica joined Sisters By Heart in 2017. She has a background in pharmaceutical development and a Masters Degree in Business Administration. Erica is active in the heart community in her hometown of St. Louis and in the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative. She is also active in her local school district Special Needs Parent Council. She feels it is important to be a strong advocate for her special needs children, Kate and Nick. She stays home with her 3 children, Jacob who is in elementary school, Kate her heart warrior, and Nick who has been diagnosed with Autism. She is very passionate that her children live a full, happy life, no matter what obstacles may lie ahead.

Erica Isakson

Director of Linked By Heart
Email: Erica@sistersbyheart.org

Erica joined Linked-by-Heart in 2015 as a regional co-coordinator in the SW region. She actively participates in NPC-QIC work and is a co-leader of Colorado Heart Families, a parent and provider group working together to support cardiac families and improve the inpatient experience at Children’s Hospital Colorado.  Erica is passionate about connecting and supporting families and working together with parents and providers to improve the outcomes and outlook for children and families living with HLHS.

Diane Pickles

Diane Pickles

Director of Development
Email: Diane@sistersbyheart.org

Diane joined Sisters by Heart in 2014, having been actively involved in the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPC-QIC) for 2 years, serving as Chair of the Business Advisory Committee and a member of the Steering Committee. She is a Vice President of M+R, a national advocacy consulting firm and has extensive experience leading both state and national public policy campaigns.  A long-time volunteer for the American Heart Association, she served as a Massachusetts Go Red spokeswoman in 2013, is Vice Chair of the Massachusetts chapter’s Statewide Advocacy Committee, and received the Ray and Gina Driscoll Heart and Minds Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.  Diane has volunteered on several initiatives with Boston Children’s Hospital and was a Faculty Editor of “Pediatrics in Practice: A Health Promotion Curriculum for Child Health Professionals”.