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.

 

Christi Cordaro

Co-Director of Social Media
Email: Christi@sistersbyheart.org

 

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.

Lacie Patterson

Co-Director of Fontan Families
Email: Lacie@sistersbyheart.org

Lacie joined Sisters by Heart in 2019.   When her son, born with HLHS, developed feeding struggles, Lacie became actively engaged in awareness and advocacy within the pediatric cardiac community. She has been a parent partner with the NPC-QIC since 2016 as both a co-lead and executive sponsor of the NPC-QIC’s Nutrition and Growth Learning Lab and as a member the NPC-QIC leadership team. Lacie is also extremely involved in her local heart community, serving as a member of Ochsner Hospital for Children’s patient and family advisory board and is also a founding ambassador to the same.  She is passionate about empowering HLHS families throughout their journey by relentlessly spreading a message of hope and by delivering support through education, collaboration and advocacy."

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”.

Christie Saunders

Co-Director of Social Media
Email: Christie@sistersbyheart.org

Christie is a Southern California mom of four amazing kids, including her HLHSer Bennet. She jumped head first into advocating for the heart community when Bennet was diagnosed 24 hours after he was born. Bennet is enjoying life post Fontan and doing amazingly well, while Christie is embracing her unexpected, yet incredibly rewarding life as a heart mom.