July 7, 2021

March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit fighting for the health of all moms and babies, today announced the appointment of eight new members to its National Board of Trustees. The trustees, who are leaders within health care, business and academic, will share their knowledge and experience to support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every family can have the best possible start.

“As a mother who experienced having a baby who spent many months in the NICU, the March of Dimes mission means so much to my family and I,” said Sharon Mills Higgins, a marketing professional who was elected March of Dimes National Board of Trustees Chair and has volunteered for March of Dimes for more than 15 years. “To do our best work on behalf of moms and babies during this pandemic and beyond, we need the talent, skills and expertise of our incoming trustees, staff and entire leadership team to get us there.”

Stacey D. Stewart, March of Dimes president and CEO, said the new trustees will also help foster the organization’s continued growth by deepening relationships with donors, volunteers, advocates and partners. Specifically, greater emphasis will be put on expanding the organization’s donor base and implementing new strategies to foster more long-term, highly engaged relationships.

“During the pandemic we really focused in on what it takes to be an effective health advocacy organization that is fighting on behalf of moms and babies,” Stewart explained. “We made key improvements to our organizational structure last year and are working to better leverage technology and data to cultivate our supporters and drive positive outcomes for families across our country.”

The eight trustees serving three-year terms are:

Amy Casseri, JD, is the Senior Vice President of Physician & Provider Relations, Women’s and Children’s Services and Imaging Services for HCA Healthcare. She leads the charge by collaborating with teams across HCA Healthcare to enhance quality and grow services. Casseri is active in the Nashville community and serves on various nonprofit boards including American Hospital Association Maternal Child Board and the Shalom Foundation. She serves on various nonprofit and for profit boards.

Phyllis A. Dennery, MD is a Neonatologist and the Chair of Pediatrics at Brown University/Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, RI. She is an active member of many professional and scientific societies, having served as President of the Society for Pediatric Research and as President of the International Pediatric Research Foundation. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Dennery was appointed to the Secretary of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee from 2010 – 2014 and served on the Community Action Team of the Medical Examiner’s Office in Philadelphia, both focused on infant mortality. She co-leads a pediatric clinical trials network funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Dennery’s laboratory-based research focuses on chronic lung disease of prematurity.

Jay Greenspan, MD is a Neonatologist who is focused on improving health outcomes, especially for babies born preterm. He has worked with March of Dimes for more than 25 years to help close the health equity gap for moms and babies. Dr. Greenspan has been extensively published in peer-reviewed literature, has contributed to textbooks on neonatology and lectures widely on issues related to the infant health. He recently published his first novel, along with two other authors, entitled Breathing Liquid: Trials of Leadership.

Judette Louis, MD is Chair of the Department of OB/GYN at University of South Florida (USF). She is a specialist in maternal fetal medicine and serves as the Immediate past president for the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine. Dr. Louis has a joint faculty appointments in the College of Public Health and the College of Medicine at USF. She has conducted research on obstructive sleep apnea in pregnant women, maternal morbidity and mortality, and cardiometabolic consequences of sleep disorders.

Matan Parnes is a former Senior Vice President at PayPal, leading its Global Data Science organization. In his role, Parnes is responsible in driving usage and increase impact of advanced data-science (Machine-learning and Artificial intelligence) across multiple domains. Prior to this role, he served as the General-Manager for PayPal Israel. Earlier he worked at McKinsey & Company Tel Aviv’s office, focusing on the telecom, banking, retail and consumer-goods industries.

Ellen (Ellie) Stang, MD is a board-certified pediatrician, and the founder, board member, and CEO of ProgenyHealth®, which addresses the need for improved care management and health outcomes for preterm and medically complex newborns. ProgenyHealth works with thousands of NICUs across the country to provide evidence-based neonatal care management services. Her career has spanned working in private practice where she was co-director of the newborn nursery, to working as a regional pediatric medical director for a managed Medicaid health plan.

Brian Thompson, MD is an obstetrician-gynecologist who is an Assistant Professor and Ambassador for Indigenous Affairs at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. Dr. Thompson is a member of the New York State Maternal Mortality Review Board, multiple quality review committees and the Association of American Indian Physicians. Dr. Thompson is an advocate nationally for Native American healthcare and healthcare of the underserved. His clinical interests include the development and implementation of patient safety and quality measures, reduction in maternal mortality and health disparities as well as culturally relevant, culturally sensitive best practice models.

Everett Ward, Ph.D is a transformational leader with more than 30 years of national and statewide leadership experience. Dr. Ward served as the 35th General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and was the eleventh president of Saint Augustine’s University, the third alumnus to hold the post in the school’s 148-year history. Transparency, shared governance and collaboration were the cornerstones of his administration.


March of Dimes announces Sharon Mills Higgins as National Board of Trustees Chair and welcomes eight new members to its Board of Trustees.

Christine Sanchez (571-257-2307)
[email protected]