Board of Trustees

Meet our Board of Trustees. Dedicated to our mission, they lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies. These individuals are committed to making the future brighter for us all by helping every family get the best possible start.

National Board of Trustees



Sharon Mills Higgins

Board Chair
Sharon Mills Higgins is an experienced marketing professional and consultant with a history of working in both corporate and nonprofit arenas. She has significant project management experience and has led capital campaigns. Sharon spent 20 years at Xerox Corporation in a variety of sales, marketing, and management positions. She has been a volunteer for March of Dimes for more than 15 years and joined the National Board of Trustees in 2019. Sharon and her husband, Tom, have a blended family of 8 children and are both mission parents. Their family philanthropic passion is infant and children’s health. Sharon holds a BA from Villanova University and did masters work at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

William (Bill) A. Fitzgerald

Vice Chair
Bill Fitzgerald is the former vice president and general manager, Commercial Engine Operations for GE Aviation. In this role, he’s responsible for all commercial jet engine products and global support. Mr. Fitzgerald holds a mechanical engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in manufacturing engineering from Boston University. He is also a graduate of GE’s Advanced Manufacturing course. He is currently serving on the Board of Trustees for Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Douglas D. Hawthorne, FACHE

Vice Chair
Douglas D. Hawthorne, FACHE, became Founding Chief Executive Officer Emeritus of Texas Health Resources on September 1, 2014, upon stepping down as Chief Executive Officer. Texas Health, based in Arlington, is one of the nation’s largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems. The system includes Texas Health Physicians Group and hospitals under the banners of Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley.

Muhammad Shahzad

Mr. Shahzad is currently the Chief Financial Officer at Relativity Space. In this role, he partners with the CEO and the rest of the leadership team to drive strategy and all aspects of day-to-day operations. Mr. Shahzad brings more than 15 years of finance and capital markets experience, an extensive background in financial planning, operations, management, and strategy, as well as a deep knowledge of the technology industry. Prior to Relativity Space, Mr. Shahzad most recently served as Chief Financial Officer of The Honest Company. Prior to The Honest Company, Mr. Shahzad was a Vice President in the Technology, Media & Telecom Investment Banking Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he covered a broad array of clients in the technology and media sectors. Previously, Mr. Shahzad founded his own mobile advertising startup and also worked at Accenture and Deutsche Bank. Mr. Shahzad is involved in various for-profit and nonprofit Boards, including as Board Member at March of Dimes, Chair of the Board at Developments in Literacy, Co-Chair of the Advisory Council and Board Member at the Independent School Alliance (ISA), and Founding Charter Member at the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs SoCal. Mr. Shahzad holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and a BSc in Economics cum laude from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and 3 little kids.

Sue Schick

Sue is a Senior Vice President of Employer Group and Specialty at Humana.
Sue is responsible for group medical, group specialty and individual specialty lines
of business, including pricing and underwriting risk management. She
provides strategic, operational, and financial oversight for our actuarial, underwriting, and specialty areas.
Sue brings more than 30 years of experience in insurance, including sales, employee benefits, regional management, distribution, and growth.

Monica Luechtefeld

Monica Luechtefeld is the former Executive Vice President of E Commerce and Direct Marketing at Office Depot and a pioneer in the field of Internet retailing. During her 20-year career, she led diverse business units including global E Commerce, IT, supply chain/logistics, marketing and sales. Her strategic vision and ability to advance E Commerce and emerging digital media transformed Office Depot into a global leader in Internet retailing.
She created the vision and tactical roadmap for over 50 public and corporate websites, in 20 languages across 40 countries producing more than $4.1 billion in annual sales. Currently, she consults with companies, from a range of industries, seeking expertise in e-commerce and new digital media solutions.

Judy L. Aschner, MD

Dr. Judy Aschner is the Physician-in-Chief of the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and the Marvin I. Gottlieb, M.D., Ph.D. Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics at Hackensack University Medical Center. She is also the Physician-in-Chief of Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health with responsibility for integrating pediatric services, quality initiatives, education and research across the two Children’s Hospital and all pediatric programs in the Hackensack Meridian Health System. Dr. Aschner completed medical school training, pediatric residency and neonatology fellowship at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Her past academic leadership roles include the Julia Carell Stadler Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of Neonatology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2004-2013), the Michael I. Cohen Professor and University Chair of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (2013-2018). Her NIH-funded translational research program focuses on (a) novel therapies to prevent and treat neonatal lung diseases and (b) understanding and mitigating the impact of environmental exposures in infancy on health outcomes for infants and children. She is principal investigator of a pediatric cohort in the NIH-funded Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. Dr. Aschner has held a number of leadership roles in state and national organizations, including past Secretary-Treasurer of the American Pediatric Society and Chair of the Organization of Neonatology Program Directors. She is the Chair of the Federation of Pediatric Organizations, serves on the Board of External Experts (BEE) at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH, and is a member of the National Board of Trustees of the March of Dimes.


Gretchen Carlson

Gretchen Carlson is an internationally recognized advocate for women’s rights whose bold actions against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes helped pave the way for the global #MeToo movement. Named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” she is the author of the bestselling books “Be Fierce” and “Getting Real.” One of America’s most successful television journalists, Gretchen has reported our nation’s biggest stories for nearly two decades at CBS News and FOX News. Since 2017, she has advocated in Congress for the bipartisan “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act,” co-founded the non-profit Lift Our Voices to eradicate forced arbitration and NDAs and returned to television as a special contributor to the new People Magazine show PEOPLE TV. Carlson also hosts a daily straight down the middle news podcast “Get The News With Gretchen Carlson” on Quake Media. Her many honors include the Sandra Day O’Connor Lifetime Achievement award, NOW’s Women of Power and Influence Award and the Radio & Television Digital News Association’s First Amendment Leadership Award. She sits on the TIME’S UP Global Leadership Board, is a March of Dimes Trustee and supports underserved women through her Gift of Courage Fund. In 2018, that fund created the Gretchen Carlson March of Dimes Advocacy Fellows program for 20 women across the country to advocate in their local companies, states and nationally for health policies affecting women and children.

David L. Lakey, MD

Vice Chair
David L. Lakey, MD, serves as the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for the University of Texas System, and the Senior Advisor to the President and Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Tyler (UTHCT). Dr. Lakey serves on the Trust for America’s Health Board of Directors.

Juan Salgado-Morales, FACOG, MD

Dr. Juan L Salgado is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. He graduated from the Universidad Central del Caribe, School of Medicine in Puerto Rico in 1985. He completed his residency in OB/GYN at the Caguas Regional Hospital in 1989 and is an international speaker in endometriosis and laparoscopy. His main work is in preoperative Staging of Endometriosis with endovaginal ultrasound and operative laparoscopy for deep infiltrating endometriosis. Dr. Salgado is an Associate Professor in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine and an Assistant Professor in the department of Surgery Residency Program at the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan

Tonya Lewis Lee

Tonya Lewis Lee is a producer, author and advocate for women and infant health, with a particular focus on improving the health and wellness of underserved communities. In 2009, Lee produced the documentary, Crisis in The Crib, exploring the issues of infant mortality in the U.S. Her work as a women’s health advocate, led Lee to establish her own wellness brand, Movita. She is also an accomplished writer of children’s books and scripts. She formerly served as a spokesperson for A Healthy Baby Begins With You campaign from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Lorna Street, MBA, CPA

Lorna Street, MBA, CPA, brings over 20 years of financial leadership experience to March of Dimes and currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer of American Greetings. Prior to this she was the Chief Financial Officer of Kids2, a recognized global leader in the infant product industry. During her career she held global leadership roles at Nestle, Morgan Stanley and Harland Clarke that include leading large finance, IT and legal teams. Street’s financial and accounting knowledge, impart significant expertise to the board, including strategy, risk management, audit, financial reporting and corporate governance.

Amy L. Casseri, JD

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 non-profit boards including American Hospital Association Maternal Child Board and the Shalom Foundation. She serves on various non-profit and for profit boards.


BROTHER EVERETT B. WARD, PH.D. is a respected transformational leader with more than 30 years of national and statewide leadership experience. Dr. Ward was named the eleventh president of Saint Augustine’s University on April 10, 2015, by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Ward is the third alumnus to hold the post in the 148-year history of Saint Augustine’s University.
Dr. Ward was appointed by the Saint Augustine’s University Board of Trustees on April 23, 2014 as interim president. During his appointment, Ward put forth an aggressive agenda focused primarily on three key areas: (1) returning the institution to financial stability; (2) strengthening the faith of students, employees and alumni in the viability of the institution; and (3) engaging the community and corporate stakeholders for mutually beneficial partnerships and collaborations. Transparency, shared governance and collaboration are the cornerstones of his administration.

Matan Parnes

Matan Parnes is a 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.

Judette Louis MD, MPH

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.

Dr. Ellen (Ellie) Stang

Ellen (Ellie) Stang, MD is a board-certified pediatrician and founder or ProgenyHealth®, which address 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.

Dr. Jay S. Greenspan MD, MBA

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.

Dr. Phyllis A. Dennery

Phyllis A. Dennery, MD 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. Dr. Dennery was appointed to the Secretary of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee and served on the Community Action Team of the Medical Examiner’s Office in Philadelphia, both focused on infant mortality. She leads a pediatric clinical trials network funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Brian Thompson

Brian Thompson, MD is an obstetrician-gynecologist who is affiliated with Gouverneur Hospital and Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, New York. Dr. Thompson’s clinical interests include abnormal uterine bleeding, cervical dysplasia, menstrual disorders, and uterine fibroids. He is also interested in Native American health care and underserved patient populations.

Click here to access the full list of volunteer leaders that serve on March of Dimes 2021 Market Boards locally.