The ACHA staff plays an integral role in the day-to-day workings of the organization, liaising between members of ACHA, ACHA's Board of Directors and Medical Advisory Board, and medical professionals around the world.
Amy Verstappen, President/Chief Executive Officer
Amy Basken, Public Policy Manager
Tim Clair, Chief Operating Officer
Mike Fox, Congenital Heart Walks Coordinator
Bridget McDugall, Data Management Assistant
Paula Miller, Membership Services Manager
Laura Morris, Director of Programs
Jessica Phelan, Development Manager
Terri Schaefer, Communications Coordinator
Christine Sullivan, Administrative Assistant
Amy Basken, Public Policy Manager, has been with ACHA since 2009. As the mother of Nicholas, congenital heart defect survivor, Amy became an active participant in grassroots advocacy for the congenital heart community early on, at both the local and national level. Her experience includes designing and managing grassroots advocacy activities including Washington, D.C., Lobby events, in-district visits and media communication as well as management of federal relationships. Additionally, Amy is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Master in Speech Pathology degree, offering a unique patient perspective as a licensed medical speech pathologist providing treatment to those who have suffered a cardiovascular event.
Tim Clair, Chief Operating Officer, has more than 15 years of experience working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations, equipping them to better serve individuals and communities. He oversees all of ACHA’s operations including finance, human resources and technology, as well as resource development and programming. Tim also provides support to ACHA’s President/CEO and Board of Directors. Prior to joining ACHA, Tim served as Executive Director of the Fairmount Community Development and as Director of Operations for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. He has also been an adjunct instructor and guest lecturer at several local universities. In 2006, Tim was selected and trained as an emerging leader in nonprofits through Bank of America’s national Neighborhood Excellence Award program. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Messiah College and an MBA from Eastern University.
Mike Fox, Congenital Heart Walks Coordinator, joins ACHA with a background in nonprofit programming and event fundraising from his work at Gift of Life Donor Program. As the coordinator of the Dash for Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness, an annual event with 10,000 participants, his prior work experience includes sponsorship cultivation, peer-to-peer fundraising, logistics, volunteer operations, and marketing. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University.
Bridget McDugall, Data Management Assistant, provides vital administrative support to ACHA’s development department through the Congenital Heart Walk, fundraising appeals and events, donor acknowledgements, patient, family and professional association memberships, and other activities. Previously, Bridget served as an Ambassador for the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children. Stationed in El Salvador, Bridget worked in a rural medical clinic primarily assisting with program development and data management. Bridget holds a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Biomedical Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania.
Paula Miller, Membership Services Manager, has been involved with ACHA since 2000. She first served as a conference volunteer and later was appointed to the Board of Directors, a position she held for 6 years. She was Vice Chair of the Board from 2005-2007. Paula received a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 1973 and an M.S. in Nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1977. In her career, she has worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner, a medical legal consultant, a nursing professor and a clinical research coordinator. As an adult with Tetralogy of Fallot, working with ACHD patients and families is her passion.
Laura Morris, Director of Programs, has more than ten years’ experience in management, development and recruitment, and a track record of leading teams in effective program outcomes and service. Prior to joining ACHA, Laura coordinated a multi-million dollar governmental contract for behavioral health services at a nationwide social service agency. Laura holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Nazareth College of Rochester and a Master's in Social Work from the Greater Rochester Collaborative (SUNY Brockport/Nazareth College).
Jessica Phelan, Development Manager, oversees fundraising efforts at ACHA, including individual giving, grant writing and sponsorships, professional membership, and Congenital Heart Walks. Jessica has a background in development and nonprofit communication from her work at Isles, Inc., a community development organization. Her experience includes grant writing and administration, budget development, and internal and external communication management. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Professional and Business Communication, both at La Salle University.
Terri Schaefer, Communications Coordinator, oversees the ACHA website, social media, the ACHA Blog, our organization’s print materials, and public relations. With a background in healthcare and pharmaceutical publishing as a senior editor and web editor at a national healthcare trade journal, Terri's experience includes writing and editing, managing website content, developing promotional materials and branding. Terri holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Rider University.
Christine Sullivan, Administrative Assistant, brings to her position at ACHA her background in nonprofit operations and her enthusiasm for assisting others. Her work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Delaware Valley Grantmakers prepared her to serve the membership of ACHA and to provide responsive administrative assistance to the staff and board. Christine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania.
Amy Verstappen, President/Chief Executive Officer, joined the ACHA board in 2000, and was ACHA's first Fundraising Chair. She became ACHA Board President in 2002, and stepped off the ACHA Board to become ACHA's first paid President and Executive Director in January 2006. Before her personal experiences as a complex congenital heart survivor led her to patient advocacy, Amy worked as an educator with children and adults in a variety of settings. Amy received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology-Anthropology from Swarthmore College in 1983 and a Masters in Education from Lesley College in 1989. She has co-authored a number of publications on adults with congenital heart disease and has served as an ACHD consultant in venues such as the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the International Society for Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ISACHD). Click here for Amy's biographical sketch.
Photos by Carryn M. Golden