• Roger Longenderfer
    Roger LongenderferPresident
    Dr. Longenderfer, retired Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Health System in Harrisburg, PA, was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University. He graduated from Hahnemann Medical College in 1979 and went on to Geisinger Medical Center for a residency in Family Practice the last year of which he served as Chief Resident. He received a Masters of Business Administration from Oklahoma City University in 1998. After a successful private practice in Terre Hill, PA, Dr. Longenderfer established the first Vice President for Medical Affairs position at Ephrata Community Hospital. Subsequently he held multiple leadership roles in operations, hospital-physician organization development, graduate medical education, and quality performance improvement activities. He has led clinical and organizational consolidations during the creation of Mercy Health System-Oklahoma and Pinnacle Health System in Pennsylvania. Prior to retirement he continued to lead community-wide attempts at quality and safety improvements, chronic care management and clinical collaborations between multiple community entities. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Health System Association of Pennsylvania, Voluntary Hospital Association-PA, and community non-profit organizations. .
    President
    Dr. Longenderfer, retired Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Health System in Harrisburg, PA, was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University. He graduated from Hahnemann Medical College Read More.
  • Beth Cooper
    Beth CooperFirst Vice President
    Beth H. Cooper is an attorney with 28 years of experience in both the federal government and non-profit arenas. As an attorney and program manager at the U.S. Department of State, Beth focused on international law and public policy related to children and families. She represented the United States on several International delegations, and led the Department’s Office of Children’s Issues in implementing the Hague Abduction Convention in the United States. Beth was a Brookings Fellow with the U.S. Senate, working on legislative policy and initiatives for the Judiciary Committee, and earlier in her career clerked for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Her non-governmental work includes the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and The Close Up Foundation. Beth is an executive board member of Friends of Patients at the NIH, and is a board member of Georgetown Main Street. Beth is a strong advocate for pediatric cancer research and patient support programs, and is a two-time cancer survivor who was treated at NIH. She has a law degree from the New England School of Law, Boston and Bachelor of Business Administration from American University.
    First Vice President
    Beth H. Cooper is an attorney with 28 years of experience in both the federal government and non-profit arenas. As an attorney and program manager at the U.S. Department of Read More.
  • Grant Perry
    Grant PerrySecond Vice President
    Grant Perry is a patient advocate, journalist, digital media consultant and lawyer. Grant founded PatientPilot, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charity that provides the PatientPilot app and other materials that “coach” patients on what questions to ask their doctors. Grant is also on the board of the Medical Technology and Practice Patterns Institute, a nonprofit research organization. He has worked as a digital media executive and consultant in Europe and the US. Earlier in his career, Grant was a correspondent and anchor at CNN in New York and London. Grant has taught at Johns Hopkins University and American University.
    Second Vice President
    Grant Perry is a patient advocate, journalist, digital media consultant and lawyer. Grant founded PatientPilot, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charity that provides the PatientPilot app and other materials that “coach” patients Read More.
  • Steve McGowan
    Steve McGowanTreasurer
    Stephen McGowan is an experienced executive in finance and human resources, including risk, IT and human capital management. As Director of Default Management & Real Estate Servicing, at Shared Services Solutions, LLC, he currently oversees the management of three large credit unions with over $15 billion in assets and 910,000 members in the servicing of collections, loss mitigation, consumer specialty, investor reporting and real estate servicing. He oversees the successful development of more than 70 front-line and management employees. Previously, Stephen served as Senior Vice President and Chief Administration Officer for the NIH Federal Credit Union for ten years. Stephen holds undergraduate, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Maryland.
    Treasurer
    Stephen McGowan is an experienced executive in finance and human resources, including risk, IT and human capital management. As Director of Default Management & Real Estate Servicing, at Shared Services Read More.
  • Brooke Betts
    Brooke Betts
    Brooke Betts is a branding and marketing expert with 20 years of experience which has yielded numerous case-studies, many of which are focused on helping organizations transform their business models and messaging to compete in a rapidly changing marketplace. As VP of Global Strategic Marketing for Owens & Minor, a global healthcare solutions company that elevates quality of care and financial performance across the continuum of care, Brooke is actively involved in the rapidly changing healthcare marketplace. Her past work includes large national brands such as Minute Maid, Coca-Cola, Shell Oil, Waste Management, MCI Telecommunications and regional brands such as Saltgrass Steakhouse and Captain D’s Seafood. She has also rolled up her sleeves to aggressively grow start-ups and growth stage companies including Drive Time, PreCash and her own entrepreneurial venture RecycleMatch.
    Brooke Betts is a branding and marketing expert with 20 years of experience which has yielded numerous case-studies, many of which are focused on helping organizations transform their business models Read More.
  • Jerry Sachs
    Jerry Sachs
    Jerry served in senior public relations roles for the Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves, and then joined Coca-Cola USA as its first director of sports marketing. He returned home in 1970 to be the Baltimore Bullets’ vice president and general manager. He also was president of Center Group, which included the Washington Bullets and Capitals, Centre Management and the local Ticketmaster franchise. In 2000, Jerry joined the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History as special assistant to the director. He retired in 2011, but he remains actively engaged with the NIH, as an original member of the Clinical Center’s Patient Advisory Group.
    Jerry served in senior public relations roles for the Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves, and then joined Coca-Cola USA as its first director of sports marketing. He returned home in Read More.
  • Jerome Schnydman
    Jerome Schnydman
    Jerome Schnydman retired in 2012 from a distinguished career at Johns Hopkins University where he served for more than three decades, most recently as Executive Assistant to the President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees. He held prior positions as Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Director of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Jerome first attended Johns Hopkins as an undergraduate in 1963, joined the LaCrosse team, the Blue Jays and was co-captain of the 1967 National Championship team. He was selected for the All-American first team and is a member of the National LaCrosse Hall of Fame. He has recently served as President of Beth El Synagogue and lives in Pikesville, MD.
    Jerome Schnydman retired in 2012 from a distinguished career at Johns Hopkins University where he served for more than three decades, most recently as Executive Assistant to the President and Read More.
  • Sandeep Somaiya
    Sandeep Somaiya
    Sandeep Somaiya CEO/Managing Director NETE Since 1999, Sandeep Somaiya is the CEO of NETE, a management consulting and technology solutions firm based in McLean, Virginia. Mr. Somaiya is an award-winning executive with more than 20 years of experience in the IT and management consulting industry. He has extensive managerial and consulting experience with both Government (Federal Civilian and Department of Defense [DoD]) and non-government commercial organizations (ranging from Fortune 500 to dot.com startups). His experience includes planning, managing, and reviewing full life cycle large-scale Federal IT and Healthcare/Biomedical Research related initiatives, system reengineering programs; enterprise architecture planning and management, federal privacy and security projects management, open government and electronic government initiatives. Mr. Somaiya has served on the Board of TiE DC (an entrepreneurial focused networking organization made up of C-level executives with 11,000 members and over 2,500 charter members in 53 chapters across 12 countries) and has been a member of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) and is currently a Board Member of the NVTC PAC. He has been a speaker at industry conferences and published in technical journals. Mr. Somaiya also served on the Advisory Board of technology and dotcom companies. He is a Washington DC Top 100 Smart CEO (SmartCEO magazine). NETE has been included in Inc. Magazine Inc. 500/1000 list 6 years in a row. In 2015, he was a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year recognition for the Washington DC area. Mr. Somaiya holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Bombay University.
    Sandeep Somaiya CEO/Managing Director NETE Since 1999, Sandeep Somaiya is the CEO of NETE, a management consulting and technology solutions firm based in McLean, Virginia. Mr. Somaiya is an award-winning Read More.
  • Eric L. Cole, MS, FACHE
    Eric L. Cole, MS, FACHEFederal Liaison

    Federal Liaison with the Clinical Center

    Eric assumed the position of Deputy Executive Officer of the Clinical Center in 2018. Prior to his current assignment he served as Chief, Office of Administrative Management (OAM) in the Clinical Center. As Deputy Executive Officer, he oversees the Materials Management and Environmental Services Department, Biomedical Engineering, Office of Administrative Management, Office of Hospitality and Volunteer Services, Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge, NIH patient Library, Messenger and Escort Service, Emergency Management, and serves as the Clinical Center liaison for employee/labor relations and EEO issues.

    Eric founded the non-profit Dandy-Walker Alliance, Inc. in 2006 after his son was born with a congenital brain defect. The Dandy-Walker Alliance’s mission is to promote awareness, provide a support network for families, help set, support and fund national research activities and make information available to families affected by Dandy-Walker Syndrome in an organized and accessible way to offer encouragement, services and support.

    Board certified in healthcare management as an American College of Healthcare Executive Fellow, Eric participates in numerous national organizations and committees. In 2008, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to a two-year term on the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and by Governor Martin O'Malley to a five-year term on Maryland's Developmental Disabilities Council. He was reappointed to a second term by Governor O'Malley in 2013 where he served as the Council Chairman until his term expired in June 2018.
    Federal Liaison
    Federal Liaison with the Clinical Center Eric assumed the position of Deputy Executive Officer of the Clinical Center in 2018. Prior to his current assignment he served as Chief, Office Read More.
  • Randy Schools
    Randy SchoolsAdvisor
    Randy was formerly president of the NIH Recreation and Welfare Association which provides employee services for the Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. More than 30 years ago, Randy helped establish three NIH charities and continues to serve all three organizations – the Children’s Inn at the NIH, Special Love and the Friends of Patients at the NIH. Randy has served in numerous community positions, including past chair of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce and current Chair of the Goodwill Dinner for the Homeless in Montgomery County. He was named a Washingtonian of the Year in 1988. Randy received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Baltimore, a Masters in Liberal Studies at Georgetown University and Certificate of Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Management at Harvard Business School.
    Advisor
    Randy was formerly president of the NIH Recreation and Welfare Association which provides employee services for the Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Read More.
  • Catlin O’Shaughnessy Coffrin
    Catlin O’Shaughnessy CoffrinAdvisor
    Cat heads the Washington, D.C., office and global account services for Global Prairie, an advertising and digital marketing firm with offices across the U.S. and in Europe. She leads teams in developing and implementing integrated strategies for leading brands in the healthcare, government, food and sustainability sectors. Prior to joining Global Prairie, Cat traveled the world as an analyst for the McGraw-Hill Companies, where she conducted research and developed thought leadership content for companies in the construction industry. She also has worked on HIV/AIDS policy programs in southern and eastern Africa. Cat is a long-time volunteer of the Special Olympics, and she holds a Bachelors in International Development from George Washington University.
    Advisor
    Cat heads the Washington, D.C., office and global account services for Global Prairie, an advertising and digital marketing firm with offices across the U.S. and in Europe. She leads teams Read More.

Staff

  • Heidi S. Williams
    Heidi S. WilliamsChief Executive Officer
    Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of Friends of Patients at the NIH since 2007, Heidi currently oversees and manages all operations at Friends including fundraising, event planning, financial oversight, HR, board governance, strategic planning, program development, community and donor relations, legal compliance and all matters related to successfully providing services to NIH patients and their families. Born in Queens, New York, and raised in Montgomery County, MD, Heidi has been a life-long active member of the community as a fundraiser and event planner for local schools, licensed Realtor since 1986 and member of Leadership Montgomery. Heidi is fluent in Spanish and served as a legal interpreter for State of Maryland Circuit and District courts, medical interpreter for The Language Doctors and volunteered as an interpreter for Ayuda in Washington, DC. While traveling throughout her life to Bogota, Colombia, Heidi expanded her Spanish skills by studying at the Colegio Nueva Granada and volunteering to teach English to the students. Heidi enjoys any opportunity to volunteer her skills and has a deep commitment to the mission of Friends at NIH. Her greatest pride is her four grown children. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, and playing tennis, golf and traveling.
    Chief Executive Officer

    Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of Friends of Patients at the NIH since 2007, Heidi currently oversees and manages all operations at Friends including fundraising, event planning, financial oversight, HR, board governance, strategic planning, program development, community and donor relations, legal compliance and all matters related to successfully providing services to NIH patients and their families. Born in Queens, New York, and raised in Montgomery County, MD, Heidi has been a life-long active member of the community as a fundraiser and event planner for local schools, licensed Realtor since 1986 and member of Leadership Montgomery. Heidi is fluent in Spanish and served as a legal interpreter for State of Maryland Circuit and District courts, medical interpreter for The Language Doctors and volunteered as an interpreter for Ayuda in Washington, DC. While traveling throughout her life to Bogota, Colombia, Heidi expanded her Spanish skills by studying at the Colegio Nueva Granada and volunteering to teach English to the students. Heidi enjoys any opportunity to volunteer her skills and has a deep commitment to the mission of Friends at NIH. Her greatest pride is her four grown children. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, and playing tennis, golf and traveling.

  • Char Silberg
    Char SilbergDirector of Communications
    Char  Silberg comes to Friends at NIH as Communications Manager from an award-winning career as a television producer at broadcast organizations including KQED Public Television, CBS News Productions and New York Times Television. She has worked in development and communications for nonprofit organizations in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. Char holds an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management & Policy from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Policy.
    Director of Communications

    Char  Silberg comes to Friends at NIH as Communications Manager from an award-winning career as a television producer at broadcast organizations including KQED Public Television, CBS News Productions and New York Times Television. She has worked in development and communications for nonprofit organizations in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. Char holds an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management & Policy from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Policy.

  • Therese Draddy
    Therese DraddyProgram and Office Manager
    Therese has worked with Friends at NIH since 2014. She manages the day-to-day application process, services to patients and their families, and office management, including financial support and accounts management, social support events and outings, hotel and apartment reservations, coordination with Social Work and the Clinical Center staff, and correspondence with donors and supporters. Therese has worked in advertising, sales and marketing for trade associations in the D.C. area, including Executive Publishing which represented the National Retail Federation, and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) for more than 25 years. Therese received a Bachelor of Arts at Mount St. Mary’s University.
    Program and Office Manager

    Therese has worked with Friends at NIH since 2014. She manages the day-to-day application process, services to patients and their families, and office management, including financial support and accounts management, social support events and outings, hotel and apartment reservations, coordination with Social Work and the Clinical Center staff, and correspondence with donors and supporters. Therese has worked in advertising, sales and marketing for trade associations in the D.C. area, including Executive Publishing which represented the National Retail Federation, and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) for more than 25 years. Therese received a Bachelor of Arts at Mount St. Mary’s University.

  • Kevin Blackerby
    Kevin BlackerbyDevelopment Manager
    Kevin Blackerby is an experienced development professional with a history of working in the non-profit organization management industry in DC, MD and VA over the last 15 years. Skilled in event planning, fundraising, customer service and strategic planning, Kevin has worked with national and international organizations including St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital, the American Red Cross and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. At Friends, Kevin leads partnering and stewardship of corporate, foundation and individual donors. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications from the University of Kentucky. He spends his spare time running fun community events in Hyattsville, MD where he lives with his wife and two young sons.
    Development Manager

    Kevin Blackerby is an experienced development professional with a history of working in the non-profit organization management industry in DC, MD and VA over the last 15 years. Skilled in event planning, fundraising, customer service and strategic planning, Kevin has worked with national and international organizations including St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital, the American Red Cross and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. At Friends, Kevin leads partnering and stewardship of corporate, foundation and individual donors. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications from the University of Kentucky. He spends his spare time running fun community events in Hyattsville, MD where he lives with his wife and two young sons.

The Friends of Patients at the NIH