Eleni Z Tsigas
Eleni Z. Tsigas is the Executive Director of the Preeclampsia Foundation. Prior to this position, she served in a variety of volunteer capacities for the organization, including six years on the Board of Directors, two as its chairman. Working with dedicated volunteers, board members and professional staff, Eleni has helped lead the Foundation to its current position as a sustainable, mission-driven, results-oriented organization.
As a preeclampsia survivor herself, Eleni is a relentless champion for the improvement of patient and provider education and practices, for the catalytic role that patients can have to advance the science and status of maternal-infant health, and for the progress that can be realized by building global partnerships to improve patient outcomes.
She has served as a technical advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO), is a member of the PRE-EMPT Technical Advisory Group and Knowledge Translation Committee (funded by the Gates Foundation), and participates in the Hypertension in Pregnancy Task Force created by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), as well as a similar task force for the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC). Eleni is frequently engaged as an expert representing the consumer perspective on preeclampsia at national and international meetings, and as a spokesperson in various public speaking venues. She was honored to deliver The Jim & Midge Breeden Lecture as part of ACOG's 2012 Annual Clinical Meeting President's Program.
Eleni has facilitated several research initiatives that have been enabled by consumer participation, has authored a comprehensive chapter on patient advocacy in the peer-reviewed journal, Best Practice & Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology (August 2011), and has secured media coverage in national consumer magazines, as well as newspapers, radio and online.
A veteran of public relations, she previously spent 8 years executing and managing strategic communications and public relations for technology and biotech companies with Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and for 6 years prior in the television industry.
She is married, and has had two of her three pregnancies seriously impacted by preeclampsia. Her “50 by 50” campaign (50 states by age 50) is coming close to completion, so Eleni is seeking speaking engagements in Alaska, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri to help make it happen!
Director of Development
Tami Larson is a seasoned visionary leader with expertise in creating and establishing strategic initiatives for non-profit organizations. Tami has extensive knowledge regarding the cultivation and nurturing of collaborative partnerships, as well as developing fundraising and signature special events, marketing and development plans, media outreach, grant writing and community alliances. Her 20+ years of consulting experience include a history overflowing with successful relationships with volunteers, staff, board members, sponsors and philanthropists, all leading to impressive results. Tami's background also includes managing operational processes for high profile celebrities and prominent corporate leaders of Fortune 500 Corporations, as well as many national charitable foundations.
Her personal passions in the non-profit industry revolve around finding causes and cures for rare diseases (such as preeclampsia and its related disorders), and increasing disability awareness. These passions are very apparent both in her successful career, as will as in her personal life, as Tami is a volunteer on boards of organizations such as the American Heart Association and the Immune Deficient Foundation. As a preeclampsia survivor with her third child, Tami has been committed to raising awareness of preeclampsia for many years, including volunteering as a member of the first Saving Grace gala planning committee in 2005.
Director of Operations
Angela Little’s primary focus is on the administration of the Foundation, overseeing finance, HR and IT departments, providing strong day-to-day leadership for all staff, and bridging national and local operations. Angela earned her degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and her career history includes an extensive range of positions in the administrative, legal, healthcare and educational settings (in both the profit and non-profit arenas).
She has long been interested in the health and welfare of women during all stages of pregnancy, even volunteering for many years on the Labor & Delivery floor of a local hospital during her nursing school clinical practicum.
Deborah E. Bush
Director of Communications
Deborah E. Bush is the Director of Communications for the Preeclampsia Foundation. With over 30 years of experience in marketing and communications management, Deb has an extensive background in the field of medical and web-based publications, tackling even the most complex clinical messages. She currently manages the Preeclampsia Foundation’s online and print media outreach, public relations and production of external communications for the Foundation.
She previously served as the publications manager of Creative Solutions, Inc., a division of Thomson Reuters, for nine years; was the director of marketing and publications for the L. D. Pankey Dental Foundation for seven years; and was a freelance writer, editor and publicist for eight years, specializing in the support of dental education organizations, nonprofits, and individual authors.
She has collaborated on financial, clinical and educational course manuals and textbooks; edited and placed over 100 published articles; produced monthly newsletters and quarterly journals; written marketing, practice management and dentistry blogs; collaborated in the design and content of several Web sites; designed hundreds of digital and print marketing and fundraising campaigns; and produced health education newsletters and flyers for lay audiences.
A self-described encourager and cheerleader, Deb believes the foundation's clear vision, proactive strategic management, and sustained passionate efforts will someday make the dream of a preeclampsia-free world a reality.
Director of Community Relations
Laney Poye is the Community Relations Director for the Preeclampsia Foundation, having previously worked for the organization for two years as a Program Coordinator, coordinating patient and professional education programs including low medical literacy efforts, engaging with our international partners and serving as our webmaster. She currently manages the organization’s volunteer leaders in training and development, fundraising, patient support and communications, and leads the national team for the Foundation's signature awareness event, The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia.
Laney received her Master’s degree in International Affairs from Florida State University. Her studies focused primarily on global issues of women’s health and welfare, with an emphasis on determining the needs of women in low-resource settings. She has spent many years volunteering for health causes and is an enthusiastic supporter of increasing awareness and advancing medical understanding of this devastating pregnancy condition. Thanks to three years of barista service, she also makes a mean cappuccino.
Catherine Loisel serves as an administrative assistant for the Preeclampsia Foundation. Cat has gained her bookkeeping and administrative knowledge from working in the insurance industry, as well as during her military career, serving as a Quality Assurance officer.
She earned her bachelors of nursing from the University of Southern Maine and has served as an RN in the United States Air Force. Her nursing experience includes labor and delivery, and postpartum nursing. Although Cat has now retired from nursing, she is still deeply interested in the health and welfare of pregnant women. Cat is married, and she and her husband have three grown children.
Alina brings a diverse background of implementing research initiatives in a variety of medical fields. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Studies from Brigham Young University-Hawaii and started her career in research in 2007 enrolling participants for a genetic Scoliosis study. Since then, she has coordinated participant enrollment, interfaced with physicians and institutional review boards, and developed study websites and patient communications for several studies including a variety of pediatric motor disorders (such as spinal muscular atrophy), degenerative disc disease, and also worked for a non-profit organization on the start up of a Recurrent Pregnancy Loss and Pre-Term Labor study.
Alina cares deeply about research and the positive outcomes for families and individuals that can result from the efforts of both researchers and participants. She has a passion for helping others and feels fortunate to work with women and families affected by preeclampsia with the goal of advancing our knowledge of this poorly understood disorder.