When you arrive at the Gift of Life – Be The Match Collection Center, we want you to feel confident that you will be receiving the best care from qualified professionals. Our medical staff was hand picked to provide quality care from the moment you arrive while pampering you in a world-class medical facility that specializes in stem cell transplants.

Meet our Leadership Team

Jay A. Feinberg
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Bruce A. Lenes, M.D.
Medical Director, Medical Services
Omardeen "Dee" Woodley, RN
Director, Adelson Gift of Life - Be The Match Collection Center
Richaele Nichiporenko, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Associate Director, Medical Services
Farida Khan, MT (ASCP)
Medical Technical Supervisor

Meet our Staff

Jaclyn Birnkrant
Apheresis Donor Coordinator
Elinor Gaetjens
Apheresis Nurse
Diana Gerdts
Travel Coordinator
Joyce Lewis, BSN, RN
Apheresis Nurse
Virginia Meyer
Medical Technologist
Lori Retterath, MSN, FNP-BC
Nurse Practioner
Nella Shope
Donor Concierge
Jay A. Feinberg
Founder and Chief Executive Officer

A 26 year transplant survivor, Jay Feinberg is Gift of Life's founder and Chief Executive Officer. Jay was diagnosed with leukemia in 1991 and told that his only hope of a cure was a bone marrow transplant. With the support of his friends and family, Jay embarked on a groundbreaking international search for a matching donor. After organizing 250 drives and testing 60,000 potential donors, Jay's match turned out to be the very last donor tested at the very last drive. He received his transplant at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington in July 1995 thanks to his bone marrow donor, Becky Faibisoff. 

Jay formerly served on the Board of Directors of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) in the capacity of Secretary of North and South America. For years, he volunteered his time as an inspector for the WMDA's Accreditation Committee. Jay is on the Editorial Board of Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide. 

Jay received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Jay brings tremendous innovation to marrow donor registries through his leadership at Gift of Life, including the first registry-integrated stem cell collection center housed at Gift of Life’s Boca Raton headquarters, the use of cheek swabs for bloodless testing at donor drives, complete typing at initial recruitment, and a smart phone app to make the registration process faster and more secure.

He has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Charles Bronfman Prize which recognizes dynamic leaders whose innovation and impact serve as inspiration for the future generations. Other notable honors include the National Marrow Donor Program's Allison Atlas Award and Hadassah International's Citizen of the World Award. Jay is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Yeshiva University, received along with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In 2010, Jay received the Jewish Community Hero Award from the Jewish Federations of North America, a leadership award honoring those making strides to repair the world, starting in their own communities.

In 2013, Jay was recognized in the Algemeiner Jewish 100 List-the top one hundred individuals who have positively influenced and lifted the quality of Jewish life. Also in 2013, Jay was the recipient of the Maurice N. Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award from the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). This award is the highest honor bestowed by the Reform Movement. Every two years at the URJ's Biennial, the Award is conferred on an individual for service to the world community and Reform Jewry. "It is people like Jay Feinberg who truly make our world a better place," said URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs. "Jay's tireless work has saved countless lives, and his actions follow in the footsteps of Reform social justice pioneers, such as Rabbi Eisendrath. The Talmud teaches that whoever saves a life, it is as if he has saved the entire world. Jay's work so truly embodies this teaching, and for that, we are abundantly grateful."

Jay shares this distinction with other notable luminaries including actor and Parkinson's disease advocate Michael J. Fox, Israeli diplomat and politician Abba Eban, former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres OBM of Israel, former President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, United States Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, former White House Press Secretary James Brady, and businessman and philanthropist Charles R. Bronfman.

In 2011, Jay was one of three non-profit leaders in South Florida to be awarded a scholarship to the Harvard Business School's executive education program "Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management," the flagship of the HBS Social Enterprise Program designed for top executives in the non-profit sector. 

Jay has been an invited guest at the White House during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidential administrations, and travels regularly to speak on social justice and community activism, sharing his personal story and Gift of Life's grass roots efforts. Jay is proud to be an honorary brother of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi).

To request an Interview with Jay Feinberg, please email Barby Pilpel, bpilpel@giftoflife.org.

 

 

Bruce A. Lenes, M.D.
Medical Director, Medical Services

Bruce A. Lenes, MD, is the Medical Director overseeing Gift of Life's Donor Services Department, Collection Center and Laboratory. Over the last 35 years, he has served as the Medical Director of ONEBLOOD, Inc. (and its predecessors) and as the Senior Medical Director for Corporate Operations for Blood Systems, Inc., the third and second largest regional blood centers in the United States respectively. Dr. Lenes trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville and trained in Hematology at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. He then served as a staff fellow in Transfusion Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. Among numerous awards, he was a first round recipient of the Transfusion Medicine Academic Award, an NHLBI grant to develop educational programs in Transfusion Medicine. 

Dr. Lenes has published over 40 scientific articles with special emphasis on medical education and diseases transmitted by transfusion. He has served on numerous national committees and also as Chairman of the National American Red Cross Medical Affairs Committee, from 1991 to 1994. Currently, Dr. Lenes serves as Senior Medical Director for LifeSouth Regional Blood Center in Gainesville, Florida. He was raised in Yorktown Heights, New York and went on to attend Union University in Schenectady, New York and Albany Medical College in Albany, New York. 

His current academic titles include: 

  • Clinical Associate Professor of Pathology and Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine
  • Clinical Professor of Medicine, Nova Southeastern School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Clinical Professor of Laboratory Sciences, Florida International University
  • Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine
Omardeen "Dee" Woodley, RN
Director, Adelson Gift of Life - Be The Match Collection Center

Omardeen “Dee” Woodley, RN, is Apheresis Facility Director of Gift of Life Marrow Registry’s stem cell collection center. Dee has  six years of experience as an apheresis nurse in extracorporeal therapies.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Keiser University, and is a 14-year veteran of the United States Air Force. She served time in the Royal Air Force (RAF) at Mildenhall Air Force Base in the United Kingdom, then Mountain Air Force Base in Mountain Home, Idaho.

She returned home to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. after four years to attend nursing school.

Dee loves to travel and has one son, Elias.

 

Richaele Nichiporenko, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Associate Director, Medical Services

Richaele Nichiporenko, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, serves as the Family Nurse Practitioner for Gift of Life Marrow Registry. She is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and licensed in Florida. She has been practicing nursing for over 11 years and has a demonstrated history of working in the hospital and health care industry. Richaele received a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Florida Atlantic University whose philosophy is grounded in caring and community outreach.

Richaele is an active member of the American Society of Apheresis and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

She is passionate about the advances in stem cell therapy and honored to serve the Gift of Life Marrow Registry.

Farida Khan, MT (ASCP)
Medical Technical Supervisor

Farida Khan serves as the Medical Technical Supervisor for the collection center. She is experienced in Flow Cytometry, which measures the number of stem cells collected for transplant during the apheresis procedure. She has worked in the Laboratory for 17 years, with 11 years of experience in the specialty of Flow Cytometry. She is licensed as a Generalist Supervisor by the State of Florida, and is certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathologists. Farida earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences from Andrews University. She has mostly been involved with the diagnosing and monitoring of blood cancers and is honored to now be a part of the cure through the Gift Of Life Marrow Registry.