Gabriella True
Gabriella True


Jessica Gowen
Jessica Gowen

Vice President & Secretary

Lisa Hardy
Lisa Hardy

Advisor to the Board

Susan Swedo, MD
Susan Swedo, MD

Provider Outreach Chair, Professional Advisory Board

Gregory Panagos
Gregory Panagos

Finance Committee Chair

Christine Kapetanakis
Christine Kapetanakis

Public Relations Chair

Lucy Fry
Lucy Fry

Communications Chair

ASPIRE is delighted to announce that the following key volunteers are joining ASPIRE to lend their expertise, time and energy to achieving the goals outlined in our strategic plan.

  • Alissa Johnson – Public Policy
  • Caoimhe Dardis (IL) – Research & Study Review
  • Christine Amabile, LCSW – School Outreach & Provider Outreach
  • Denise Nagy – Public Relations
  • Fern Zagor, LCSW, ACSW – Provider Outreach & Finance/Governance
  • Gabriella Bout Denning (GA)- Research & Study Review
  • Jaime Tan (NJ)- Family Support
  • Kathy Rubel (PA) – Content/Communications
  • Katie Zigmond (CT) – Family Support
  • Kim Cruz, MD – Provider Outreach
  • Kim Turgeon (MA) –  School Outreach
  • Lisa Killion (NY) – School Outreach
  • Lisa Swint – Public Policy
  • Lisa Williams (CT) – Development & Family Support
  • Liz Reinke – Family Support
  • Martha Shoultz – Finance/Governance
  • Mary Hernandez – Public Relations
  • Mike McCartney (IL) – Development/Communications
  • Norina Vigaent – Public Relations
  • Sherine Gilmour – Content
  • Tricia Ehrlich – Content/Communications

Following an eventful and successful first year, the ASPIRE Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has elected Gabriella True its new President. Gabriella‘s many years of dedicated service and advocacy in the PANS/PANDAS community are an asset to the ASPIRE mission. She will boldly lead ASPIRE in the next steps of our mission to improve the lives of all affected by PANS and related encephalopathies. 

Moving forward, Jessica Gowen will serve as Vice-President and maintain her position as Secretary. Kelly Wooldridge, Lisa Hardy, Dr. Sue Swedo, Lucy Fry, Christine Kapetanakis and Greg Panagos will continue in their current positions.

We would like to express our gratitude to our founding board President, Wendy Nawara, for her guidance and heartfelt devotion to the success of the organization. We wish her well in her new endeavors. Wendy joined our team to assist in the conceptualization and the bringing of our collaborative vision to life. With her help, ASPIRE quickly has become a well-respected, world-renowned organization. 

ASPIRE has been privileged to have Wendy’s leadership in the creation of positive change not only for our patients and families, but also for other advocates, physicians, and researchers. While we are sad to see her go, we know that she will use her talents to continue making a difference for the PANS community by continuing to work on select legislative efforts.

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