American Transplant Foundation announces Anastasia Darwish as executive director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 28, 2011

Contact: Anastasia Darwish,, 303-757-0959


Anastasia Darwish, Executive Director of American Transplant Foundation(DENVER, CO)—The American Transplant Foundation welcomed Anastasia Darwish as its new executive director today. Anastasia will be responsible for the day-to-day operations, achievement of the Foundation’s strategic goals and furthering the mission of the organization. Anastasia replaces Heidi Heltzel, who resigned in November 2010 after moving to Vail, Colorado.

“I am honored and energized by the opportunity to lead this great organization,” said Anastasia. “Transplants are one of the most miraculous achievements of modern medicine. But they depend entirely on the generosity of donors and their families who are willing to make this lifesaving gift to others. On average, 18 people die in the United States every day from the lack of available organs for transplant. There are substantial challenges, tremendous opportunities and journeys to be taken to eliminate the unfortunate shortage of transplant organs. I look forward to working with the outstanding volunteers, donors and community partners in further supporting our mission to eliminate our country’s shortage of human transplant organs.”

Most recently, Anastasia served as the Director of Major gifts for the American Red Cross Mile High Chapter where she was responsible for overall leadership and management of the Major Gifts program, generating more than $550,000 annually. During her tenure, she initiated two annual giving programs and increased the number of major donors by 28%. Anastasia is experienced in building productive relationships to further organizational goals and has proven abilities in increasing community involvement and program development. She is a 2010 graduate of Impact Denver, the Denver Metro Chamber’s leadership program for young business leaders. Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Anastasia spent five years at Orange County United Way in California.

“We are excited with the hiring of Anastasia Darwish,” said Steve Farber, founder and chairman of the board of the American Transplant Foundation. “She brings great energy to the position and, having worked with her in her role at the American Red Cross Mile High Chapter, we are confident that she will bring the same determination and energy to the position of executive director.”

Anastasia will hit the ground running by planning the third-annual Team Transplant, the Foundation’s charity cycling team that rides in the Subaru Elephant Rock Ride in Castle Rock, Colorado. Team Transplant has been the largest team at the event for two years running. Last year, 171 team members, including 25 organ recipients and five living organ donors, raised nearly $70,000 for the Foundation. This year’s event will be held on Sunday, June 5th. Team registration will open mid-March at

“As we gear up for Team Transplant 2011, I am excited to continue the incredible momentum Heidi Heltzel and our dedicated volunteers and donors have built for raising awareness and celebrating the healthy, active lifestyles that both recipients and living donors can lead through Team Transplant’s participation in the Subaru Elephant Rock,” said Anastasia.

The American Transplant Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that strives to eliminate our country’s shortage of human transplant organs. Their supporters help the Foundation to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation, collaborate with other organ donation groups and work toward better public policy.


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