PSC Partners is fortunate to have a very talented and motivated group of people serving on its Board of Directors. Our board members come from a rich variety of backgrounds and experiences and are united by our common cause to find a cure for PSC.
Click the names below to expand each item and read more about our board members.
Ricky Safer - CEO
After having led the life of a health nut for decades, Ricky Safer was shocked to receive her PSC diagnosis in 2003, and then to discover that there was little accurate information or support available for PSC patients. Still reeling from her recent diagnosis, Ms. Safer decided she didn’t want to wait around to see if things would improve. In 2004, with the help of her family, her hepatologist (Dr. Everson) and two friends from the support group (Lee Bria and David Rhodes), Ms. Safer co-founded PSC Partners Seeking A Cure. Ms. Safer’s years of volunteering with CCFA locally and nationally and her position on the board of the Donor Awareness Council provided her with the background to get PSC Partners Seeking a Cure off the ground. Ms. Safer has served on the Nutritional Panel for CCFA, and also received the CCFA Sigman award.
Ms. Safer feels extremely lucky to have her family as her loyal support group and constant helpers. One of her greatest joys is spending time with her family—her husband (Don), daughter and son-in-law (Elissa and Steven), son and daughter-in-law (Adam and Sue), and grandkids (Sam, Lily, Rowan and Hudson). Ms. Safer enjoys her role as CEO of PSC Partners, and continues to be passionate about finding a cure for PSC, and making life better for all PSCers. In Ms. Safer’s other life, she teaches foreign languages and provides cross-cultural training at the University of Denver. Ms. Safer received her B.A. in French with honors from the University of Michigan, and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. Ricky can be reached at email@example.com.
Ken Shepherd - Board Chair
Ken Shepherd’s son John was diagnosed with PSC eleven years ago when he was 13. Ken and his wife Patty became involved with PSC Partners Seeking a Cure in 2006 and quickly found support, hope and a cause. The Shepherds are highly motivated to fundraise for PSC research and help other PSC families create and achieve individual fundraising successes.
John received a life-saving liver transplant in March of 2014. Fully understanding that a liver transplant is only a treatment for PSC keeps the Shepherd family engaged to continue the fight for a cure. ”Research gives us hope and will provide the answers for a world without PSC”.
Ken has served PSC Partners as chair of the fundraising committee, vice-chair of the board and now as chair of the organization.
Ken is the Managing Partner of two Northern Virginia Toyota dealerships and has been in the retail automotive industry for 35 years. Ken is a Rotarian, a sustaining Paul Harris Fellow, and serves as an Advisory Board member of the Northern Virginia Community College Automotive and Engineering Educational Department. Ken received a BA in Economics from California State University, Fullerton in 1976 and a Dealership Management Development degree from the General Motors Institute in 1985. The Shepherds reside in Catlett, Virginia and have four sons and four grandchildren.
Fred Sabernick - Board Vice-Chair
Fred Sabernick was diagnosed with PSC in 2004, and upon becoming symptomatic he attended his first PSC Partners Conference in 2009. He quickly bonded with the people and organization of PSC Partners, and credits the friendship and support he received for helping manage his disease. After worsening health he received a liver transplant in 2012.
He volunteered with PSC Partners in a number of roles before joining the Board, and has previously volunteered in adult literacy education and as a youth hockey referee. He holds a MSEE from the University of Florida and has been employed in the electronics and computer industry for over thirty-five years, and his work has led to extensive travel both in North America and overseas. He enjoys running, woodworking, and trying (failing) to keep up with current technology, and has called the Atlanta, GA area home since 1997.
Joanne Hatchett - Board Secretary
Joanne Hatchett, RN, FNP, ACHPN, has worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in the Woodland Clinic Medical Group since 1995, caring for adult and geriatric patients in the clinic, hospital, and skilled nursing facilities. Joanne is a strong advocate for advance care planning and patient and family education. In 2013, Joanne was recognized by the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California with the first Compassionate Care Innovator Award.
Her previous nursing experiences include staff and leadership positions in adult and neonatal intensive care units. She served on the Board of Directors of River Oak Center for Children for 8 years and on the Yolo County Commission on Aging for 5 years.
Shortly after her son’s diagnosis with PSC in 2006, Joanne attended her first PSC Partners Conference in Pittsburgh. The goals of PSC Partners, patient and caregiver education and support, and fund raising for PSC research, were so evident during this conference. Since then, Joanne and her husband Steve have welcomed the opportunity to volunteer and be a part of the PSC Partners family.
Joanne graduated from San Francisco State University with a BSN in 1978. She received both her MSN as a Cardiopulmonary Clinical Nurse Specialist in 1983, and a Family Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s certification in 1995 from the University of California, San Francisco.
Chris Browner - Board Member
Chris Browner was introduced to PSC Partners shortly after her son was diagnosed with PSC/AIH in May 2013. With a deep desire to help find a cure for PSC, Chris immediately became involved in the organization and joined the PSC Partners Board in the fall of 2014.
Chris received her BA from Denison University and holds a Master’s degree in Community and Agency Counseling from Xavier University. She worked in the nonprofit world as a counselor and victim advocate until she and her husband started a family. Since then, Chris has volunteered for numerous nonprofits including serving on the board of Families for Families, an organization that supports the battered women’s shelter in Cincinnati. Most recently, Chris was a member of the Development Committee at SafeHouse Denver and chaired this committee until she moved from Denver. Chris is a part-time ski instructor and enjoys spending time with her family outdoors. She and her husband, John, live in Cincinnati with their five children.
Monica Walters Crowley - Board Member
Monica Walters Crowley is the Director of Communications and Compliance for Central Health, the Travis County Healthcare District, which is dedicated to providing access to high quality, innovative health care to vulnerable residents in Travis County, Texas. Monica is an attorney who has prosecuted white collar fraud cases at the Texas Attorney General’s Office, the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division, and the Texas State Securities Board. She is a mother to Lilly and wife to John and a member of the Austin College alumni board and the Balcones Council CampFire Advisory.
Rachel Gomel - Board Member
Rachel Gomel’s commitment to PSC Partners began in 2008 when she attended the Jacksonville conference. Rachel holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Her Ph.D. work at McGill University was cross-disciplinary (in Philosophy of History, Comparative Literature, and Literary Criticism) and earned her three Canada Council awards. She left McGill University shortly after her third child was born.
She has been involved in many community projects and in teaching literature. She was on the board of the Atwater Children Libraries that serve underprivileged sections of Montreal. During her eleven years as volunteer and four years as head of the local YMCA Advisory Board, she ran a youth swim team, organized self-help workshops and conference series for the public. Rachel organized city-wide running races to bring awareness and funds to the special needs of single moms with special-need children. Over the years, she has advised and mentored many college-bound young people. Her husband, three children and their families are the center of her life.
Wes Hendrix - Board Member
Wes Hendrix lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife and children. They have been active with PSC Partners since 2013, when his wife was diagnosed with PSC.
Wes is the Chief of the Appellate Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Texas. He serves as the office’s lead appellate litigator and as a member of the senior management team, advising the U.S. Attorney on legal, strategic, and administrative matters. He has prosecuted cases involving terrorism, public corruption, child exploitation, and fraud. Prior to working at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he was an associate attorney at Baker Botts LLP and a judicial clerk for Fifth Circuit Judge Patrick Higginbotham. He graduated from the University of Texas School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago.
David Parry - Advisory Board Member
Ros Parry - Board Member
Ros Parry has been involved with PSC Partners since attending the conference in Pittsburgh soon after her daughter’s diagnosis in 2005. Joining the PSC Board in 2012, she is chair of the Merchandising Committee, involved with selecting and organizing items for the on line shop and for the conference.Ros has lived in England, Japan, and in several American states. She holds advanced degrees from Manchester University in England, where she met her husband and with whom she has two sons and twin daughters. Ros enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, kayaking, biking as well as swimming, traveling and spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Mike Pearlman - Board Member
Mike Pearlman spent his career working in the field of corrections, at both the District of Columbia and Federal level. He’s an author, has an MS in Criminology and Corrections from Florida State University, a second MS in Government (Public Administration) from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, a certification in Group Work/Group Counseling from the Psychiatric Institute Foundation, and a law degree from George Mason University School of Law. Since 1998, he has been a member of the adjunct faculty in the Sociology Department at George Mason University. His awareness of, and involvement with primary sclerosing cholangitis began in 2007 following his eldest daughter’s diagnosis.
Jennifer Sims - Board Member
Jennifer Sims had never heard of PSC until the day her son was diagnosed in 2011. From that day forward, she has poured her heart and soul into taking care of her son and learning more about PSC. Jennifer’s first experience with PSC Partners was at the annual conference in 2014. She was immediately drawn to the organization and its mission to find a cure for PSC.
Jennifer earned her BBA in Accounting from Baylor University and is a CPA. She is an estate planning specialist who helps donors maximize their charitable gifts to their favorite organizations. Jennifer and her husband, Scott, live in Colorado with their two children.
Dr. Greg Everson (Honorary Board Member)
Dr. Greg Everson received his MD degree from Cornell Medical College, NY, and is currently Professor of Medicine and Director of Hepatology at the University of Colorado, Denver. Dr. Everson has published over 300 original papers, books, and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals that include Hepatology, Clinics in Liver Disease, Gastroenterology, Journal of Hepatology, New England Journal of Medicine, The American Journal of Gastroenterology, Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Expert Reviews in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In conjunction with Hedy Weinberg, he has co-authored 5 editions of the popular “self-help” book, Living with Hepatitis C: A Survivor’s Guide, for patients and families. He is an invited speaker and has presented his work at clinical and scientific meetings nationally and internationally.
He is a principal investigator for both the HALT-C trial (Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment Against Cirrhosis) and the A2ALL study (Adult-to-Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation study) for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and numerous other clinical trials. Dr. Everson is a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the American Society of Transplantation, the International Liver Transplant Society, and the International Association for the Study of the Liver. In addition, he is a member of both the Transplant Hepatology Committee of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the standing panel for accreditation appeals in the specialty of Internal Medicine/Transplant Hepatology of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
He became involved with PSC Partners because Ricky and Don Safer convinced him that the foundation would become a reality and help patients and families.
Dr. Everson also serves on our Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee.
Chris Klug (Honorary Board Member)
Chris Klug is proud to have helped pioneer the sport of snowboarding and participate in its progress during the past twenty-five years. Mr. Klug’s next goal is to return to his third Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C. and vie for a different colored medal in February 2010. As a nine-year liver transplant recipient, Mr. Klug believes it is important to include the life-saving message of organ and tissue donation in all that he does. Mr. Klug is a two-time US Olympian—he was an Olympic Bronze Medalist in Salt Lake City, Utah (eighteen months after his liver transplant from PSC) and placed 6th in the Nagano, Japan, 1998 Winter Olympics. Mr. Klug’s awards include: 2009 US National Snowboarding PGS Champion, ten time US National Champion, five time Snowboard World Cup Champion, and 2002 Olympic Spirit Award Recipient. Mr. Klug is also the author of the book, To the Edge and Back, the filmmaker and producer of Ride of Your Life, and is currently working on Carve, a TV special and documentary project, showcasing alpine snowboarding. Chris Klug is the founder and chairman of the Chris Klug Foundation www.chrisklugfoundation.org.
A heartfelt thank you to our passionate and dedicated Board of Directors for guiding us in all the major decisions for the foundation.