Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the governing body of NERGG and is composed of an executive committee and representatives from each the six New England states. We gather genetics service providers (physicians and genetic counselors), public health officials, and consumers (patients and families) to hear their unique perspectives as we work together to educate providers and the public to improve access to genetic services throughout the region.

Board meetings are held quarterly by conference call and/or Zoom meeting. Members are welcome to attend as non-voting participants. For phone-in or Zoom information for the meetings, please contact Cindy Ingham at [email protected].


  • September 14, 2023, 7:00 pm
  • December 6, 2023, 7:00 pm (In Person at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside, Board Members Only)

Contact the executive director at [email protected] for dial-in/link information to attend the meetings.


President: Erica Stelmach, MS, CGC (NH)

President: Erica Stelmach, MS, CGC (NH)

Erica is a Licensed Genetic Counselor with the Mayo Clinic, Division of Laboratory Genetics and Genomics, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. She has been an active and valued member of the NERGG Board of Directors since 2013.

Immediate Past President: Tara Hayes, BS, CCHW (RI)

Immediate Past President: Tara Hayes, BS, CCHW (RI)

Tara Hayes is the Family Voices Manager for the Rhode Island Parent Information Network. She is the mother of a child with a rare disorder and a tireless advocate to improve the lives of individuals and families who live with rare genetic conditions. Tara joined the...

Treasurer: Kira Dies, ScM, CGC (MA)

Treasurer: Kira Dies, ScM, CGC (MA)

Kira is a Licensed Genetic Counselor who serves as the Executive Director of the Rosamund Stone Zander Translational Neuroscience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. She has participated in NERGG activities for many years and joined the Board of Directors in 2023.

Secretary:  Gillian McNeil, MS (CT)

Secretary: Gillian McNeil, MS (CT)

Gillian is a Public Engagement Associate working with the Personal Genetics Education Project (pgEd) at the Dept. of Genetics, Harvard Medical School. She joined the NERGG Board of Directors in 2020 and serves as the Secretary of the organization.


CT Practitioner

Kunal Sanghavi, MS, MBBS
Senior Program Manager – Genetic counseling
The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine
Joined NERGG BOD 2017

CT Public Health  

Ginger Nichols, MS, CGC
Connecticut Newborn Screening Network
MotherToBaby, Reprotox
Joined NERGG BOD 2022

CT Consumer

Lynda Kazairwe, LLB
Genetic Navigator
Joined NERGG BOD 2024

ME Practitioner

Thomas Brewster, MD, FAAP, FACMG
Consultant, MaineHealth
Joined Board of Directors 2001

ME Public Health

Anne Watson, BS, MSc, PhD, BSN, RN
Newborn Bloodspot Screening Coordinator
Maternal Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Panel Coordinator
Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Joined NERGG BOD 2023

ME Consumer

Sarah Staffiere, BA, MS
Biology Instructor
Colby College, Waterville, Maine
Mother of two children, one with an ultrarare genetic disorder
Joined NERGG BOD 2021

MA Practitioner

David Harris, MD
Clinical Geneticist
Boston Children’s Hospital
Joined NERGG BOD 2002

MA Practitioner

Catherine Nowak, MD
Clinical Director, Medical Genetics and Metabolism Division, Massachusetts  General Hospital
Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Advisor, The Genesis Foundation for Children, Boston
Joined NERGG BOD 2017

MA Public Health

Eirini Nestoridi, MD
Associate Director, MA Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention,
Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Joined NERGG BOD 2019

MA Consumer

Jean Bertschmann, BA
Executive Director
Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England
Joined NERGG 2023

NH Practitioner

Lisa Demers, MS, CGC
Medical Science Liaison, Variantyx
Joined NERGG BOD 2016

NH Public Health

Amanda Merrill, BSN, RN
Newborn Screening Nurse Coordinator
NH Department of Health and Human Services
Joined NERGG BOD  2021

NH Consumer

Joanne Huff, BSN, RN
Parent of a child with a rare disorder
Home care provider, Lakes Region Community Services
Joined NERGG BOD 2018

RI Practitioner

Kerry Ahern, M.S., CGC
Genetic Counselor
Women & Infants Hospital, Providence, RI
Joined NERGG BOD 2018

RI Public Health

Emily Eisenstein, MPH
Newborn Screening Program Manager
Rhode Island Department of Health
Joined NERGG BOD 2020

RI Consumer

Stephanie Trafka, CCHW
Parent of a child with a rare disorder
F2F Peer Support Professional; RI Parent Information Network;
Family Voices Health Research Support Specialist
Joined NERGG BOD 2022

VT Practitioner

Christine Giummo,  MA, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor
University of Vermont Medical Center Clinical Genetics Dept
Joined NERGG BOD 2018

VT Public Health

Linda Hazard, Ed.D., CCC-A
Program Director, Vermont Early Hearing Detection and
Intervention Program
Vermont Department of Health
Joined NERGG BOD 2021

VT Consumer

Allison Wood, MS, CGC
Parent of a child with a rare disorder
Genetic Counselor, Blueprint Genetics
Joined NERGG BOD 2019