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Speak one-on-one with our Patient Support Center Staff who can assist you before, during and after a blood or marrow transplant (BMT). We are here to help you get reliable, easy-to-understand information from diagnosis through recovery. Call or email us for confidential, one-on-one support from caring experts. We'll listen and help you find answers. All of our programs and resources are free.
Our BMT Patient Navigators can help you:
- Learn about transplant
- Understand the donor search process
- Find a transplant center
- Get answers to your financial or insurance questions
- Connect with other transplant patients and caregivers through our Peer Connect program
- Find clinical trials
- Prepare for and cope with life after transplant
Meet our BMT Patient Navigators
To talk with any of the navigators, call or text: 1(888) 999-6743 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Jacobson, OPN-CG, Senior Manager, Patient Services
Debbie started with Be The Match in 2003 as a Senior Case Manager. Currently, she oversees Navigation Services within the Patient Support Center. This includes patient navigation, work with volunteers and post-transplant communication. Her expertise and guidance helps the team resolve problems, improve patient navigation, and offer excellent customer service. The Patient Support Center provides one-on-one navigation and support from diagnosis through survivorship, telephone counseling and volunteer services. Debbie is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN) and she is a certified oncology patient navigator.
Leah Christianson, OPN-CG, Supervisor, Patient Services
Leah has been with Be The Match since 2013. She started providing services to potential donors, providing education, and assessing medical suitability. Leah joined the Patient Support Center in 2015 as a patient navigator. In her current role, she provides training and guidance to the patient navigators. She is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN) and a certified oncology patient navigator.
Bilan Jama, MSW, LGSW, OPN-CG, BMT Patient Navigator
Bilan joined the Be The Match Patient Support Center in 2017. Previously, she worked as a medical social worker at Santa Clara Valley Medical and provided counseling, resource referral, and advocacy to patients. Bilan has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN) and is a certified oncology patient navigator.
Maria MacWilliams, OPN-CG, Principal BMT Patient Navigator, Bilingual
Maria is licensed in Communication Sciences through the Mexican Iberoamericana University, English teacher certification, and Education specialist. She started at Be The Match in 2000 in Donor Services. Maria came to the Patient Support Center in 2004 as a patient navigator. She has presented at conferences in Mexico and Brazil and has collaborated on several international projects such as the WMDA Spanish handbook. Maria also works with the Patient Support Center for Be The Match Mexico. She considers herself as an “obstacle coach,” helping patients and families identify and “jump over” barriers. She is a certified oncology patient navigator and a AOSW member and serves on a health clinic board of directors in St Paul, MN.
Evelyn Patterson, BSW, MA, CMI-Spanish, BMT Patient Navigator, Bilingual
Evelyn joined the Be The Match Patient Support Center in 2020. Evelyn is a Nationally Certified Spanish Medical Interpreter and has a Master of Psychology degree and a Bachelor of Social Work degree. She has experience in clinical case management, facilitating support groups, behavioral and mental health and patient advocacy. Evelyn previously worked at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, where she provided medical interpretation and advocacy for patients. In other roles, she also provided clinical case management and patient support to medically vulnerable populations and individuals coping with illness.
Lisa Pomarico, MSW, LGSW, OPN-CG, Post-Transplant Communications Navigator
Lisa began working for Be The Match in 2014 as a Case Manager. In this role, she helped transplant centers move patients from search to transplant as quickly as possible by coordinating search, workup and collection of unrelated donors. During this time, Lisa earned certification as hematopoietic transplant coordinator (CHTC). She joined the Be The Match Patient Support Center in the spring of 2017 and began specializing in Post-Transplant Communications in the fall of 2019. Lisa has a Master of Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago. She is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN) and is a certified oncology patient navigator.
Lilly Rezac, CCLS, OPN-CG, BMT Patient Navigator
Lilly joined the Be The Match Patient Support Center in 2020. Lilly is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where she earned a degree in psychology and minored in Public Health. She is a Certified Child Life Specialist and previously worked at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital and at Children's Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota, helping patients and families cope with illness and hospitalization. Lilly is a member of the Association of Child Life Professionals as well as the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN) and she is a certified oncology patient navigator.
Savannah Samek, OPN-CG, BMT Patient Navigator
Savannah joined the Be The Match Patient Support Center in 2020. Previously, she worked as a Care and Clinical Services Specialist in the rare disease community. She has experience facilitating support groups, planning educational seminars, and organizing community events. As an advocate for the patients she works with, Savannah provides support, education and resources. She has a degree from the University of Minnesota in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. Savannah is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN) and she is a certified oncology patient navigator.
Lindsay Zuniga, MD, CCLS, OPN-CG, Volunteer Services Navigator
Lindsay joined the Be The Match Patient Support Center in 2019. She is a Certified Child Life Specialist and received her Master's degree in Child Development from Erikson Institute. Lindsay previously worked at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in the outpatient oncology clinic providing education and support to patients and families. She is a member of the Association of Child Life Professionals as well as the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN) and she is a certified oncology patient navigator.
Cortney Alleyne, MPH, Sickle Cell Patient Navigator
Cortney is a BMT Sickle Cell Patient Navigator at the Be The Match Patient Support Center. She has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she studied community health sciences and facilitated research for sickle cell disease. She has many years of personal and professional experience supporting sickle cell warriors and their families.
Leanna Cooper, Insurance Navigator
Leanna joined the Be The Match Patient Support Center in 2021. Leanna is a graduate of Concordia University, St. Paul where she earned a degree in Healthcare Administration and minored in Human Resource Management. She has worked in the healthcare industry for over 20 years, specifically in Spine Care, Infertility and Oncology. She has over seven years of experience as a Financial Counselor. She has extensive knowledge in healthcare insurance, obtaining prior authorizations, peer to peer reviews and appeals from payers for inpatient hospitalists, outpatient surgeries, radiology, infusions & medications. Prior to joining Be The Match she worked with Minnesota Oncology.
Lynne Snediker, OPN-CG, Post-Transplant Communications Navigator
Lynne started at Be The Match in 2010 and balances her time between Post-Transplant Communications and Patient Navigation. In her role, she oversees all the communication post-transplant between a donor and recipient, including anonymous correspondence, exchange of consent forms and arranging donor/recipient meetings. She is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN) and is a certified oncology patient navigator.