Gilles has been a pioneer of online health communities since founding the Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR) in 1995. Gilles is a co-founder of Smart Patients and of the Society for Participatory Medicine. Gilles is a former MedicineX Executive Board Member. He strongly believes patients are the most underutilized resource in healthcare. Gilles is a a sleep apnea patient with long term hypertension history.
Elizabeth began her Nonprofit Accounting career at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, MD in 2000. Following her career at Suburban Hospital, she worked for a national civil rights advocacy nonprofit organization in Washington, DC for 11 years rising to the position of Finance Manager.
Elizabeth joined ASAA in December 2013 as a part-time bookkeeper and became the Finance Manager in 2018. Finding her passion for healthcare advocacy again, Elizabeth joined ASAA full-time in June 2020. She is a single mother of three girls, all of which have at least one breathing disorder. She currently lives in Eastern North Carolina.
Valerie joined the ASAA in July of 2015. Val serves as a Program Manager for the ASAA and is located in Tracy, Minnesota with her three children. As a former small business owner, Val understands the importance of providing caring and timely customer service.
She has a passion for helping others, which makes her a valuable addition to our team assisting patients and medical professionals who utilize our Mask/Supply Program, Peer Mentors Program and our AWAKE Groups.
Customer Service Associate
Alice joined the ASAA Team in October 2019. Being a sleep apnea patient herself since 2012 she understands the importance of being dedicated to the PAP therapy and being our own best advocate.
She is a Customer Service Associate and works from her home near Tracy, MN. Alice has a background in Management and Customer Service, and brings with her a passion to make a difference and to help others be their own best advocate.
Jean-Noel was born in Paris and moved to New York in 1981, where he received his BA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Upon graduating, he moved to Los Angeles where he discovered the nascent Internet. In 1994, he founded France.com, a pioneering e-commerce and travel website which won many accolades. A sleep apnea patient himself, he brings more than 20 years of digital experience and innovation to sleepapnea.org.
Erin is a grant writer with 19-years’ experience in prospect research, grant proposal writing, and grants management. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from St. Olaf College and a Master’s of City and Regional Planning from Clemson University. Erin was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2017 and started working with the ASAA in 2018. She lives in Colorado Springs, CO with her husband and two sons.
Board of Directors
Rich Bren, an obstructive sleep apnea patient, has more than 35 years of trucking industry risk and insurance experience.
His father and sister have also been diagnosed and treated for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). He is the Vice President – Director of MGA Operations for Transtar Insurance Brokers, Inc.
Bren specializes in commercial auto (truck) insurance programs. He’s active in state and national trucking and insurance association groups.
He brings to the ASAA board a keen awareness of sleep apnea issues and their implications for commercial truck drivers and their employers.
Rich and his spouse, Lisa, are active in their church and family. They reside in a 4-generations home in Litchfield Park, Arizona.
David E. Mills
David was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea in 2010 like his father before him along with some of his siblings.
He spent 30 years in the Oil & Gas Industry within Finance. The majority of his career was spent outside the U.S. in locations such as Gabon, United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Russia, Bolivia, Iraq, and Indonesia.
He held various accounting and finance roles including CFO for BP’s operations in Iraq. He also oversaw the global rollout of SAP financial systems. While working overseas, his passion was staff development across many disciplines.
Experiencing how the lack of sleep, due to untreated apnea, can negatively impact all areas of life, he wants to help others get the relief he has received.
David currently lives on Longboat Key in Florida.
Sandy Chaney is a Business Insurance Agent with HUB International, the largest privately held independent insurance agency in the world. Sandy has spent her career assisting commercial clients in the placement and management of their insurance products including all types of Property & Casualty Insurance. HUB Mid-Atlantic, Inc. specializes in non-profit clients and Sandy currently handles some of the largest and most complex clients in the agency’s portfolio. Over her career, Sandy has been asked to sit on various agent boards for some of the insurance carriers her firm represents – Hartford Insurance Company, CNA Insurance Company, Companion Insurance Company and Chesapeake Employers Insurance. Additionally, Sandy was previously a member of the Board of Directors for the Independent Insurance Agents Association of Maryland.
In late 2016, Sandy began to experience major fatigue and in February of 2017 after a sleep study, Sandy was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and prescribed with a CPAP machine. This relatively simple machine proved to be life changing and allowed Sandy to resume her normal life.
In 2019, Sandy’s son, 24-year-old Bryan Chaney began to complain about fatigue symptoms. Sandy recognized his symptoms as likely being caused by Sleep Apnea and began a medical journey with her son to try to get him first through a sleep study, then potentially prescribed a machine. This journey proved to be very difficult. Finally in December of 2019 Bryan completed his sleep study and was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Another journey began in trying to get a CPAP machine prescribed for Bryan. Finally, after many weeks and lots of difficult phone calls, a machine was obtained, and Bryan began to use it in February of 2020. On the night of August 18, 2020, he made a last-minute decision to stay at his fiancé’s family home and did not have his CPAP with him. The next morning, Bryan’s fiancé found him in cardiac arrest. Paramedics were called, but they were unable to revive Bryan. An autopsy revealed that he had passed due to cardiomegaly brought on by obstructive sleep apnea. Previously, Sandy and her family had no concept of the seriousness of Bryan’s Sleep Apnea and the fact that not using his CPAP even one night could lead to the most horrible consequence anyone can ever imagine.
Following Bryan’s death, Sandy and her family began to do some research about Sleep Apnea and discovered the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA). The Chaney family decided to host a golf tournament to honor Bryan’s memory and help raise awareness of sleep apnea. The Chaney family partnered with ASAA to host the tournament and raise funds for ASAA’s awareness and education program. At the end of 2021, Sandy and her family elected to set up a non-profit 501(c)3 organization in Bryan’s name – Bryan Louis Chaney Memorial Fund, Inc. This allowed them to honor Bryan’s memory more directly, but also continue to raise awareness of Sleep Apnea.
Linda Walsh is the COPD Foundation’s Chief Community Engagement Officer and leads the peer health coaching support arm of COPD360Net as well as the advocacy and public policy initiatives.
Linda directed the C.O.P.D. Information Line from 2011 until 2019 and under her leadership the Information Line Associates were rigorously trained as peer health coaches providing integral support for many research initiatives. These included the O2Verlap Study which monitored individuals with both COPD/OSA and the COPD Patient Powered Research Network (PPRN).
Linda has over 25 years of experience in both the profit and not-for-profit sectors in strategic and financial planning, securing corporate funding and sponsorships, and enhancing operations and customer service. She received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park and is certified as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. In addition, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lung Transplant Foundation.
Linda is passionate about educating, empowering, and engaging all stakeholders of the sleep health community as many of Linda’s family members are directly impacted by sleep apnea.
Adam is an “innovative patient advocate”. He was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in 2008, more than thirty years after he first showed symptoms. As he struggled to learn how to manage his treatment, he was able to successfully identify and get treatment for his then two-year-old daughter and wife as well as many others. He joined the ASAA in 2012, leading the association’s evolution from a twenty-five-year-old physician-run organization into an entrepreneurial, patient-driven, public-health advocacy association.
Tangala G. Ash
Tangala J. Ash has been a public school teacher for over 15 years. She has worked in a variety of environments using various tools but always with the goal of realizing the freedom of knowledge and understanding. She has returned to mostly warm East Texas from the sunshine chill of Colorado. All of her experience has taught her that children are our greatest asset and most precious treasures. Their health, well being and growth needs the focus and gentle care of our society.
When given an opportunity Tangala engages all other abilities to reach students directly and those who raise children as well.Ms. Ash is also a CPAP patient and caregiver of her mother. She participated on Caregiver Panels about the real life, day to day struggles patients have experienced during the last few years. Thankful that her family is blessed to be doing well today. Tangala is motivated to continue to share how her own sleep health has improved her life. We hope she continues this work and that it has a positive impact on all who are fatigued although they have had a full night’s rest.
Hugo Campos (he/him) has built a 20-year career fueled by a unique blend of creative and technical skills.
The roles that he has played along the way include creative director, art director, visual designer, marketer, computer programmer, and presentation coach. Hugo is an advocate for patient autonomy, accountability, and access to health data. He was named a White House Champion of Change for Precision Medicine by President Barack Obama in 2015 for his data liberation advocacy.
What particularly drives Hugo is a passion for participatory medicine, connected health, and patient empowerment through the use of technology. He believes that health care can—and must—be transformed into a truly patient—centric system. His own story includes being a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patient with an implanted cardiac device and being a caregiver to parents with heart failure. Hugo was invited to share his story, “Fighting for the Right to Open his Heart Data,” as a TEDx presenter at Harvard University in 2012. He is a passionate advocate for the rights of patients to access their health data and become empowered participants in their own health care.
In addition to serving as a Participant Ambassador, Hugo is the Chair of the California Precision Medicine Consortium, a member of a Community Advisory Board, and a Participant Lead for THRIVE: Trajectories of Recovery after Intravenous Propofol vs. inhaled VolatilE anesthesia, a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-funded multicenter, pragmatic, comparative effectiveness, randomized controlled trial.
He lives in Oakland, California, with his husband of 26 years, his elderly father, and Memphis the cat.
Marc Donner was born in a log cabin on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the waning half of the twentieth century. After high school he went west where he earned a BS at Caltech. After some time working at NASA and IBM Research he made his way to CMU where he earned a PhD in computer science working on Ivan Sutherland’s six-legged walking robot.
After his PhD he worked at IBM Research on robotics and distributed computing. The distributed computing work took him to Wall Street where he built large-scale systems and economic models, among other things. After Wall Street he went to Google where he rebuilt Google Health and worked on software for very large scale networks. After Google he led Uber’s NYC engineering office.
Marc now calls himself a recovering academic. He consults in high-tech, medical informatics, cybersecurity, software engineering, and general curmudgeonliness from his company, NYGeek LLC.
Whether he is between jobs or is retired depends on whether, as Ivan once said, “I take another job or die first.”