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AVA Foundation Board of Directors

2019 President  
Stephanie Pitts

Stephanie has worked in healthcare for over 20 years. She has followed her passion and has spent her nursing career focused in pediatrics and vascular access. She developed the pediatric vascular access program at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida in 2008 and remains a per diem nurse on the clinical team.  She was honored in 2017 with the Janet Pettit Scholar Award recognizing her research and dedication to advancing pediatric vascular access. Stephanie has served in various leadership roles with AVA including President of GulfVAN and President of the Pediatric Special Interest Group. 

Stephanie is the Director of Strategy for B. Braun Medical.  She enjoys the opportunity to work in the medical device industry bringing innovative technology to health care providers and patients. She resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband, Daniel and two teenage boys.  

Charlese Smithson

Charlese is a passionate nurse of 12 years. She has worked throughout the hospital starting med-surg, then mobile nursing, finding my true passion 6 years ago when we started a code team. Putting all previous years of experience to work responding to critically ill or coding patients. At this time she was also introduced to this specialty field, Vascular Access. First learning PICC insertions and building on that, USGPIV, midline, IO's. She has an understanding of  the patients need for reliable access and deliver. Having the opportunity to share that knowledge with others has brought her great pleasure.



Russell Nassof

Russell is an attorney with over 25 years experience in clinical healthcare and environmental risk management advising clients worldwide on liability and risk minimization for emerging issues. He has owned and operated 3 major consulting groups (one of which was sold to a public company), and is an active presenter and educator on reducing risk and liability for vascular catheter related issues and healthcare associated infections. Russell is a consultant to the insurance industry on managing risk for outbreaks (MERS, Fungal Meningitis, Ebola, Legionnaire's Disease)and with respect to the opportunity to underwrite coverage for emerging medical technological advancements. He has been instrumental in introducing legal and risk management issues to numerous healthcare organizations including ASHRM and APIC.

AVA Board Liaison 

 Lorelle Wuerz

Dr. Lorelle Wuerz is a visionary, innovative, results-oriented nursing leader who is recognized as a high-energy team player who achieves successful results.  Lorelle holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology, Psychology and Music. In addition, she has a Masters of Nursing Science (MSN) with a specialization in Leadership and Administration and has completed her PhD in Nursing with a specialization in leadership and administration. Dr. Wuerz is dually certified in Vascular Access and as a Nursing Executive Advanced.

Dr. Wuerz has worked in the Vascular Access specialty since 2005. During this time, she has successful transformed Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) teams, Outpatient Infusion Centers, as well as Inpatient Vascular Access IV teams and Phlebotomy teams in both the adult and pediatric settings. In addition, Dr. Wuerz has had experience managing Medical Surgical as well as a Labor and Delivery, Recovery, and Post-Partum, Critical Care, Surgical and Transplant services.

Currently, Dr. Wuerz works at New York Presbyterian Hospital, The University Hospital of Cornell (NYP/Cornell).  NYP/Cornell is an 800+ bed major metropolitan teaching hospital in the New York Presbyterian System, which has some 2,600 beds located New York, New York. Dr. Wuerz currently leads the Surgical ICU, Trauma and Transplant services and leadership liaison to vascular access services across the system.

Aside from Nursing, Lorelle is an accomplished musician and loves to play and piano and sing for personal enjoyment!

Pitamber "Pitou" Devgon


Pitou is a physician entrepreneur, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Velano Vascular and the inventor of Velano Vascular’s patented vascular device technology.

Prior to co-founding Velano Vascular, Pitou spent several years in venture capital at Safeguard Scientifics, focused on medical devices, diagnostics and healthcare IT investing. Pitou caught his entrepreneurial spirit while still in college as a dot-com entrepreneur in the collegiate web portal space by founding and directing the Student Information Network, which became Sinapse Consulting.

In addition to his ongoing staff physician appointment in the Medical ICU at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center Pitou regularly guest lectures at UPenn and the Wharton School on topics of entrepreneurship and healthcare investing.

Pitou holds a BA in biological psychology from the College of William & Mary, an MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 Jiaye Jho
MS, MEng

Jiaye joined the AVA Foundation Board In 2019. Jiaye holds graduate degrees in both Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. He has 20 years of professional experience in IT and Healthcare industries including executive management positions in the US, Europe and Asia for large multinationals, emerging market companies, investment banking and corporate M&A.


Reneé Odenhal


Renee' Odehnal has been a nurse for over 20 years with experience in a variety of clinical settings including cardiac, med-surg, ICU, pediatrics and infusion therapy. Renee’ has spent a majority of her career in clinical education and staff development. She is an experienced educator and speaker at the local, regional and national levels, and recently co-authored the 2016 revision of the VACC review manual. Renee’ received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her and her Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of St Francis and holds the specialty certification of Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI) and Vascular Access, Board Certified (VA-BC).

Grant Smith

 Grant joined the AVA Foundation board in 2018.

Amanda Ullman


Amanda is a a Pediatric Nurse, and Associate Professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Menzies Health Institute Queensland. She is also the Pediatric and Neonates Director and Industry Liaison for AVATAR. Currently supported by a National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) Fellowship and project grant, her research focuses on the prevention of complications associated with pediatric hospital admissions, especially those related to central venous access devices. Amanda joined the AVA Foundation board in 2018.