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4441 North Interstate 10 Service Road West
Metairie, LA, 70006
United States

(504) 648-3477

Conversations about organ, tissue and eye donation with hosts Lori Steele, Sally Gentry and Joey Boudreaux. Our goal is to raise awareness about the need for the life saving gifts of organ, tissue & eye donation. Help the Gifted Life Podcast share the latest information about donation and transplantation, share this podcast with your family and friends. Share your inspiring stories with us info@lopa.org or give us a call at (504) 648-3477. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

About Us

 

What We Do

The Gifted Life Podcast has entertaining and informative conversations about organ, tissue, and eye donation & transplantation. Our goal is to raise awareness about the need for these life saving gifts.

You can register as a donor at registerme.org

 
 
 

Lori Steele


  Lori Steele Community Educator

Lori Steele
Community Educator

My role is to maximize organ and tissue donation awareness and increase Louisiana’s donor registry. I work with our partners in schools, civic groups, businesses, churches, etc. to reach audiences interested in having a healthy discussion about donation. We have a strong volunteer base – made up of donor family members, recipients and those waiting on a transplant. Together, we give as much information as possible. Our hope is that those listening will see donation in a positive light and make an educated decision about donation – when they are ready to do so. We want them to take what they learned during their time with us and bring that information back home. We hope it sparks ‘another’ conversation…and another…and another.

What do you enjoy most about your work or working for LOPA?

I work closely with donor family members, recipients and those waiting on a transplant. Spending so much time together, we really become ‘a family’. I love what I learn about life from each and everyone of my new family members. They live life to the fullest! They don’t sweat the small stuff! They want to ‘pay kindness forward’! They encourage hugs! They share emotions! They want to make our world a better place! All that – hopefully – rubs off on me, my husband and our children!

Lori's background:

Lori Steele officially joined the life-saving team called the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (or LOPA) in 2010. Before that, Lori worked in TV News. She was a TV anchor and reporter for TV stations in the Lafayette and Baton Rouge areas. Starting in 1999, Lori ‘unofficially’ became LOPA’s media liaison – helping to promote organ donation awareness when possible. Lori fell in love with LOPA’s mission after covering a ‘Celebration of Life’ as a fledgling reporter. At that event honoring a HERO – an organ donor - she signed up to be an organ donor and has helped to promote the cause ever since. In 2010, following a national competition for organ donation awareness, Lori was named ‘The Most Enthusiastic Employee’ award for her ‘outside the box’ efforts to gain attention for the cause.

Interesting fact about you or what do you enjoy doing in your down time?

FAMILY is most important to me! I am a mother of 4 and my husband and I concentrate on making the most of our quality time together. A majority of that time for us, fortunately, is spent with those we have had the pleasure of meeting through LOPA. I am tickled that my 7-year old daughter knows more than most about organ donation. She thinks everyone should be a donor because in her words, "why wouldn’t you want to be?" FUN FACT: She volunteers "THE MOST" to speak at organ donation awareness events (she tells the stories of her ‘organ donor’ friends) and to play the part of our mascot – DEAUX NATE!

 
 

Joey Boudreaux


  Joey Boudreaux, RN, BSN, CPTC   Chief Clinical Officer

Joey Boudreaux, RN, BSN, CPTC
Chief Clinical Officer

My role is to oversee organ recoveries throughout the state of Louisiana. One of my areas of focus includes maximizing a family's gift of donation through the utilization of the latest medical treatments of patients who have suffered severe brain injuries. I hope that their loved ones can save as many lives as possible. Another area of focus is to insure that the surgical processes and packaging of organs are performed with the utmost level of proficiency.

What do you enjoy most about your work or working for LOPA?

The thing that I enjoy the most is when a donor family gets the opportunity to meet their loved one's recipients for the first time. It is truly a life changing event for everyone involved. I also enjoy working with a staff that embodies our mission with an incredible passion throughout their day to day lives.

Interesting fact about you or what do you enjoy doing in your down time?

I spend most of my downtime exercising, playing golf or just hanging out with my wife, friends, or family. The longer I work for LOPA, the more of an appreciation that I have for those things.

 
 

Sally Gentry


  Sally Gentry, LPC-S, FAPA, BCPC Family Services Coordinator

Sally Gentry, LPC-S, FAPA, BCPC
Family Services Coordinator

My role is dedicated to maintaining and extending quality follow-up services for all our donor families. Some of our supportive services include phone and written contact with families, grief counseling, emotional support, assisting with donor family and recipient requests for communication, facilitating direct contact, addressing issues or concerns, and interfacing with transplant centers and with other departments within LOPA. In addition, I see my purpose as one of being with families going through the labyrinth of emotional turmoil and helping them to see what good can result from a tragedy. Our department helps families focus on celebrating the life of their loved one and to see how one’s life can impact many others by saying YES to donation.      

What do you enjoy most about your work or working for LOPA?

I enjoy listening to family members reminisce about their loved one and how and what he or she did on a daily basis in life. One of the more rewarding parts of my job, is to hear the joy and excitement from a family and recipient when having the opportunity to meet and embrace one another for the first time. I am reminded of the emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and spiritual benefits of one-on-one contact.  A celebration of new found relationships.   

Interesting fact about you or what do you enjoy doing in your down time?

Sally came to work with LOPA in 2000 to design and implement a family services program. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and holds Fellow status and Board Certification with the American Psychotherapy Association. She has been active in the mental health field for many years providing crisis intervention and counseling services to individuals and families affected by suicide, families of homicide victims, and adult bereavement and grief counseling.    

My spare time is spent working in my yard and playing with my dogs and horses.  I’ve always been an outdoor person and find great satisfaction being in nature.  The peace and quiet allows me time to think and be grateful.

 
 

Chillon Caraway


  Chillon Caraway Digital Content Coordinator

Chillon Caraway
Digital Content Coordinator

My role as Digital Content Coordinator pools my cumulative experience in television, online and immersive media, technology, and public speaking. I contribute to the management of our social media and website, and maintain digital branding across platforms. I get to be creative, collaborating with others to tell awesome stories of transformation thanks to the gift of life. I am deadline oriented and thrive on 'Making Life Happen' in a timely manner!

What do you enjoy most about your work or working for LOPA?

Creating meaningful content and stories. I love that working for LOPA means something important; saving and healing lives matters. I get to go back to the early roots of my career when I felt it was my destiny to make movies and tell stories to the world. It's so amazing to see that young adult's dream culminate with this podcast, The Gifted Life, where one story can inspire one person to register to give the gift of life and in turn, save a life.

Interesting fact about you or what do you enjoy doing in your down time?

For those who are wondering this, it's pronounced like 'chiffon' but with ll's. If my name wasn't crazy enough, I also have 2 different colors eyes. One green, one brown. I love to cook for my family of men (husband and 2 teen boys). I make a mean crawfish etouffee and gumbo with, for a true Cajun, potato salad. Cutting grass in the summer sun with my headphones on blaring music is bliss. It's time spent with self and family that matters the most to me.

 
 

Kirsten Heintz


  Kirsten Heintz   Director Of Marketing And Communications

Kirsten Heintz
Director Of Marketing And Communications

I oversee a talented group of story tellers who are passionate about donation! Our community educators and amazing volunteers work together to share their stories with the hopes of motivating others to join the donor registry. I also supervise our various communication platforms, including the podcast, and our Louisiana donor registry

What do you enjoy most about your work or working for LOPA?

The opportunity to work with donor families and recipients is the best part of my job. Donor families continually inspire me with their generosity and remind me to be thankful for the time we have with our loved ones. Recipients, and those that are still waiting, motivate me to continually work harder.

Interesting fact about you or what do you enjoy doing in your down time?

I once made the cover of Donate Life America’s annual report by combining my passion for donation, scuba diving and photography into a single picture of me diving in Mexico holding a Donate Life flag!

 
 

Troy Perez


  Troy Perez   Digital Production Administrator

Troy Perez
Digital Production Administrator

I work in the IT department in various roles and I create content for multiple forms of media but mostly for digital media. I like to think of it as an engaging way to communicate with the public about our core purpose of making life happen. Every time we create content, like a podcast, it’s a chance to show people how the gifts of organ, tissue, & eye donation heal and save lives.

What do you enjoy most about your work or working for LOPA?

Recording the podcast, I get to hear many inspirational stories. Our team then gets to bring those stories to the public. Occasionally, someone will say how they were inspired by something they heard on the podcast and they registered to be a donor or they did something to support donation. I think that is what I enjoy the most. 

Interesting fact about you or what do you enjoy doing in your down time?

An interesting fact about me is that I'm a licensed helicopter pilot. In my free time I enjoy playing the guitar, cycling, and making homemade wine with my dad.