Who we Are

The Amniotic Fluid Embolism Foundation is the only patient advocacy organization, serving those affected or devastated by amniotic fluid embolism. Our mission is to fund research, raise public awareness and provide support for those whose lives have been touched by this often-fatal maternal health complication.

We are an international network of those affected by AFE, advised by a world-renowned medical advisory board comprising of respected physicians, nurses and expert researchers. The AFE Foundation also collaborates with other non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, prestigious academic institutions and corporate partners to help carry out our mission and vision.

Our mission is to spur research, raise public awareness and provide support for those whose lives have been touched by this often-fatal maternal health complication.

Our vision is that AFE is understood and preventable, thus resulting in a noticeable reduction in maternal and fetal death globally.

Stay Connected with the AFE Foundation

AFE Team Members

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Miranda Klassen

Executive Director

Miranda, an AFE survivor, is the Executive Director of the AFE Foundation, which she founded in 2008. She is responsible for defining and implementing the organization’s overall business and marketing strategic plans and is the primary driver in overseeing day-to-day operations. Miranda assisted in the development and implementation of the Amniotic Fluid Embolism  Patient Registry ™ in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. The registry, now the world’s largest database of AFE cases, will allow for future investigations pertaining to the genes and mechanisms associated with AFE.

Miranda spent 20 years in banking, finance, and business development. In 2015, Miranda left her career in banking to run the foundation full-time. Miranda also serves on boards of various maternal health organizations. She is the Patient Advocate for the Council for Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care based in Washington D.C., Executive Committee Member for the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), Executive Advisory Member for the Institute for Perinatal Quality Improvement, and as a member of the expert panel for the Pregnancy Resuscitation Program at Baylor College of Medicine.

Miranda is a frequent speaker, panelist, and lecturer on amniotic fluid embolism and patient advocacy. She is also a contributing author on research articles and most recently the nationally approved AIM Safety Bundle Patient, Family, and Staff Support after a Severe Maternal Event.

Miranda has been recognized with several honors and awards for her professional and personal achievements including a feature in the 2016 People Magazine’s Special Edition entitled American Heroes recognizing her work with the foundation.

Katy Imbrogno

Director of Communications

In 2013, Katy suffered an amniotic fluid embolism during the delivery of her third child. She is forever grateful to the incredible team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston for saving her life. After the traumatic experience and long recovery, Katy sought information and support from the AFE Foundation. Fully recovered, Katy felt a strong dedication and loyalty to the AFE Foundation and served in numerous roles as a volunteer. Katy’s extensive experience in communications and administration as a Human Resources Manager and Communications Specialist at Fidelity Investments made her the ideal candidate for the role of Director of Communications and Development.

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Samira Kamali

Research Coordinator

Bio coming soon.

Our Partners

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Proud Members

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AFE Board of Directors

Amy De Simone

Board Chair

After experiencing an AFE during the birth of her son, Aiden, in March of 2008, Amy immediately started searching for answers and other AFE survivors. Knowing she was fortunate to have survived such a rare and dangerous complication, Amy found it alienating to learn the grim statistics. After meeting through in a support group Amy met founder Miranda Klassen and the two became fast friends. Together, they have taken the early ideas and made them a reality. Amy serves as the board chair overseeing the strategic vision and mission. Amy also volunteers her time supporting her local March of Dimes chapter.

Michelle Moon

Vice-Chair

Michelle suffered an Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE) during the birth of her second child. Like many families, Michelle turned to the Amniotic Fluid Embolism Foundation to seek answers and support. Just months after her return home, she began to formulate a plan using her unique gifts and talents in the hospitality industry to benefit the cause. The result was Tango of the Vines a celebration of the senses showcases the delicious and diverse cuisine of San Antonio, Texas alongside the palate pleasers of local winemakers. Its first event, just 10 months later after her AFE, was a huge success! Now in its 4th year, Tango has raised over $100,000 to benefit the AFE Foundation for AFE research. Michelle serves as board vice-chair and oversees many of the strategic initiatives of the organization.

Paige Najvar

Director

In May 2007, Paige suffered an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) during labor with her second son, Elijah. Although the experience was a traumatic ordeal for everyone involved, both Elijah and Paige were fortunate enough to recover quickly and escape any lasting effects from this often fatal condition. A wildlife biologist and researcher by profession, Paige assists the foundation through her vast knowledge of federal and private grants, research proposals, and serves as the board secretary.

David Di Pietro

Director

After the loss of his wife, Teresa, during the birth of their son, Rocco, Dave was left with many questions. Why? What is AFE? Could this have been predicted or avoided? Could there have been a better outcome? Were there others who had lost their wives to AFE? He quickly connected to the AFE Foundation and soon after created an annual fundraiser at the Baltimore Marathon in honor of his late wife. Those efforts helped raise over $50,000 to support AFE research.

Sandi Gumeson

Director

Sandi is a Certified Public Accountant and has 20 years of extensive experience in financial analysis, forensic accounting, budgeting, forecasting and financial management. When a close friend suffered and survived an amniotic fluid embolism, Sandi wanted to support the mission of the AFE Foundation. Sandi’s extensive experience in finance, analysis, operations, budgeting, and forecasting enables her to provide a high level of expertise in overseeing the AFE Foundation’s finances.

 

Stephanie Arnold

Director

Stephanie suffered Placenta Acreta and an AFE during the birth of her second child. Stephanie spent  27 years creating and directing TV shows, music videos and documentaries. Stephanie shares her story and speaks on patient advocacy to various governmental and medical organizations. Named one of the Today’s Chicago Woman’s “100 Women of Inspiration.” She blogs and offers support to families affected by trauma and surviving against the odds. She has appeared on numerous TV shows, including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, The Steve Harvey Show, Good Day LA and has been featured in Yahoo, Women’s Health, Good Housekeeping, DailyMailUK, Cosmopolitan online and many more. Her multi-award-winning, best-selling debut book, 37 Seconds, shares those harrowing moments when life and death hung in the balance is being translated into many languages and currently being distributed worldwide.

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Diana Masulli

Director

Diana suffered an AFE in 2016, immediately following the birth of her first child, a daughter – Francesca, who was affectionately named after the ICU Nurse that took care of her. In the days that followed her AFE, and while she laid in the hospital recovering, it was her husband, Alan, who actually found the AFE Foundation through a google search and suggested Diana join the Facebook support group. It was there that she found an army of other survivors who understood what she was going through and supported her with the struggles that she and her family would face in the months and years that followed. In 2017, Diana reached out to the organization to volunteer and assist with the peer-based support groups.
Diana organized a blood drive to raise awareness and funds of AFE and other maternal health issues. In 2018, she and fellow AFE survivors in CT were instrumental in supporting a newly passed bill to mandate AFE education to all clinicians in Connecticut.

Diana holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has worked for state agencies supporting vulnerable children and adults and is currently a part-time social worker at her local elementary school. Diana hopes that she can continue to support other survivors and their families and raise awareness for the AFE Foundation and postpartum mental health.  

Invite AFE to Speak

We are proud to work alongside the medical community to provide timely and accurate information. We are available to speak at Grand Rounds, clinical meetings, and community events where the patient’s unique perspective and our expertise in patient education and AFE research are needed.