Board of Directors
Please meet the NSHA Board of Directors. This prestigious board includes professionals that forged the path for Safe Haven laws in many states across the U.S., adoption specialists, professors, nurses and more. Their dedication to this mission and support for NSHA is unmatched. We accomplish goals and provide professional direction for parents and providers with the support of their commitment to excellence.
Timothy Jaccard is a founding board member of the National Safe Haven Alliance. He is also the Founder and President of the AMT Children of Hope Foundation. Tim served as a full-time paramedic for the Nassau County Police Department, Long Island, NY. He works endlessly and passionately to educate and prevent the abandonment of infants. He is known throughout the world as the “Father of Safe Haven”.
Garden City, NY
Jeanine Castagna has been working in the field of adoption for over twenty years. She received her law degree from Hofstra University in 1996 and has been practicing adoption law ever since. Fifteen years ago, Jeanine started her own practice that focuses specifically on adoption law. Throughout her career, Jeanine has been involved in over seven hundred private placement domestic newborn adoptions, stepparent adoptions, and international re-adoptions. She is a fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, a member of the Adoption Committee of the New York State Bar Association, the American Fertility Association, RESOLVE, the National Infertility Network Exchange, and of DES Action. Jeanine and her husband are founding members of the Tender Loving Care Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the parents of babies in the neonatal intensive care unit of the Northwell Health System in New York, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of that organization. In 2008 Jeanine received an Angels in Adoption award from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
Prior to joining NSHA’s Board of Directors, John Salluard worked for a medium-sized, privately held corporation in Atlanta where he served as the Vice President of Finance and Treasurer for 36 years before retiring. Today, he lives in North Georgia with his wife with one daughter and four grandchildren. John graduated from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama. Today, John is an active member in his community and church. He volunteers as a board member with NSHA because he wants to do his part to prevent innocent babies from being wrongfully abandoned in his community and throughout the nation. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, and creating memories with his grandchildren.
Jennifer Rousseau is a long-time volunteer with the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation in Illinois and recently joined the NSHA as a Board member. She is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and works as an Assistant Professor at Rush University College of Nursing. In her current role, Jennifer coordinates a program where nurses make home visits to new Moms and their babies throughout Chicago. Jennifer earned her Doctorate at Rush University with a focus on screening for depression in the early postpartum period. This initiative is now standard practice on the mother-baby unit at the hospital. She has also led curriculum innovations including the use of OB simulation for students in the maternal-newborn course. Jennifer was recently awarded the Rush University Excellence in Community Service Award for her work on behalf of abandoned and relinquished infants and their mother and she has published several articles in the nursing literature, including a recent one in The Journal of Emergency Nursing with her co-presenter.
Emily Douglas joined the Montclair State University faculty in fall 2020 as full professor and chair of the Department of Social Work & Child Advocacy. Her research focuses on the program and policy implications of issues that address child and family well-being, largely in the areas of family violence: fatal child maltreatment, safe haven relinquishment, under-represented victims of partner violence and help-seeking, children’s exposure to partner violence, corporal punishment, family disruption, and the connection between research and policy. Dr. Douglas is the author of 60+ peer-reviewed publications, 4 books, and she presents annually at domestic and international conferences; she also conducts an annual evaluation of the NSHA hotline callers. Dr. Douglas has spoken at the State Houses in Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut and before a Congressionally-created committee focused on children’s deaths. She is a former Congressional fellow, sponsored by SRCD/AAAS; during this time, she held a position in the U.S. Senate where she was the lead author on an investigation concerning child deaths in for-profit foster care settings.
Dawn Geras is a founding member of the National Safe Haven Alliance where she serves on the Board of Directors today. Dawn is also a founding member of the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation (SAB), serving as President.
In 2000, Dawn read a newspaper article about a baby found in a dumpster and learned that other states were adopting safe haven laws to address this horrible problem. After wiping away her tears, she went to work, calling on anyone willing to help. Eventually a group of dedicated, big-hearted people came together to write what became the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act written at her dining room table.
This group then lobbied for its passage and it was signed into Illinois law in August of 2001 without a single negative vote. That fall, SAB was incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit organization. SAB’s is dedicated to saving the lives of newborn infants who might otherwise be unsafely abandoned. .The Illinois law allows parents to remain anonymous and not be prosecuted for abandonment if they bring an unharmed baby 30 days old or younger to Safe Haven site and hand the baby over to staff. SAB has amended the IL law numerous time, making improvements on the initial law. SAB works closely with the IL Department of Children and Family Services and numerous other State entities, to make people aware that Illinois has a safe haven law.
Dawn has many years of volunteer experience largely focused on children's issues. In 2001 she received the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition's advocacy award, and Illinois Senate Recognition for successfully passing the IL Abandoned Newborn Protection Act. In 2002 the Northbrook Civic Foundation also acknowledged her contributions. Dawn received the 2006 Woman to Woman Making a Difference Award from the Illinois State Treasurer's office.
SAB was the 2008 recipient of Prevent Child Abuse Illinois' Program Excellence Award. The March of Dimes gave special recognition to SAB for spearheading the Illinois legislation and initiative that provides safe options for a desperate parent in crisis at the Jonas Salk Health Leadership Awards Luncheon in September 2008. Also in September the Chicago SunTimes newspaper selected Dawn as one of the “50 People Who Make Chicago A Better Place.”
SAB is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the lives of newborn infants who might otherwise be unsafely abandoned in Illinois.
Dawn works with her husband, Bob Geras, President of LaSalle Investments, Inc., an active participant in the Venture Capital and Angel community in Chicago for over 40 years. They live in downtown Chicago. They have six children and thirteen grandchildren.