ABDA Volunteers and Staff

The ABDA Board positions and Hotline Operator positions are volunteer positions. Our volunteers and staff take pride in assisting others. Please be patient and know we will respond to your emails and phone calls promptly.


Behcet's Disease Hotline

Our volunteer HOTLINE  1-800-7BEHCET (1-800-723-4238) is operated by patients trained to answer general Behcet's related questions. For additional questions regarding specifics about your medical care, please contact your personal physician. The hotline is answered between the hours of 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM Eastern Time.


ABDA Hotline 

Sandra McElgunn, Coordinator



Patient Advocates 

Franco Barrientos, MD


Mirta Avila Santos, MD



ABDA Staff

Executive Director

Mirta Avila Santos, MD
Day to day business affairs, communications, image, advocacy, clinical research, social media, website, event coordination, conferences.



Correspondence and Database Coordinator

Maria Giannitelli
Data input and information, day to day correspondence, new members, notifications, confirmations, literature requests, membership questions and concerns.


Susan Bado
All bookkeeping, accounting, tax preparation and financial reporting.

Webmaster OPEN








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