Heroes Ball 2017


Karla Gordy Bristol

Karla Gordy Bristol is CEO of Gordy Bristol Entertainment, a host of the television show, “Beverly Hills View”, host and producer of a live social media show, “Karla Dawn Live” and an entertainment producer. She grew up in the entertainment industry with many legendary family influences, and formerly worked at Motown Records. Karla’s earlier years began as a professional dancer, instructor, and choreographer from an American Bandstand regular, to Lionel Richie and Smokey Robinson music videos, to international stage shows and concerts. After a colorful career in entertainment and real estate sales, executive producing ten short films, “Destination Beverly Hills”, on her home city was rewarding.

Karla is passionate about helping others and making a difference. She is the co-founder of Friends of Fuller B. Gordy and is co-producing their 11th annual entertainment Strikefest extravaganza, where they honor non-profits. She’s been on various boards, been honored and recognized by State Congressional Leaders, and the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills City Councils, and she’s especially honored to be on the board of Ava’s Heart Foundation and to be an Ava’s Heart Hero Award recipient. The stories of the transplant patients and witnessing Ava Kaufman’s compassionate heart, compel her to help with their mission.

Karla’s grateful for her experiences, teachings and lessons learned from her parents, Iris Gordy, a former Motown Records vice president and executive producer, and the late Johnny Bristol, a Grammy nominated songwriter and artist, and producer, which taught her to show kindness to others.

Dr. David J. Ross

Dr. David J. Ross is a pulmonologist at UCLA Medical Center and received his medical degree from Keck School of Medicine of USC and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Dr. Ross has focused on clinical and collaborative studies in the elds of lung transplantation and pulmonary arterial hypertension [PAH] at the UCLA Lung Transplant Program. Dr. Ross also devotes time to fund raising in support of development of a UCLA PEDIATRIC Lung Transplant Program, which is desperately necessary in Southern California.

Dr. Richard J. Shemin M.D.

Since 2008, Richard J. Shemin, M.D., one of the nation’s top heart surgeons, has held the position of Executive Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, and Co-director of the Cardiovascular Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. He continues to be a leader in the development of minimally invasive cardiac surgery, specializing in roboticassisted pro- cedures, and collaborates with UCLA’s Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology. Dr. Shemin initiated UCLA’ s participation in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Database to enhance quality improvement and patient safety.

His current research aims to induce stem cells to become cardiovascular cells, in order to repair or replace damaged areas of the heart. Dr. Shemin has been honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from both the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University. He was recognized for Outstanding Leadership from the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education. Most recently, Dr. Shemin was awarded the Lifetime Commitment Award from the Jewish Free Loan Association in Los Angeles.


CareDx Inc., headquartered in Brisbane, California, is a global molecular diagnostics company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of clinically differentiated, high-value diagnostic solutions for transplant patients. CareDx offers testing products across transplantation, including AlloMap® and AlloSure™ for post-transplant surveillance and Olerup SSP®, XM-ONE®, QTYPE®, Gamma-Type™ and SBT Resolver™ in pre-transplant testing.

Additional information is available at www.caredx.com.

SynCardia Systems, Inc.

Donate Life, is the nonprofit organization responsible for managing the organ, eye and tissue donor registry. Founded as the Coalition on Donation in 1992 by the transplant community, Donate Life changed its name in 2006 while launching the first Donor Designation Collaborative. In its twenty-five years of existence, the Donate Life community has grown donor designation to nearly 129 million registered organ, eye and tissue donors in the United States. Our mission is to save lives by creating opportunities for all Californians to sign up on the official state organ, eye and tissue donor registry. We educate the community about the need and importance for people to register their donation wishes. Our vision is that one day all Californians will embrace organ, eye and tissue donation as their personal responsibility.

SynCardia Systems, Inc.

SynCardia Systems, LLC, is a medical technology company focused on developing and manufacturing the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t). The SynCardia TAH-t is an implantable system designed to assume the full function of a failed human heart in patients suffering from end-stage biventricular (both sides) heart failure. The SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is the only artificial heart that is commercially available in the United States, European Union and Canada for use as a bridge to donor heart transplantation. Our mission is to eliminate end-stage biventricular (both sides) heart failure as a leading cause of death in the modern world.

When all other treatments fail, the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t) gives patients a second chance at life. Today, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart and its direct predecessors account for 96{4d6b2cf2e2354d2085f05a3b2a285fa1297d6dd1fc5a1a091ae78068b83e6d59} of all artificial hearts implanted into people. Thirty-five years of research and development led to the first implant of the Total Artificial Heart into Barney Clark in 1982. Since that time over 1,475 Total Artificial Hearts have been implanted with over 500 SynCardia TAH-t implants since 2012.