Meet Our Staff

We are pleased to introduce the ATHN staff—the people who are working every day to help ATHN achieve our goals and realize our mission. At ATHN, we all share a commitment to securing data, advancing knowledge, and transforming care for the bleeding and clotting disorders community.

Crystal Watson

Crystal Watson, ATHN's President and CEO has over 25 years of experience working in the blood disorders community in both government and nonprofit organizations. Since joining ATHN in 2008, Crystal has successfully championed the evolution of the technology and infrastructure underpinning the national database now being used to support research and surveillance.

Prior to joining ATHN, Crystal was with the CDC in the Division of Blood Disorders and the National Center for Public Health Informatics and spent 10-years with Hemophilia of Georgia. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina.


Linda Magliocco

Before joining ATHN, Linda Magliocco was the director of finance and CFO at the Mary M. Gooley Hemophilia Center in Rochester, New York for 26 years. She began working with ATHN in2006 as a volunteer helping with bookkeeping. She was invited to come on board full time as our finance director in 2013 and now serves as Vice President of Finance and Administration.


Moses Miles

Moses Miles, ATHN’s Chief Operating Officer, has over 20 years of experience in public health and informatics. He is responsible for working across the organization to ensure the execution of ATHN’s strategy. Moses has been with ATHN since 2010 and has been instrumental in the development of ATHN’s technical strategy culminating in the implementation of the ATHNdataset, Clinical Manager, Study Manager, and Research Support Infrastructure.

Prior to joining ATHN, Moses was a Senior Manager with Deloitte Consulting where he worked in CDC’s Center for Public Health Informatics. He also spent 6 years with the State of Georgia as its Chief Architect (technology) where he developed and implemented strategies to apply technology to government programs including public health initiatives. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia.


Michael Recht

As Chief Science Officer (CSO) for ATHN, Michael Recht, MD, PhD, MBA, works at the strategic and policy level to inform the scientific direction of ATHN. He works across the organization to define, develop, and implement ATHN’s science and research strategy.

As a pediatric hematologist, Dr. Recht has actively participated in over 100 clinical trials testing new treatments for children, adolescents and adults with bleeding and clotting disorders, including leading research involving gene therapy for hemophilia. Dr. Recht also continues to treat children and young adults affected by bleeding and clotting disorders as a member of the Hemophilia Center at Oregon Health & Science University.

Dunlei Cheng

As ATHN’s Senior Director of Biostatistics, Dunlei Cheng leads a team of biostatisticians, data scientists, and a project manager. While working at ATHN, Dunlei advises external investigators and in-house staff in designing research projects, conducting feasibility assessments, and performing primary and secondary data analyses. He oversees the ATHNdataset program, manages the analyses of ATHN-sponsored clinical trials, and responds to ad-hoc queries.

Dunlei received his PhD in Statistics from Baylor University. For more than 13 years, he has worked on many observational studies, clinical trials, and funded scientific research projects, which have resulted in more than 40 peer-reviewed papers. He has utilized state-of-the-art statistical methods, including bootstrap, mixed model, multiple imputation, semi-parametric regression, propensity score, and measurement error model when these approaches are desirable for better answering the research questions and understanding available data. He is fluent with statistical software SAS and R, as well as SQL syntax.


Melissa Creary

As Senior Director, Office of Public Health Initiatives, Melissa is responsible for supporting ATHN’s efforts to consolidate federal programs and strengthen partnerships, establish a Health Equity Program, and leverage ATHN’s capabilities to support medically underserved populations. With a distinguished background in public health, Melissa spent nine years at the CDC Division of Blood Disorders where she helped create and co-lead the first national program and data collection system for sickle cell disease and thalassemia. In addition to her work at ATHN, she is also an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies and her MPH in Public Health from Emory University.


Karen Droze

As the program director for the National Hemophilia Program Coordinating Center (NHPCC), Karen devotes her time to the national quality improvement initiative, as well as other NHPCC working group activities and communications. She has a Master of Science degree from the University of South Florida, and over 25 years of experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit health care sector. Before joining ATHN in June 2016, Karen served for 14 years as the regional coordinator for the Southeast Region Hemophilia Network at Hemophilia of Georgia.


Michelle Fitzwater

Michelle Fitzwater joined ATHN in 2018 as Director of National Surveillance. She is responsible for enhancing and strengthening ATHN’s strategic relationships with the CDC, the regional core centers, and the U.S HTC Network. She also is leading efforts related to the annual preparation of grant submissions and financial reports.

Michelle previously worked as the Director of Managed Care at Fresenius Medical Care and prior to that, she spent more than 13 years at Hemophilia of Georgia in client relations and managed care, working in the pharmacy operations and the 340B program.

Nikki Hirsh

As Senior Director of Research Programs, Nikki Hirsh is responsible for establishing processes to standardize and streamline the management of research programs at ATHN. She continuously evaluates the research program compliance, quality, and effectiveness, as well as identifies and develops opportunities for improvement. Nikki supervises program managers and collaborates with principal investigators on research protocols and publications. In her previous position at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, she successfully developed the multi-site program and created standard operating procedures, templates, and quality control forms. She has over 14 years of experience in clinical trials within private practice, corporate, and academic settings. She has a MS degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.


Stuart Morris

Stuart Morris joined ATHN full time in 2018 to oversee the software development team responsible for the Clinical Manager and Study Manager products. With a Bachelor’s in Computer Science from Clemson and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina, he has been working in software engineering and technical support for the past 16 years, managing development teams for seven years. In his previous roles he has worked to build software systems and integrations for dozens of large companies and institutions across the financial, insurance, higher education, and healthcare industries.

For more information, contact ATHN at