Our Team

Danna Merritt

(Founder and Executive Director)

Danna is a licensed clinical social worker with over four decades of experience working with families that have children with serious medical conditions. She founded the Parents Empowering Parents (PEP) program over twenty years ago and launched the Energizing and Empowering Minds non-profit in 2016 to continue to ensure that parents have access to the support that they need. Danna retired from Children's Hospital of Michigan and lives in Troy, MI. She is a mother…

Regina Aguirre

(Parent, National Facilitator Team)

Regina lives with her husband and two children in El Lago, Texas.  She is a paraprofessional in a Special Education classroom for 3rd and 5th grades and is a trained specialist in behavior for students with Autism and Specific Learning Disabilities. Regina is a symptomatic carrier of the Hemophilia gene.  Her son has severe hemophilia and her daughter is a carrier of the Hemophilia gene.  She has been involved in the Hemophilia community for over 20…

Ruben Aguirre

(Parent, National Facilitator Team)

Ruben lives in El Lago TX with his wife and two children.  His son has Severe Hemophilia A, and his daughteris a carrier for Hemophilia.  He is a Special Education Teacher for grades K-5. Ruben has been involved with the PEP program for 19 years. As a parent with a child with Hemophilia, this program has given him numerous tools to help him raise productive individuals with both of his children.  It has opened doors to…

Mina Driver-Nguyen, PhD

(Psychologist, National Facilitator Team)

Dr. Nguyen-Driver is a licensed psychologist and has been practicing for over 18 years. She currently works at the Oregon Health & Science University in the Hemophilia Center as the child and family psychologist. Dr. Nguyen-Driver consults, diagnoses, case manages, and treats psychological and psychosocial issues that results from living with a bleeding disorder. In addition, she has been part of the PEP program for the past 8 years. Most notably, Dr. Nguyen-Driver spearheaded the…

Brian Duffourc

(Parent, National Facilitator Team)

Brian is a dedicated husband and father of 6 children ages 2-12. Brian and his family live in Metro Detroit, Michigan. When not at his day job as a Web Developer, Brian enjoys spending time with his family, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time outdoors. Brian’s oldest child was diagnosed with a bleeding disorder, known as VonWillebrand disease, at age 1. After learning of his child’s diagnosis, Brian and his wife wanted to…

Jess Duffourc

(Parent, National Facilitator Team)

Jess is a dedicated wife and energized mother of 6 children ages 2-12, including twin girls. She lives in Metro Detroit, Michigan.  She's a busy stay at mom and loves every minute of it. She loves listening to music and watching movies.  Jess' oldest child was diagnosed with a bleeding disorder known as vonWilliebrands disease, at age 1. After learning of her son's diagnosis, Jess and her husband wanted to understand all they could about…

Lupe Torres

(Parent, National Facilitator Team)

Lupe is married and has three children. Her daughter has VWD type I severe and Factor V Leiden and her youngest son has Factor V Leiden and Hiperfribrinolysis. Lupe lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and currently works for Clark County School District as a Bilingual Interpreter. During her free time, she enjoys going hiking with her family, reading books, and watching movies and spending quality time with her family. Lupe has been involved with the…

You?

Are you interested in hosting your own PEP programs and/or joining our National Facilitator Team? We have a structured training program to certify new facilitators. Please contact us at info@eeminds.org if you are interested in learning more!