Support Us
Staff - Louisiana Pediatric Cardiology Foundation


Lori M. Smith, M.Ed.

Lori M. Smith, M.Ed., Director of Operations

Lori began volunteering with LPCF in 2007, when her own child was diagnosed with a heart condition, and she also served on the board before joining the staff. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Louisiana State University in 2001 with her B.S. in Elementary Education, grades 1-8, and concentration in early childhood education. A recipient of the Cain Fellowship, Lori completed the rigorous Holmes Program within LSU’s College of Education, receiving her Master’s in Education degree in 2002. A certified teacher, her eight years of experience in education from 2002-2010 encompassed a variety of roles in both public and private schools: elementary teacher, K-5th Math and Science Facilitator, and K-12 Director of Instructional Technology. From 2010-2013, Lori performed work for multiple education-based nonprofits in Baton Rouge, where her duties mainly included program management, development and grant writing. She began working for LPCF in September 2013, and her main roles include development, managing the family grants program, bookkeeping and daily operations, and facilitating the LPCF Heart Moms Facebook support group. Lori completed the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s Development Fellows program in 2015. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO). She was the recipient of the 2015 Saundra Lane Community Award. Contact Lori at [email protected].

Betty Backstrom, B.A., Communications Director/Grant Writer

As the newest member of our staff, Betty comes to LPCF with nearly 40 years of professional experience in communications, grant writing and development in the Baton Rouge community. In her most recent position as Director of Communications for the Louisiana Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, Betty was responsible for public relations and for the oversight and content of the Conference website, e-communication and social media as well as the content and production of an award winning magazine. Betty has also served as the Conference liaison to the denomination’s international news service as a reporter and feature writer. Prior to her 15 years with the Conference, she served with the Audubon Girl Scout Council (now Girl Scouts Louisiana East) as Director of Communications and Development. During her tenure there, she was responsible for all internal and external communications as well as grant writing and the Council’s annual giving campaign. Betty graduated from Louisiana State University in 1976 with a B.A. in Journalism and a specialization in Marketing. Her main roles for LPCF include grant writing and all aspects of internal and external communication. Contact Betty at [email protected]

Trish Caples-Tierney, A.S., New Orleans Chapter Coordinator

Trish began her journey with LPCF in January of 2016, a few months shy of one year after returning from Boston with her daughter Aubrey, where she received her 3rd open heart surgery. While preparing her family for the long track to Boston, she identified that there was a need for financial support and awareness of CHD children living in the Greater New Orleans area in Louisiana. Trish teamed up with LPCF as a Volunteer Heart Mom and has been working diligently organizing the LPCF Nola Heart Moms Facebook support group & events, coordinating New Orleans based fundraising, and securing sponsorships for LPCF’s events. Trish’s biggest blessings are her 4 children and supportive husband, Brandon. When she’s not beating the pavement as our NOLA Coordinator, she’s a Volunteer Tee-Ball Coach for Norco Recreation and a full time Commercial Account Manager for ORKIN Pest Control. Contact Trish at [email protected]