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2024 Walk to Cure Arthritis Honorees


Amy Birkel, COO
Heritage Communities
Corporate Chair

Amy Birkel is a dynamic and results oriented leader with a proven track record in operations and management. As the Chief Operating Officer at Heritage Communities Amy oversees a diverse portfolio of senior living communities spanning four states.

Amy’s journey in senior care began years ago as a caregiver fostering a deep understanding of the unique needs and aspirations of residents. Her dedication and strategic vision have propelled her through various leadership positions. Throughout her journey, Amy’s central focus has been on enhancing the lives of older adults, ensuring they can live life to the fullest.

Being a part of this year’s Walk is important to her as she has witnessed the challenges that many of her residents and clients with arthritis face daily. Join or support Amy and her team, Heritage Communities.


Michael Cofffey, MD
Medical Honoree

An Omaha native, Dr. Coffey is an orthopedic surgeon who focuses on pain, injuries and conditions of the hand, wrist and elbow. He has had longtime involvement with athletics at Creighton Prep High School and especially enjoys baseball, music, and exploring his Irish Catholic heritage.

Dr. Coffey is honored to serve as this year’s Medical Honoree for the Nebraska Walk to Cure Arthritis and has hopes he can help raise awareness to help find a cure for arthritis.


Don Dravland
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Adult Honoree

Don was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 27 in 1987. In February of that year, he had a left hip replacement. He started work at The Pines Country club in Valley 3 weeks later (where he still works today).

Don went on to have seven more surgeries through the years, elbow, two hip replacements, and four wrist surgeries. He is very grateful to Dr. Alan Jacobs and Dr. Kristin Twidwell at the Arthritis Center of Nebraska in Lincoln. They have helped him tremendously.

Don maintains a positive attitude. He misses playing competitive golf (now he is a casual golfer with no expectations). But he does not let rheumatoid arthritis slow him down.

Join or support Don and Don's team, Donny D


Morgan Romesser
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Youth Honoree

At the age of 18 months, Morgan could not walk. Luckily, her diagnosis was quick. She thanks Dr. Adam Reinhardt and Natalie Gomez for the quick response. Today, at nine years old she is in remission. Even though she can do most activities, she still factors in the pain.

Morgan is grateful to her family, having a home, being able to play with her friends and ride her bike. She loved getting the JA Power Pack. The teddy bear in the power pack helped with her pain. She accepted being the honoree because not only did she think it would be fun, but to share information about her journey with  juvenile arthritis. Her hopes for the future are that those with arthritis have no pain and that a cure can be found.

You can join or support Morgan's team, Morgan and Nona.