Meet the instructors that help deliver great, inspiring classes helping you live well.
H2K Happy Healthy Kids Studio
Dr. Robert C. Cantu Concussion Center
Elaine Anderson, BSN, RN
Elaine has been a Certified American Heart Association Instructor for over fifteen years. She provides CPR training and First Aid training to hospital staff in addition to classes in her community. This is Elaine's second year teaching Tender Beginnings classes. She enjoys teaching this highly motivated group.
Samita Apte, CYT
Samita Apte inspires students through the practice of yoga to connect with their own personal wisdom, healing abilities, and expansive potential. Samita has over six years experience as a Health and Wellness Coach, and five years experience as a Certified Yoga Instructor. She is also a Certified Yoga Therapist and has conducted Yoga for Diabetes workshops for prediabetics and Type 2 diabetics as a yoga therapist. She has a Masters in Computer Management from Pune University, India.
Libby Barnett, MSW
Libby teaches the traditional Usui System of Reiki Healing. She has over 30 years of experience blending Reiki with conventional health care and has taught over 7,000 people nationwide. She learned Reiki I in 1979 and Reiki II in 1981 from John Harvey Gray, one of the 22 Reiki masters trained by Hawayo Takata, the late grand master of the Reiki lineage, who brought Reiki to the United States in 1973. Libby teaches Reiki at many local hospitals and health centers, and she is dedicated to teaching this sacred healing art to promote health and conscious living on the planet. She is co-author of the best-selling book, Reiki Energy Medicine, Bringing Healing Touch into Home, Hospital, and Hospice, with over 65,000 copies sold in seven languages.
Frances Bigda-Peyton, EdD, psychologist and certified psychoanalyst
Dr. Bigda-Peyton has practiced individual and couples therapy for over 30 years and is a popular speaker at the center. A psychologist and certified analyst, she teaches and advises research at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. Her current research interests are in understanding obstacles to maintaining satisfying relationships and developing ways to build personal and community resilience.
Loocie is a Licensed Acupuncturist who effectively works to promote vitality and health for her patients. She has been formerly credentialed to practice acupuncture at Boston Medical Center as a clinic supervisor. Loocie works out of Lexington and has spent the last decade developing programs for stress reduction. She has also been a professor at the New England School of Acupuncture since 1996. Loocie’s patients benefit not only from the results of her techniques but also from the gentle care she provides. Her treatments are a reflection of the dedication and commitment to patient wellness that has defined her practice for the past 25 years.
Susan Burdick, LMT
Susan developed and teaches a hands on, light touch therapy technique called RESTORE (levels 1 and 2). She has trained and studied eastern and western healing techniques for over 30 years, and developed lymphatic RESTORE for people with lymphedema. Susan is a licensed massage therapist, Reiki master in two lineages, Polarity educator, former college instructor, and has worked at Portsmouth Regional Hospital located in New Hampshire. She is the author of the book Reboot Your Body, Flexibility for Better Body Function.
Theresa Caffarra is a doTerra Wellness Advocate expert in teaching and training participants how to use essential oils with friends, family and for self use and better health.
Melissa PT, DPT Campbell
Melissa graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, with a Bachelor's in Exercise Physiology and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Prior to joining Emerson, she completed doctoral internships with Emerson Hospital and Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital, focusing on orthopedic and sports rehabilitation and neurological rehabilitation in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Since working for Emerson, Melissa has completed the LSVT BIG certification program to treat patients with Parkinson's Disease. Her clinical interests include neurological rehabilitation, sports medicine, pediatric orthopedics and post surgical rehabilitation.
Betsy Cangelosi-Lind is a doTerra Wellness Advocate, trained in classes, seminars, and through personal experience using essential oils to help herself, family, friends and many others to improve one's well being.
Julian Cardoos is one of the few health and fitness experts in the Boston area. Having trained over 15,000 private training sessions and coached hundreds of clients across the country, his extensive experience in the health field has helped transform the lives of his clients.
Having struggled with his weight throughout adolescence, Julian decided to get his personal training certification through the National Academy of Sport Medicine in 2001, after he completed culinary school. Transforming his body and creating a new, happy life was his only motivation. After losing 60 lbs, he decided to help others. In addition to becoming a certified personal trainer, he is also a nutritional specialist, corrective exercise specialist and holistic lifestyle coach.
Now 13 years later, Julian has not only positively impacted the lives of his clients, but has also helped mentor and develop dozens of personal trainers. He has manged many fitness facilities in the Boston area including opening a 50,000 square facility. Today, he specializes in creating personalized fitness and nutrition programs for body transformation.
Daohui Chen is a certified TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) physician, treating patients with acupuncture, herbs, massage, and moxibustion. She received her Qigong associate instructor certification from Dr. Ming Wu, and is a certified massage therapist.
Guy Chiapponi's musical career began in 5th grade playing trumpet and singing in Glee Club. In college, he studied jazz piano, jazz trumpet and jazz voice, and also focused on classical voice, theory, sight singing and ear training. Guy has instructed piano, bass, trumpet, and voice privately for 25 years, and has worked as a K-12 music teacher directing all aspects of music instrumentally and vocally. Throughout his 47-year professional career, Guy has played bass, harmonica and trumpet, and has sung in a variety of bands and piano bars from Boston to Key Largo to Reno, NV.
He formed North Shore A Capella in 1979. and won the national A Capella championship in 1991. He recently appeared on NBC’s Sing-Off and finished in the Top 10 of the United States. Guy has performed with the The Temptations, Frankie Valli, Roberta Flack, The O’ Jays, Al Jareau, The Platters, The Drifters, Smokey Robinson and Jay Leno. In 2011, he was chosen the best soloist at The Harmony Sweepstakes in Boston.
Susan Chormann, CYT
Susan has been practicing and studying yoga since the mid 1990s. She became a certified instructor in 2001 and has been teaching consistently for over 14 years. In addition to her 200-hour certification, she is certified in trauma-informed yoga, Love Your Brain yoga for traumatic brain injury and concussion, yoga for pregnancy, yoga for children, yoga for seniors and Thai Yoga massage. Susan has also done extensive advanced training in yoga therapeutics, anatomy, mindfulness and energy studies. She has taught at area health clubs, yoga studios, hospitals, senior centers, synagogues and businesses in Acton, Concord, Carlisle, Devens and Lincoln. Her inspiration comes from numerous yoga styles, decades of dance training, and from her sensitivity to her students’ needs and energies.
Jennifer DiLorenzo-Backer, LSW
Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Certification in Level II EFT. She combines energy work and healing in her private practice work with all her clients. She believes in the power of the mind-body healing connection and aims at bringing energy work, and talk therapy to clients who are searching for an overall sense of peace and health.
Linda E Donalds, Board Certifed Hypnotist
As a Certified HypnoBirthing®Practitioner, Linda teaches these classes from personal experience, having used this method for giving birth to her daughter in 2008. She is also a Board Certified Hypnotist and has been a member in good standing with the National Guild of Hypnotists since 1998. Over the years, Linda has also completed several additional advanced training programs in the field of hypnotism, including certification in Complementary Medical Hypnotism and Hypnosis for Pain Management. She is uniquely qualified to help you achieve your desire for an easier more comfortable childbirth experience using hypnosis.
Arielle Driscoll, CPSC
Arielle Driscoll is a certified pediatric sleep consultant and founder of Expect to Sleep Again Sleep Consulting, LLC based in Bolton, MA where she resides with her husband and 2-year-old daughter. Arielle is also on the leadership team of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants, where she serves as social media and marketing manager, and special projects manager. Arielle has a passion for helping families—families who feel confused, defeated, scared, and exhausted—find sleep, health, and happiness. She does not believe in a “one-size- fits-all” approach, but rather believes in addressing each individual situation with all of its considerations. Arielle is devoted to helping each family find the path that is best for them. She spent more than a decade in the field of education before making her career change to become a certified pediatric sleep consultant. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a concentration in Women’s Studies from Boston University, and is committed to continuing education in the areas of sleep, women’s physical and mental health, infant mental health and child development.
Valerie Eagan, RPT
Valerie Ruccia Eagan is a physical therapy graduate of McGill University in Montreal, and has been working in the field for over 25 years. She is the founder of Ruccia Physical Therapy. She integrates many therapeutic models in her treatment and engages the whole person in a deep and personal healing. Her therapeutic approach includes hands-on massage and deep tissue work, trigger point release, myofascial release, crainiosacral therapy, therapeutic ball work, muscle energy techniques, core stabilization, aquatic therapy, feldenkrais and yoga.
Mary Evans, PT, MS, DPT, CEIS
Mary has a doctorate in physical therapy, and is a certified early intervention specialist, with over 20 years experience working with babies and their parents in both home and outpatient settings.
Jean Fain, LISCW, MSW
Jean Fain, LICSW, MSW, is a licensed psychotherapist and a teaching associate in psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. In her private practice in Concord, Mass., she uses hypnosis and mindfulness to treat everyday eating issues. Her weight-loss guide, "The Self-Compassion Diet," was named one of 2011's 10 new, noteworthy diet books by Time.com. Her health articles have appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, The Huffington Post, Shape and more. She has dedicated her work to helping others keep physically, emotionally and mentally fit.
Helen Farrah, BSN, RN
Helen is a graduate of Assumption College with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Early in her career she focused on adult intensive care but found she had a passion for the smallest patients. Her practice has encompassed over 30 years including 15 years at UMASS Memorial's Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and 11 years in the Special Care Nursery at Emerson. Helen retired in 2012 but missed working with new parents helping them to develop their parenting skills build self confidence and overcome their fears. She made the decision to return to Emerson. "I consider it an honor to help guide new parents through this most exciting time". In her free time Helen is a volunteer with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (The CASA Project) where she is appointed by the courts to cases involving children who have experienced abuse or neglect. She loves to read and spend time with family. Helen is the mother of one and grandmother of four.
Haiyan Feng is a certified tea master from China, Guzheng musical therapist and recording artist, therapeutic classical Chinese dancer and Chinese calligraphy artist and founder of The Way of Lotus a self-healing tea program. Since 1992, Haiyan practiced the Buddhist and Taoist Philosophy, Qi Gong, Meditation, Tibetan Chanting, Dance/movement, and energy healing that led her to a path of self awakening and alternative health & wellness discovery.Through many years of practicing the tea ceremony and exercising the mind and body every day, Haiyan has found the "magic key" to opening the door to a happy healthy life. Haiyan pursues her passion for educating others about the potential health benefits of high-quality tea. She performs The Way of Tea as a method to heal the body, mind and soul.
As a cultural ambassador, Haiyan has been invited to speak about Chinese culture and perform tea ceremony at many locations, at universities, corporations, Healing & Wellness Centers and Art and Music Groups in the U.S. She has an MBA from The University of Connecticut School of Business and a BS from Jilin University, China.
Chris Fournier, PT, DPT
Chris Fournier graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Prior to joining the Emerson staff, he completed Doctoral Internships with the Naples Community Healthcare system in Florida, and Physical Therapy Innovations in MA providing orthopedic, sports injury and post-surgical rehabilitation services. Chris is also active with community wellness programs such as the Golf Clinic.
Clinical Interests: Aquatic therapy, orthopedic, post-surgical and sports rehabilitation
Sarah Fuller, LA
Sarah is licensed to practice acupuncture in the state of Massachusetts, and has a Master's in Acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture (NESA). While at NESA, she studied Chinese and Japanese styles of acupuncture, with an emphasis on gentle and non-insertive techniques. Sarah has a passion for acupuncture and working with energy. A certified Reiki Master, she blends Reiki healing and acupuncture in every treatment. With her clients, she emphasizes the practice of self-care - including nutrition, stress management and mind-body awareness. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Bridgewater State University, where her focus on working with those with Alzheimer's Disease allowed her to develop the patience and deep compassion she brings to every client interaction.
Severina has trained extensively under creator Miranda Esmonde-White, and is the first fully-Certified Level 4 Essentrics instructor in Massachusetts. With 14 years of experience in ballet, she has worked with a variety of clients, including seniors, new moms and working professionals of all ages. She also works as a Mentor Trainer for the Essentrics Teacher Training department, helping instructors all around North America through the certification process and leading mini Teacher Training workshops.
Kim Genest, Certified Yoga Teacher
Kim Genest has practiced yoga for over 10 years. She’s a graduate of the CMYW Teacher Training Program, Sadie Nardini’s Rock Star Teacher Training, Evolution Training, Journey Training, and Sadie’s Total Transformation Training. She completed her 300-hour training with Theresa Murphy in June 2016, and received her 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification. Little did she realize how transformational yoga would be in her life. “Not only is yoga an amazing form of exercise, it is a tool for self-observation and a great coping mechanism. Yoga opens your heart and gives you a sense of connection, with your higher self, with humanity, with your community and with something greater. Yoga reminds me to breathe, ground and center, no matter what is going on around me. My personal practice is a mix of Vinyasa, Power, Yin and Restorative. I love it all. Practicing yoga makes me feel good and brings me joy! I love to share that joy with others.”
Jonathan Glass, LAc, MAc, CHT
Jonathan Glass is a licensed master acupuncturist, Ayurvedic practitioner, reconnective healer, energy healer, certified hypnotherapist, herbalist, muscle response tester and natural health educator. He is on the faculty of The Dharma Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda and has served on the faculty of the New England School of Acupuncture. He presently teaches at numerous yoga schools locally and throughout the US.
Jonathan studied massage therapy, hypnotherapy and nutrition at Heartwood Institute in California, acupuncture at the Worsley Institute for Classical Acupuncture in Florida and the College of Traditional Acupuncture in England. He received his Masters in acupuncture at the Academy of Five Element Acupuncture in Florida. He has also trained extensively in Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation while living in India, and through the American Institute of Vedic Studies and the Dharma Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda. Integrating his years of experience with the many tools and modalities he practices, Jonathan’s work is appropriate and effective for each patient. He leads seminars locally and nationally on the subjects of health.
Sensei Johanna Glazer began her martial arts training in 1990 and she earned her first black belt in 1993. She was promoted to the rank of Yondan (fourth-degree black belt) in Seirenkai Karate in 2013, and Yondan in Seirenkai Jujitsu in 2015. Sensei Glazer is a certified instructor of both arts having earned her Instructor Certification and the title of Sensei in 1994 and has been a Chief Instructor in multiple Massachusetts dojo since that time. She has taught numerous women’s self-defense and safety seminars at many schools and universities and has taught Karate and Jujitsu at youth centers. As the founder and chief instructor of the Concord-Carlisle Adult Education Karate and Jujitsu program since the 1990s, Sensei Glazer directly impacts the community through clinics as well as on-going Jujitsu classes. She is also a teacher at Concord-Carlisle High School and incorporates her understanding of educational theory to her martial arts instruction.
Sensei Len Glazer has been studying martial arts for over 30 years. He commenced training in Okinawan Karate in 1982 and has been studying Karate and Jujitsu with Master Dan Cohen since 1990. Sensei Glazer was promoted to the rank of Yondan (fourth-degree black belt) in Seirenkai Jujitsu in 2013 and Yondan in Seirenkai Karate in 2015. He is a certified instructor of both arts having earned his Instructor Certification and the title of Sensei in 1994 and has been a Chief Instructor in multiple Massachusetts dojo since that time. He also continues to train as a member of the Yudanshakai (Black Belt Association) and at international seminars. Sensei Glazer often incorporates his academic and professional background in psychology with his martial arts teaching and training.
Jamie Goldstein, PT, DPT
Jamie Goldstein graduated from Boston University with her clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy. Since graduation she has worked in inpatient and outpatient settings in both a supervisory and clinical capacity treating patients across the lifespan with a variety of orthopedic and neurologic diagnoses. Clinical Interests: Aquatic therapy, geriatrics, ergonomic assessments, and orthotic fabrication.
Trudy Goldstein, PT
Trudy Goldstein is a clinical physical therapist at the Emerson's Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies and is the primary lecturer for QUEST Seminars. A third degree black belt, Trudy has been practicing and teaching tai chi for over 20 years in the greater Boston area. In 1996, she won the gold medal in the East Asia All Martial Arts United US National Tournament for Tai Chi in her age class. Nationally, she presents tai chi classes to physical and occupational therapists who wish to learn about using tai chi to promote health. She has combined her love of tai chi and physical therapy, to bring together Eastern and Western medicine for the benefit of her students and patients.
Janice Greene, RN, CCE
Janice is a graduate of St. Anne’s Hospital School of Nursing and has worked in many nursing areas including all units on the Maternity floor. She is CAPPA certified as a childbirth educator and has taught childbirth education classes for many years. Janice used Lamaze breathing technique for the birth of her three grown children.
Andrew Hahn, PsyD
Andrew Hahn is a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Guided Self Healing, an energy psychospiritual mind-body framework for healing our deepest trauma. He also teaches workshops nationally on the Enneagram and the Essence Process (which he developed). He received his BA from Harvard University and his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Hahnemann University. He had been a faculty member in the graduate counseling programs at Lesley College and Northeastern University.
Ellen Harland, RN, CCE
Ellen graduated from St. Elizabeth's Hospital School of Nursing. After serving two years in the Army Nurse Corps, she joined the staff of Emerson. She has been on the Maternity unit for over 30 years and is cross-trained between the Labor and Delivery unit and the Mother-Baby unit. She became certified as a Childbirth Educator in 1996. Ellen particularly enjoys having a couple in her childbirth class, and then caring for them during their birthing experience.
Clare Harlow, MSW, Certified Career and Life Coach
As a Career and Life Coach, Clare helps people discover what they really want to do and find or design work that matches their personality and lifestyle. With warmth and humor, she offers personal and group coaching as well as classes and workshops on Career and Life Planning, Communication Skills, Work Life Balance, and People Reading using the DiSC Personality Profile and MBTI. Whether individually or in a group setting, Clare inspires and motivates her clients to take charge of their lives and define success on their own terms. Her motto is “It’s Your Life, Make it Work!”
Linda Holland, PT
Linda Holland, PT, is a staff physical therapist at the Center for Sports Rehabilitation & Specialty Services at Emerson Hospital. Linda graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy. Prior to working for Emerson, Linda worked in home care, outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation in Massachusetts and The Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in San Diego. Her present focus is neurological impairments, though she also treats orthopedic conditions. She is certified in LSVT™ BIG, a specialized program for Parkinson’s disease, and is a Parkinsons Wellness Recovery clinician. Her clinical interests include adult neurology, particularly Parkinson's disease and stroke rehabilitation, balance and fall prevention and adult and adolescent orthopedics
Vicky Hopley, CCLS
Vicky received a BA from Albright College, in Family and Child Studies/Pre-School Education. After working many years as a pre-school educator in Lexington Public Schools, she returned to Wheelock College to pursue a Masters degree in Child Life and Family Centered Care. Vicky has been working as a child life specialist on the Pediatric Intervention Team, the children's emotional health team at Emerson Hospital since 2007. She has four grown children.
Patricia is a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing Certificate Program where she also completed advanced studies in Education, Individual Group Supervision and Brennan Integrative Therapy training. She has completed the Practicum in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher Training at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Patricia has a passion for providing people with the tools and support they need to transform fear and self-limiting beliefs into life force and creative expression.
Lucy is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist. Since graduating from Framingham State College Lucy has experience working with patients and clients in both in-patient clinical areas and out-patient counseling. Lucy also provides nutrition lectures for the community and enjoys taking the science behind food and nutrition and applying it to our everyday lives.
Chris Iby, PT, DPT, CSCS
Chris Iby graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology in 2009 and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2012. Prior to joining the Emerson staff, he has worked in orthopedic outpatient clinics throughout the New England area treating injuries for adolescent and adult athletes. Chris is also an adjunct faculty member in the PT department at the University of Massachusetts.
Chris enjoys working with active individuals of all levels, helping them restore pain-free movement and return to sport. Clinical interests include sports rehabilitation, post surgical rehabilitation, manual therapy and functional movement evaluation.
Beverley Ikier, BCMTB
Beverley Ikier, BCMTB is a graduate of McGill University and Royal Victoria Hospital, and spent two years in post-graduate studies at the Montreal Neurological Institute and the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London. Beverley is a board certified muscular therapist and bodyworker, a certified Personal Trainer with the National Council of Strength and Fitness and certified with the Arthritis Foundation. As the creator of the Osteofitness program, she's completed courses on Tufts University's study, Strong Women Stay Young, and has been teaching strengthening for osteoporosis for 15 years at local Councils on Aging and at the Ikier Wellness Center.
Beth Innes, DVM, CVA, CVCHM
Dr. Innis is a practicing veterinarian, veterinary acupuncturist, certified canine rehabilitation therapist, and veterinary Chinese herbalist who treats her patients with an integrative approach both in the hospital and through home visits. She is a graduate of Tufts University and University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Rachel Kim, PT, DPT
Rachel Kim graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She has experience in the outpatient setting with special interest in prevention and management of running injuries, concussion management and female pelvic health. Rachel received her Level I certification through the American Physical Therapy Association’s Women’s Health Section. She is active in Emerson Hospital’s running injury assessment and running conditioning clinic. Clinical Interests include orthopedic and spine rehabilitation, concussion management, running injuries, running conditioning clinic, and female urinary incontinence.
Maryellen King is Director of Community Relations, Concord Park Senior Living.
Maryellen is an accomplished community outreach professional and experienced trainer, most recently using her talents promote assisted living and memory support options at Concord Park and to instruct the community’s public education programs for seniors and their families. Her current courses cover food choices that support brain health, Mild Cognitive Impairment and dementia awareness. She believes in destigmatizing memory loss and related afflictions and hopes that her awareness trainings will help forward the Dementia Friendly Communities Initiative across the state.
Peggy Kleimon, RN, CCE
Peggy attended Boston University and received her Bachelors in Elementary Education and an Associate Degree in Nursing. She has been a Labor and Delivery Nurse since 1985 and retired in 2012. She really missed her patients, labor and delivery and teaching Childbirth Education classes, so she has come back. Peggy has been certified as a Childbirth Educator since 1993. Peggy is also certified as a Happiest Baby On The Block Educator and will be teaching the Grandparent classes. She will draw upon her years of experience as a grandmother.
Jo Evans Koenig
Jo Evans Koenig, Brennan Healing Science Practitioner, has had an active healing practice in Falmouth, MA for 16 years where she offers her clients compassionate and experienced care for physical, emotional and spiritual life challenges. Her practice has an emphasis on working with clients who have the experience of cancer in their own lives or in the lives of their family members. She works with both adults and children. Jo has had cancer and found her personal experience to be a rich and rewarding opportunity to explore her priorities and choices in life.
Jo works with each person’s unique life experience to help relieve stress and support change that creates and maintains health and joy. The method she uses is based on her training at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, a four-year vocational school in Miami, FL. Jo also finished several levels of advanced certification and is a former member of the faculty of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, Japan. She has taught the Fundamentals of Brennan Healing Science in many places in the US and her native Australia.
Jo is also a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher. The use of breath work and meditation are crucial for health and healing. She also trained with the Visiting Nurse Association to become a hospice volunteer. Her formal education includes courses at University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales in Australia and Boston University and Lesley University. She is a member of the Brennan Healing Science Practitioner Association-USA, the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals and the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers’ Association.
Kathy Kommitt, LICSW, MEd
Rich Kosses, PT, DPT, Senior Physical Therapist
Rich Kosses graduated from the MGH Institute of Health Professions. He has worked in outpatient settings with a focus in orthopedic and sports related injuries. Rich has worked with athletes of all levels from amateur to professional. He also works with the community sports programs in Westford. Clinical interests include sports rehabilitation, post surgical rehabilitation, community wellness programs
Lorraine Lafata (La Reina) has been a popular performer in the Boston area for many years. She is well known for her ability to infuse her dance performance with love, joy, playfulness and a powerful honesty and sincerity. Lorraine is an inspiring belly dance instructor, who began her career as a founding member of The Goddess Dancing. She is currently a collaborator in Sacred Source Belly Dance and creator of the Belly Dance As Healing Dance Series. She has published articles on the interconnectedness of belly dance and women's healing and is nationally known for her collaboration with Delilah of Seattle. She was also one of instructors and organizers of the first North American Spiritual Belly Dance Conference.
Michael Leacher, MA
Michael Leacher, MA, has practiced Tai Chi and Qigong for over thirty years, with an interest in both the health and spiritual aspects of these practices. He received his Qigong Associate Instructor certification from Dr. Ming Wu. He is also an advanced Tai Chi student of Dr. Wu, and has studied Tui Na Therapy with Dr. Wu. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Nutritional Counseling and Related Healing Arts from Lesley University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. He is also a Certified Instructor of Integral Yoga Hatha, and has studied Yoga, Buddhism, and Taoism, as well as studying and practicing various methods of meditation, throughout his adult life.
Linda Leland, Certified Holistic Health Coach
Linda received her training at Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Linda also has a BS in Natural Health from Clayton College of Natural Health, is a student of Rhys Thomas Institute of Energy Medicine, is a Certified Raw Food Chef, Whole Foods Chef, and a nutritional educator.
Nonny Levy, LICSW
Nonny Levy has practiced tai chi for 12 years and has received her Instructor Certification through Dr. Ming Wu, continuing as a student of Dr. Wu for eight years. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a Bachelors Degree from Barnard College and a Masters Degree from Boston College. She has been a psychotherapist in clinical practice for 30 years. She enjoys the process of sharing tai chi with others and experiencing together the many benefits of tai chi for body, mind and spirit.
Susanne Liebich has been a dance and movement instructor, a choreographer and program director for over 20 years. She takes a balanced, holistic approach to exercise blending traditional, expressive and therapeutic movement to create overall health and well being. She is a Certified Stott Pilates® Instructor, a Certified Black Belt Nia® Instructor, a licensed Dance for PD® Instructor, and continues to explore interests in various forms of dance, music and movement. She has also taught classes to at-risk teenage girls who reside at the Metro Youth Services Facility in Dorchester, served as Development Chair for BalletRox, and volunteered extensively for Concord Public Schools. Most recently, her classes include instruction in both dance and injury prevention to disabled children, older adults and other special population groups with limited mobility.
Laraine Lippincott, CYT, MEd, MFA
Laraine Lippincott considers herself a yoga nerd and has been teaching yoga for 12 years. She started studying yoga while a student at Wellesley College and now specializes in Gentle Yoga. In her classes, she offers a fusion of Kripalu postures, Anusara heart openers, Kali Ray Triyoga flows and Kundalini breath work and mantras. A registered teacher with Yoga Alliance, she is also certified in Pilates, Kripalu Yoga Dance, Radiant Child Yoga, and Yoga Dance for Special Populations, and continues her studies for her Yoga Therapy certification through the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She has a Masters in Education and a Masters in Fine Arts, both from Boston University.
Sensei Lisauskas holds fourth-degree black belts in both Seirenkai Karate and Seirenkai Jujitsu. He began his martial arts training in 1990 and received his first black belt in 1995. He began teaching in New York and Massachusetts in the 1990s and internationally in 2002. He currently teaches Karate at Emerson Hospital, Brandeis University and Babson College. He also serves as a Director of the International Seirenkai Organization. A nationally recognized innovator in public policy and city administration, Sensei Lisauskas brings outstanding communication and leadership skills to the Emerson community in his teaching of Seirenkai Karate.
Julie Lorden, PT, DPT
Dr. Lorden is a staff physical therapist at the Center for Sports Rehabilitation and Specialty Services at Emerson Hospital. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Her undergraduate degree is in exercise physiology. Prior to joining the Emerson staff, Dr. Lorden completed Doctoral Internships with Lahey Clinic and St. Joseph Hospital focusing on orthopedic, vestibular and neurological outpatient care. She is certified in the LSVT® BIG program for Parkinson’s patients, and is involved in the vestibular rehabilitation program, Better Balance Clinic and ACL injury prevention wellness program at Emerson Hospital.
Her clinical interests include neurological particularly Parkinson's and stroke rehabilitation, vestibular, orthopedics and sports rehabilitation, and concussion management.
Jocelyn MacDonald, PT, DPT, LAT, ATC, Staff Physical Therapist
Dr. MacDonald graduated from the University of New England with a Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training, and the Mass General Hospital Institute of Health Professions with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Prior to joining Emerson, Dr. MacDonald gained clinical experience at outpatient orthopedic clinics and inpatient rehab hospitals in the Boston area. She has experience in sports rehabilitation at various levels of competition and remains active as a Certified Athletic Trainer.
Clinical Interests include sports medicine, pediatric rehabilitation, community wellness and concussion management.
Lisa MacDonnell is a licensed body and energy worker with a private practice in Concord, MA. As a holistic practitioner, she offers a blend of traditional and body-centered therapies that support you in maintaining or regaining optimal health by activating your own intrinsic abilities to heal. Lisa is a long-time a practitioner with the Healing Garden, a non-profit cancer wellness center in Harvard, MA.
Lisa Mair, MS, Certified Holistic Coach, Nutritionist
Lisa has been studying nutrition, yoga, and natural health for decades. When coaching clients and cleansers, she integrates her solid foundation in the nutrition sciences with beneficial natural health approaches. Although she considers herself a hack in the kitchen, she thoroughly enjoys testing new recipes from the vegan and raw food worlds. She is driven by a desire to help people feel their absolute best through do-able nutrition and lifestyle tweaks. Lisa is the co-creator of the Ultimate Rejuvenation Cleanse, and has been leading seasonal cleanses three times a year since 2010. Lisa has an MS in Food Science and Nutrition, is a certified holistic health coach, and a certified Kripalu yoga teacher.
Lauren is a Certified Level 3 Essentrics instructor and health & wellness coach. For the past 10 years, Lauren has worked as a health and wellness coach at MIT helping students, faculty and staff lead healthier lives. Lauren discovered Essentrics in 2015 and immediately recognized it as an exercise program that is safe, effective and accessible for people of all body types and abilities. Shortly after beginning a regular practice of Essentrics, she found that it transformed her body, giving her long, lean muscles and decreasing discomfort in her joints from years of running. She has been teaching Essentrics for two years and has studied with the program’s creator, Miranda Esmonde-White in Montreal, Canada.
Carolyn has been doing qigong since 2009. She's completed an Associate Instructor and Instructor certificates with Dr. Ming Wu and continues practicing qigong weekly with him. She teaches qigong weekly at the Council on Aging in Stow and has taught multiple classes for the Rainbow Life Long Learning Institute Boston. Carolyn has been an educator for 43 years. She worked in the public and private sectors teaching people of all ages.
Learning and practicing qigong has been a healing journey for Carolyn. Sharing this practice with others is one of her greatest joys.
Nicki McGachey, CPT
Nicki is a personal trainer and TRX instructor at Personal Training International. She appreciates working with a broad spectrum of clients and specializes in injury prevention, running and gait biomechanics, as well as postural awareness. Nicki holds certifications from the American Council on Exercise and TRX and has over 14 years of athletic experience as a distance runner.
Lauren McHugh has a B.A. in Behavioral Sciences from Bentley University. She is a Wellcoaches’ Certified Health and Wellness Coach, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Senior Fitness Specialist, and Certified Health and Wellness Coach.
Johanna Morse, CCRT
Johanna has worked at Emerson for 25 years. She is a respiratory therapist has been certified as a respiratory therapist for over 30 years. Johanna holds a BS from Northeastern University. In addition, Johanna is a health educator in CPR.
She is certified by the American Heart Association as a CPR instructor. She is also certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a neonatal resuscitation provider.
Michele O'Toole, RYT, RN, BSN
A yogi and a nurse, Michele began practicing yoga in 1988. Certified in Forrest Yoga in 2005 and pre-natal yoga in 2011, she has continued throughout her adult life to practice and study various yoga disciplines. In 2000 she studied Ashtanga yoga in Mysore, India, with Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois and studied Indian philosophy with a local Indian professor. She continued her yoga practice through the years. She loves teaching yoga because she enjoys helping others find out for themselves how yoga can effect positive change in their lives.
Glynis Olson, RNC, CCE
Glynis has worked in Maternity units for over 40 years. She worked as a midwife in England before moving to the United States. She has been a Childbirth Educator for over five years, and really enjoys helping young couples start their parenting journey.
Charlotte Ott, RD
As Head Chef on Appledore Island, Charlotte uses only fresh, whole food ingredients to create healthy, delicious meals for the island staff and guests. She draws upon her knowledge of nutrition and health coaching to inspire and teach us to prepare deeply nourishing meals with plenty of herbs, spices, and wholesome foods. When she is on the main land, Charlotte teaches yoga and presents workshops on nutrition, Ayurveda, cooking, and yoga. Charlotte is the co-creator of the Ultimate Rejuvenation Cleanse, and has been leading seasonal cleanses three times a year since 2010. She is a certified holistic health coach and certified yoga teacher.
Caroline Owen, Certified Holistic Health Coach
Caroline is passionate about helping people live longer, happier lives by coaching them to build habits that enhance their health. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, specializing in weight loss, stress reduction and life balance, who takes great satisfaction in producing lasting results for her clients. As a skilled holistic health instructor, she considers all factors that affect her clients’ wellbeing, and provides solutions and support to help them achieve their goals. Caroline coaches individuals and couples, leads group workshops and speaks at corporate events on a variety of health related topics.
Caroline is certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She holds a business degree from Babson College and has over 25 years experience as a real estate law professional. Caroline has been a group fitness instructor for nearly 20 years, and is a triathlete. She's a consultant with Arbonne International, a 35-year-old, multinational company delivering pure, safe and beneficial health solutions. Most importantly, she is the mom of three thriving, active children who challenge and inspire her daily.
As the founder of the Dynamic Mind Institute in Bellingham, MA, Joe is a full-time hypnotherapist working with clients daily. He has successfully completed basic and advanced training as a hypnotherapist with the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH), which is the largest professional hypnotism organization in the world. He became board-certified by the NGH in 2004 and then became a certified instructor to train NGH-certified hypnotherapists two years later. He has 25 years experience as an adult educator, changing people’s minds for the better.
Sharon has a background in dance and ballet and has participated in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. Since 2009, she has been AFFA-trained and certified in Zumba Basics 1&2 and Zumba Toning. In 2010 she obtained Zumba Gold, Beginner, Chair Certifications. In 2014 she was certified in the new Zumba Step. Sharon became an Apprentice Essentrics Instructor in 2015 and is presently working toward level 1 certifications.
Maria Rader, Med., CCE, CD
As a birth doula, Maria regularly supports women through the labor process, and throughly enjoys working with families as they prepare to welcome their new members. Maria previously taught preschool and elementary school, and now appreciates facilitating adult learning in Emerson's Natural Childbirth classes. She remembers how important this preparation was for her two births 15 and 17 years ago.
Jeri Ravis, RN
Jeri Ravis, a registered nurse, manages Emerson Hospital’s student volunteer program. Jeri has experience throughout many areas of health care, including Pediatric nursing, surgical nursing and home care. She is a member of the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary and served on the Board of the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.
Claire Rindenello, RRT
Claire Rindenello RRT, is the coordinator of Emerson Hospital's Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. As a facilitator of the Freedom from Smoking program, Claire will educate and assist participants in overcoming their tobacco addiction.
Claire is also a professional flutist who performs and teaches locally.
A certified yoga instructor, Janine's work includes recovery from illness, trauma and stresses caused by everyday living. Janine's yoga practice provides tremendous therapeutic benefits on the body, improving breathing, vitality, concentration, healing and relaxation.
Sonny Rose, MA
Sonny Rose, MA, Counseling Psychology, is a psychotherapist and founder of The Healing Beyond Cancer Program. Sonny has spent over 20 years beyond graduate school studying and applying contemplative healing modalities from India, Tibet and Nepal.Her extensive experience working with diverse groups has the added benefit of providing a comprehensive focus on each person’s needs. Sonny offers practical mind-body principles, meditations, and exercises for empowerment and living beyond cancer.
Sonny’ s personal experience with cancer has given her great insight and understanding of the needs for both the individual and family dealing with a cancer diagnosis. After going through multiple surgeries and treatment, Sonny realized there was a lack of support in helping people heal beyond cancer and provide a process for those who truly wish to live an authentic life including the benefits derived from accepting mortality.
Sonny has taught at Lesley University as an adjunct faculty member and worked in Rehab Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She has a successful 20- year private practice in Concord MA, and has developed, facilitates and directs workshops nationally for The Healing Beyond Cancer Program.
Lori's mission is to help her clients achieve their goals through effective, fun workouts. For the past eight years, Lori has helped numerous clients change their bodies and lives in a positive way by teaching the importance of exercise and a healthy diet. Certifications/ Qualifications: AFAA Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor; SCW Pilates; Barre TRX; and Rip Trainer MADD Dog Spinning
Karen Jo Shapiro, PsyD
Karen Jo Shapiro is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Coach who works with professionals and leaders from non-profit, educational and corporate settings. She has been on adjunct faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership since 1999 and regularly facilitates workshops in all kinds of settings on interpersonal skills and self-awareness for professional and personal development. Some of her topics have been conflict competence, learning to give effective feedback, team building, managing change, self-care and stress management.
Kate Smyers, RN, BSN
Kate Smyers is a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner with over 30 years of experience in nursing and geriatric care management. Through years of experience she understands the power of combining Eastern and Western medicine to treat the whole person. She enjoys teaching classes to share Jin Shin Jyutsu and self-help methods for healing with all age groups.
Fran Spayne, MA
Fran Spayne, MA, a Holistic Therapist/Mind-Body Wellness Coach, and Reiki master, has taught courses all over New England on the Power of the Mind and the Mind-Body Connection to hospital staff and medical professionals, patients, teacher, parents and students, military veterans, at wellness centers and medical fairs, at medical conferences and public health fairs.
Robert C. Cantu, MD
Ann McKee, MD
Grant L. Iverson, PhD
Ross D. Zafonte, DO
Mary Ann Williams-Butler, MA, CCC-SLP
Naseem Chatiwala, PT, MS, DPT, NCS
Nicole Finch, MS OTR/L
Jessica Gravel, PT, DPT
Josh Avery, PT, DPT
Ryan Stoddard, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Ryan Stoddard, PT, DPT, Clinical Specialist-Orthopedics, CSCS, Chief Physical Therapist at Emerson Hospital. Dr. Stoddard graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell with a doctorate in physical therapy and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology. He achieved a specialty board certification in Orthopedics through the American Physical Therapy Association in 2009. Dr. Stoddard earned his strength and conditioning specialty certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2000. He brings a collaboration of outpatient therapy skills from nine years of practice to the Emerson Center for Sports Rehabilitation at the Thoreau Club. His treatment style incorporates the best evidence-based medicine with manual therapy and corrective exercises. He is an active member of the APTA-Sports and Orthopedic sections.
Clinical interests include manual Therapy (Norwegian- and Australian-based approaches), sports injury post-surgical care and prevention, orthopedics, the Overhead Athlete, and spine care. Outside interests include mountain biking and competing in triathlons.
Michelle Stolow, MAT, IBCLC
Michelle has a master's degree in child development from Tufts University and received her International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2002. She has been teaching the Tender Beginnings prenatal breastfeeding class since 2004. She enjoys working with new and expectant families and helping them reach their breastfeeding goals.
Nancy Sweeney, MEd, PsyD
Dr. Nancy Sweeney has long pursued a study of why seemingly simple changes are so hard to make. She is a clinical psychologist with more than 20 years in private practice in Arlington, MA. She did her graduate work at Harvard University and at William James College (formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology). She is also a clinical instructor in psychology at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. Her additional interests include her work with the Asylum Network of the Physicians for Humans Rights, and the culture of Mexico and Central America. A long-time meditator, she is an advocate of the benefits of mindful living.
Wendy Tian is a professor at the New England School of Acupuncture and a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist.
Danielle has a Bachelors degree in Marketing and a Masters degree in Educational studies from Southern New Hampshire University. She has been working with children since 2006 at Sylvan Learning Center, leaving her Director of Operations position in 2012 to resume her passion of working directly with children. A dancer of 20 years, Danielle has extensive experience with a variety of age groups from preschool to high school.
True Story Theater
True Story Theater is a nonprofit, improvisational theater company whose mission is to promote social healing through theater. Volunteers from the audience help to share what’s important in their lives, then, on the spot, actors portray the heart of what they hear using music, movement and dialogue.
From this simple interaction, people laugh, cry, share fresh insights and bond. The event creates a respectful atmosphere where every voice can be heard and any story told — however ordinary or extraordinary, difficult or joyful. True Story Theater offers audiences fresh perspectives, deeper connections and a renewed appreciation for our common humanity.
Pam Vlahakis, RYT, MEd, RD
Pam is a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Teacher Alliance. She has a Masters in Education and over 20 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian. She completed her yoga teacher training in 2001 at Yoga Spirit Studio in Essex, MA. Her eclectic teaching style integrates various yoga traditions including Kripalu, Iyengar and Astanga. Her teaching is also inspired by continuing-study and training in Yoga Therapy and Medical Qigong. She has been teaching yoga for adults, teens and kids for the past 10 years.
Julia Walderzak is the founder of H2K Happy Healthy Kids Fitness Studio and the instructor for most of the H2K classes at the Emerson Wellness Center. H2K is a unique fitness studio that was opened to provide an alternative, non-competitive path to fitness and health for children and families. Julia currently has her 4th degree red belt in Tai Kwon Do and has certifications in Zumba, kids Zumba, kickboxing, radiant child yoga levels 1-3, and Yoga for Children with ADHD, autism, and those who are differently-abled.
Judy studied Tai Chi, Tui Na, and Qigong under Dr. Ming Wu, and is certified as an instructor in Tai Chi and Qigong. All are based on the teachings found in the Tao. Studies in the Tao te Ching and Chuang Tzu showed that her philosophy through life was similar to that found in these ancient writings.
Holly West, RN, BSN, CCE
Holly is a graduate of UMass Lowell Nursing School. She started her nursing career as a postpartum nurse at Emerson Hospital and currently works in both the newborn nursery and labor and delivery as well. She is passionate about teaching new families, especially first time parents, about the labor process and their newborn. She also loves to watch her childbirth education students' birth experiences from beginning to end and feels lucky to be able to do so!
Patricia White, MS, OTL/R
Ms. White graduated from SUNY at Buffalo with a master's in occupational therapy. She has more than 30 years of outpatient experience at Emerson and is responsible for the development and growth of many of the current occupational therapy orthopedic rehabilitation programs. She is trained in oncology rehabilitation and is a member of the Be Strong Cancer Care Team.
Kathy Whitham, RN
Kathy Whitham, RN, is a parenting coach who believes that children thrive when their parents thrive! Kathy helps parents be their best by supporting, guiding, educating and empowering them to restore calm, nurture deeper more connected family relationships and promote peace and play at home.
Her coaching style is a unique combination of empathy, expertise, and experience drawn from over 20 years of maternal-child nursing, holistic healing practices, yoga, and the arts, as well as imperfectly raising her three children to happy, successful adulthood. According to Kathy, “Connection matters more than perfection!”
Kristin Wood, PT
Kristen is a staff physical therapist at the Center for Sports Rehabilitation and Specialty Services at Emerson Hospital. Kristen graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. She has worked in orthopedic outpatient clinics primarily, but also works in acute care and rehabilitation at Emerson Hospital in Concord. Her past experience includes working in private outpatient clinics for trainers for professional sports teams and at New England Baptist Hospital. Her clinical interests include orthopedics and sports rehab, balance and vestibular training, and spine program.
Ming Wu, PhD
Ming Wu, PhD, a third-generation herbalist, has studied Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Qigong and Tai Chi since 1972. In 1981, he attended the University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Guangzhou, China. In 1986, he received his doctorate in TCM and worked for Chouchow Hospital to practice TCM. With over 20 editorials published in the Chinese Medical Journal, he is recognized in The Annals of China's Contemporary Famous Doctors of TCM. He has studied Tai Chi in China and the U.S. for 40 years. He has received authentic Yang Style instruction from his Sifu Grandmaster, Gin Soon Chu, disciple of Yang Sau Chung, and has been teaching in the U.S. for over 20 years. He has dedicated his life to healing and teaching others how to live well.
Bernadette Yao, Mind-Body Music, Sound and Energy Healer
Bernadette Yao is a mind-body music, sound and energy healer, and the founder of Healing Wave Therapies. With four years of training and certification at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing and a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in music and telecommunications, Bernadette specializes in designing and leading Mind Body Music & Sound Therapy Workshops, and offers music for yoga classes in Massachusetts and surrounding New England. As a classically trained singer and pianist since the age of 7 years old, Bernadette is a multi-instrumentalist using a collection of over a dozen Alchemy crystal singing bowls, quartz crystal singing bowls, and Himalayan singing bowls, acoustic guitars, harmonium, keyboards, Native American flutes, percussive instruments, as well as using her singing voice to facilitate deep relaxation and optimal healing.
Prior to her role at Healing Wave Therapies, Bernadette sang with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and toured with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a soprano chorus member for 10 years. As part of her practice, she composes and produces albums for meditation and healing. Additionally, Bernadette is a certified Reiki practitioner offering individualized energy healing sessions and group workshops in music and energy therapies. With this training, Bernadette thrives in her role as a Cancer Care Therapist at The Healing Garden, and in her practice as a volunteer Reiki practitioner at local hospitals for patients in oncology, ICU, and palliative care.
Bernadette is a composer and recording artist of three albums. She is currently working on her 4th album.