Healwell Advisors

Healwell’s board and staff are honored to work with a group of special advisors who provide valuable insight and knowledge based on years of experience. Our team of professional advisors provides expertise in their field and enables us to develop programs and initiatives that are built upon experience, cutting-edge information, and practical wisdom. Their contributions are invaluable to Healwell and we are deeply grateful for their support.

peggyMargaret Firer Bishop ANP-BC, ACHPN

Peggy has been in nursing for over 30 years and currently works as a palliative care nurse practitioner. Her passion is to provide whole person care throughout the illness trajectory including the dying experience. She has co-authored several nursing chapters and articles on palliative care as well as presented locally, regionally and nationally on palliative care topics.


deniseDenise Garcia

Denise Garcia is a legal consultant with SME Strategy Group and Akota Consulting providing legal and compliance strategic planning for health care clients. She has over 20 years of healthcare law experience, having served in various capacities from outside legal counsel to health system general counsel to special counsel for hospitals and other healthcare clients. Denise holds a law degree from Harvard University.


FullSizeRenderMartha Brown Menard, PhD, LMT

Martha is the director of the Crocker Institute. She frequently collaborates on projects in integrative healthcare and is the author of Making Sense of Research, a textbook used in many graduate and professional training programs. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association and the Society for Integrative Oncology. In addition, she serves as co-Executive Director the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC). Dr. Menard has been a licensed massage therapist for over 30 years. Her areas of research interest include palliative care, PTSD, and interprofessional education and practice. She is a member of the faculty at Saybrook University in the College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences, and an editor for the journal Global Advances in Health and Medicine.

Whitney Ortiz headshotWhitney Ortiz

Whitney Ortiz is the founder and president of Eliana’s Light, a non-profit that supports the integrative health of children with complex medical conditions and their caregivers through integrative care services. Eliana’s Light works with a constellation of care providers to support a whole family’s access to holistic health care that addresses their bodies, minds, and spirits. As a mother of a child with a complex medical condition, Whitney knows first-hand the importance of taking a holistic approach that supports and promotes healing. She has twenty years of work experience in the U.S. government, non-profit and business sectors, and international organizations. She has an MA in international development from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and is fluent in Spanish. She currently is engaged at Children’s National Medical Center as a member of advisory committees related to integrative medicine, palliative care, and clinical and translational medical research.


Carolyn Phillips, RN, ACNP-BC, AOCNP

Carolyn Phillips graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in 2002 and received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of New Mexico College of Nursing in 2011. She is a board certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and is also an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner.

Her entire career has been in oncology, and in recent years she has pursued research in cancer survivorship in addition to her clinical practice. She received the Innovative Ideas in Healthcare Award from SVH Support in Santa Fe, New Mexico and used the grant funds to build the infrastructure for a Community Nursing Research Center at the community oncology clinic in Santa Fe. To date, four community oncology nurses are actively pursuing their research interests with the mentoring and support from nurse scientists from the University of New Mexico.

In addition to her interest in cancer survivorship, Carolyn is passionate about care for healthcare practitioners. She created a program, Songs for the Soul, that helps oncology, palliative care, and hospice nurses address the grief and suffering they see in their work by combining the healing effects of expressive writing, storytelling, and music to facilitate a deeper exploration of the nursing experience.


RuthRuth Werner

Ruth is an educator, writer, and retired massage therapist with a passionate interest in massage therapy research and the role of bodywork for people who struggle with health. Her groundbreaking textbook, A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology was first published in 1998, and is now in its 5th edition. She also writes a column for Massage and Bodywork magazine, serves on several national and international volunteer committees, and teaches

continuing education workshops in research and pathology all over the world. Ruth was honored with the AMTA Council of Schools Teacher of the Year Award for 2005. She was also proud to serve as President of the Massage Therapy Foundation from 2010-2014, and she retains a seat as an MTF Trustee.