Board & Staff

Board of Directors

Healwell is governed by a Board of Directors whose officers also serve as the officers of the Corporation.

Board Chair & Executive Director

Lauren Muser Cates, CMT, S4OM 

Lauren is one of Healwell’s founders, its Board Chair and Executive Director. She served as the Clinical Supervisor for Hospital/Oncology Massage at The Teal Center at Virginia Hospital Center from 2005-2009 and was a founding director and president of the Society for Oncology Massage from 2007-2014.

In addition to her duties providing and supervising massage for medically complicated, oncology and end of life patients at numerous hospitals in the Washington, DC area, Lauren speaks around the world on a variety of topics related to integrative medicine, emotional self-care for practitioners and the mechanics and politics of introducing massage therapy into clinical settings.

She has been participating in research, teaching and developing curriculum for massage therapy courses focused on hospital-based practice, oncology massage and end of life care since 2007.  Lauren is passionate about elevating the profession of massage therapy and also about broader and more seamless integration of massage therapy and massage therapists into mainstream healthcare.

bo bwTreasurer

Bo Palmer

As president of Palmer Marketing and Management, Inc., Bo provided Executive Director-style services for a myriad of professional associations spearheaded by volunteers.  In the years prior to founding her own company, Bo worked as Marketing Director for international, regional and national accounting firms.  She is also a founding Board member for Freedom to Read, Inc., an organization which brings free access to literacy to the out islands of the Bahamas and has held a variety of positions with other service associations. A breast cancer survivor, Bo is active as a mentor with the Georgetown University Hospital Survivors Offering Support program. She has an MBA in Marketing from the George Washington University.

K LaVelle 2015 head shot photo no logoVice Chair

Katherine LaVelle

Katherine is a Managing Director with Accenture where she is responsible for the organization’s North America Talent and Organization consulting practice which spans organization effectiveness, HR transformation, and change journey management.

An industry thought leader, Katherine has been named to Washington Business Journal’s “Top 25 Women Who Mean Business,” honoring the most influential businesswomen in the Washington DC Area, Diversity MBA Magazine’s list of “Top 100 Executive Leaders,” and a “Woman of Achievement” by the National Capital Area YWCA.

Katherine is a passionate advocate for contributing back to the community. She served for seven years on the board of NPower Greater DC, a not-for-profit technology consulting organization serving charities in the Washington DC area. During her last four years on the board she held the role of board chair. She remains actively involved in this organization through chairing a number of events each year and also participates with other organizations that seek to make a positive difference in the community, including the Robin Hood Foundation, Susan G. Komen, and Only Make Believe.

Outside of work, Katherine enjoys gardening, food, wine, and hosting get-togethers with family and friends. An avid cook and traveler, she has spent vacations at cooking schools in various countries including Italy, France, and Morocco.

Director

Amy Hartl

Amy is a board certified massage therapist and graduate of the Potomac Massage Training Institute.  Before she came to massage therapy, she spent most of her professional career in human resource management.  She is trained in pregnancy and oncology massage modifications as well as Reiki and other specialty modalities.  Amy is passionate about sharing the fulfillment and peace she feels in her work as a massage therapist with others.

Director

Mishka K. Cira, MPH

Mishka is a contractor to the Center for Global Health at the National Cancer Institute-NIH.  She works with governments in low- and middle-income countries to support their national cancer control planning process, by linking them with necessary resources and expertise.  Prior to working in public health and global cancer control, Mishka worked for 12 years as a massage therapist in DC, Brazil and Vietnam, with a focus on community service.  She has oncology massage training, and worked with pediatric cancer patients and families in the palliative care department at the National Cancer Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam, where she also conducted a small research study on the efficacy of caregiver-led massage therapy for cancer patients.  Mishka has non-profit management, strategic planning and Board management experience from her previous work for a non-profit international education consortium in Washington, DC, and has held several volunteer positions in community service organizations.  Mishka holds a bachelor’s degree in Russian Studies from Colgate University, a massage therapy training certificate from the Potomac Massage Training Institute, and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Liverpool.  Mishka appreciates this opportunity to bring her skills and her passion for integrated healthcare together to support Healwell’s mission and work.

Director

Demara Stamler

Demara is the owner of Life Well Lived Consulting, a Virginia-based company that focuses on helping organizations, businesses, and individuals design and manifest a future that is in harmony with their purpose, vision, and dreams. As a Coach, Consultant, and Motivational Speaker she has helped clients discover their life-long dreams and work through the roadblocks that have kept them from creating the results they long for.  Demara brings a variety of life passions to her work that include vocational education, research, compliance, non-profit management, leadership skills, holistic lifestyles, and living a vision-driven life.

Demara has served as Director of Accreditation for the National Accrediting Commission for Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS); Executive Director, Director of Education and Instructor for the Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI); and owner and Lead Massage Therapist of Legacy Massage Therapy Associates.  She is passionate about serving non-profit organizations and volunteers her time frequently.  Prior to joining the Healwell Board of Directors, Demara has served as Vice President to the AMTA Council of Schools; Evaluator for the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA); and a member of the Leadership Team that created the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE).

 

Staff

lauren3Executive Director

Lauren Cates

Lauren is one of Healwell’s founders, its Board Chair and Executive Director. She served as the Clinical Supervisor for Hospital/Oncology Massage at The Teal Center at Virginia Hospital Center from 2005-2009 and was a founding director and president of the Society for Oncology Massage from 2007-2014.

In addition to her duties providing and supervising massage for medically complicated, oncology and end of life patients at numerous hospitals in the Washington, DC area, Lauren speaks around the world on a variety of topics related to integrative medicine, emotional self-care for practitioners and the mechanics and politics of introducing massage therapy into clinical settings.

She has been participating in research, teaching and developing curriculum for massage therapy courses focused on hospital-based practice, oncology massage and end of life care since 2007.  Lauren is passionate about elevating the profession of massage therapy and also about broader and more seamless integration of massage therapy and massage therapists into mainstream healthcare.

 

lucilleProgram Director

Lucille A. Eddy

As Healwell’s Program Director, Lucille coordinates, supervises, and provides care for Healwell’s hands-on programs at Children’s National Medical Center, George Washington Medical Faculty Associates, Virginia Hospital Center, and Goodwin House.

Lucille is a founding member of the Society for Oncology Massage and was on the teaching staff at Potomac Massage Training Institute from 2004 – 2009.  She co-teaches Healwell’s adult and pediatric Hospital-based Massage courses, Oncology Massage classes, and community education. She is a retired Senior Chief of the U.S. Navy and has served as the Clinical Supervisor for Hospital/Oncology Massage at The Teal Center at Virginia Hospital Center since the fall of 2009.

 

kerryjordan-3bOperations Manager

Kerry Jordan

In addition to being a member of the faculty, Kerry serves as Healwell’s Operations Manager. Her responsibilities include heading up the recruiting efforts for the “real client” hands-on clinics that are incorporated in most of the courses Healwell offers. These learning opportunities bring Healwell’s curriculum to life and give students unique opportunities to work with clients who are living with cancer, limitations posed by scar tissue, and much more.

When she is not operations managing, teaching, and developing curriculum for Healwell, Kerry teaches yoga, volunteers for hospice, and works at the Teal Center at Virginia Hospital Center. She specializes in working with people who have been affected by cancer, those who have a history of trauma or chronic pain, and individuals who are in the midst of gender transition. She writes about her experiences as a massage therapist (and as a human being) at www.kerry-jordan.com.

 

julieInstructor

Julie Ackerman

Julie maintains a thriving private practice in the Philadelphia area and is currently on staff as a massage and certified lymphatic therapist at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

She specializes in working with people who are medically complex, preventing and maintaining Lymphedema and supporting people at the end of life. Julie serves as a professional massage advisor for Unite For HER and is an active member of The Society for Oncology Massage and National Lymphedema Network.