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 therapists into mainstream healthcare.

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.

Blake StamlerTreasurer

Blake Stamler

 

 

 

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).

Mary Ester headshotDirector

Mary Ester

Mary is Director of Individual Giving at Consumer Reports. She has worked in fundraising for more than 20 years and has had the privilege of working for local, national, and international organizations in Washington, DC, including WAMU-FM, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Global Rights. Prior to Consumer Reports, she served as Director of Development for the Government Performance division of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Mary is a licensed massage therapist, trained at Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI) and feels fortunate to have taken oncology massage courses taught by Healwell’s Lauren Cates and Lucille Eddy. Mary earned a B.A. in Russian Language from Grinnell College in Iowa.

 

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 therapists into mainstream healthcare.

lucilleService Director

Lucille A. Eddy

As Healwell’s Service Director, Lucille coordinates, supervises, and provides care for Healwell’s hands-on programs at Children’s National Medical Center, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and Virginia Hospital Center.

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 Director

Kerry Jordan

As Healwell’s Operations Director, Kerry coordinates strategy, communications and logistics for Healwell’s education and service programs. She leads Healwell’s development and fundraising activities and interfaces with the finance teams at Healwell’s partner facilities.

Kerry is also a teacher for Healwell and is an essential part of the curriculum development team. She is a fervent lover of physiology and pathology and 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.

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.

rebecca sturgeonInstructor

Rebecca Sturgeon

Rebecca maintains a private practice in Louisville, Kentucky and works as part time faculty in general massage therapy programs there.  As a former teacher of writing at the college level, Rebecca is passionate about the written word and about all forms of human communication.  In her massage practice, she focuses on integrating therapeutic massage as part of overall health and wellness care.  She is an active volunteer for Hosparus Health and Gilda’s Club of Louisville, and a member of the Society for Oncology Massage.