MEET OUR EXPERTS
Our team of professional Contributing Experts is committed to sharing their knowledge so you can THRIVE!
Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist, National Certified Counselor, MC, PLLC
Amanda Halamka is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has been helping people since 2015. She is a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist (CCTSI) and is a National Certified Counselor (NCC). She received her master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University in 2016.
Amanda uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) to help her clients find a different perspective, be mindful and have acceptance in their lives so they can progress forward.
Through her private practice in Chandler, AZ, Amanda works with patients in person or virtually.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Christian Sex Therapist, AAMFT, ABCST
Beth Leonard is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Beth says, “My life motto is, ‘Don’t waste your pain.’ In life, pain is inevitable. The many ways we try to push it away, anesthetize it, or avoid it can further wound us and cause damage to us and our relationships. But when we allow it, pain can be a powerful tool in the Father’s hand for change and growth.
"Specific sex therapy issues I address include trauma, sexual/physical abuse, desire disorders, mismatched desire in couples, female sexual pain, and recovery from the impact of sexual addiction/betrayal.”
Beth is a member of the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (AAMFT) and the American Board of Christian Sex Therapists (ABCST) and is in training to become an AAMFT approved supervisor. She is also trained in EMDR, Sand Tray, and Trauma-Focused Art Therapy.
Holistic Therapist, Certified Grief Facilitator, MSW, CGF
Carla Mannes is a hollistic therpaist who specializes in adverse childhood experiences as well as grief and loss. Carla believes that when emotional disruptions begin early in childhood go unresolved, they create unhealthy behaviors, lifestyles and future outcomes.
She earned both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University. She is also a Grief Recovery Facilitator, Arizona Certified Mediator, and Adverse Childhood Experience Expert.
Carla says, "My passion: helping people feel... so they can truly heal."
Carla is the proud mother of four beautiful grown and married children, "Nan" of eight grandchildren (her "littles") and resides in Mesa, Arizona. She helps clients and families throughout Arizona and across the U.S.
Cheryl Nnenna Onwuchuruba
Dr. Cheryl Onwuchuruba is a medical doctor, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.
Originally from Edmond, OK, Dr. Onwuchuruba has received the A.W. Diddle Award for Outstanding Resident Research and the AAGL Award for advancing minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. She has traveled to Guatemala to perform gynecologic surgery on women with advanced prolapse. She hopes to continue to use her education and skills to perform much needed procedures for women in need.
Dr. Onwuchuruba went into the OBGYN field because she loves being able to work in the OR while also being able to have a long-term relationship with her patients. She loves the continuity of care and the ability to care for a wide array of patients.
Life Coach, MC
Cinthia Hiett is a life coach, relationship expert, author, and motivational speaker with over 25 years of experience.
Her education includes a Master's Degree in Counseling. Cinthia has taught the Psychology of Religion at Arizona Christian University, among other courses.
With a passion for helping men and women understand relationships and gender differences, she is widely recognized as an excellent speaker, sharing inspiration and relevant teachings, traveling internationally presenting biblically based seminars and lectures on relationships, gender and conflict resolution.
Dr. Deanna Smith
Doctor of Pharmacy, Healthcare Cost Consultant
Dr. Deanna Smith is a healthcare professional who is passionate about helping others with uncovered and denied healthcare claims and services, such as prescriptions and medical procedures, by appealing and saving on healthcare costs. She educates her clients and their families about reducing their healthcare costs by appealing claims, taking advantage of healthcare savings programs, and maximizing medical benefits.
With over 20 years in the healthcare industry, Dr. Deanna knows how to navigate the complexity of the medical and insurance industries. Her passion was ignited over 15 years ago when she successfully negotiated her own medical bills after the birth of her daughter. Then, as a clinical pharmacist for a specialty pharmacy, she wrote letters of appeal to insurance companies on behalf of healthcare providers and their patients. She now advocates for patients through her company, Appealing For You Rx, LLC.
Deborah Kellogg is a Certified Lymphatic Therapist. While working with cancer patients, she realized that many felt "alone" in their new, life-long maintenance programs. She primarily works with oncology patients to use lymphatic massage used by therapists to reduce swelling. Deborah’s practice, Pink Ribbon Lymphatic Massage, is located in Scottsdale, AZ.
She is a Certified MediCupping Practitioner, a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy), is Lymphology Association of North America (LANA) Certified and is trained in Neuro-Lymphatic Therapy.
As an Oncology Massage Therapist at MD Anderson in Gilbert, Arizona, Deborah collaborated with other rehab and lymphatic therapists, oncologists, and integrative therapists to create a specialized massage for cancer survivors affected by lymphatic damage. This specialized oncology lymphatic massage program was created and is offered to MD Anderson/Gilbert patients.
Naturopathic Doctor, Homeopath
Dr. Jayne Marquis is a Naturopathic Doctor and Homeopath. Jayne has always held the belief that we are more than meets the eye. Like a tree, what we see is the trunk, the branches, the leaves, but what is equally important is what is not seen—the roots, the source of nourishment, security, and balance.
While receiving her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Jayne fell in love with Homeopathy. The principles of Homeopathy resonated with her profoundly, as she had always held the belief that all physical ailments have mental and emotional components. She pursued her Doctor of Homeopathic Medicine from Ontario College of Homeopathic Medicine.
Today Jayne applies her experience, knowledge, passion, and dedication to her current practice and the treatment of every patient she sees.
Jennifer Douglass was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. Her experience through treatment led her to become a Clinical Thermographer, and it’s what drives her passion for educating others about thermography.
Thermography is a non-invasive, radiation-free diagnostic tool that is like no other imaging device on the market. It’s an imaging option rarely offered by traditional, Western-trained physicians as an alternative diagnostic tool. Jennifer shares, “It has become my mission to bring awareness of this incredible and underused technology to the forefront of mainstream healthcare as an adjunctive option in diagnostic imaging. The applications for this technology are numerous and go far beyond simply detecting breast disease!”
Jennifer received her education, training, and certification through the American College of Clinical Thermology. She is the owner of East Valley Thermography in the Phoenix, Arizona, area.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist ESSA, Cancer Exercise Specialist ACSM, BAppSci AEP MESSA
Karen Anderson’s early career focus, working as an exercise physiologist specializing in cancer care, helped her identify the need to create a virtual cancer health and wellness consulting service and resource networking portal. Karen founded and is the current Managing Director of Foundation 96.
Foundation 96’s mission is to provide a safe and supportive care community consisting of multidisciplinary service providers, for people and their caregivers who are transitioning from active cancer treatment to everyday life.
Karin Del Maestro
Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Karin Del Maestro has been working in the health and wellness fields for 20+ years, but it was her own Breast Cancer and BRCA2 diagnosis in July 2018 that changed the path of her coaching practice.
Combining her extensive education as a health coach, studying anti-inflammatory living, women's hormone health, the effects that stress has on our bodies, the importance of self-care and much more, and her own personal experiences in overcoming major traumas, Karin is uniquely qualified to support Breast Cancer Survivors after treatment is over. Using her caring, simple Lighten the Load Method, she gently guides you to get back your get-up-and-go and start creating your best life yet!
Family Nurse Practitioner, Pelvic Health Specialist
Kathy Kates is an experienced bilingual Family Nurse Practitioner at a Boston area community health center. As a specialist in pelvic health, she created a grant-awarded pelvic floor therapy myofascial release program at the health center to help women, men and transgender patients with chronic pelvic pain. She has been invited to lecture on pelvic health at medical conferences and teaches pelvic health awareness seminars for several local organizations. In recent years, Kathy has continued to expand her knowledge base by studying myofascial release with John Barnes (PT).
Kathy’s passion lies in educating others on how they can function optimally in order to live their healthiest lives. Kathy offers a unique perspective, not only as a medical provider, but also as a patient who has experienced pelvic pain after treatment for breast cancer.
Family Nurse Practitioner, Women's Health Specialist
Kristina Calligan is a sub-specialty nurse practitioner in Women’s Health. A native to Arizona, she obtained her Bachelor of Science in nursing in 2006 at Grand Canyon University in Glendale, Arizona. Never one to stop striving and achieving all that she could, she completed two master’s degrees in Nursing Science and Business Administration in 2012.
Kris joined Arizona Gynecology Consultants (AGC) in 2009. In addition to seeing her own patients, she is Director of Operations for AGC clinics and surgery centers. Her specialties include office-based gynecology procedures, clinical research, and patient education.
Kris also has a long history in Women’s Health in the Phoenix area, having owned and operated the very first free-standing birth center in the state of Arizona. She is also a clinical instructor of nurse practitioner students having provided clinical training for Grand Canyon University.
Clinical Sleep Educator, CCSH, RPSGT
Lauri Leadley's fascination with the physiology of sleep began more than 30 years ago when she was a respiratory therapist and saw a patient with sleep apnea for the first time. It led her to become a sleep technologist.
Lauri shares, "I remember my very first patient who woke up after a sleep study and said, 'Wow, I’ve never dreamt before and l last night I had dreams!' It was a turning point in my career.
"Our culture, in general, doesn’t recognize the human body’s need for adequate sleep. I was guilty of this for years. Chronic pain has interrupted my sleep and life for as long as I can remember, and I continued to ignore it. It wasn’t until my second cancer diagnosis that I found myself struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep, and I knew that the lack of sleep was impacting my body’s ability to heal. I experienced first-hand the results of having a long-running pattern of sleep loss and its effect on my health. My own health challenges over the years fed my desire to change lives. Now I’d like to help you overcome your battles."
Lauri has been changing her patients’ minds about sleep for over two decades. Lauri and her husband, Glenn, are the owners of Valley Sleep Center, with several locations across the state of Arizona. Together they have helped tens of thousands of patients reclaim their sound slumber.
Lisa Nicholson, L.Ac., is a master acupuncturist, licensed in California and nationally certified. She holds a BA in psychology, an MS in rehabilitation counseling, and is a graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.
Lisa has been in private practice in San Diego for over 20 years. She is a skilled nutrition counselor and wellness coach, with a passion for helping people experiencing physical and emotional pain to reconnect with their zest for living.
As a breast cancer survivor, Lisa is particularly devoted to helping other cancer patients get through their treatment and restore their health. She has experienced the challenges of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapies and she has successfully returned to her athletic lifestyle following treatment.
Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor
Lisa Tarantino is a Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor whose passion is helping those facing or coming out of a cancer diagnosis. She was diagnosed with stage 3C endometrial cancer in 2017. Post-treatment, her oncologist told her to “go home and live her life.” Her life’s focus changed at that moment.
Armed with a “Crush Cancer Mindset,” Lisa dove into researching holistic modalities geared towards preventing a reoccurrence and boosting her immune system. She attended many conventions, interviewed hundreds of cancer patients, and threw herself into her studies. Today, Lisa is a proud Cancer Hope Coach and graduate of Functional Nutrition Lab.
Lisa considers her passion for helping people with cancer an enormous blessing that resulted from her own diagnosis. In addition to teaching cancer patients how nutrition plays an important role in fighting, recovering, and healing from cancer, Lisa is most proud of the cancer support group that she facilitates. Lisa says, “I truly wake up every day and ask God to put someone in my path that is struggling with their cancer diagnosis.” Lisa advocates for all her clients and ministers to them often daily.
Medical Doctor—OB/GYN, Rosy Wellness Founder
Lyndsey Harper, MD, is the Founder and CEO of Rosy, an app for women with decreased sexual desire. Dr. Harper created Rosy out of frustration when she couldn’t find a modern and accessible resource to help her many patients with this problem. Rosy is a resource to connect the 25 million women in the US with decreased sexual desire with hope, community, and research-backed solutions to improve their lives.
Dr. Harper completed OB/GYN residency in 2011 at Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas, Texas, saw patients in private practice for seven years, and now is a hospitalist. Dr. Harper is Associate Professor of OB/GYN for Texas A&M College of Medicine, a Fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and a Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health.
Mary Jo Rennert
Registered Nurse, Grief Recovery Specialist, Certified Professional Coach, Certified Disaster Recovery Coach
Divorced after forty-four years of marriage, Mary Jo Rennert shares a powerful message that it’s never too late to find joy, purpose, and fulfillment, even after life-shattering loss.
Drawing on her own experience as a divorced Christian woman faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, she engages audiences who have experienced loss with down-to-earth humor and real-life stories to help other women navigate the heartache of trauma and rebuild their lives.
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Internal and Obesity Medicine Specialist
Dr. Melody Rodarte, DO, is a double-boarded Internal and Obesity Medicine Specialist, also certified in Medical Aesthetics. Her medical practice is dedicated to providing personalized, whole patient care. Dr. Rodarte’s passion for treating patients, along with a science-based approach to improving quality of life isn’t limited to treating diagnoses; rather she is focused on achieving optimum health from the inside-out.
Dr. Rodarte was named a “Phoenix Top Doc|Obesity Medicine” in 2017, 2019, and 2021. She is also certified in Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.
Nurse Practitioner, Sexuality Educator
Fulfilling her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner, Nikkeya Boyd joined Arizona Gynecology Consultants in 2019. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri in St. Louis and her graduate work at Grand Canyon University graduating in 2018.
In her health care career, Nikkeya has found it most rewarding to take care of and treat the unique and sensitive needs of women. She has a special interest in providing care to women of all ages with hormonal imbalances and educating women on primary prevention. Nikkeya also enjoys helping women know, understand and consider different factors that may impact their sexual life as they mature.
When not at work, Nikkeya loves to stay active and has recently begun snowboarding. She also enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and meal planning which goes hand in hand with her love of cooking for her son.
Board-Certified Urologist and Sexual Medicine Specialist
Dr. Rachel S. Rubin is a board-certified urologist and sexual medicine specialist. She is one of only a handful of physicians with fellowship training in sexual medicine for all genders. Dr. Rubin is a clinician, researcher, and passionate educator. In addition to being education chair for the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), she serves as associate editor for the journal Sexual Medicine Reviews. Dr. Rubin completed her medical education at Tufts University, her urology training at Georgetown University, and her sexual medicine fellowship training with Dr. Irwin Goldstein in San Diego.
Dr. Rubin is passionate about providing comprehensive care to her patients. She views the role of a physician as more than someone who offers diagnoses and prescribes treatments—she sees her role as a coordinator of care for her patients to help them achieve their sexual health goals and improve their quality of life. She also is passionate about educating her patients, hoping to empower them to take control of their own health and advocate for better care.
Co-Founder GPAC Global Patient Advocacy Coalition / Arizona Association of Patient Advocates / HIPAA Certified
Robyn Towt is a former teacher and three-time cancer survivor who was harmed by a medical device. This led to a passion for advocacy medical device safety. She is the co-founder of GPAC Global Patient Advocacy Coalition. She is also an administrator of multiple patient advocacy groups and a member of the Arizona Association of Patient Advocates.
Robyn has testified twice at the FDA in support of patient safety and proper informed consent. Collaborative efforts with industry and medical societies have led to progress in finding solutions for increasing awareness and patient safety.
Robyn has worked extensively with Arizona legislators in passing an informed consent law for breast implant surgery, and her GPAC team is currently working on similar legislation in several other states. The GPAC team has also partnered with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to develop a patient decision checklist that was created collaboratively with plastic surgeons, patient advocates, and the ASPS Government Relations team.
Occupational Therapist, Somatic Sexologist, Clinical Sexuality and Intimacy Educator
Tess Devèze is a clinical occupational therapist (OT), certified somatic sexologist and the founder of ConnectAble Therapies, a Melbourne-based sexuality OT community practice, working with people living with cancer, chronic illness, and disability.
Alongside working as a sexuality OT and somatic sexologist, she also works as a sexuality, intimacy, communication, and consent educator for adults, clinicians and LGBTQIA+ communities across Australia, having facilitated thousands of people for nearing a decade. As a cancer battler herself, Tess’s expertise is working in the field of sexuality and intimacy for people diagnosed with cancer.
She is a registered member and practitioner of the national OT board of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), clinical registration board OT Australia (OTAUS), the Society of Australian Sexologists Ltd (SAS), and the Somatic Sex Educators' Association of Australasia (SSEAA).
Finding support on this topic can be tough, but you are not alone. Tess says “There are ways to reclaim our intimacy, there is hope! Because we are more than just our diagnosis.”
Certified Sexuality Counselor, Practice Clinician, RN, BSN, CSC, SE, AASECT
Traci Owen is a veteran Registered Nurse with more than 30 years of experience in caring for individuals. Traci considers herself a healer of the human body and the human condition. While working in an oncology facility, she identified a gap in our healthcare system regarding the topics of adult intimacy and sexuality for people facing cancer. Traci believes people desire and deserve adult sexual education that is based in facts and evolves with us over time.
Traci felt called to step into this space and began a new journey in her nursing career. She completed post-graduate studies in sexuality at the University of Michigan, obtaining a certificate in Sexuality Counseling and Sexuality Education. She is also a Certified Sexuality Counselor through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, & Therapist (AASECT).
Traci serves patients through her business, Intimate Pathways Center for Sexual Health in Broken Arrow, OK.
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