UCLArts & Healing is supported by the Arts and Healing Initiative, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and operates in partnership with the UCLA Integrative Medicine Collaborative.

 

board of directors

 

John Weeks, Chair

John is a semi-retired writer, speaker, chronicler and organizer whose work in the movement for integrative health and medicine began in 1983. He was, until December 2000, Editor-in-Chief of what is now the Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, the impact factor for which jumped 73% and the number of downloads from which increased over 200% during the five years of his tenure. He remains there as Contributing Editor, Special Projects and Collaborations. John was also publisher-editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports which, since 1995 in multiple forms, has created primary connective terrain for diverse stakeholders and professions in the field. [Content from 2016 to the present can be found here.] His reporting on integration issues has appeared in such publications as Modern Healthcare, Drug Benefit Trends, the magazine of the Institute for Health and Productivity Management, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

As a consultant, John has worked with the NIH, the Indian government’s NITI Aayog (planning agency), WHO, AHA, the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner, hospitals, insurers, professional organizations, and academic institutions.  As an organizer, John convened the Integrative Medicine Industry Leadership Summits (2000-2002), directed the National Education Dialogue to Advance Integrated Care (2004-2006), fundraised the start-up and was on the founding steering committee of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (2002-). He co-founded the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, which he directed from 2007-2015. John was on the founding board of the Academy of Integrative Medicine and Health, and he is proud to have consulted closely with the founder of Integrative Medicine for the Underserved where he subsequently served on the Advisory Board.

Over the years, John has keynoted, led conference sessions and guest lectured for dozens of organizations, from the Association of American Medical Colleges and Harvard University to Bastyr University and Palmer College of Chiropractic; from the UCLA and Georgetown schools of medicine to the Massage Therapy Foundation; from the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health to the Midwives Alliance of North America. He attended Stanford University for 3 years, writing poetry and studying Latin American history. Four institutions have granted him honorary doctorates.


Kellee Kemp, LMFT, ATR

Kellee Kemp is a Los Angeles native, dedicated to empowering communities of color. She is a double alum of Loyola Marymount University where she obtained her BA in Urban Studies and MA in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Art Therapy, where she currently serves as a clinical supervisor.

As a first-generation American, she has always felt it was her duty to support the work being done by communities of color. Kellee is dedicated to social justice and passionate about empowering marginalized communities from within. This desire has taken her internationally to support various humanitarian projects in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, and India. Locally, she has worked closely with organizations addressing literacy, poverty, and mental health disparities in Watts, Compton, Boyle Heights, South Los Angeles, and Long Beach.

In recent years, she served as Executive Director of the Yetunde Price Resource Center in Compton as well as the Chief Program Officer for the Driving Force Group, a nonprofit organization which offers infrastructure and operations support for projects reflecting race equity and social impact.

 

Ruth Westreich, Treasurer

Ruth Westreich is a life-long artist, activist, and passionate philanthropist. She has integrated all facets of herself to be a global change maker. She believes deeply that we cannot have personal health without planetary health, as the two are inextricably connected.  She also believes it is possible to make sea changes in our understanding of ourselves and the natural world we inhabit by reconnecting to our source. Above all, Ruth is a connector and strategist who creates communication bridges that bring together people from varied disciplines in health, the environment, discovery science, and investigative journalism.

The Westreich Foundation uses thought-provoking art, activism, and philanthropy to engage and unite people around the science and societal issues that erode and threaten human and planetary health, while providing an educational platform that inspires, connects, and supports organizations and people working toward healthier people and the planet. For decades, the Foundation has supported a variety medical disciplines, including natural medicine, nutritional science, whole person health care, and focusing on environmental toxins that erode the health and vibrancy of all life. The Foundation’s original goal was to create consensus among funders and practitioners, while moving the conventional medical model toward a more holistic and “whole”-istic way of viewing and creating health.

Ruth works closely with and supports such global organizations as Alliance for Natural Health-US, Alliance for Natural Health International, Organic Consumers Association, Regenerational International, Regenerational Health International, and many other organizations that connect personal and planetary health.  She is the creator of an activist art series that is exhibited in Universities to provide a unique platform for intergenerational dialogue on the critical issues we face in building a better world for future generations.

 

Lonnie Zeltzer, MD

Lonnie is an Emerita Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Founding Director of the UCLA Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care Program. She is a co-author of the Institute of Medicine report on Transforming Pain in America and was a member of the national steering committee assigned to provide directions for pain research at NIH. Lonnie is currently a consultant to NIH as a member of an NHLBI committee, in addition to being an invited member of the Opioids in Adolescence Guidelines committee for the CDC and an invited member of the FDA Committee on Anesthesia and Analgesia Products.

Among other awards, Lonnie has received a Mayday Pain and Policy Fellowship and the 2005 Jeffrey Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children’s Pain Relief from the American Pain Society. Her UCLA integrative pediatric pain program received a 2009 Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Award from the American Pain Society and a 2012 award from the Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative.

Lonnie is also a member of the national Autism Think Tank. Her research has included yoga, mindfulness, hypnotherapy, and other self-help interventions, including mobile technologies, to help children and adolescents who have chronic pain, as well as research to understand pain mechanisms in irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, sickle cell disease, headaches, dysmenorrhea, and other conditions. She has produced over 350 research publications on childhood pain, childhood cancer, and complementary therapies, and has written more than 85 chapters on these subjects.

Lonnie is author of several books: Conquering Your Child’s Chronic Pain: A Pediatrician’s Guide for Reclaiming a Normal Childhood (HarperCollins, 2005), Pain in Children and Young Adults: the Journey back to Normal, (Shilysca Press, 2016), and The Smart Brain Pain Syndrome: the Primer for Teens and Young Adults in Pain (Amazon Press, 2021).  She also is founder and president of Creative Healing for Youth in Pain (CHYP): www.mychyp.org an online non-profit to bring education, self-help skills, social support, and creative arts programs to youth with chronic pain and their families.

 

faculty and advisors

 

Stacie Aamon Yeldell, MA, MTBC, AVPT

Stacie is an award-winning vocalist, speaker, and music psychotherapist with over 15 years of experience in mental health treatment. As the founder of Amöntra, a consulting company based in California, she has facilitated a range of therapeutic mindfulness practices for individuals and organizations, including The Grammy Foundation, The Riveter, GoogleArts and Culture, and YoungArts. In addition to being a faculty member for UCLArts & Healing, Stacie has spoken at events like Women In Music and DisclosureFestTM. She has also appeared on CBS News, in Renée Fleming’s “Music and Mind Live,” and is featured in the documentary “Proven.” Stacie holds a masters degree in music therapy from New York University, in addition to certifications in sound and music healing from the Open Center and Vocal Psychotherapy (AVPT) from the Vancouver Vocal Psychotherapy Institute.

 

Vicki Alvarez, MS, R-DMT

Vicki graduated from California State University, Northridge in 2016 where she received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and minored in Dance. She was born and raised in San Francisco where she joined a theatrical hip-hop dance company that gave her opportunities to perform at many competitions as well as TV shows such as America’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance. She has also been trained in jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, and modern. Vicki spent three months in London doing an internship abroad for a mental health organization for adults. She completed her Master’s of Science degree in Dance/Movement Therapy at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and currently provides dance/movement therapy for adolescents at inpatient and outpatient facilities under Discovery Mood & Anxiety. She also works with the Hummingbird Project as an Activity Specialist enriching quality of life for elderly clients with dementia. In 2014 she began as an intern with the Dance For All program in Santa Monica. Now she has re-branded the program and created Let’s Dance it Out with her co-creator Clory. As a spiritual person she believes that the body serves as the unconscious mind, which can be channeled in many powerful ways to bring healing across many populations using the universal language of movement, developing relationships and connections with one another, and ultimately creating a deepened sense of empathy and overall well being.

 

Camille Ameen

Camille is a core instructor for the UCLArts & Healing Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts. She teaches theater and utilizing the arts for group management and working with neuro-diverse populations. A certified council trainer, she currently works with Circle Ways and Center for Council. Since 1991, she’s facilitated councils with all age groups and backgrounds, including youth with autism, attention deficit, developmental delays, the deaf/hard of hearing, students in continuation high schools, young women in transitional housing, and prison inmates. She mentors social justice organizations, teachers, and Council interns. In 1996, Camille co-founded Inside Out Community Arts, a national, award-winning non-profit that fosters community and understanding between diverse middle school youth through theater. Now merged with PS Arts, she continues to train artists in the curriculum and methodology. For nine years with Imagination Workshop, she led theater workshops for psychiatric forensic clients, homeless families, and homeless/addicted veterans in recovery. Camille received a Certificate of Commendation from the City of LA, and has a Professional Designation in Arts Education from LA County Arts Commission. In 2008, she designed a curriculum that merges her love of theater and council for social emotional learning. She’s been a director/coach with Turnaround Arts and guest lectured at various colleges. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Theatre, Camille’s had a long career as a professional actress in NY and LA including Broadway, TV, and film.

 

Lori Baudino, PhD, BC-DMT 

Lori has been a practicing clinician for over fifteen years. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology and masters in creative arts therapy – dance/movement therapy. The national clinical spokesperson for The Andréa Rizzo Foundation, Dr. Baudino, through the support of the Foundation, brought the first dance/movement therapy programs to the top pediatric hospitals in Los Angeles, where she continues to provide bedside therapy to children with cancer, special needs, and terminal illness. Dr. Baudino has specialized in supervising, facilitating, and providing treatment for children with special needs and their families. She has worked in psychiatric hospitals and rehabilitation centers for trauma, addiction, and pain management. Dr. Baudino has also coordinated Behavior Intervention Programs within the home/school setting. In her private practice, she works with children and their families to support the developing child and the integral relationships between parent, child, and siblings. Understanding the premise that the body, mind, and spirit are interconnected and that life is experienced through movement, Dr. Baudino’s approach allows the child to put words into action, understand individual sensory and motor preferences, express emotional needs, and support overall integration and well-being.

 

Jessica Bianchi EdD, ATR-BC, LMFT

Jessica is an art therapist who completed her doctoral work at Loyola Marymount University, studying Educational Leadership and Social Justice. A master’s graduate in Marital and Family Therapy/Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University (LMU), Jessica has served as art therapist at Aviva Family and Children’s Services working with emotionally disturbed teens. Jessica is also part-time faculty at LMU teaching on the importance of providing visual arts in all classrooms for holistic learning, and also co-teaches a class focused on art therapy with children in LMU’s graduate Marital and Family Therapy/Art Therapy Department. Jessica teaches a class for the Visual and Performing Arts Education Program within the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture that is focused on creating empathetic communities by way of creative expression with defended youth. In addition, Jessica directs an annual weeklong summer arts camp in collaboration with LMU’s Marital and Family Therapy/Art Therapy Department at Dolores Mission Middle School in East Los Angeles.

 

Kathy Cass, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, C-IAYT, CAHC, AYT-NAMA

Kathy is a board-certified dance/movement therapist, nationally certified counselor, certified yoga therapist, certified Ayurvedic health counselor, and Ayurvedic yoga therapist with over 30 years of instructional and clinical experience. She is the co-author of the curriculum and training program, Dance For All. She is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at El Camino Community College and Santa Monica College, Emeritus Division. Kathy is advisor and core faculty for UCLArts & Healing’s Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts. She has been a guest lecturer at UCLA, Scripps College, and CMER at Loyola Marymount University. Kathy maintains a private Ayurvedic yoga therapy and consulting practice in Santa Monica, CA, where she empowers her students and clients to reconnect with their true nature through movement, breath, nature, and the arts. 

 

Erica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BC

Erica is a board-certified art therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist. Erica is an internationally sought-after speaker on creative approaches to emotional and relationship health. She regularly serves as a mental health expert for articles, appearing in more than 100 media outlets, including USA Today, ELLE, The Boston Globe, PBS, and Women’s World Magazine. Formerly an instructor in the Loyola Marymount University Department of Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in art therapy, she now serves as their admissions consultant and maintains a therapy practice in San Juan Capistrano. Erica has served multiple terms on the board of directors of the American Art Therapy Association, is a past president of the Southern California Art Therapy Association, and was formerly clinical director at the Help Group, a widely respected Los Angeles non-profit agency. Erica serves as an expert consultant for organizations such as The Foundation for Art and Healing and the Board of Behavioral Sciences, for whom she consults on standard of care in disciplinary cases brought against therapists. She also supervises art therapy interns. Erica is an award-winning author, with Ping Ho, of The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art. Successful Kids through Art. Visit Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art

 

Bonnie Harnden, MA, RDT

Bonnie is a drama therapist, psychoanalyst, couples and family therapist, and Associate Professor in Concordia University’s Creative Arts Therapies Department, where she is the Option Coordinator for the Drama Therapy Program. She has developed and is coordinating a new Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy. Her previous work focused on the effects of trauma and its impact on development in children and adults. Her current work focuses on factors that support the resolution of trauma and that create resilience. Bonnie was the recipient of the 2019 Concordia President’s Excellence in Teaching award. She was awarded the 2017 Research Award from the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) for her play and film You Arrive (in production), based on her therapeutic work and research with suicidal youth at Montreal Children’s Hospital. In 2018 she was awarded the NADTA Teaching Excellence Award.

 

Ping Ho, MA, MPH

Ping is Founder and Director of UCLArts & Healing, an organizational member of the UCLA Integrative Medicine Collaborative, of which Ping is a steering committee member. She was founding administrator for the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, which led to the privilege of writing for Norman Cousins and co-writing the professional autobiography of George F. Solomon, M.D., founder of the field. She has a BA in psychology with honors from Stanford—where she was appointed to establish the still-thriving Health Improvement Program for faculty and staff, an MA in counseling psychology with specialization in exercise physiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MPH in community health sciences from UCLA School of Public Health. Ping is associate editor for the Creative Arts Therapies section of the Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine and has been Co-Chair of the annual Expressive Therapies Summit: Los Angeles, which has offered 150+ workshops on creativity and the arts in healing. She developed the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA) and the SEA on a Shoestring program of supportive art, movement, music, and writing for individuals or groups in any setting. In addition, she co-developed and served as principal investigator for the evidence-based program, Beat the Odds®: Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming.  She is co-author, with Erica Curtis, of the 2019 National Parenting Products Award-winning book, The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art (Ohio University/Swallow Press, March 2019).

 

Gabrielle Kaufman, MA, LPCC, BC-DMT, NCC

Gabrielle is a board-certified dance/movement therapist and counselor with over 20 years experience in the helping profession. Currently, she is director of Training and Technical Assistance for the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force. Prior to this, she served as director of the New Moms Connect Program of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles providing services to new parents, particularly those suffering from symptoms of postpartum depression. Gabrielle has worked extensively with new families and aided in providing solutions to many parenting concerns. She has run several programs for high-risk children and teens, taught classes to parents of newborns and toddlers, and runs support groups for single parents and women with postpartum depression. Gabrielle has spoken widely, published articles on parenting, and served as editor for Bringing Light To Motherhood. She serves as Los Angeles coordinator for Postpartum Support International also has a private practice in Los Angeles providing services in both English and Spanish languages.

 

Jennie Linthorst, MA, CAPF

Jennie is a poet, expressive writing teacher, and founder of LifeSPEAKS Poetry Therapy.  She is on the faculty of UCLArts & Healing and has presented workshops at the Los Angeles Expressive Arts Summit, The California Center for Creative Renewal, UC Irvine Extension, the University of Santa Monica, and the National Association for Poetry Therapy.  Jennie spent six years teaching a unique poetry curriculum in the third-grade classrooms of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District using poetic tools to inspire creative writing while fostering social and emotional growth, leading her to facilitate ongoing private kids writing groups. Since 2001, Jennie has facilitated ongoing adult writing groups, and original curriculum for private clients exploring their life stories through reading and writing poetry.  After graduating cum laude from Skidmore College with a BA in Psychology, and a concentration in dance, Jennie began her career in arts education coordinating artist-in-residency programs for Leap… imagination in learning in San Francisco, and the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Manhattan Beach. Jennie has certification as an Applied Poetry Facilitator from the National Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy and a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Jennie is the author of two books of poetry, Silver Girl (2013) and Autism Disrupted: A Mother’s Journey of Hope (2011), with Cardinal House Publishing. Jennie‘s poetry has appeared in Bluestem, Edison Literary Review, Feelszine, Foliate Oak, Forge, Kaleidoscope, Literary Mama, Mothers Always Write, Poetic Diversity, Sanskrit, The Art of Autism, The Writer’s Café, and Hopeful Parents.

 

Stephanie Nash, MFA

Stephanie has an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, and a BA in psychology from Duke University. She has been a working actress in New York City and Los Angeles for 35 years in television, film, theater, and many commercials. Stephanie is also a respected acting teacher and audition coach, and is an original faculty member of the new UCLA Professional Program in Acting for the Camera – as well as an Associate Professor at Art Center College of Design (Film Directing Department.) Stephanie also taught expressive movement at University of Southern California, and comedy at the American Academy of Dramatic Art. In private practice, Stephanie coaches executives, professionals and special groups in mindful body language and public speaking. Stephanie has studied in the Alexander Technique, Body-Mind Centering, and other movement modalities.  She founded Mindfulness Arts, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping people integrate mindfulness into their lives for better performance, creativity and ease. As a Mindfulness Coach and Integrative Counselor, Stephanie does speaking engagements and presentations all over the country, and as a top facilitator for Shinzen Young’s Basic Mindfulness system, Stephanie recently designed & implemented a mindfulness program for a Harvard Medical School brain study and recorded a stress-reduction app for a Carnegie Mellon study which will soon be available to the public. 

 

Clory Rossi-Shewan, MA, LMFT

Clory is a lead instructor at Dance For All, and has been a committed member of the team since 2011. Clory is originally from Italy, where she trained and performed as a professional dancer, as well as worked as a dance instructor and choreographer over the course of 20 years. She studied ballet and modern dance mainly at Balletto di Roma – Centro di Danza, and IALS – Centro Danza Musica e Teatro, in Rome. In 2001, she won a dance scholarship, and was able to train and perform in New York City with Ajkun Ballet Theatre and the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company. Clory’s scholarship also offered her the opportunity to take classes at American Ballet Theatre, Broadway Dance Center, and Steps on Broadway. Clory discovered her love for psychology in the US, and graduated with an MA in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles in 2013. She is now a licensed psychotherapist, and works with college students and staff at Acacia Counseling and Wellness in Santa Barbara. Clory’s clinical experience includes facilitating therapeutic group activities such as art, dance-movement, yoga, drama, and play therapy designed for children with special needs at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services in Los Angeles. She has been working with children with Autism, Asperger’s, behavioral, emotional and learning difficulties, as well neurologically impaired children. She also worked at the Southern California Counseling Center in Los Angeles, where she provided psychotherapy for individual adults and children, couples, and families.

 

Mimi Savage, PhD, RDT-BCT

Mimi is a professor at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in expressive arts therapy and she is on the founding faculty of the SEA program at UCLArts & Healing. As a registered drama therapist (RDT) and board-certified trainer (BCT) in her field, Dr. Savage taught critical thinking through improvisation at UCLA’s Pathway Program for developmentally delayed young adults as well as created and led drama therapy programs for several years in acute psychiatric in-patient units for adults and children. She has facilitated diverse populations from homeless women on skid row to youth in residential rehab. Her presentations and publications involve her research on the intersections of identity for adopted adolescent girls from foster care through the uses of drama therapy and digital media. For several years, she created curriculum as a theatre arts teaching artist for typical and neurodiverse public school elementary and middle school children, while working as a professional actress. Dr. Savage serves as the Education Chair of the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) and is a recipient of a Drama Therapy Fund Professional Research Grant. An alumna of Princeton, CSULA, and Lesley University, she also completed conservatory training at the Neighborhood Playhouse School, NYC.

 

Ebony Williams, LMFT

Ebony is a Black, queer, first generation woman who is also a licensed marriage and family therapist, social emotional healing arts instructor, and a trauma-informed yoga teacher. She created the Ragdoll Project while earning an MFA in writing at the California Institute of the Arts, and has facilitated workshops on both the east and west coasts for trauma survivors and individuals navigating life challenges ranging from sexual and domestic violence, grief and loss, LGBTQIA identity, and living in communities challenged by violence. Ebony also earned an MA in marriage and family therapy with a specialization in African American family studies and currently has a private practice, is a creative and executive leadership and mental health consultant, and is a supervisor for Journey Out, supporting case managers working with survivors of human trafficking. Ebony is also a consultant for A Thousand Joys, a trauma and resilience training organization, teaches in the cultural psychology LGBTQIA specialization at Pacific Oaks College and the Certificate Program in Social Emotional arts through UCLArts & Healing.