Speakers - 2018 Oncology Massage Healing Summit

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2018 Oncology Summit Speaker Bios

Last updated: 2/1/2018


Speaker Name


Isabel Adkins, BA, CMT, CMLD

Isabel Adkins has been a massage therapist since 1994 and an oncology massage educator since 2001. Her oncology massage approach integrates Western and Eastern modalities of bodywork to address the symptoms and side effects of treatments and disease.  Isabel directed and supervised the Oncology Massage program at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and developed the 300-hour Oncology Massage program at the Massage Therapy Institute in Davis, California, approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education since 2007. She focuses on oncology and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Karen Armstrong, LMT, BCTMB

Karen Armstrong is the manager of Clinical Massage for Integrative Medicine at Beaumont Health System in Michigan and Program Director of Beaumont’s Oncology and Hospital Massage Class. Karen and her staff offer clinical massage therapy in six hospital-based outpatient clinics as well as inpatient treatments at three hospital campuses. Several research projects have been initiated under her guidance and Karen has co-authored three published manuscripts. She is former Chairperson of Michigan's Board of Massage Therapy, the Immediate Past President of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards and currently sits on S4OM’s Education Committee.

Jodi Baglien, CA, CST

Jodi Baglien, a certified clinical aromatherapist, certified shiatsu therapist, and certified aroma acupoint therapist, is an experienced instructor and integrative health practitioner.  She consults and provides training and innovative products for hospitals, senior care and other healthcare organizations to help them implement aromatherapy in patient/resident care. She is the founder of Jodi Baglien well being + wisdom studio in Osseo, Minnesota.

MK Brennan, President S40M, MS, RN, LMBT


MK Brennan is a massage therapist in private practice and manager of the Clinical Case Management Department at Carolinas Healthcare System University Hospital.  She serves as President of the Society for Oncology Massage, the Chairperson of the Integrative Healthcare Committee at University Hospital, a member of the Clinical Working Group and Hospital Based Massage Therapy task force through the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, and a member of the Massage Therapy Foundation writing group. She has held various chapter and national volunteer positions with the American Massage Therapy Association, most notably as National President 2008-2009.

Kathy Bjerke, LMT

Kathy Bjerke has been a radiation therapist since 1988 and still practices in a locum capacity. An employee of Mercy Health System, she performs oncology massage on their Rockford, Illinois, and Janesville, Wisconsin, campuses.  Her training includes radiation therapy, how lymphatic quadrants are compromised with different cancers, and how to massage clients undergoing radiation treatments or who have had radiation previously.  Kathy is an active member of S4OM.  She has presented seminars on oncology massage at Rock Valley College, Mercy Health System, and to support groups at Mercy Hospital and Healing Pathways Cancer Resource.

Martha Brown Menard, PhD, LMT

Martha Brown Menard is the director of the Crocker Institute, where she uses program evaluation as an approach for helping nonprofit organizations, businesses, and institutions assess their outcomes and impact. Dr. Menard has written funded grant applications and has served as a grant reviewer for NIH and as chair of the research grant proposal review committee for the Massage Therapy Foundation. She also teaches courses on critical evaluation of health care research and is a guest lecturer at Georgetown University. She writes frequently for the Massage Therapy Journal and Massage Today. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association.

Jerrilyn Cambron, DC, LMT, PhD

Jerrilyn Cambron is the dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences and Distance Education at the National University of Health Sciences. She is also the senior associate editor of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies and the immediate past-president of the Massage Therapy Foundation. Jerrilyn spent 25 years doing clinical research and enjoys discussing the importance and impact of research at all levels of health care. 

Lauren Cates, LMT, S4OM

Lauren Cates is an oncology massage therapist, CE provider and executive director of Healwell, a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization that collaborates in clinical/hospital-based massage therapy research, hands-on service, and education.  Lauren is board certified and was a founder and president of The Society for Oncology Massage from 2007-2014.

Patti CorsadenPatti Corscaden, LMT, NCTMB, S4OM

Patti has been a practicing massage therapist since June 1994. She was drawn to her profession as a way to help others heal, and has spent a great deal of time enhancing her education and experience through numerous classes and a specialized focus in the medical field.

Patti individualizes treatments depending on the needs of each person, and utilizes the many tools available to her, including Lympathic Drainage Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy, Oncology Massage, Reiki, Shiatsu, Sound Therapy and chair massage.

She is a 1994 graduate of the Downeast School of Massage in Waldobro, ME, has specialized training in hospital-based massage therapy and oncology massage. She became board certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork in December of 2014, after 20 years of being nationally certified. She is a faculty member at Downeast School of Massage, teaching classes in lympathic drainage, oncology massage, elder massage and CranioSacral therapy. she is a provider with The Complimentary Care program through Pen Bay Medical Center/Maine Health.

She serves on the board of directors of the Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM) and is the board liaison for the marketing and communications committee. She is also the co-chair of S4OM's 2018 healing summit speaker's committee.

Dianna Dapkins, CMT

Dianna Dapkins is the owner and creator of Pure Pro Massage Products based in Greenfield, Massachusetts. 

Dianna started Pure Pro 26 years ago while she was in massage school because she had sensitive skin and wanted to make products for her practice that would soothe sensitive skin.  Pure Pro is known as the leader in gentle, non-greasy massage creams and lotions used in oncology massage departments, hospitals, and hospices worldwide.

Johnnette du Rand, LMT, NCBTMB, S4OM



Johnnette du Rand was raised in South Africa and moved to Orange County, California, in 1999. While working in the pharmaceutical industry, she began her career in massage and bodywork, volunteering comfort-oriented touch for hospice. In 2003 she founded Greet The Day, an NPO providing bodywork for people affected by cancer. Johnnette works with nine Orange County cancer centers, including the University of California Irvine, and was a finalist for the Outstanding Founder, Orange County Spirit of Philanthropy Award. She also received the Humanitarian Award from the Women’s Cancer Research Foundation in 2008.

Lucille A. Eddy, LMT, S4OM

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 is the clinical supervisor for hospital/oncology massage at The Teal Center at Virginia Hospital Center.

Susan Gee, LMT, CMLDT

Susan Gee completed a 300-hour oncology massage certification at the Peregrine Institute of Oncology Massage Training and is a certified manual lymphatic drainage therapist (CMLDT).  She is the owner and CEO of Progressive Massage Therapy, specializing in massage for people living with cancer and those with complex medical histories. Susan is a member of the Oncology Massage Alliance and has provided free hand and foot massage for those receiving chemo infusion at Baylor-Sammons Cancer Center and Mary Crowley Research Center at Medical City Dallas.

Susan's call to end-of-life work came when her sister was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. She has worked as an independent contractor for VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, providing massage for patients in their homes and long-term care facilities. Susan is the co-creator of Final Touch Training.

Gillian Jackson, RMT

Gillian is a remedial massage therapist specializing in palliative care massage, providing services for community-based organizations since 1999. Gillian is employed by two community-based palliative care services in Melbourne, providing massage for clients and care providers in their homes. Gillian also provides massage to clients for other community organizations, hospitals and aged care facilities.

Gillian is a facilitator at Palliative Care Massage Training who has developed training courses. She is qualified to offer manual lymphatic drainage and is a long-standing member of the Massage and Myotherapy Australia, Palliative Care Victoria and Society for Oncology Massage.

Joanne Loewy, DA, LCAT, MT-BC

Joanne Loewy is director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine and an associate professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Loewy oversees the Department of Music Therapy in the Mount Sinai Hospitals. She has conducted research in sedation, assessment, pain, asthma, oncology and NICU music therapy. She specializes in assessment, hermeneutic research, trauma and supervision. Dr. Loewy is editor in chief of the international, peer-reviewed journal Music and Medicine and serves on several editorial boards. Dr. Loewy is a founding member of the International Association for Music and Medicine. She teaches at Hahnemann Creative Arts Therapy graduate music therapy program at NYU, Drexel University in Philadelphia and at the University of Barcelona.

Gayle MacDonald, MS, LMT

Gayle MacDonald is the author of Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer,(3rd Ed.) (2014, Findhorn Press) and Massage for the Hospital Patient and Medically Frail Client (2005, Lippincott Williams and Wilkin).

She first began working with oncology patients at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. Since 1994 she has taught and supervised massage therapists on the oncology medical/surgical in-patient units, in the chemo infusion clinics, radiation oncology, apheresis and the bone marrow transplant unit.

She is a founding member of the Society for Oncology Massage and the Iris Cancer Partnership in Scotland, as well as the creator of the Oncology Massage Healing Summit and Oncology Massage Education Associates.

Jan McIlwraith, BBA, DipHsc, CLT, REP-S40M, Massage & Myotherapy Australia, and Palliative Care Victoria

Jan McIlwraith qualified as a remedial massage therapist in 2004. Jan then undertook training in complex lymphatic therapy (Casley-Smith method), Reiki Master Teacher training, polarity therapy, shamanism and other techniques. Specializing in palliative care massage, Jan worked for a community palliative care organization prior to joining Caritas Christi Hospice of St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.

Jan founded Palliative Care Massage Training in 2015, and offers courses in oncology massage and palliative care massage. She works at The Gawler Foundation, Wantirna Health – Eastern Health, Eastern Palliative Care and WellSpring community clinic. Jan is a member of S4OM, Massage & Myotherapy Australia and Palliative Care Victoria and is studying counseling.

Marcia (Patterson) Middleton, LMT, BS, CQIA

Marcia (Patterson) Middleton is a licensed massage therapist and the Supervisor of Medical Massage at UF Health - Jacksonville and the University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, Florida. She is a preferred provider for S4OM and received her oncology massage training from Tracy Walton and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She has additional training in lymphatic drainage, hospital based massage therapy, aromatherapy and color therapy.

Alastair Moock, singer/songwriter

Alastair Moock is a 2013 GRAMMY nominee, two-time Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Winner, and recipient of the ASCAP Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award. One of Boston’s premier folk artists, Alastair turned his attention to family music after the birth of his twin daughters in 2006. 

The New York Times calls him a Tom Waits for kids and The Boston Globe declares that, in the footsteps of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Alastair Moock makes real kids’ music that parents can actually enjoy.

Nanci Newton, LMT

Nanci Newton is a 1998 graduate of the Muscular Therapy Institute and has taught with Tracy Walton & Associates since 2010. She has also been an adjunct faculty member at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Nanci employs five massage therapists at her award-winning company, The Healing Zone Therapeutic Massage. The group offers oncology massage to the public and provides massage for caregivers and patients at the Cancer Connection in Northampton, Massachusetts.

In 2014, Nanci was named one of “The 100” honored by Massachusetts General Hospital who have dedicated themselves to making a difference in the fight against cancer. Nanci organizes oncology massage volunteers for the annual Pan Mass Challenge fundraiser. Her work was recently featured in Thrive magazine.

Catherine Ryan, RMT

Catherine Ryan is a clinician, educator and writer with a strong interest in patient-centered care, evidence-informed practices, and life-long learning. Her post-graduate education has focused on myofascial approaches. Over her diverse, 25+ year-career, Cathy has engaged in a variety of clinical, educational and leadership capacities. She has been an active, longstanding member of professional massage therapy associations and has severed as a special projects group, committee and board member with the CMTO & CMTBC.

Cathy is an established continuing education provider and has contributed extensively to industry publications and is a co-author of Traumatic Scar Tissue Management – Massage Therapy Principles, Practice and Protocols (Handspring 2016).

Stacey Schultz, LMT

Stacey L. Schultz is an oncology massage therapist in Rochester, Minnesota, and an instructor of essential motion and yoga. She is passionate about helping others find ease and joy in their daily lives.

Erika R. Slocum, LMT

Erika R. Slocum is a graduate of the Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and completed the Boston Medical Center oncology massage training. She has taught the Oncology Massage Therapy 4 - Day Intensive with Tracy Walton & Associates since 2011 across the country.

Erika has a busy private practice in Somerville, Massachusetts, where she and her business partner employ four massage therapists. Their specialties are oncology massage, prenatal massage, and orthopedic techniques. 

Nancy Keeney Smith, LMT, MLD

Nancy Keeney Smith is a board certified licensed massage therapist, certified lymph drainage therapist, and a Florida and NC BTMB provider of scar management workshops. Nancy’s scar management workshops have been taught internationally to massage school students, LMTs, PTs and OTs.

Nancy is a member of the Associate Research Team at the Florida School of Massage in Gainesville, Florida; founder and director of The Happy Plus Foundation; and former first vice president of the AMTA Florida Chapter, the National Lymphedema Network.

Estelle Smits, Director/ Educator Instituut Massage bij Kanker The Netherlands

Estelle Smits is a director and educator at the Instituut Mass age bij Kanker (The Netherlands) and she facilitates the nationwide Network of Oncology Massage in the Netherlands. The Instituut Massage bij Kanker was founded in 2011 and pioneered to introduce oncology massage in The Netherlands. Estelle applies her previous career in international relations to her Oncology massage practice, helping her engage with the international oncology massage community.

As an oncology massage therapist, Estelle has a private practice and gives weekly massages to patients on the oncology ward in a hospital in The Hague.

Cindy Spence, LMT, MPH

Cindy Spence has been a massage therapist specializing in oncology, hospice and palliative care since 1999.  A pancreatic cancer survivor since 2005, she believes in the power of choice and pursuit of optimal wellness at all phases of life.

Cindy's training includes a master’s degree in public health and continuing education from MD Anderson and the Texas & New Mexico Hospice Organization.  She has worked as a massage therapist for numerous hospice agencies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has taught CE-certified courses for hospice nurses.  Employed at VITAS since 2012, she recently accepted a position at the new Simmons Inpatient Unit for Faith Hospice.  Co-creator of Final Touch Training, Cindy is a member of the Society for Oncology Massage, the Oncology Massage Alliance and AMTA.

Carolyn Tague, MA, CMT

Carolyn Tague specializes in massage therapy for patients with cancer, neurological challenges, complex chronic pain, and clients dealing with grief and loss. A massage therapist since 2005, she has been doing massage therapy in hospitals since 2006. She is the founder of Tague Consulting, which offers education and consulting services that provide practitioners and administrators with knowledge and tools for working with medically complex clients and in acute care environments.

Carolyn is a member of the Academic Collaborative of Integrative Healthcare, where she serves on the Hospital Based Massage Therapy task force. She is a preferred practitioner and member of the Education Committee with the Society for Oncology Massage. Carolyn presents at many national conferences and teaches internationally.

Carolyn maintains a private practice in somatic bodywork in San Francisco.

Carmen Thompson, BS, LPTA, CMT, CLT-LANA

Carmen Thompson is a licensed physical therapist assistant and certified massage therapist with a specialty certification in lymphatic therapy. She provides inpatient and outpatient lymphatic therapy to clients through her practice Lymphatic Care Specialists, LLC.  Ms. Thompson has worked in various health care settings over the last 23 years, as a clinician and in administration.

She served as director of rehabilitation services at Tandem Health Care in Floyd, Virginia, and facility/area administrator of rehabilitation at Prism Rehab Systems. Ms. Thompson has conducted state and national presentations on the prevention and management of lymphedema in cancer patients and on lymphedema program development in acute care.

Ruth Werner, BCTMB

Ms. Werner 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. She is the author of the groundbreaking textbook, A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, as well as Disease Handbook for Massage Therapists and her recent revision of Scheumann’s The Balanced Body. She 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 worldwide. Ruth received the AMTA Council of Schools Teacher of the Year Award for 2005. She also served as president of the Massage Therapy Foundation from 2010-2014.





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