At Wellness Within, our team offers a wide range of healing modalities to help patients, survivors, and families cope with the stress of cancer.
Instructors & Administrators
Patti Brown, MS LMFT
CMBM certified (Center for Mind Body Medicine)
Founder/ Executive Director
Wellness Within is the realization of a dream for Patti. After 20 years in private practice as a psychotherapist, she decided to honor the tugging at her heart and open a grass roots organization to serve a community dealing with cancer and it’s aftermath. It is her life’s work to teach, support, and mobilize the body and mind for healing.
Patti’s vision for Wellness Within is to provide a healing oasis to equip individuals and families dealing with a life-threatening illness with the resources, tools and support needed to heal and thrive. She believes we are all equipped with a wellspring of resources that exists within to facilitate present moment joy and transformation even in the face of difficulty.
Patti actively incorporates her training in mind-body medicine to support a community of people struggling with a cancer diagnosis. The Center’s belief is based on honoring the integration of medical treatments and coupling it with mind body practices that enhances the quality of life with dignity and hope. As the founder of Wellness Within, she understands the profound impact a life threatening illness brings to one’s life and the significance of pulling together a caring, loving community to provide support, comfort and healing.
Brook Rivera, HHC, LMT
Program Director & Wellness Educator
Brook Rivera is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Licensed Massage Therapist, recognized Drugless Practitioner from AADP, and is certified in Raw Food Nutrition. She has grown up in both the food industry and health field, being a daughter of a restaurateur and a third generation healer. Having worked in the health field for over 20 years, she is familiar with a wide range of holistic healing modalities, and recognizes the importance of bio-individuality and in health and well-being.
With her background in teaching grade school for 4 years and adult nutrition classes, combined with her holistic training and experience, she is honored to be assisting Wellness Within as their Program Director. Having had family go through the difficulty of cancer, she all to well understands the hardships that a cancer diagnosis brings to all.
Outreach & Marketing Coordinator
As a cancer survivor herself, Randi understands the fear associated with getting the dreaded diagnosis. She found Wellness Within a sanctuary of peace, calm and support in the middle of the crazy clinical world of doctors, tests, and procedures. She uses her many years of sales and marketing experience to increase awareness of the Center and to gain support from the greater Sacramento community.
Sarah Dillon, MS
After spending time as a caregiver for her dad during his battle with brain cancer, Sarah learned of and lived the fear, frustration, chaos and grief that comes with a cancer diagnosis. She also discovered it can be a time of love, gratitude, community and new priorities. She is grateful for the opportunity to help Wellness Within cultivate peace for patients and caregivers by working on development for the organization, bringing experience from nonprofit and campaign work.
Darcel Harris Lee
Darcel’s expertise with non-profits and her journey of losing her husband to cancer has brought her to Wellness Within, with a desire to serve and help others. A community activist and health advocate, Harris Lee serves on the Board of Directors of the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute which focuses on the empowerment of African American women and girls. Her work in healthcare, meeting planning, communications, and community, has been rewarded with both local and national recognition. Darcel’s non-profit experience includes being President/CEO of California Black Health Network – an organization that was a key voice on healthcare throughout the state. She was also the director of education programs for California Special Districts Association and the director of emergency preparedness for the California Primary Care Association.
Diane Giuliani, HHC
Nutrition and Wellness Educator
Diane is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and also carries a certification in Plant-based Nutrition. She provides strategies and nutritional consultation specific to strengthening the body’s immune system during cancer treatment and recovery. She understands bio-individuality and offers integrated nutritional support that empowers her clients to attain improved overall health and well-being. She is a breast cancer survivor and is passionate about helping others diagnosed with cancer live longer healthier lives. She offers a Foods to Nourish class that explores specific immune boosting foods, foods that should be avoided and instruction on creating healthy flavorful meals.
Susan Whitaker, MS Vocational Rehabilitation
Certified Yoga Instructor
Susan Whitaker is the owner of Canyon Spirit Yoga Center in Auburn, Ca. She has Yoga teaching certifications from Kripalu Center and Integrative Yoga Therapy. Susan continues to teach and study in the areas of yoga therapy, creating individual practices, and yoga as a healing art.
There are so many ways yoga can help people dealing with cancer. It can help to detoxify the body, improve the immune system, improve sleep and digestion, and help provide a sense of well-being and inner connection. Many people also find that the breathing techniques, movement and meditation provide a sense of well-needed quiet and peace.
Susan is honored to be a part of Wellness Within and provide yoga as deep inner and outer work to those who are navigating their way through the experience of cancer.
Gayle E. Rideout, MS, CCHT
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
Gayle has recently started a new chapter in her life. She has retired from her position as a Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the State of California, where her focus was counseling persons with disabilities through their return to employment. Her new journey began with her education at the Hypnotherapy Training Institute in Corte Madera and certification as a Clinical Hypnotherapist by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners.
Gayle combines her over twenty years of counseling experience and hypnotherapy training to explore the lifestyle and employment challenges brought about by a cancer diagnosis. Life Transitions Counseling addresses coping with the stress and anxiety of a medical diagnosis and the resulting changes in life priorities and employment needs.
Gayle is passionate about the benefits of hypnotherapy and excited to share this fascinating avenue for personal growth, change and relaxation. Hypnosis is a natural relaxed state, which allows the subconscious mind freedom from the critical mind. Focusing the subconscious mind while in this relaxed state can assist in reducing stress, anxiety, phobias, sleep disturbance and pain levels, and provide a general sense of well being.
Yoga & iRest Instructor
Iram is an iRest® instructor and a registered yoga teacher.
Iram loves to teach iRest classes to people who are suffering from insomnia, anxiety and stress. Living a busy life herself, she once wondered how, in today’s hectic world, does one find and achieve deep relaxation when it is needed most? The answer came to her when she personally experienced and benefited from iRest/yoga Nidra. That led her to explore and study this meditative practice of conscious sleep. She has come to the conclusion that if we can unwind our mind, we can heal our body.
Iram loves to spend time with her family and friends. She loves animals, nature, camping and hiking. She listens to world music and likes to travel, explore and appreciate diverse cultures. Her favorite words are “breathe, relax, smile and enjoy….”
Rev. Jackie Kortright
Spiritual Development Instructor
Jackie Kortright is a retired ordained United Church of Christ (Congregational) minister who served 32 years in the ministry. She has worked as an Inner City Urban minister in San Francisco as well as a local church pastor with the First Congregational Church in Auburn and with the United Methodist Church in Loomis. Throughout her ministry she has integrated a variety of faith/spiritual expressions into the churches she has served, and has worked with both adults and youth doing small group work, faith exploration, preaching, pastoral counseling and social justice. She has travelled extensively, having been part of a peace delegation to the Soviet Union in 1984 and worked with an orphanage and pre-school in the Nyalenda Slums in Kisumu, Kenya. And being a breast cancer survivor, she also knows the experiences of the cancer journey.
Adrian found yoga on a whim thanks to a Friend’s gift of a free month of yoga. He went and was immediately hooked. One of the biggest benefits he received was being able to fully let go of his stressful workday through practice. “That was something I could not get doing other exercise activities. After just a couple of months I knew Yoga was something I wanted to have a bigger presence in my life. So I decided to become a teacher.”In Spring 2014, Adrian completed yoga Teacher Training with the Yoga Seed Collective.
Yoga has changed Adrian’s life both physically and mindfully. In his personal practice he primarily focuses on Vinyasa and Yin modalities, as he has found Yin an important role in keeping his practice steady and balanced. When teaching, he loves to provide a well balanced all levels class.
Breath and Movement = Yoga = Medicine. “I look forward to seeing you on the mat. Namaste!”
Hannah Klaus Hunter, BA, MFA
Hannah was born in Ithaca, New York and grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She studied textiles and painting at the University of Iowa and the California College of the Arts. After many years of making art and teaching art to children, she went back to school in art therapy and has been a practicing artist and art therapist ever since. You can learn more about her on her blog at hannahklaushunterarts.comMarried, with two grown children, she lives in Davis, California where she maintains an active studio practice and is passionate about helping others connect to, claim and explore their own creativity.
Jan has worked the past 20 years in the health and wellness field. She holds a certification from U.C. Berkeley in the Power of Awareness taught by Jack Kornfield and Sara Brach, two leading authorities in the subject of meditation. She also holds certifications from the National Institute of Whole Health (NIWH), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and is certified as a Chair Yoga instructor.
Jan has experienced the fear that a cancer diagnosis causes, not just with herself and her family, but also with her clientele. She has personally experienced the benefits of meditation and self-exploration. She enjoys spending her time continuing her education in meditation and mindfulness, as well as teaching meditation and chair yoga in Roseville, CA. Jan believes the practice of meditation plays a crucial role in understanding ourselves, which enables us to live healthier and happier lives.
John has been studying and practicing qigong for eight years and teaching for the past three.
He is a lifelong educator, versed in making learning effective and fun. He creates a safe, engaging environment through his practice of compassionate communication and empathy. John is a poetry-lover, and enjoys spreading the qi through verse.
John has been trained in, and will draw from, two systems: Wisdom Healing Qigong with Master Mingtong Gu, and Integral Qigong with Roger Jahnke. Should you wish to explore these two very compatible paths you are invited to examine the following websites. www.chicenter.com www.instituteofintegralqigongandtaichi.org
He is honored to offer qigong instruction at Wellness Within and looks forward to serving those who are interested in giving qigong a try.
Cooking Class Instructor
Kerin Gould, PhD. is originally from Massachusetts, but has lived in Japan, Spain, Italy, and Mexico for long enough to learn about many of their diverse, healthy dishes and to collect and adapt many recipes. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Health and a PhD. in Native American Studies, with an emphasis on worldviews and community development. She has worked with food-related non-profits such as Alchemist CDC and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and taught a high school Farm to Fork program, but eventually focused on developing her own sustainable, non-toxic, wildlife-friendly farm and exploring a new way to connect vibrant fruit and veggies and those who strive to enhance their health with farm-fresh produce.
Board of Directors
Bill Walters, MBA
Deena Math Spann
Bridget Halvorson, J.D.
Julie Hersch, MD
Christian A. Hendricks
Professional Advisory Board