At Wellness Within, our team offers a wide range tools to help patients, survivors, and families cope with the stress of cancer.



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.

Jan Whitney
Deputy Director

Jan discovered her passion for the multifaceted benefits of mind-body wellness following a spinal injury. She has witnessed many friends, family members and their care partners endure a cancer diagnosis and treatment to aftercare and is thrilled to be able to share her love and belief in integrative coping and healing methodology with the Wellness Within clientele. She has 25+ years of experience managing and growing non-profit and for-profit organizations and enjoys yoga, fly fishing travel, volunteering and being with her family.


Elizabeth Klein
Director of Community Relations and Outreach

Elizabeth is excited to join Wellness Within as the Director of Outreach and Community Relations. In 2014, mourning the death of her sister and tackling a second cancer diagnosis, Elizabeth discovered Wellness Within and found a nourishing community and a place to re-balance her soul while she navigated her cancer journey. Now, after helping her husband run their Roseville brewpub, The Monk’s Cellar, she returns to the center eager to apply nearly 20 years of corporate management experience to her new position. She is a mother of two boys, and when not driving her boys around to their various activities, she enjoys cooking, gardening, playing her flute, and riding her recently adopted thoroughbred, Brooklyn.



Gayle E. Rideout, MS, CCHT Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
Program Coordinator

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.


Sarah Dillon, MS
Director of Communications and Stewardship

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 and communications for the organization, bringing experience from nonprofit and campaign work. In her free time, Sarah enjoys making color-coded to-do lists, hiking, yoga, traveling, camping with her second cousins, and exploring Midtown.


Marilyn Lapkass
Office Manager/Administrative Assistant

After many years as a software engineer and manager, Marilyn desired to use her management and analytical skills to serve the community. She has found she has been able to utilize her skills working with a variety of nonprofits. Having witnessed family and friends navigate the journey that follows diagnosis of cancer she has seen how important it is to have a strong support system following the diagnosis. She feels fortunate to be joining the Wellness Within team to help others find comfort and healing.


John Brewer
QiGong Instructor

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:  He is honored to offer qigong instruction at Wellness Within and looks forward to serving those who are interested in giving qigong a try.


Adrian Carrera
Yoga Instructor

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!”


Wellness Within - Diane Giuliani

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.


Kerin Gould
Cooking Class Instructor & Farmer

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.



Hannah Klaus Hunter, MFA
Art Therapist

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 Married, 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.



Iram Khan
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.


Laurie Martin
Dancing Freedom and Drum Instructor

Laurie N. Martin is a trained Dancing Freedom teacher and HealthRHYTHMS Drum Circle Facilitator, guiding diverse groups in community for health and well-being. Dancing Freedom is an elemental journey through a wave of music, connecting our rhythms with the rhythms of nature with intention to inspire, reduce stress, relax, invigorate – whatever the participants want to experience by discovering and sharing their dance from the inside out. No experience necessary, “you can’t do it wrong.”


Marilyn Palmer
Children, Family, & Bereavement Therapist

Marilyn has over 20 years supporting children and adolescents to enhance their quality of life when the stress of an illness happens within their family system. Children and adolescents know that something is different and the changes for them can be scary and upsetting. They may exhibit behavioral changes when a family member or parent has been diagnosed with cancer or a serious illness. She will try to help a child or adolescent according to their developmental level and cultural beliefs into increasing their coping skills in order to decrease their stress levels so that they can manage increase their quality of life. Age-appropriate activities, emotional expression, psycho-education, and other ways to support the individual will be explored when there is an illness to cope with.

Marilyn is a licensed M.F.T. and credentialed as a Registered Play Therapist. She also received her Child Life Certificate through UC Santa Barbara in 2017 and is a fellow of the Infant-Parent mental health program of the University of Massachusetts.


Jan Portrait

Jan Webb
Meditation Facilitator

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.


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.


Terri Wolf, RN, MS, OCN
Oncology Nurse, Survivorship Instructor

An experienced oncology nurse, Terri Wolf, RN, MS, OCN, has a passion for supporting cancer patients through treatment and beyond. She has worked in pediatric oncology, adult infusion, radiation and as a consultant to community cancer centers. For many years, Terri facilitated a Writing as Healing Program at Sutter Health and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Currently, Terri is an adjunct instructor at Samuel Merritt University teaching leadership, quality and safety to nurses wanting to make a difference.

Board of Directors

Dave Brown – Intel Corporation (Retired)

Bill Walters, MBA – Crossroads (Retired)
Vice Chairman

Deena Math Spann – Koinonia Family Services

Laura Caravello – CalPERS (Retired)

Susan Binon – Forest Charter School

Bridget Halvorson, J.D. – Food Service Insurance Managers

Patricia Marquez – Sutter Health Foundation (Retired); Patricia Marquez Consulting

Patty McElwain – Ascent Builders


Professional Advisory Board

Dr. Balazs I. Bodai, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Dr. Julie Hersch, MD
Dr. Lisa Law, M.D.
Dr. Kristie Bobolis, M.D.
Rebecca Katz, MS, Chef, Author, Educator & Culinary Translator