Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD is the Executive Director and Research Director of the CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Medical Director for Addiction Services at CHA, Instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Faculty Member and Investigator at the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health at Dartmouth, and an addictions psychiatrist at CHA. As a board-certified addiction psychiatrist, he has been involved with research and clinical care of patients with addiction and mental illness. Prior to his psychiatric residency, he helped coordinate and implement the first federally-funded, randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-oriented intervention for addictive disorders. Dr. Schuman-Olivier has presented locally, regionally and nationally on mindfulness for addictions treatment, and has trained residents and peers on the topic. He is currently the principal investigator for the MINDFUL-PC project, which aims to integrate mindfulness into the patient-centered medical home.
Todd Griswold, MD is the Medical Director of the CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion; Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; and an outpatient psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA). He has been connected with CHA since 1989 and has worked in a wide range of clinical settings, within CHA and elsewhere, and has won numerous teaching awards. He is committed to broadly humanistic clinical care and sees mindfulness as offering tremendous potential for patients and clinicians alike.
Richa Gawande, PhD is the Research and Programs Manager for the CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion. She is passionate about mindfulness and compassion practice, research and teaching. She is committed to making mindfulness and compassion training more available to diverse populations in the local community, to integrating mindfulness into the heart of medical care, and to researching the effects of mindfulness and compassion training on patient and provider health. She has a background in tuberculosis biology and public health and is interested in the intersection of mental and physical health. She hopes to bring passion and compassion to mindfulness research and teaching as part of the team at the CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion.
Jacqueline Lutz, PhD is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CMC. Her research interests are in the fields of effective neuroscience, emotion regulation, mindfulness, self-referential processes, and their implication for clinical psychology. At CMC, and in collaboration with the MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, she works on the integration of an fMRI pilot study within the MINDFUL-PC-project to study neural correlates of self-regulation related to mindfulness training. This research is funded by a collaborative UH2 grant through NCCIH and the NIH Common Fund Science of Behavior Change Initiative. She is also working to develop a new transitional research program to gain a more precise understanding of physiologic processes elicited by self-compassion. She is passionate about bridging contemplative sciences and neuroscience research, and about extending our understanding of alternative approaches to health in general.
Liza Pine is the Research Coordinator for the MINDFUL-PC program and the Operations Coordinator for the CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion. Liza has enjoyed growth through her personal practice, and is thrilled to support the potential for mindfulness and compassion to cultivate systems change through her work with the MINDFUL-PC program. Liza received her B.A. from Wesleyan University, where she studied Neuroscience & Behavior and Spanish. Liza is passionate about community-based whole-person health, and is grateful for the opportunity to learn with CMC and Cambridge Health Alliance.
Bridget Kiley is the Research Center Coordinator, managing events, programs and overall center operations. Bridget earned her Bachelor's in Criminal Justice & Sociology and Master of Science in Counseling from Villanova University. She has conducted qualitative research looking at the implementation of mindfulness-based programs in K-12 schools. Bridget comes to CMC with experience working as a webmaster for Copper Beech Institute, a mindfulness and contemplative-based retreat center in her hometown of West Hartford, CT and having participated in Penn Program for Mindfulness and Mindful Schools training. Most recently, she lived and worked in Athens, Greece through a Fulbright Grant. Energized by the power of learning and by the the heartful community at CMC and CHA, Bridget is grateful for the opportunity to grow through her experiences in this role.
My Ngoc To is the Research Coordinator for the MINDFUL-PC Program at the CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion. She studied Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology during her undergraduate at Harvard. Having benefited from her own personal practice and worked with many diverse populations, My Ngoc's research interests center around cultural and integrative psychiatry. As a published author and visual artist, My Ngoc is also passionate about narrative medicine. She is both thrilled and grateful for this opportunity to join the CMC in its mission to integrate mindfulness and compassion into healthcare.
Alex Brunel is a research assistant for the MINDFUL-PC program. A Wellesley College graduate, Alex was a Gestalt therapist in England before returning to the USA in 2016. In addition to studying meditation, yoga, and Movement Psychology in London, she provided social and commercial Qualitative research for public and private bodies across the UK, Europe and Asia. In her spare time she renovated houses including a 17th century thatched cottage in an English village and a garden flat in Edinburgh. She likes tennis, music, cycling and her family and doesn't have much time for anything else.
Angela Lozada is a research assistant for the MINDFUL-PC program. She received her B.S. in Art Therapy from Lesley University, with concentrations in Cognitive Neuroscience and Mathematics. Her main research interest involves evaluating the effectiveness of holistic groups for patients with chronic physiological and psychological illnesses. During her free time she enjoys painting beach scenes.
Alla Villafana is the Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion. She was introduced to Mindfulness when she attended the Dipamkara Meditation Center in Huntington, New York. She received her B.A from Stony Brook University with concentrations in Environmental Science, Philosophy and Business. Currently, Alla is completing her prerequisite classes in nursing. In the future, she wishes to integrate mindfulness and compassion into the nursing profession.
Jody Daniels is the Workplace Mindfulness Project Manager and an instructor in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Cambridge Health Alliance. She is also an adjunct professor in the graduate healthcare management program at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Formerly a senior V.P. with over 20 years’ experience in human resources with a mid-size healthcare organization, Jody also has over eight years’ clinical experience as a psychiatric social worker at various academic medical centers. She has trained at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at UMass Medical School in Worcester, MA and has been a mindfulness practitioner for the past six years.
Our Leadership Team
Susan Pollak, MTS, Ed.D. is a faculty member in psychology at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Health Alliance, where she has taught and supervised since the mid 1990s. She is the president of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, a founding member and senior adviser of Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, and a psychologist in private clinical practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Pollak co-taught Mindful Self-Compassion during its early development and she is co-author of Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy.
Christopher Germer, PhD is a clinical psychologist in private practice, a faculty member in psychology at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Health Alliance, and a founding faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He leads workshops internationally on mindfulness and self-compassion. He is a founding member and senior advisor for the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion. Dr. Germer is author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, and co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy.
Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD is Assistant Professor of Psychology, part time at Harvard Medical School, where he has taught for over 30 years. He is a long-time student of mindfulness meditation and serves on the board of directors and faculty of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. Dr. Siegel teaches internationally about mindfulness and psychotherapy and mind–body treatment, has worked for many years in community mental health with inner-city children and families, and maintains a private practice in Lincoln, Massachusetts. He is the coauthor of Back Sense: A Revolutionary Approach to Halting the Cycle of Chronic Back Pain, which integrates Western and Eastern approaches for treating chronic back pain, co-editor of the acclaimed books for professionals, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy: Deepening Mindfulness in Clinical Practice, and coauthor of the new professional text, Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy.
Elizabeth Gaufberg, MD, MPH is the Director of the CHA Center for Professional Development and the Jean and Harvey Picker Director of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Research Institute. Liz trained in both Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at CHA, and has spent her entire career here. She has held a number of clinical roles at the interface of medicine and psychiatry, including running a primary care clinic for patients with chronic mental illness and directing the medical consultation service to inpatient psychiatry.
Christopher Willard, PsyD is a psychologist and educational consultant based in Boston specializing in mindfulness with adolescents and young adults. He has been practicing meditation for over 15 years, and leads trainings and workshops internationally on the topic of mindfulness with young people. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and the Mindfulness in Education Network. He is the author of Child’s Mind (2010), Growing Up Mindful (2016), and three other books on contemplative practices with youth. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.
Laura Warren, MD is an outpatient psychiatrist at CHA and has been involved with CMC since its inception. She was first trained in MBSR in 2007, and completed the Meditation and Psychotherapy Certificate program in 2009, and since then has been incorporating mindfulness into her clinical practice in various ways. She is interested in using mindfulness to help patients manage stress, and to reduce burnout among healthcare professionals. She has been involved in bringing mindfulness to primary care with the MINDFUL-PC program, as well as incorporating mindfulness into the residency curriculum.
Sasha Clifton Oxnard, MD, MPH is a family physician at Cambridge Health Alliance and a certified yoga-instructor. In her clinical work Dr. Oxnard specializes in group visits, integrative mental health and complementary medicine and completed a 200-hour training in Integrative Medicine through the Arizona Institute for Integrative Medicine. For the past four years Dr. Oxnard has been leading mindfulness-based group visits for primary care patients as well as teaching yoga classes for CHA patients and staff.
Nick Barnes, MD is a fourth year psychiatry resident at Cambridge Health Alliance. Dr. Barnes was introduced to mindfulness when in medical school at Dartmouth. His interest in mindfulness sparked an interest in the brain and mind, leading him to choose psychiatry. Dr. Barnes hopes to integrate the lessons he has learned through his own mindfulness and compassion practice to be a skillful and compassionate psychiatrist.