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.
Eunmi (Jina) Kim is a Research Fellow at CMC, and a research scientist of the Heart-Smile Research Institute in South Korea. Prior to working at CMC, she worked with Catherine E. Kerr at Brown University. During her PhD thesis on mind-body medicine at the Seoul University of Buddhism, she worked as a visiting scholar at the Data Center for Korean EEG at Seoul National University. She completed her undergraduate studies at KAIST in Korea, where also got her Masters in Chemistry and IT Management. She worked as a researcher at LG Chem Research Park, and Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute. Trained in yoga in India and meditation in Burma, she is now a qualified MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) teacher, and a teacher-in-training of MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion). She has been involved in bringing Heart-Smile Training and Research to CMC and its community.
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 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.
Angela Lozada is the MINDFUL-PC Referral Coordinator. Angela first joined CMC as research assistant for the MINDFUL-PC clinical research program in 2015, after graduating from Lesley University where she received her B.S. in Art Therapy, with concentrations in Cognitive Neuroscience and Mathematics.
After one year of expanded growth in the MINDFUL-PC program, she currently coordinates the recruitment and enrollment process. Witnessing herself the transformative experience mindfulness meditation offers, she is compassionate about providing therapeutic space, patient advocacy, and contributing to evidence-based research. During her free time she enjoys creating process orientated artwork.
Alex Brunel is research coordinator for the MSC-Pain program and provides research support for MINDFUL-PC. A Wellesley College graduate, Alex was a Gestalt therapist in England before returning to the USA in 2016. Following her post-graduate degree in Directing and Movement Psychology from Drama Centre (London,) she studied yoga and meditation, and earned her living teaching and performing. Upon leaving London she found a niche providing 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 loves her garden, music, cycling and her family and doesn't have much time for anything else.
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.
Jessica (Jessi) Somogie is a part of the research and outreach team at the CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion. Jessica studied Secondary Education and English with concentrations in Spanish and Creative Writing during her undergraduate at the College of Charleston. Teaching adolescents and working closely with children illuminated Jessica’s passion to contribute further to the field of mental health and psychology. Jessica’s interests lie in child advocacy, mental health, neuroscience, and bioethics. Mindfulness continues to be a transformative practice in Jessica’s life. As Jessica continues her education and involvement with the non-profit Adolescent Wellness, she is grateful to have the opportunity to join CMC’s community of Mindfulness and Compassion!
Claribel Wu is a CMC Resident Illustrator, currently studying English and Modern Culture & Media at Brown University. She's interested in the role of storytelling, both interpersonally and introspectively, as it relates to mindfulness practice and issues of race and society. Claribel spent a summer as the Communications Intern at Center for Mindful Learning, a monastic academy, where she saw the potential for meditation and mindfulness to be a radical force in disrupting old habits and narratives. She's committed to approaching this work with curiosity, critical awareness, and compassion. Claribel feels grateful for and inspired by this opportunity to co-create with the CMC community.
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.
Past Team Members:
Nick Barnes, MD was a 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.
Alyssa Craparotta was an Undergraduate Fellow on the Research Track at CHA’s Center for Mindfulness and Compassion from Fall 2017-Summer 2018, supporting the MINDFUL-PC program. She is currently double majoring in Neuroscience and Philosophy in her third year at Boston College. Alyssa was first introduced to meditation and mindfulness through her yoga practice and teaching experience. After taking classes in psychology and neuroscience, she was drawn to empirical research exploring the effects of these practices. She is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the research being done at CMC and is excited to continue learning about the integration of mindfulness into primary care.
Tom Fatkin is an Undergraduate Fellow for the Research Track supporting the CMC MINDFUL-PC program. He is a current student at Tufts University, who aims to graduate in 2018 with a double major in Psychology and Chinese. Although he currently lives in the US, Tom is originally from Melbourne, Australia, and has also spent time in the UK. Despite the fact that he was only exposed to mindfulness a few years ago, he has quickly incorporated it into his life, and is excited to explore mindfulness and self compassion more at the center. In the future, he hopes to further pursue research into clinical psychology, and potentially a career in therapy.
Mecivir Keren Tersoo-Ivase is an Undergraduate Research Fellow at CHA’s Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, supporting the MINDFUL-PC program. She is an international student from Nigeria at Lesley University, who intends to graduate in 2019 with a double major in Biology and Psychology. During her few years of study in the United States taking Psychology courses, Mecivir has become more aware and exposed to mindfulness and its role in the improvement and maintenance of the well-being of individuals. She is fascinated and drawn to research that studies various components of mindfulness and its effects on physical health. In the future, she hopes to go into the field of Medicine and biomedical research with the intent of being a Research-physician or surgeon. She considers the opportunity to be part of the CMC research team a privilege as she continues to explore mindfulness and incorporate it into her personal life as well as aiming academically and career-wise to bridge the gap between physical and mental health.
Palak Khanna was a communicate health undergraduate fellow while completing her senior year at Tufts University, with a focus of studies on gender, conflict, and alliances in the region of South Asia in addition to a broader understanding of the 'health' of minority communities in the US. The desire to bring "mindfulness practice" in its multiplicity of forms to underrepresented communities of color is what draws Palak to CMC, and she is grateful for the supportive community of staff who share her desire. During her time here at the center thus far, Palak has been working to help pilot a study in primary care waiting rooms involving patients listening to audio mindfulness recordings. The vision as a center is to use the feedback received to understand if these recordings and the practice may be useful for them in the waiting room setting. Palak has additionally been working on charting the growth of compassion and self-compassion specific research and interventions to trace its history and consider the gaps that exist.
Tobie Kim was a Fall 2017 Undergraduate Fellow for the Community Health Track. She is currently majoring in Psychology with a minor in Medical Humanities at Boston College. She is new to mindfulness and has enjoyed learning and experiencing its effects in her daily life by both supporting and attending the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course and other mindfulness groups at CMC. Tobie is interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology or clinical social work.
Héctor Morillo collaborated with CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, adapting the MTPC training manual in to Spanish, as well as offering a Mindful Eating Course in Spanish. Héctor is a researcher finishing his Doctoral Thesis in Mindfulness Eating, has developed a program for the Primary care system and published several articles on Mindfulness. He co-authored “Mindful Eating, el sabor de la atención” (2017). Héctor holds a degree in Psychology from the University of the Basque Country, Spain and Master's Degree in General Health Psychology from the University of Seville. He is a teacher in the Master of Mindfulness program at the University of Zaragoza and is passionate about food and Mindfulness. He is a certified instructor of MB-EAT and Mindful Eating-Conscious Living (ME-CL).
Diana Restrepo was an Undergraduate Fellow for the Community Health Track, supporting the CMC MBSR and Mindful Eating Course in Spanish. She is an undergraduate student at Lesley University, majoring in Psychology and pursuing a Holistic Health and Wellness Certificate. During her time at CMC she focused on establishing connections with the Latinx communities in the surrounding cities. Diana is very eager to continue to learn about mindfulness and how to make it more accessible to POC communities. She is grateful for the opportunity to aid CMC in offering mindfulness to all communities in the Boston area, and had a remarkable experience during her time at the center.
Ethan Simon was the Summer 2017 Undergraduate Fellows for Community Health Track supporting CMC programming and offerings. Ethan worked on creating the CMC recording studio and engineered, edited, and produced over thirteen hours of guided meditation audio recordings for the CMC community. Ethan also developed and co-taught a "Mindfulness Through the Senses" curriculum to engage CMC staff in an introduction to mindfulness. The intention of this event was to help CMC staff bring mindfulness into their everyday lives through the five sensory avenues. Ethan is currently an undergraduate student at Skidmore College as a double major in Psychology and Business & Management. Ethan is the manager of the music and cognition lab at Skidmore and also is in a band called Campo (Listen on Spotify/iTunes).
Wallis Slater is a recent graduate of Skidmore College where she studied Psychology. She is interested in well-being and emotion regulation, and how individuals can better process negative emotions. She recently finished writing her senior Thesis on self-distancing, a tool to help reduce the negative affect surrounding distressing experiences, and hopes to continue to expand on this research. Wallis has dabbled in mindfulness practices for a few years, and is excited to expand her practice. She is grateful for the opportunity to learn from and work with CMC this summer!