Introducing the Akhila Health Newsletter - Join Now!

Facilitator

Amita R. Shah, Ed.D.

Amita R. Shah

Ed.D.

Dr. Shah is passionate about working with Akhila Health to teach about emotions and the mind-body connection. She strongly believes this will empower women towards understanding how to make a positive change in their lives. Dr. Shah has a doctorate (Ed.D) in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a senior lecturer in the Child and Adolescent Development Department at San Jose State University. She is also the Founder of My Social Edge. My Social Edge empowers children, and their parents, to learn critical social and emotional skills.

Sandy Lee

Sandy Lee

Sandy has a background in psychology and integrative health studies, and she is also a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness coach. She is currently a doctoral student in the Mind-Body Medicine program at Saybrook University, where she is also involved in facilitating various projects, such as the Mindfulness Moments program and Mind-Body-Spirit Integration seminar. She also works as a graduate teaching assistant and supports the Mind-Body Medicine faculty in operating their courses.

Zoe Peltz

Zoe Peltz

Zoe is a Bay Area native and recent graduate of Colgate University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in neuroscience. With a passion for medicine and science, Zoe started medical school in the summer of 2023. Throughout her journey towards becoming a physician, Zoe has been an advocate for equitable and inclusive healthcare and was thrilled when she found out about Akhila Health and its mission to support underserved women. She has been especially excited about Akhila Health’s focus on holistic and integrative approaches for empowering women. Zoe hopes to use the tools and expertise she’s learned through facilitating holistic wellness workshops at Akhila Health to continue to support underserved communities throughout her career.

Natasha Bernard

Natasha Bernard

Dr. Natasha Bernard grew up in the desert climate of Phoenix, Arizona and fell in love with the Bay Area when she moved to Oakland to earn her B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology at Mills College. She completed Osteopathic Medical School at Touro University in Vallejo in 2009, and became board certified in Family Medicine in 2012 after residency in Santa Rosa. Working with the underserved has been one of the most rewarding and inspiring aspects of her medical practice. She has been volunteering locally at the Fountain Project since 2013 and in 2018 she traveled to the Dominican Republic with her daughter Brooklyn to volunteer medical services at the Orphanage in La Urena. In her free time she enjoys cooking, hiking, swimming, meditating, practicing yoga and relaxing with her family and friends.

Courtney Marchesani

Courtney Marchesani, M.S. received her Master’s in Mind-Body Medicine from Saybrook University and has worked in in mental health and integrative medicine. Marchesani’s work in mental health and supportive housing programs began in residential treatment. Her work evolved and expanded to focus on issues that impact affordable housing and treatment models. Marchesani’s social justice, advocacy, and lobbying for supportive housing led to several successful grant-funded projects including Shelter Plus Care Homeless Assistance Grant, Special Section-8, HUD-202, and HUD 811.

leonard shen

Leonard Shen *

Leonard (Len) Shen is a facilitator specializing in providing energetic self-healing skills.  Len teaches Qi Gong, a 3,000-year-old Chinese practice for purging trauma and enhancing well-being, is a certified Master of Chinese Energetic Medicine, certified CEM Therapist, and an ordained priest. Len is also a Harvard-trained lawyer and former corporate chief ethics officer, is the Chairman of the Board of three publicly traded financial institutions, and on the Board of HomeFirst, a nonprofit serving over 5,000 homeless people a year.

Master of Chinese Energetic Medicine, CEM Therapist, Christian Mystical Priest, Reiki Level 1 and 2 certified

'These people have the greatest need for services which they are least able to afford!  We have a basic moral obligation to help the people who have been hardest hit by life.'

Kristen Tamsil

Kristen Tamsil

​​Kristen is a first year osteopathic medical student at Touro University California. She is excited to be working with Akhila Health to help individuals understand the mind, body, spirit connection and empower them to make a positive change in their lives. In her free time, Kristen enjoys gardening and hiking.

Charlie Ritter

Charlie has been working in the health and wellness industry since 2012. She is a trained plant-based chef, certified holistic health coach, and a doctoral student in the Mind-Body Medicine department at Saybrook University.  She currently lives in Santa Fe, NM where she provides health-supportive meals and health coaching to the community. As a facilitator at Akhila, she looks forward to supporting women in their journey to optimal health and happiness.

Keerthana Muthukrishnan *

Keerthana is currently pursuing her M.S. in Biomedical Sciences at Charles R. Drew University and working on her thesis, which is research on the anticancer effects of certain phytochemicals. She enjoys facilitating essential discussions with the community to uphold the mission of Akhila Health. She loves to share resources with women to provide them access to necessary tools for their well-being. She recently moved to India to do a course on Ayurveda and obtain her certification in Kundalini Yoga.

M.S. Candidate Biomedical Sciences

'I love giving back to the community! Providing resources to underserved women is a powerful thing to do and I believe that we must strive to lift up vulnerable members of our society.'

Vasu Shastry

Vasu was introduced to yoga by her mother at a very young age.  She has been practicing yoga on and off, but couldn't prioritize yoga or similar holistic practices over high priorities of stressful high-tech work and family. Knowing the benefits of yoga, she decided to introduce yoga classes at her workplace long before the trend caught on with large corporations. In 2017, she decided to pursue yoga seriously and received yoga teacher credentials from Ananda Yoga Center. She began teaching free classes at the center and her workplace until the pandemic in 2020. She continues to teach Hatha yoga incorporating different techniques catering to individual needs.  She joined Akhila Health in May 2023 and teaches yoga to women housed at Siena House in Santa Cruz.

Suzanne D. Bowers *

Suzanne is a mother of three, resides in northern Pennsylvania, and from afar, speaks from the heart to the women at Akhila Health. She delivers passion through teaching women emotional regulation techniques, different forms of visual imagery, and breathing meditations to help center and ground into the deepest part of our spiritual and emotional being while navigating life's positive and negative aspects. Suzanne is a Pennsylvania State graduate with a B.S. in Forest Science. She is a Wildland Fire Public Information Officer, a meditation practitioner, Sacred Passage Doula and Conscious Dying Coach from the Conscious Dying Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and a candidate for her Masters in Mind-Body Medicine from Saybrook University. With her diverse background and passion for integrating the mind, body, spirit connection with the earth, Suzanne hopes to bring the beauty of light, love, and life to those she meets through Akhila Health.

Bachelor of Science FS, Conscious Dying Coach (CDC) and Sacred Passage Doula (SPD), Candidate for M.S. Mind Body Medicine

'Akhila Health has been a gift as I am able to be in the presence of women who live with intention and compassion. The openness and curiosity to grow and develop mind, body, and spirit is a fertile ground of hope creating a world around us that loves and serves while both giving and receiving in a deeply meaningful way, one individual at a time.'

Shenikah Grandison

Shenikah has a certificate from Saybrook University in Integrative wellness coaching. She has been a life coach for since 2020.  Through other organizations and work she has been in the service field for over 15 years working with underserved and vulnerable populations.

Integrative Wellness Coaching - Saybrook UniverityAssociate in Mind-Body Wellness Practitioner - South Western Institute of Healing ArtsMeditation and Guided Imagery Certified- South Western Institute of Healing Arts

'I am able to use my skills to rediscover certain topic, being on a journey with my clients.'

Janet Fouts *

Janet is a family caregiver, author and TEDx speaker on the subject of mindful self-care for caregivers so we can better care for those in need.  As a personal and emotional intelligence coach, facilitator, speaker, and trainer, she brings the tools of mindfulness, positive psychology and emotional intelligence together to help individuals realize their full potential. She is also the principal coach and founder of Nearly Mindful, a Silicon Valley mindfulness training organization. With over 25 years working in the digital marketing and technology industries, she understands the need to come home to our human needs and find personal fulfillment in our lives at home and at work.

EDUCATION:
2021 UC San Diego MBSR Training
2019 Heart Math Institute –Add Heart Facilitator
2016-2018 Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIY Global)
2015-2017 Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

CERTIFICATIONS:
Thrive Global CoachTiny Habits® CoachResilience and Thriving FacilitatorMindfuness Meditation TeacherLife CoachPositive Neuroplasticity (PPNT) with Dr. Rick Hanson

'I've been without shelter a few times in my life and know the challenges of having life disrupted. I've been a caregiver for a family member with Cancer for close to 20 years and know those challenges as well. I am here because I learned how to take care of myself and my family and get through some tough times. What brings me joy is showing others that they have the ability within them to not just survive but thrive.'

Sadia Depta

Sadia L. Depta, M.S. is an experienced wellness facilitator for Akhila Health who is passionate about empowering others to become the best versions of themselves. Regardless of socio-economical status, disparities or psychophysiological challenges, she trusts that ones will power to mitigate negative notions will inevitably foster inner peace and afford the power to reach ones goals and dreams.  Advocating for women who are facing the pangs of homelessness, loss, abuse, and socioeconomic difficulties are her strongholds. Sadia is a mother of five children, is a PhD student of psychophysiology at Saybrook University and believes that the most valuable skill known to mankind is the ability to listen with altruistic intent to reply with kindness, enlightenmen, and wisdom.