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Healthy Living Retreat for WomenBreathe In

Treat yourself to four days, May 9-12, 2024, of relaxation and rejuvenation this spring alongside a team of friendly and knowledgeable Stanford and Bay Area health experts.

Healthy Living Retreat for Women

Spring 2023 Presenters

Your Healthy Living Retreat is enriched with sessions and seminars led by a diverse group of presenters—from physiologists, nutritionists, and professors to scientists, researchers, and yoga instructors. 

Laurie Ausserer

Laurie Ausserer is co-director of the Healthy Living Retreat. She is a health promotion specialist, wellness coach, and a functional aging trainer. Laurie recently retired after 25 years at Stanford. While at Stanford, she managed the health education programs (Healthy Living) for the Health Improvement Program (HIP) and BeWell, and in the early years worked as clinic coordinator for a number of studies within the Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC). Laurie continues working as a health coach for the BeWell Program.

Joyce Hanna, ’56, MA ’58, MS

Joyce Hanna, ’56, MA ’58, MS, is director of the Healthy Living Retreat. She is a health promotion and behavior change specialist, exercise physiologist, and nutritionist. Joyce is the former associate director of the Health Improvement Program (HIP) at the Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC). She has graduate degrees in education, exercise physiology and nutrition, and presents seminars focusing on behavior change, healthy aging, exercise physiology, nutrition and weight management. Joyce is the founder and director of Stanford Living Strong Living Well, a strength and exercise program for cancer patients and survivors. More than 4,000 cancer survivors have come through the program. She has recently served on the board of Bay Area Cancer Connections, was past president of Lifelong Fitness Alliance, and a consultant on The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness. Joyce was a nationally ranked marathon runner and enjoys mountain hiking, reading, and spending time with her husband, six grandchildren, and friends.

Melinda Choy

Melinda Choy is a Functional Medicine Practitioner, Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist and Herbalist, health & wellness speaker, and CEO of Elevate Wellness & Acupuncture Center in South Lake Tahoe, California. Over the past 20 years she has dedicated her life to health education, lifestyle modification, natural medicine, and targeted therapies to enhance the power of the body to heal itself and promote balance. Melinda holds a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University in Santa Cruz with additional coursework from Zhejiang University in China. Melinda also finds time to surf, hike, camp, climb, and adventure all over the world with her loving husband and two boys.

Dominique Del Chiaro

Dominique Del Chiaro, M.Ed., is the director of Stanford Healthy Living, overseeing program development and operations of evidence-based wellness offerings. She has facilitated healthy workplace classes and professional development workshops for over 25 years and believes good communication, play, and mindfulness are essential for a healthy lifestyle.

Christopher Gardner

Christopher Gardner, PhD, holds a PhD in Nutrition Science and is the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor of Medicine at Stanford. For ~30 years his research has examined what to eat and what to avoid for optimal health. He has conducted more than 20 nutrition intervention trials involving >2,000 participants, and is involved with American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and others. His current research involves working with chefs in university dining halls, and on studies that link diet to the microbiome and inflammation.

Angela Lumba-Brown

Angela Lumba-Brown, MD, is the Associate Vice Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University and the co-director of the Stanford Brain Performance Center.  She is a physician-scientist researching brain injury and recovery in adults, children, athletes, and military personnel.  Dr. Lumba-Brown is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches meditation.  Dr. Lumba-Brown has trained with the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism and has expertise in compassion's interplay with the mind-body-spirit.

Marily Oppezzo

Marily Oppezzo, PhD, MS, RD, is an Instructor of Medicine working on her K01 award from NHLBI at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. She is a learning and behavioral scientist, studying the best ways to help people not only change and improve their lifestyle behaviors, but also learn the tools to maintain this change. She is also a registered dietician, with her Masters in Nutritional Science and over two decades of experience teaching, coaching, and researching nutrition and exercise.

Jennifer Robinson

Jennifer Robinson, PhD, is the Associate Director for Christopher Gardner’s Nutrition Studies Group and the Administrative Director for the Community Health and Prevention Research Master’s Program, both reside within the Stanford Prevention Research Center. She received her PhD in Nutrition from UCDavis and has been working in the field of health and wellness for over 25 years. In her personal time, you will find her baking sourdough bread, doing yoga, or spending time with her young daughter and husband.

Mary Sheehan

Mary Sheehan, Director of Global Wellness at Apple Inc. has brought one of Apple’s signature pro-social, physically active, well-being offerings to Stanford Sierra Camp for the first time. Before working for Apple, Mary worked at the Stanford Prevention Research Center in related health research positions and has been a longtime fitness tester and instructor at the Healthy Living Retreat. She is so excited to bring this new workshop to life this year!

Marcia Stefanick

Marcia L. Stefanick, Ph.D., is Professor of Medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and, by courtesy, Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Stefanick is also the founding Director of the Stanford Women’s Health and Sex Differences in Medicine (WHSDM, “wisdom”) Center. She teaches several courses focused on sex and gender, and the LGBTQ+ community, including Sexual Function and Diversity, and the health impact of sexual assault over the life course. Dr. Stefanick’s research focuses on women’s health, chronic disease prevention and aging. She conducted the large Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) randomized controlled trials (RCT) of menopausal hormone therapy, low-fat diet, and calcium & vitamin D on heart disease, cancer, osteoporotic fractures and dementia and is currently Principal Investigator (PI) of the WHI Extension Study, the WHI Strong & Healthy (WHISH) physical activity trial, focusing on cardiovascular outcomes, and the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS).

Carol Sundermeyer

Carol Sundermeyer is a certified Balanced Body Comprehensive Pilates Instructor and has worked at Stanford Recreation and Wellness since 2017 teaching group classes, working with individual clients, and presenting workshops. She is certified with the Buff Bones exercise system for bone loss and developed the Better Bones and Balance class for the Stanford Faculty/Staff fitness program. She is currently completing the Functional Aging Specialist certification through the Functional Aging Institute

Katie Sutherland

Katie Sutherland, Manager of Mental Health Programming at Apple, Inc., has brought one of Apple’s signature pro-social, physically active, well-being offerings to Stanford Sierra Camp for the first time. Before working for Apple, Katie worked at the Stanford Prevention Research Center in related health research positions and has been a longtime fitness tester and instructor at the Healthy Living Retreat. She is so excited to bring this new workshop to life this year!

Rosalyne Tu

Rosalyne Tu, MS, RDN, has been working as a dietitian since 2003 and has been teaching the Healthy Kitchen series of classes at Stanford since 2011. She currently manages the wellness coaches for the Stanford Employee Wellness Program (BeWell), and she is a  nutrition coach and instructor for Stanford BeWell’s Healthy Living program.

Sonoo Thadaney-Israni

Sonoo Thadaney Israni, MBA is executive director of Presence (a Center at Stanford Medicine) & The Program in Bedside Medicine She also directs HBCU Visiting Student and Faculty Exchange Program and Racial Equity to Advance a Community of Health (REACH) Initiative, at Stanford Medicine.

Sonoo co-chaired the National Academy of Medicine’s AI in Healthcare Working Group and co-shepherds their Technology across the Life Course Group. She has co-hosted conferences at Stanford University: Human & Artificial Intelligence for Diagnostics; AI in Medicine: Inclusion & Equity; AI in Healthcare: The Hope, The Hype, The Promise, The Peril (pre-launching NAM publication, she co-led), Human Intelligence and AI in Healthcare, etc. She served on the AAMC Restorative Justice for Academic Medicine Committee, teaching curricula to address conflict in healthcare.