Meet the amazing people behind Operation Happy Nurse!

We’re always looking for more people to lend a hand! If you would like to join the movement to improve mental health in nursing, send us a note at [email protected].

Shannon McPeek BSN, RN

President and Founder
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Shannon graduated from Purdue University in 2016 with her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing. She started her career at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in the Neonatal ICU, but then sought out a career in travel nursing. Shannon experienced serious anxiety associated with the nursing profession, which inspired her to create Operation Happy Nurse. She's thankful for all the amazing people who've helped her create this stress-relief haven, as well as those who've supported her along the way.

Kiley McPeek

Kiley McPeek graduated from Cornell University in 2018 with a degree in Applied Economics and Management before taking her professional skills into a career in finance. When she's not talking about the economy, she loves playing volleyball, traveling, and baking. She is so excited to be a part of the OHN family.

Samantha Reene BSN, RN, CPAN

Samantha graduated from Purdue University in 2016 with her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing. She started her career in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. After two years she started travel nursing. She has worked in New York City, Seattle, Los Angeles, Sydney, and is now located in San Diego. She loves the coastal life, but hopes to eventually live in her happy place: the mountains.

Dr. Pamela Karagory DNP, MBA, MSB, RN, CNE

Board Member

Dr. Karagory is the interim Head of the Purdue School of Nursing. Her focus area is nursing leadership, innovations in quality improvement, patient safety and health care systems. She is committed to creating opportunities and experiences for student learning to occur in contextual clinical environments is key in developing knowledge and skills that are relevant to today's authentic health care environment. She received her DNP from Rush University, MBA from Husson University, MSN from Saint Joseph's College of Maine, MSB from Husson University, BSN from University of Maine at Fort Kent, and RN Diploma from Saint John School of Nursing.

Dr. Ann H. White, PhD, RN

Board Member

Ann White has served as the Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) since 2012. Prior to this position she has held multiple administrative positions within the USI nursing programs. She received her BSN from the University of Iowa, an MSN from the University of Cincinnati, an MBA from West Virginia Wesleyan College, and a PhD in nursing education from Georgia State University. Her background is in nursing leadership and management. She is certified by the American Nurse Credentialing Center in Nursing Administration. Her research interests include resiliency in practicing nurses and nursing students. She has received grant funding from HRSA, Indiana State Department of Health, Sigma Theta Tau International, and the American Nurses Foundation. Dr. White is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, American Organization of Nurse Executives, and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Julia Kivistik

Board Member

Julia has a diverse background in nonprofit leadership, strategy, fundraising, cause branding, cause marketing, shopper marketing, and consumer behavior and insights. Her career has been a 25+ year journey to develop mutually beneficial long-term partnerships with companies with a specific focus on retailers, consumer brands and nonprofit organizations. Her integrated approach synergizes multi-level business objectives to drive sustainable partnerships. The result is all stakeholders grow their business while making an impact on people's lives and communities. Julia has served on the Board of Directors of several nonprofits, including the Executive Board of America's Charities and the Harvard Women's Leadership Board.

Mallori Walker MSN, RN, CPNP

Board Member

Mallori Walker is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at IU Health Arnett in Lafayette, IN. She is also an instructor in the Purdue University School of Nursing. She leads Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work at both IU Health Arnett and the Purdue University School of Nursing. Outside of work, Mallori coaches the Purdue University Dance Team and teaches group fitness classes.

Julie McPeek

Board Member
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A master innovator with 33+ years of experience in sales and marketing, Julie gets a thrill from crafting unique brand business models from nothing but a blank sheet of paper. She's a big-picture thinker who thrives in a challenge and excels at bringing companies together to make every opportunity win/win. Julie is a graduate of Cornell University, and owns her own marketing company Provisor Marketing.

Rhian Pritchard, CPA

Board Member

Rhian graduated from Drake University in 2016 with a double major in accounting and international business. In January of 2017 she started her career in Kansas City at RSM US LLP, a mid-market public accounting firm, and has been a licensed CPA since June 2017. In August 2018 Rhian moved to Chicago and is currently an Audit Manager on the Non-Profit and Government team in Chicago for RSM. In her free time - she is on the Board of Chicago Reach, a nonprofit organization that’s goal is to connect young people to volunteer opportunities through social activities that benefit local Nonprofits. On a weekly basis she likes to work out, cook herself healthy food, and spend time outside. Rhian loves going out to dinner at good restaurants around the city. Her overall goal is just to have a positive impact on the world and those around her. She is excited to be a part of this very awesome organization.

Brenna McPeek, MFA

Copywriter, Book Club Moderator
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Brenna is a writer, editor, and content creator based in New York City. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University and a BA in English and Film from Cornell University. She has a particular passion for literature and culture—evident by the fact that she spends most of her free time and money at the bookstore. Brenna is the co-founder and editor of the literary magazine Fatal Flaw and is currently completing her first novel.

Gabrielle Facquet

Book Club Moderator

Gabrielle Facquet has both a M.S and B.S from Cornell University in Operations Research and Information Engineering and has spent her career in investment banking. When she’s not working she loves spending time with her French bulldog Brie, skiing, traveling, hosting parties and of course reading. She is so excited to be a part of the OHN family.

Emily Nightingale

Head of Social Media
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Emily graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor's in Human Services. She is passionate about connecting with human beings and learning about their uniqueness. After college she spent 4 years in Denver working with nonprofit organizations and exploring the beautiful state before deciding to move back to the midwest to develop and grow more in the marketing and events field while being closer to her roots.

Sarah Rudasics

Social Media Design

Sarah graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Psychology and Human Development. Her desire to understand and help people from diverse populations and developmental stages led her to take an internship with Make-A-Wish Foundation, work a few years in child care, and embark on multiple adventures around the globe. Sarah lived in a small French village outside of Geneva, Switzerland for a year, followed by 7 months in Sydney, Australia. She is now finding peace in a more permanent home of San Diego, CA where she works full time in sales and as Social Media Designer for Operation Happy Nurse.

Samantha Wall, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Samantha graduated from the University of Denver in 2018 with her Masters in Social Work. Sam has a passion for working with people who experience symptoms related to PTSD, anxiety and depression. She loves being able to support the community's mental health through therapeutic services, education and resources. She is excited to help support the nurses and provide information for their mental health journeys!

Claire Lang BSN, RN

Nurse Insights Editor and Writer, Meditation Instructor
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Claire graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.A. in English, with a focus in Creative Writing, Language, Linguistics, and Literature. After living a snowboarders dream the mountains of Steamboat Springs, C.O., she returned to school a few years later to receive her BSN-RN. She is currently an RN at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in the Neonatal ICU. She received her RYT-200 from LifePower and completed her Meditation Teacher Training with Tracee Stanley in February, 2021. She continues to implement yoga and meditation to her daily life as stress management and mindfulness tools in the midst of a (sometimes) chaotic profession. When she’s not working, she loves to spend time with her husband and pup, travel, read, cook, and practice yoga. She is so excited to be a part of the OHN team!

Emily Cutler MS, RDN, LDN

Registered Dietitian
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Emily is a Chicago-based Registered Dietitian and Health Writer, with 15 years of experience working in outpatient kidney disease clinics, long term acute care hospitals, as well as in fitness facilities. In her clinical experiences, she often worked closely with RNs in providing patient care, and so she understands what their days can be like and the tremendous amount of time and effort that they put into caring for each and every patient during their shifts. As a Registered Dietitian, Emily truly loves helping people and celebrating positive, small changes that can have a big impact on our health. She believes that every person is an individual; there is no one size fits all approach with her! Find out more about Emily at

Meg Allen RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Meg is a Registered Dietitian, practicing in the Midwest for the last 15 years. She received her degree and internship training through Michigan State University. While much of her experience has been in the renal field, Meg has also held leadership roles on a national level through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as locally. She is committed to helping people bridge the gap between translating science into food. Meg is passionate about how food contributes to and changes health outcomes!

JJ Beasley MS, RD, LD

Registered Dietitian 

JJ grew up in Denver, Colorado in an environment where he was always doing something active whether it was hiking, skiing, or playing a number of competitive sports. Currently, JJ is a sports dietitian at the University of Georgia in their Olympic Sports department and he also has his master’s in Nutrition from Boston University. He’s always had a love for science and food and as a result grew this passion for nutrition. When he’s not working with his collegiate athletes, he is also working with his own personal clients helping them achieve a sustainable, healthy & balanced lifestyle while still allowing them to enjoy themselves. On top of that, he is also a big advocate for mental health and how that can correlate with food and nutrition. You can find out more about JJ on his website at

Jennifer Patrick-Doig


Chef Jennifer (Jen) first started her culinary journey in her grandmother's kitchen. She attended the cooking and hospitality institute of Chicago. After many different gigs, Chef Jen found herself at Oprah's studios working for Work of Art Corp. In addition, Jennifer has been an Executive Chef at a hotel, RidgePointe Country Club, and Embassy Suites and Red Wolf Convention Center on Arkansas State University's Campus. In support of her husband, her family recently made another multiple state move to South Carolina. After nearly 20 years in the culinary industry Jenni is now returning to college to obtain a bachelor's degree to be able to teach her craft in the future.

Hailey Hessel

Culinary Advisor

Hailey is the  Program Coordinator of the Severe Behavior Program at Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta who shows up to be a healthcare worker in the day and aspiring chef at night. Diagnosed with POTS, Chron’s, and Gluten Sensitivity along with years of being in recovery from an eating disorder, Hailey found cooking to be her self-care tool as she creates yummy recipes to share with people she loves!

Jim Cullen

Culinary Advisor

Jim Cullen is a Harlem based home cook. Raised in an Italian-American household, he learned all of his cooking skills from his Mom and Nonna. Jim is the founder of Cullenary Delights, a Facebook page where he provides guidance to home cooks to eliminate stress and fear in the kitchen. In his other professional life, Jim is a Sales, Brand and Business Development Manager always looking for the ultimate way to merge his professional passion with his love of cooking and food. Jim resides in Harlem, NYC with his husband, artist Geoffrey Doig-Marx (GDM) and their furbabies.

Kirsty O’Brien DIPLC, RM, C-MMT

Meditation Instructor
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Kirsty O'Brien is a corporate well-being coach and meditation mentor, living in Sydney, Australia. Kirsty is passionate about sharing simple strategies and tools that will empower you to make mindful choices for your BRAIN and your BODY. Kirsty's podcast, MINDFUL AS F*CK, shares insightful and open conversations around mental and physical health, creating a space for you to take breaths and take charge of your mental and emotional health so you can truly thrive. LINKS:; Social media: @meditatewithkirsty; Podcast: MINDFUL AS F*CK (itunes, google podcasts, spotify, anchor).

Jade Alexis Timol E-RYT 200, RYT 500, CPT, MBA

Meditation Instructor

Jade is a yoga and meditation instructor based in New York City, she leads classes for Aaptiv, Pure Yoga, Equinox, Variis and Mercedes House. Her instruction can also be found on Amazon's Audible, HaloFit, Shine, iTunes and Spotify. Jade has over 15 years of experience working with individuals to help them grow, heal and evolve in health, fitness and life. Jade has worked with several television and film personalities, and has been published in WebMD, Shape, Marie Claire, as well as several online publications. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, Exercise TV, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, and NY1. She is a former Fitness Magazine Advisory Board member & Reebok Global Ambassador.

Ali Castriano BBA, MSNE, CPTA

Fitness Instructor
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Ali is a Tier X Coach at Equinox in downtown Chicago. Tier X is the highest level of personal training offered at Equinox that brings an integrated behavioral approach to training. They work with clients to develop their skills within the three pillars of health: movement, nutrition, and regeneration. Ali has been working at Equinox as a Personal Trainer and Coach for almost four years now and has gone through over 250 hours of in-house education. She has earned a multitude of certifications: National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, Functional Movement Screen Level 1 certified, Kettlebell Athletics Level 1 certified, Pre and Post Natal training certified, Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified, CPR AED and First Aid infant and adult certified.

Kyle Russ, CSCS

Fitness Instructor

Kyle is a strength and conditioning coach from Illinois. He received his Bachelor's degree in Sports Performance from Grand Canyon University. He is currently working on his Masters degree in Nutrition and Functional Medicine. Kyle loves fitness and strongly believes it is one of the key missing links in so many people's lives today. Nurses are some of Kyle's favorite clients to work with, and he is so grateful for the opportunity to give back to those who dedicate their lives to saving lives.

Dr. Jake Changelon B.S, D.C

Fitness Instructor

Jake recently graduated with his Doctorate of Chiropractic Medicine Degree from National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL. In 2011, he attended the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, majoring in Chemistry with a minor in biology. His goal as a coach for Operation Happy Nurse is to allow the trainees to get a great pump in with lots of sweat, in a functional and correct manner. To reduce the chances of injury, whether a patient is moving with proper body mechanics or hiking in the woods, he wants you to be able to move through the world pain-free. His area of focus in the Chiropractic medicine world is adjustments with a heavy emphasis on rehab.

Michael Boyd, ISSA CPT

Fitness Instructor

Michael Boyd hails from Chicago, Illinois, but currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. For the last 9 years, he's run a basketball skills training organization called Training With Purpose. He is also a ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and high school P.E. Teacher at Desert Heights Prep Academy. He attended Roosevelt University in Chicago where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology in 2017.

Ashton Baaeler NASM, PN Level 1

Fitness Instructor

Ashton is a Certified Personal Trainer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. With four years of experience, Ashton has worked at Lifetime Fitness and also started The Mind Muscle Hustle. He got into fitness and nutrition initially for only one reason: to look good. After 7 years in the industry, his perspective has completely changed and he has now focused his approach on FEELING GOOD. Once he learned how to train and eat for health, being fit was so much easier to sustain and MUCH more fun. Ashton teaches people how to Hustle 4 Health!

Dr. Ryan Cullen PT, DPT, OCS, CPT

Fitness Instructor

Ryan has been working as a Doctor of Physical Therapy since 2017. Ryan graduated from Upstate Medical University in Syracuse NY with his DPT and SUNY Oneonta (NY) with a Bachelor's in Biology. He currently lives in Charlotte, NC and specializes in working with fitness athletes, high school/college athletes and active individuals looking to take their performance to the next level. Ryan has been a certified personal trainer since 2014, and is passionate about helping people become stronger, healthier, and more resilient. He is a Co-Founder of Catalyze Performance, helping people get to the next level of fitness and performance. Website:

Dr. Joseph Villecco PT, DPT, OCS, CPT

Fitness Instructor

Joe graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a Bachelor's degree in Biology and received his Personal Training Certification while he was still a student there. Joe then went on to SUNY Upstate Medical University to receive his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Finally, he went on to become a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy through Evidence in Motion. Joe has been working with clients to optimize their performance since 2014. He is a Co-Founder of Catalyze Performance, helping people get to the next level of fitness and performance. Website:

Eric Brown, CSCS

Fitness Instructor

Eric is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and currently a 3rd year Doctor of Physical Therapy student at the University of Southern California. As a former Collegiate Rugby player at Arizona State University, he fostered an interest in human recovery and fitness that led him to the field of physical therapy. In his free time (pre-COVID), Eric enjoys skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, and swimming at the beach.

Jeanne Reilly, NCPT

Pilates Instructor

Jeanne Reilly is a proactive movement specialist, promoting self awareness, empowerment, and skill development. Her goal is to assist others in achieving their personal health and fitness goals. Jeanne is a Fletcher Pilates Professional Teacher, as well as a Yamuna Body Rolling Practitioner. She is a Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher under the umbrella of the Pilates Method Alliance. Jeanne actively pursues continuing education to remain up to date, and is always growing in her skills and what she can offer to others in her teachings.

Alyssa Guerrieri

Fitness Instructor

Alyssa grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has been dancing and performing for over twenty years. A former Miss Dance of America, Alyssa has studied all forms of dance movement and has worked and performed on FOX's So You Think You Can Dance and in The Greatest Showman, as well as in many commercial videos and live performances. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California and hopes to work with athletes and dancers as a Physical Therapist and movement specialist.

Tiana Pollari CPT, RHN

Fitness Instructor

Tiana is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer who specializes in the integration of functional strength training and holistic living. She is also the founder of the Get Right Method, a 12 week weight loss program for women who want to lose weight, build strength, and feel confident and sexy in their bodies again. You will likely find her in the kitchen creating nutritious and guilt free treats.

Tyler Ho, CSCS

Fitness Instructor

Tyler is in the last year of earning his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) at the University of Southern California after earning his BS in Kinesiology at Purdue University. Prior to physical therapy school, Tyler worked as a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and found passion working with individuals at all levels. He has developed training programs at an elite baseball academy, worked with Olympic Athletes in China, and provided personal training services to caregivers. Tyler is incredibly humbled at the opportunity to be a part of the OHN team and is looking forward to making a difference!

Brittany Ugolini BscH, RYT 300

Yoga Instructor

In 2010, Brittany stepped onto the yoga mat for the first time and has continued to fall in love with the practice ever since. In 2017, she completed her 200hr Vinyasa training and has been teaching creative and mindful classes ever since. In addition to her initial training, Brittany has also completed 50 hours of pre and post-natal training, 8 hours of Hands on Adjustments and 80 hours of Advanced Sequencing. In her own personal practice and also in her classes, Brittany tries to encompass a yogic lifestyle with a big focus on taking what is learned on the mat, off of it into the real world.

Hien Hong, RYT 500

Yoga Instructor

Hien Hong (she/her) is a yoga and meditation teacher from the Seattle-Tacoma area. She started practicing when she was a stressed and anxious high schooler and credits yoga for leading her toward a healing journey. Hien teaches from a trauma-informed lens and strives to make her classes and spaces accessible and inclusive. Creating spaces for black, indigenous, and people of color to practice is especially important in her work. Her teaching style can be described as mindful, gentle, and relaxing. Website:

Jenna Melkonian, M. ED, E-RYT 200, RYT 500

Yoga Instructor

Jenna's life experiences have often gravitated toward a passion for wellbeing, instruction, and education. This prompted her to develop her yoga practice by completing a yoga teacher-training course in 2013. She now holds professional teacher certifications in hatha, vinyasa, and therapeutic yoga, as well as experience teaching in the U.S., New Zealand, and Costa Rica. In over 10 years of consistent practice, Jenna has experienced a deeper connection within which cultivates feelings of equanimity and understanding. She wishes to extend these benefits to others by creating a warm and open environment where anyone can feel safe to explore their body-mind-soul connection.

Jessica Perri, RYT 500

Yoga Instructor

In 2010, Brittany stepped onto the yoga mat for the first time and has continued to fall in love with the practice ever since. In 2017, she completed her 200hr Vinyasa training and has been teaching creative and mindful classes ever since. In addition to her initial training, Brittany has also completed 50 hours of pre and post-natal training, 8 hours of Hands on Adjustments and 80 hours of Advanced Sequencing. In her own personal practice and also in her classes, Brittany tries to encompass a yogic lifestyle with a big focus on taking what is learned on the mat, off of it into the real world.

Keris Timol, Maternal Wellness Coach, E-RYT

Yoga Instructor

Keris completed her yoga and meditation certifications in Bali and New York City. She teaches for YogaWorks, The Woodlands Yoga Studio and the YMCA. She also has Meditations on Insight Timer. With years of experience, she continues to teach and motivate others to live with more joy and ease. Keris studied yoga with Zuna Yoga, Katherine Girling & Everett Newell, and Yogi Charu. Following a lineage of many; T.Krishnamacharya, Swami Rama, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, Shri K. Patta, and Saraswati lineage.

Molly Leonard, RYT 500

Yoga Instructor

Molly began practicing yoga in 2010 and completed her 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Certification through Corepower in Chicago in 2017. After completing her 300 hour training in India, Molly relocated to San Diego where she currently teaches Power Vinyasa, Hot, and Yoga Sculpt classes. She aims to help students build strength and awareness within their physical bodies, and become more connected to their inner wants and needs through yoga.

Paige Thatcher RYT 500, Meditation Coach

Yoga Instructor

Paige found her love for yoga over 10 years ago in Knoxville, TN. In November of 2019 she became an RYT 200 and Ayurvedic Health Educator. Her Ayurvedic studies allow her to merge two of her loves: healthy eating and yoga. In July of 2020 Paige completed her 300RYT training and in October of 2020 she completed her Meditation Teacher training.

Rory McCarthy, RYT 200

Yoga Instructor

Rory gained her 200 hour certification with Y7 in New York City. She is certified to teach yoga for depression and anxiety. Rory has been practicing yoga for ten years. She loves pairing hip-hop music to a power flow. Her party trick is a headstand.

Tatum Powell, RYT 500

Yoga Instructor and Graphic Designer
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Tatum completed her 200hr in San Diego and 300hr in Rishikesh, India. Tatum leads her classes with a calm, intentional & non-judgmental voice. She incorporates creative sequencing & thought provoking meditations at the beginning of her classes. Her focus is on inspiring growth of the mental, spiritual and physical self through practice. ~ All levels welcome 🙂

Jennifer Barrish, RYT 200

Yoga Instructor

Jennifer is a licensed yoga teacher with a 200RYT (registered yoga teacher) training with an emphasis in Ayurveda. She is currently studying advanced yoga in a 300RYT program. Jennifer is also an Astrologer and Reiki I Healer. Check out her website at

Tempesst Merricks, PMHNP-BC

Discussion Board Moderator

Tempesst Merricks is a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and is also an instructor in the Marquette University School of Nursing. She is passionate about mental health of nurses and nurse practitioners, how to improve the transition from NP student to practicing NP, and mentoring those who want to pursue the PMHNP route. Outside of work, travel is her biggest passion (30+ countries!)  and she is always scheming her next adventure.

Joe DeNoon

Podcast Producer
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Joe is a digital media professional based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a 2017 graduate of Haverford College, leaving with a B.A. in English. Since graduating, Joe has worked primarily in the social media world as a community manager, copyeditor, and content creator. In college, he was a cast member of a sketch comedy group, and he continues to write and perform comedy in NY. Joe is also a trivia ace, so if you need to know a funky physics fact or the name of an obscure 80’s band, Joe is your guy. An obsessive podcast listener, he loves the medium because of the real, intimate, and just plain fun conversations that happen while on the mic, especially on Happy Hour!

Dr. Lauren Ashenbrener PT, DPT

Podcast Editor

Lauren is a Purdue University graduate, where she received her B.S. in Movement & Sports Sciences. In 2017, she graduated from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Since graduation, she has practiced Physical Therapy in multiple clinical settings and gained valuable clinical experience and insight into the healthcare industry at large. In early 2020, she started a business to put her knowledge of the healthcare industry and her creative passions to use. Lauren is the founder of Optimize Digital Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency aimed at enhancing small-businesses' online presence through their specializations in digital marketing and web design services for healthcare related businesses.

Carley Baker BSN, RN

Podcast Host

Carley graduated from Purdue University in 2015 with a Bachelors in Kinesiology. After being a personal trainer for a year, she decided to attend nursing school at Marian University, and graduated in 2017 with her BSN. After passing the NCLEX, Carley moved to Southern California to further her career and obtained her first nursing job working for Mission Hospital in their Medical-Surgical, Trauma, and Ortho unit. Currently, she also works for University of California-Irvine in their Trauma/Neuro unit.