Patient Power Co-Founder and President
Host, Two-Time Cancer Survivor and Patient Advocate
Andrew Schorr, a medical journalist living with his family in Carlsbad, Calif., has been living with myelofibrosis since 2011. His diagnosis followed being hospitalized for two blood clots in his legs. Andrew, working with his wife of 33 years, Esther, has been a patient education pioneer since 1984 and became a patient himself in 1996 when he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. A clinical trial in 2000 led to a long leukemia remission and ruxolitinib has treated his myelofibrosis since 2012. He leads a full life. Andrew and Esther have three grown children and a dog, they love, a “borkie” Donovan. Andrew’s “day job” is leading—with Esther—Patient Power.info which produces and distributes videos with doctors and patients in several specific cancers, including MPNs. More than 300,000 cancer patients are reached monthly. Andrew has journalism degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Columbia University and was previously a local and national producer television news. He is also the author of the acclaimed book, The Web-Savvy Patient: An Insider's Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis, published in 2011.
Patient Power Co-Founder, Chief Operating Officer,
Care Partner, and Patient Advocate
Esther Schorr is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Patient Power. Esther is a skilled global project manager, and has worked with her spouse, Andrew, on patient and family education projects for more than 30 years. She has supported him in his cancer journey since his initial diagnosis in 1996. Esther is passionate about empowering "care partners" and is a strong believer that education leads to empowerment and better care. Esther has an undergraduate degree in communications and an MBA, both from UCLA.
Chief Marketing and Technology Officer
As Patient Power’s Chief Marketing and Technology Officer, Susan Wisowaty leads our marketing efforts as well as strategic technical direction and is responsible for managing our technical asset development. She has over 20 years of experience in marketing, as well as in technology as a software developer, speaker, trainer, database administrator and systems engineer. Prior to her roles as Senior Technical Evangelist and Senior Marketing Manager at Microsoft for over a decade, Susan ran a couple of tech startups, achieved numerous technical certifications and trained thousands of programmers. Susan is passionate about women in tech, analyzing data to produce insights and ensuring alignment between business marketing, technology and strategy.
IT Administrator and Technical Generalist
Gino Espinoza is our IT Administrator and Technical Generalist. He brings to Patient Power over 20 years of IT expertise spanning various roles and industries. Gino has devoted much of his career serving and supporting the Cancer community as a web developer, software engineer, data analyst and IT/Web solutions architect. In addition, he has lent his technical prowess to organizations such as Hewlett-Packard, Konica Minolta, MicroFocus, HealthTalk, Everyday Health and California Faucets. Gino also dedicates time to international and domestic mission work providing service and support to communities recovering from natural disasters and unrest. He and his family are also self-proclaimed nomads and are in the midst of a three-year-long adventure to visit every state in the US. With only a handful of states left, Gino and his family plan on relocating to Arizona close to his childhood home. Although he lives and eats everything technical, Gino also finds time for leisure camping and fishing with his family, building fine furniture in the shop, or pounding it out on the drum kit.
Production and Editorial
Assistant Production Manager and Blog Editor
Amanda Beard is our Assistant Production Manager and Blog Editor. She started cultivating versatile media communication skills beginning in high school and graduated from the University of Houston in Clear Lake with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She has interned for public relations agencies, TV stations and tech start-up companies that have helped her gain proficiency working with different media - newspaper, blogging, content writing, social media and production. With her experience, Amanda is helping the team put together events, and assisting with content development and production. Amanda knows from personal experience how cancer touches the lives of nearly everyone and believes patient education and self-advocacy is essential for customizing care and living well. She is excited about the opportunity to help connect patients to our supportive community and the latest research.
Web Editorial and Publishing Manager
Gina Craig is our Web Editorial and Publishing Manager, mixing her technical and editorial skills to produce and manage our busy website. Gina's role includes editing web pages and transcripts, posting web and event pages, writing bios and contributing to development of our editorial standards. She brings extensive background experience as a Content Manager and Web Publisher to Patient Power, skillfully directing her talents toward various editorial and technical aspects. Gina earned her BA in English from the University of Washington and honed her talents at The Seattle Times where she discovered a passion for health-related content. This passion, combined with a friend's cancer-related death, is what motivates her to employ her expertise, providing quality educational material for cancer patients and their loved ones. Gina's favorite aspect of being a Patient Power Team Member is "our camaraderie and passion for helping patients and care partners."
Social Media Specialist
Maui Voskova is our Social Media Specialist at Patient Power. In her role, she schedules and produces our Facebook Live videos, promotes live events via social media, collaborates on social engagement strategies, collects insights on our social media campaigns and general assisting on the production team. Maui joined us in March 2019. She has an Associate’s Degree in Communications from MiraCosta College, and she is continuing her education at CSU San Marcos, where she is pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Communications with a Minor in Anthropology. When Maui’s not working or finishing her studies in Communications and Anthropology, you can find her planning her next international travel adventure. This could be anywhere from constructing homes in East Tijuana, Mexico for families with disabled children to building on her already well-traveled shoulders of backpacking through Asia and Europe.
Content and Community
Theresa Doan (Clementi)
Manager, Myeloma and MPN Communities
Theresa Doan is our Community Manager for the myeloma and MPN communities. Theresa joined Patient Power as an intern in 2014 doing social media and promotions. After graduating with her BA in Health Communications, she transitioned into a content development role. She is passionate about connecting face-to-face with those impacted by cancer. Theresa has firsthand understanding of how cancer can throw a wrench in family dynamics and firmly believes that "knowledge can be key to healing." In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach with her husband, spoiling their rescue dog and practicing yoga.
Manager, Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer Communities
Andrea Hutton is our Community Manager for our breast cancer and prostate cancer communities. She is a critically acclaimed author, speaker, breast cancer survivor and patient advocate. The author of Bald Is Better With Earrings - A Survivor’s Guide to Getting Through Breast Cancer (HarperCollins 2015), her work on breast cancer and women’s wellness has been featured in such varied outlets as The Washington Post, Women’s Health and Psychology Today. As a breast cancer survivor, Andrea advocates to empower and educate patients on how to take charge of their own health. She is also a graduate of the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s prestigious Project Lead advocacy training program, an Alamo Scholar with the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, and a Komen Advocate in Science. Andrea has served as a consumer reviewer for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and has lobbied on Capitol Hill to secure funding for breast cancer research. She is also a member of the Executive Board of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance. Andrea’s passion for educating patients began with her diagnosis in 2009, and continues today.
Manager, Lung Cancer Community
Laura Levaas is a holistic and health coach and the Lung Cancer Community Manager for Patient Power. She was diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC with the ALK mutation in 2017, so she knows firsthand what it's like to walk the path of an empowered survivor. Laura has a background in journalism, marketing, and book and magazine publishing. She lives in Denver, Colorado, and is a mother to a lively 6-year-old boy, and a photogenic kitten named Cheddar and a puppy named Oreo.
Manager, CLL and AML Communities
Ruth Schorr is our Community Manager for the CLL and AML communities. Ruth joined us after she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in Communications Studies. She is originally from Mercer Island, Washington where her father and mother, Andrew and Esther Schorr, founded Patient Power. Ruth has battled her own chronic illness growing up and truly knows how difficult it is to be a patient as well as a child and friend of someone dealing with cancer. She hopes to leave a lasting impact on the world by helping others live the happiest and healthiest lives possible.
Content Strategist and Community Director
Rebecca Seago-Coyle is our Content Strategy and Community Director and a BRCA-Positive Breast Cancer Patient Advocate for breast cancer research. Rebecca began advocating for breast cancer patients and breast cancer research after her own breast cancer diagnosis in 2010. She underwent a double mastectomy and oophorectomy, followed by systemic treatment. With a strong family history of breast cancer in her family, it has sparked Rebecca to advocate for breast cancer research, specifically for young women who are newly diagnosed. Outside of her Patient Power and advocacy roles, she is a wife, marathon runner, cyclist and yogi. It’s important to Rebecca to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle. Rebecca also serves as a Patient Power blogger and video host.
Outreach and Promotions
Director of Patient Engagement
Autumn Eadon is Patient Power's expert in patient engagement. In this role, she orchestrates patient immersions, advisory boards, video productions, and patient speakers - bringing the patient and care partner voice firsthand to the pharmaceutical industry. She also coordinates our presence and participation in various national and international medical conferences, nurturing and developing strategic relationships to deliver timely and credible information to our communities. Autumn joined Patient Power in 2012, bringing extensive experience in project management, community management and production. A personal experience with cancer altered her career path, where she discovered her passion for patient advocacy and the need for patient navigators. Autumn successfully combines her varied talents to provide purposeful management and direction in the pursuit of educating patients to live well and survive with cancer.
Patient Engagement Manager
Lisa Cole is our Patient Engagement Manager,helping to coordinate our patient immersion sessions and outreach that brings the voice of patients and care partners to the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Patient Power, she received her BA in Communication and Media Studies from Washington State University and most recently worked as an Executive/Personal Assistant. After Lisa’s diagnosis with stage II, triple-negative breast cancer, she went through chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Following the her cancer treatment journey, Lisa decided she wanted to use her breast cancer experience to help others and has found a meaningful fit in her role at Patient Power.
Patient Engagement Specialist
Cynthia Chmielewski is our Patient Engagement Specialist and a "Jersey Girl.” She was born and raised in the Trenton area and attended college at Rutgers University where she pursued a degree in Psychology and Elementary/Special Education. Upon her graduation from college, she was fortunate enough to secure her first teaching position and immediately fell in love with her chosen profession. Cynthia continued teaching for 28 years. She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in July 2008 after suffering for two years with debilitating back pain which was wrongly attributed to degenerative disc disease. Unfortunately, her induction therapy stopped working after a few cycles. Cynthia proceeded with a stem cell transplant which failed to put her into remission. Depressed and scared, she continued her fight using several of the available novel agents. Fortunately, these novel therapies worked slowly but steadily for her. Cindy is now in a very good partial remission and continues treatment with a maintenance therapy regime. She enjoys an excellent quality of life.
Creative Services Manager
Christine Monaco brings creativity, imagination and fun to Patient Power as our Creative Services Manager, developing and driving creative projects that attract and help patients while keeping us visible to doctors and advocates. Starting at Patient Power in 2012, Chris used her extensive background in video production, graphics and animation while working in Barcelona - shooting and editing programs in various languages for our European audiences. Having experienced loss to cancer more than once, Chris is dedicated to finding innovative ways to engage our audience, discovering their needs and providing the best experience for them or as she says, "I'm grateful to be able to help cancer patients and their care partners."
Email and Digital Marketing Manager
Ashley Swango is our Email and Digital Marketing Manager, using her marketing and analytical skills to manage our e-newsletters, lead our social media presence and execute our marketing strategy. Prior to Patient Power, she was an associate marketing manager for a Fortune 500 IT distribution company, and a web developer assistant and content writer for a small marketing firm where she created web content, and did social media management, online and email advertising, SEO and copywriting. Ashley earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ashley enjoys working in the healthcare field because she finds it very rewarding to see firsthand how support, innovation and information can help people’s lives. Her favorite aspect of being a Patient Power Team Member is “working with a passionate group of people who want to achieve the same goal of serving the cancer community.”
Correspondents and Contributors
Host, Myeloma Patient and Advocate
Jack Aiello of San Jose, California is a leading patient-advocate in multiple myeloma. In January of 1995 Jack had a terrible backache. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma through a blood test. Since that time Jack has had stem cell transplants that have brought him to remission, even if only for a short time. Mr. Aiello's spirit remains high and to quote him "I certainly don't want anyone to feel bad for me. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be alive.”
Host, CLL Patient and Advocate
Jeff Folloder, from Houston, Texas, is a husband, father, son, blood cancer survivor and Patient Power host. He is passionate about patient education and connecting with other patients to help them with resources and support for their condition. Jeff was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in 2010 and sought treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He entered a clinical trial at the end of 2011 and now celebrates complete remission. Jeff credits his support team, including family and medical staff, with the hard-earned accomplishment of being cancer free.
Raquel Jex Forsgren, C-IAYT
Certfied Yoga Therapist
Raquel Jex Forsgren is a Certified Yoga Therapist, C-IAYT who graduated from the Soul Institute and certified by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). She has been featured in several Patient Power videos that explain and demonstrate yoga and meditation techniques. Raquel has a depth of experience in science and the body, including her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Microbiology, Graduate Work in Pharmacology and Toxicology, She also has over 25 years of experience in drug development and marketing in oncology, hematology, pain and serious liver diseases. Raquel is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher and graduated from Aura Wellness Institute in Massachusetts with High Honors and Soul of Yoga, in Southern California. She is also a certified Yoga Therapist of Yoga of the Heart Cancer and Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs, certified in Chair Yoga for Seniors, Yoga for Veterans with PTSD, and is a member of the International Yoga Therapist Association and Society for Integrative Oncology.
Julie Lanford is the Wellness Director for Cancer Services, a non-profit in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has been featured in several Patient Power videos covering nutrition and diet topics and answering audience questions. Julie is a registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist and a board-certified specialist in oncology. Julie developed the Cancer Services website to translate evidence-based nutrition guidelines into consumer-friendly messages for everyday life. The site reaches thousands of people across the country who are interested in cancer nutrition and the most current topics on healthy lifestyle in our culture. Julie received a B.S. in Biology from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in public health nutrition from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has written more than 350 wellness articles and provides prevention to and survivorship education to Winston-Salem and surrounding rural communities.
Video Reports & Communications
Michele is a results-driven global communications and public affairs leader with senior-level corporate experience and is Patient Power’s PR advisor. She is also a person living with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and was drawn to Patient Power because it has served as a resource for her. Joining the team mid-year in 2015, she brings an extensive background in communication strategies that encompass, among other ventures, various national and international health-related concerns where she has successfully taken a leading role. Michele has extensively represented the American Cancer Society and worked with organizations on medical conditions including various cancers and cardiovascular health—and now draws on her experience as a patient to represent Patient Power to the media and to the public. She received her BA in Economics and Speech Communications from Boston College and went on to earn her MS in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University. Having personally intersected with the cancer community as a CLL patient, Michele has turned her considerable expertise toward helping others effectively navigate the world of treatments, education and coping skills.
Host, CLL Patient and Advocate
Carol Preston is a Patient Power host with over 30 years of experience in communications. She worked as a journalist and talk show host for 25 years. With her interest in medical issues, Carol has worked with scientists and physicians on a wide range of medical conditions including cancer-related treatments, cardiovascular health, metastatic breast cancer and others. Carol received her MS and BS degrees from Syracuse University in New York, and the AP and UPI have honored Carol for her documentary on Holocaust survivors. She has lectured on media at George Washington University and has written Congressional testimony and speeches for C-level executives. Carol served on the board for the organization Bread for the City in Washington, DC for eight years and remains active with the organization.
Cancer Exercise Specialist
As a Cancer Exercise Specialist, Cathy Skinner has provided exercise and wellness training for cancer survivors since 2008. She was the first certified ACSM Cancer Exercise Specialist in Minnesota. Cathy has been featured in several Patient Power videos explaining and demonstrating exercise and stretching techniques and is a Master teacher for ACSM and she authoredÂ The Art of Wellness Exercise for Cancer Recovery. Cathy teaches classes, speaks at support groups and conferences about the value of exercise for cancer recovery.
Maria de Bofarull
Maria de Bofarull is an expert logistics coordinator and personal assistant to the Schorrs, based in Europe and working globally for Patient Power. She came to Patient Power in December of 2013 armed with a diverse background in finance and tourism, including an education from the University of Barcelona. Maria uses her organizational talents to maintain all of the details associated with navigating the various administrative tasks that keeps us harmoniously coordinated. She is passionate about helping patients. In Maria's own words, “I left the bank because I wanted to feel I was giving back to society. Now I am.”