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
Director of Content Production and Web Publishing
Andrea Hutton is our Director of Content Production and Web Publishing. 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.
See videos with Andrea and read her blogs
Web Editorial & Publishing Manager
As Patient Power's Web Editorial & Publishing Manager, Larry Lukasik manages the online editorial standards and content publication process and maintains the quality control of all material published on the website. With experience ranging from network administration to digital media management and web content administration, he is putting his broad experience to good use in supporting the background functions of the website to help connect Patient Power community with the latest knowledge and resources. A California transplant from an early age and graduate of California State University, Los Angeles (business administration/management) Larry enjoys volunteering in his community, spending time with his wife, spoiling their two dachshunds, exploring the great outdoors and the occasional round of golf.
Production Manager and Blog Editor
Amanda Beard is our 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 Publishing Assistant
Adrian Cubas is our Web Publishing Assistant. He has recently graduated with a degree in English and Business Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In the past, he has worked internationally in marketing, web design, and writing based roles. This experience allows Adrian to assist with the design and publishing of web articles at Patient Power. In his free time, Adrian enjoys volunteering within the local community and creating digital art. He is passionate about creating positive change and awareness on a larger scale. Adrian is excited by the opportunity to learn new skills and contribute his expertise at Patient Power.
Karen Taylor is our Partnership Manager, building collaborative relationships with medical centers and advocacy organizations. Through these important relationships, we continue to grow our panel of experts and patients to bring an array of updates and insights to our viewers. She has a MA in English and a MS in Human Behavior, with a background in marketing events within the tech industry. Karen enjoys working at Patient Power simply because we aim to help patients by providing answers and instilling hope. When she's not online, she's always on trails or in the surf.
Rich Hegarty is our Video Editor. Prior to joining Patient Power, Rich formed his own full-service video production company called Anchor & Clover. He also produced videos for the Boston NBC affiliate. With over 35 years in video production, Rich has had the opportunity and privilege to work with a variety of companies including Tourism Ireland, New Balance, and Bayer. Rich is passionate about video because he believes in the power of the medium to impact change, to emotionally connect with the viewer, and to motivate to action.
Special Projects Producer
Maui Voskova is our Special Projects Producer 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)
Theresa Doan is our Program Manager. 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.
Jessica Ellis is our Program Manager. Jessica joined Patient Power in January 2020 having spent the last nine years consulting in project management and technical education for both for-profits and non-profits. Like so many others, her family has been impacted by cancer, and she is passionate about enabling both patients and caregivers with information and education. Outside of Patient Power, Jessica is an international speaker on the subject of computational education for teens and works with several nonprofits empowering youth.
Writing Team Manager
Suzanne Mooney is our Writing Team Manager. She joined us in December 2019 and has worked for 16 years in event fundraising—helping nonprofits raise money for their missions through runs, walks, bike rides and other athletic fundraising events. During her mom’s battle with breast cancer, Suzanne discovered it was possible to make a living by making the world a better place. When she’s not working, you can find Suzanne running, riding her bike or snuggling old dogs.
Lauren Evoy Davis
Lauren Evoy Davis is our Patient Power Staff Writer and is a lifelong storyteller with a passion for health and wellness. Her writing career has focused on cancer care, supportive care, new therapies, and the interplay of technology and medicine. She graduated from American University in Washington, DC with an MA in journalism and her curiosity about healthy living keeps her learning all the time. Lauren lives in Chesapeake Beach, MD, with her husband and two daughters. When not working, she enjoys paddle boarding on the Chesapeake Bay and walking on the beach.
Program Manager and Staff Writer
Megan Trusdell is our Patient Power Program Manager and Staff Writer. She brings more than 20 years of experience as a health writer and researcher and a passion for supporting patients on their treatment journey. Megan’s interest in health dates to a health/science internship at the Boston Globe. She went on to cover health legislation for the University of Maryland’s wire service, produce health stories in between covering cops and city council meetings at the Tampa Bay Times and build the health beat at The Associated Press. Megan has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, an MPH from Montclair (N.J.) State University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. She has worked as a health educator, researcher and patient support program specialist in the areas of oncology and rare disease. Megan lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter. In her free time, she enjoys Jazzercise, volunteering, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
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
Jennifer Zarou-Abraham is our Patient Engagement Specialist, Family Psychotherapist and single mother of two teenage girls. She was born and raised in Long Island, NY and attended Wheaton College in MA where she received a dual major in Art History and Economics with a minor in Studio Art. After graduation, Jennifer became interested in Art Therapy and began her graduate studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook where she graduated with a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders. Jennifer became a friend to Patient Power early in 2014 and would often participate in CLL programs. Jennifer joined our team in January 2020, “I want to keep sharing my story of surviving and thriving, so patients know they are not alone, and we are here for them”. Jennifer just published her first book, Brave Is Now, The Art of Being Brave, is a photographic journal of inspirational lessons she wrote for her girls during her first years of treatment.
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."
Creative Services Associate
Brad Smith is the Creative Services Associate for Patient Power. He recently graduated from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication with a BS in Advertising. Most of his advertising and freelance creative work has been in the music and entertainment industries producing all types of creative work from cover arts, websites, pitch decks, apparel, and more. In his free time, Brad is also an avid freelance photographer specializing on concert and studio photography. With his experience in advertising, Brad incorporates a special attention to strategy with an overarching purpose creating work that is just as functional as it is visually appealing. Brad is excited by the opportunity to help amplify all the content and information that Patient Power produces.
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.”
Social Media Marketing Manager
Aaron Poor is our Social Media Marketing Manager. Aaron helped “proof-listen” the The Web-Savvy Patient audiobook for Patient Power in 2008. Now he’s returned to help patients dealing with ALL have better conversations with their doctors. An ALL survivor at the age of 7, Aaron is passionate building community for adult survivors of childhood cancer. In his free time, Aaron enjoys creative writing and playing Nintendo 64.
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 enjoyed more than six years of complete remission. Jeff has relapsed and is now back in "watch and wait" mode, though is confident and optimistic about what the future holds. Jeff credits his support team, including family and medical staff, with the all the needed tools to live life well, even with cancer.
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 authored 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.”