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In business since 1999

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Bay Area Pain & Wellness Center

15047 Los Gatos Blvd. Ste. 200
Los Gatos, CA 95032

MAP: Los Gatos


Bay Area Pain & Wellness Center

700 Frederick St. Ste. 301
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

MAP: Santa Cruz


Bay Area Pain & Wellness Center

1050 Northgate Drive, Suite 460
San Rafael, CA 94903

MAP: San Rafael


Los Gatos & Santa Cruz (408) 364-6799
San Rafael (415) 461-7246
Fax (408) 378-4510
Email us at info@bapwc.com

Peter Abaci, M.D.

peter abaci

Watch the video of Dr. Abaci’s approach to fighting chronic pain visit:
TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR PAIN VIDEO


To get your own copy of "Take Charge of Your Chronic Pain" book visit:
TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR PAIN BOOK

Peter Abaci, MD, is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate education at UC San Diego, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and attended medical school at the University of Southern California. During his last year of residency, he served as Chief Resident and participated in a senior elective in pain management. That experience sparked an interest that led him to UC San Francisco, where he completed his fellowship training in Pain Management. In private practice since 1996, he serves as the Medical Director of the nationally recognized Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center , located in Los Gatos, California, which he cofounded with Dr. John Massey. A widely respected expert on chronic pain management and a highly successful chronic pain sufferer, he is the author of Take Charge of Your Chronic Pain: The Latest Research, Cutting-Edge Tools, and Alternative Treatments for Feeling Better.


Dr. Abaci began his quest to radically change conventional chronic pain thinking and treatment after dealing with the agony of his second anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. There is help for conquering chronic pain, without a life addicted to drugs, and hope for healing and long-term health. Commonly prescribed pain-killing medications—Vicodin, Demerol, Oxycontin, and other narcotics—can result in a heightened sensitivity to pain, along with addiction. This has lead Dr. Abaci to focus on developing alternative solutions to treating chronic pain. Drawing on neuroscience research, evidence-based medicine, ancient Eastern spiritual traditions, stress management techniques, nutrition principles, exercise programs, art therapy, and real-life lessons, Dr. Abaci focuses on creating an integrative pain-fighting regimen for his patients.

Charisse Balance P.T., D.P.T

Charisse Balance

Charisse Balance P.T., D.P.T. obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology with a minor in Psychology from the University of California , Davis . She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2009 from Azusa Pacific University.


From a young age, Dr. Balance has always been committed to a healthy and active lifestyle. She participated in martial arts for a number of years and danced throughout high school. When it came time to choosing a career path, physical therapy was a natural choice because it provided the opportunity to combine her passion for fostering physical health with her strong desire to help others. Working in a multidisciplinary chronic pain setting has been an ideal fit for Dr. Balance because she is not limited by traditional approaches. Instead, she has adopted a more holistic outlook on treatment that has helped individuals regain a sense of control over their bodies after living with chronic pain. She enjoys working with each patient and creating a specialized plan to aid them in returning to a more normalized lifestyle.


In her personal time, she enjoys staying physically active and attending spin, kickboxing, Pilates and Birkam Yoga classes. She is a huge dog lover as well. When not walking her own two dogs, one will find her at the local animal shelter as a volunteer dog walker.

Risa Bernasconi, M.S.N., F.N.P.

risa bernasconi

Risa Bernasconi, M.S.N., F.N.P. was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and grew up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from U.C. Berkeley, and studied for a year in Barcelona, Spain while a student at Berkeley. She is fluent in Spanish and has traveled extensively in Central and South America.


Ms. Bernasconi also received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Samuel Merritt College in Oakland. She spent her first year as a nurse at Highland Hospital (now Alameda County Medical Center). In 1999 she received a Master's of Science Degree in Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.


Before joining the Bay Area Pain & Wellness Center in September 2003, her area of practice was primary care, with a specialization in HIV and AIDS care.

Richard Bernstein, D.O.

Richard Bernstein, DO received his Osteopathic medical degree from the University of Osteopathic Medicine & Health Sciences in Des Moines, IA in 1991. He completed his post-graduate specialty training in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Washington University in St. Louis, MO in 1995 and is board qualified. His undergraduate degrees include a B.A. in Psychology from Antioch University and a B.A. in Biology from UCSC. He has been in private practice in Santa Cruz County since 1995 and a resident of Santa Cruz since 1977.

Dr. Bernstein has been deeply committed and involved in the health care field for over 30 years. Starting his career as a massage therapist and yoga instructor he became a student of Ayurvedic Medicine and a Holistic Health Educator and Consultant. After suffering severe injuries from a cycling accident in 1979 he came under the care of an Osteopathic physician who helped him heal from his injuries and introduced him to the magic of Osteopathic Medicine. Upon completing medical school and his post-doctoral training he returned to Santa Cruz and in 1996 partnered with Watsonville Hospital to create the Wellness and Rehabilitation Center. The WRC was the first hospital based Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) Clinic on the Central Coast of California and brought together a team of Santa Cruz County's finest clinicians under one roof.

In 2001, Dr. Bernstein established Spinemed Medical Associates in Seascape Village, located in Aptos, CA. Specializing in the areas of Spine, Joint, and Sports Medicine and offering the finest in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. His unique background, training, experience, and skills allow him to offer his patients an opportunity to fully understand their diagnosis and explore all appropriate treatment options.

Fred Brumand, M.D.

Fred Brumand, MD is a double board-certified Pain Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation subspecialist. He has completed his subspecialty training in Pain Medicine at the University of Washington (Seattle) which is the birthplace of modern Pain Medicine in 1961 and home to the world's first multidisciplinary pain clinic. University of Washington is one of the most prominent organizations related to pain medicine in the US and has earned the title of Center of Excellence by the World Institute of Pain as well as the American Pain Society in 2010. During his training, Dr. Brumand served as the Chief Fellow overseeing 5 other specialists and also received the "Fellow of the Year" award for his clinical competence and professionalism.

Prior to subspecialty training in Pain Medicine, Dr. Brumand received subspecialty training in Spinal Interventions. Earlier and during his specialty training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Medical College of Wisconsin he received intensive EMG training by the current and former presidents of the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine; Drs. Dillingham and Wertsch. Prior to his specialty training, Dr. Brumand was trained at Columbia University (New York) as a Post-Doctorate Fellow and also completed his internship at the same institution.

Dr. Brumand is licensed to practice medicine in the 4 states of California, Washington, Georgia and Wisconsin. He is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and an active member of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Academy of Pain Management, Pain Special Interest Group of AAPMR and the American Medical Association. He has received several awards for clinical excellence and has recently been included in the list of "America's Top Physicians" by the Consumer Research Council of America.

Phylis Dougherty, R.N.

Phylis Dougherty RN, BSN, CCM, a native San Josean received her bachelor degree with honors from San Jose State. She has trained at O'Connor Hospital, Santa Clara Valley Medical Hospital, Los Gatos Hospital and the Veteran's Hospital in Palo Alto. As a hospital nurse she specialized in the newborn nursery and later orthopedics and peripheralvascular disease.


In 1991, Phylis moved to Los Angeles for 3 years and started working as a case manager for a large medical insurance company. She became a certified case manager in 1993 and was part of the first group of certified case management professionals. Her focus for the past 18 years has been working with injured workers. She considers herself a patient advocate.


Outside of the nursing profession, Phylis' passion is dance. She shares this love of dance with her husband of 30 years and her daughter who is a professional modern/ballet dancer in New York. Phylis is also on the board of a small ballet organization, San Jose Dance Theatre. She also has a son who lives in Los Angeles, who hopes to direct films.

Stephen Eggleston, C.M.

stephen eggleston

Stephen Eggleston received his Master's degree in Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, California. His education included extensive training in acupuncture techniques, herbal medicine formulation, Chinese medical theory and western medical theory. Following his training in Chinese Medicine he completed a year long training in western internal medicine for acupuncturists. This training has proved extremely valuable in identifying and understanding conditions requiring western medical care. Stephen has practiced as a Licensed Acupuncturist since 2003.  He holds a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine from the NCCAOM.


Stephen's background includes intensive training in various hands-on therapies including acupressure and western massage styles. He has practiced massage therapy since 1996. He has also extensively studied whole foods nutrition, medicinal cooking and herbal preparation. He is a practitioner of Qi Gong, Tai Chi and meditation and continues to learn through regular classes, retreats and workshops. He believes optimal healing occurs when appropriate treatment is combined with a positive lifestyle and personal development.


Stephen has held a teaching position at Five Branches University in San Jose, CA in the Herbology and Complimentary Studies Departments. He also teaches qi gong and wellness classes in the community.

Heather Elledge, PA-C

stephen eggleston

Heather Elledge PA-C is a board certified Physician Assistant at Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center. She graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Before graduate school, she volunteered at the Ann & Robert Lurie Children's hospital in Chicago and worked at Illinois Bone and Joint Institute as a medical assistant. She then went on to PA school where she earned her Masters of Medical Science at Northwestern University, Chicago. Both her work and personal experiences contributed to her decision to pursue medicine.


Heather moved to the Bay Area from Chicago in June 2013 and started working at BAPWC one month later. She is happy to be working with a great staff at a job she enjoys. In her free time, Heather likes to explore the outdoors of her new home, travel to wine country, and spend time with her family, friends, and maltipoo.

Sandy Frandsen C.P.T.

sandy frandson

Sandy Frandson CPT is a Certified Personal Trainer at the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center. Sandy was injured at her previous job in 1999. She underwent a L5-S1 level fusion in 2000. In 2001 Sandy was referred to Dr. John Massey, he suggested the Functional Restoration program. Sandy attended the program in 2002, and was taught to cope and manage her pain successfully. Sandy joined the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center in 2004. Sandy started her career as Program Administrative Assistant and advocate to new patients. In 2006 Sandy became a Physical Therapy Aide. While serving as a Physical Therapy Aide, Sandy studied to become a Certified Personal Trainer. She received her Certification in early 2008. Sandy’s passion is helping others learn to manage their pain and get back to a good quality of life.

Gregory Garavanian Psy.D.

gregory garavanian

Gregory Garavanian Psy.D. graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology in 1991, and he earned a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Alameda in 2000. He completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael, where he was first introduced to the field of chronic pain and facilitated a group for chronic pain management. Dr. Garavanian’s career has largely been focused on integrating psychological services with medical care.


Prior to his work at BAPWC he worked in medical clinics under a grant to bridge mental health services with primary medical care. In addition to his clinical work he was a supervising psychologist to other mental health professionals. In 2004 he joined the BAPWC team where he was trained as a health psychologist under Kimeron Hardin, Ph.D. The bulk of his work has been in the Functional Restoration Programs where he teaches classes and conducts evaluations. Dr. Garavanian has a particular interest in how pain affects the whole family, which led him to create an ongoing family education meeting for family members of patients in the functional restoration programs.


Dr. Garavanian's personal interests don’t stray far from his professional life.He stays active with regular work outs and does his best to eat well. His other interests include traveling, languages, and music.

Christine Hirabayashi, MFT-I, ATR-BC

christine hirabayashi

Christine Hirabayashi, MFT-I, ATR-BC is a behavioral specialist and art therapist at the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from California State University Long Beach in 1998, and subsequently her Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Notre Damede Namur University in 2004.


Christine started her career serving as an art instructor to children and teens at The Marvegos Fine Art School for five years. This is where she came to realize the therapeutic value of art and how creative expression can greatly impact a child’s self confidence and well being. As a MFT trainee, Christine served as a counselor at Hospice of the Valley in San Jose, where she worked with terminally ill patients and helped bereaved family members work through grief using talk and art therapy.


Christine joined the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center in 2004. Her passion for helping others express their emotions through art inspired her to develop the Expressive Arts for Health program. She facilitates art therapy groups for the Functional Restoration Program, conducts workshops, art therapy support groups, and works with patients individually. Her vision is to continue to find innovative ways to use expressive art as a way to strengthen and heal the mind, body, and spirit.

Karlee Holden, W.T.

karlee bianco

Karlee Holden is from Los Gatos, California. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1997 and studied in Paris at the University, La Sorbonne. She is based in her hometown of Los Gatos but has lived and worked in Los Angeles, New York City, and London.


She has been teaching Wellness classes (a combination of yoga, qi gong, psychology, and meditation) at BAPWC in Los Gatos, Ca. since 2006 for patients with chronic pain and other mental and physical ailments. She has her own private practice life coaching since 2000. She treats people with behavioral disorders to help them create the kind of life they want by breaking old patterns, avoiding covering the symptoms and moving toward deeper healing at the root.


Karlee has studied Vipassana meditation, which means “to see things as they really are”. It is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. Vipassana meditation was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2,500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills. Karlee taught yoga classes at Los Gatos Athletic Club and Courtside Club for years. She comes from a family heavily involved in the healing arts and grew up studying the powers of consciousness through ancient teachings, psychology, and eastern philosophies. Her well rounded background and life experience gives her the ability to help people solve their problems and expand their awareness to discover inner happiness. She is currently studying Somatic Experiencing by Dr. Peter Levine to help people with with trauma related issues.

Raul Jasso

Raul Jasso


Raul Jasso is our bi-lingual / bi-culture personal trainer. Born in Colima Mexico, Raul immigrated to our lovely bay area at a young age . Here, he discovered his passion for sports and exercise. Raul loves playing golf, outdoor grass volleyball; flag football, soccer and tennis. But, his # 1 passion currently is traveling the states to compete in Handball. He has traveled to Kansas, Ohio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego to name a few. When Raul is not working with our PTs at BAPWC, his is coaching youth soccer, playing handball or exercising.


Raul is not new to BAPWC, although, he is the newest addition to the BAPWC team. Raul has over 13 years of experience working in a multidisciplinary chronic pain program (FRP). He is very excited to be here and can't wait to start transforming peoples lives towards a fun, healthy and positive way.

Michèle Jehenson, D.D.S.

michele jehenson

Schedule an Appointment Today: New Patient Questionnaire

Michèle Jehenson, D.D.S.is one of only 17 dentists in the entire San Francisco Bay Area who are board certified in orofacial pain www.ABOP.net.


After receiving a master's degree in linguistics from the University of Liege, Belgiumanda DDS degree from Columbia University, Dr. Jehenson trained in Orofacial Pain at UCLA under Dr. R.Merrill and Dr. S. Graff-Radford, who pioneered the field of Orofacial Pain. She joined Dr. C. McNeill at the UCSF Center for Orofacial Pain andremains on staff as an associate professor at the UCSF Dental School. She recently obtained a certification in medical acupunture from the Helms Institute and Stanford Medical School.


Dr. Jehenson’s area of expertise is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, neuropathic pain in the head and neck as well as primary headaches. She also works with patients with mild and moderate sleep apnea who cannot tolerate C-pap or would prefer a custom intraoral appliance.


Her philosophy in treatment is an evidence based interdisciplinary approach that includes not only medical and pharmacological treatment, but also adjunct therapies such as exercise, meditation, physical therapy, acupuncture, counseling and hypnosis; as needed.

Linda Joshua, N.P.

Linda Joshua, NP became a nurse practitioner in 1991, obtaining her degree from San Jose State specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, although she has worked in family practice as well. Prior to OBGYN, she worked on medical-surgical, labor and delivery, and orthopedic areas for ten years in Salinas, California, where she was a part of the team that started one of the first mother-baby units on the Central Coast.


As a nurse she also traveled with a group of MD's and ran a clinic in Huaraz, Peru for a few months bringing basic medical care to the mountainous regions of the Andes.


Linda was born in England, and raised in Calcutta, India, and is glad she immigrated to the U.S.! She really enjoys all cultures, and is interested in language, history and travel, of course. She's fluent in English, Spanish and some Portugese.


She and her husband of 20 years currently reside in their home in Santa Cruz where Linda has lived for the past 27 years.

Lucrecia Martinez C.P.T.

lucrecia martinez

Lucrecia Martinez is a Bilingual Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist and Licensed Zumba Instructor. She has been a Certified Personal Trainer since 2003. She has worked for the Bay Area Pain & Wellness Center since 2005. Lucrecia Martinez has always been very athletic. She played anywhere from Basketball, soccer and indoor soccer. Now, she focuses on using her athletic back ground and having dealt with personal experiences with injury and knowledge on exercise and chronic pain on helping those with Chronic Pain get back to living a productive, fun filled life.


Lucrecia's goal is to assist in patient in reaching their functional and physical goals, learn to manage their pain using active pain management modalities as well as return some laughter into the lives of these patients who have suffered so much.


Lucrecia Martinez es una Entrenadora Personal Bilingue y Instructora de Zumba. Lucrecia se hiso certificada en Entrenadora Personal en el 2003 y ha trabajado en el Bay Area Pain & Wellness Center desde el 2005. Lucrecia Martinez siempre ha sido deportista, jugando basketball y soccer. Hora, Lucrecia se enfoca en usando su experencia con los deportes y haber tratado con experiencias personales con la lesión y el conocimiento en el ejercicio y el dolor crónico en ayudar a las personas con dolor crónico a volver a vivir una vida llena de diversión productiva.


El objetivo de Lucrecia es ayudar a los pacientes a alcanzar sus objetivos funcionales y físicas, aprenden a manejar su dolor con las modalidades de tratamiento del dolor activo, así como devolver un poco la risa en la vida de estos pacientes que han sufrido tanto.

John E. Massey, M.D.

john massey

John E. Massey, M.D. attended Santa Clara University where he completed a bachelor's degree in biology. He received his Medical Doctorate from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1991. During his medical school training, Dr. Massey received the McGraw-Hill award as the number one ranked medical student in his class.


After medical school, Dr. Massey completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. His anesthesia residency was performed at Stanford University Medical Center. During his last year, Dr. Massey was Chief Resident at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Hospital. While attending Stanford, Dr. Massey received a clinical competence award as one of the top residents in his class. Dr. Massey was asked to do a fellowship in pain management at Stanford. He completed this fellowship in 1996 and was hired as Attending Physician and Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology. Dr. Massey taught in the medical school and pain management clinic for the next two years prior to leaving Stanford to go into private practice. Dr. John Massey is double board certified in both Anesthesia and Pain Management.


Dr. Massey continues to teach as Adjunct Clinical Faculty through the Stanford University Pain Management Center. This, in addition to his continuing daily service through the BAPWC, encompasses his primary activities. Dr. Massey actively participates in the local medical communities through the Santa Clara County Medical Association while maintaining strong ties to the pain management community through memberships in the International Association for the Study of Pain and the American Board of Anesthesia. He is also a member of the American Medical Association.

Robin Matias, D.O.

Dr. Robin Matias was born and raised in Northern California. He earned his medical degree from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, located on the historical Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California. He completed an osteopathic internship at Downey Regional Medical Center and continued his Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) residency training at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Matias was with Spine & Sports Physiatrists in Chicago prior to coming to Bay Area Pain & Wellness Center.

Dr. Matias has always been intrigued by the human musculoskeletal system through his participation in sports. He attended the University of California, Davis where he solidified his interests in medicine through offering health care to the underserved in the community. As a resident, he further cultivated his interests in sports and musculoskeletal medicine through serving as medical staff for numerous Chicago community and collegiate sporting events and he was the team physician for Gordon Technical High School in Chicago.

While in residency, Dr. Matias also served as Chief Resident and enjoyed educating medical students and residents. He felt fortunate to continue his teaching responsibilities through lectures given to residents at both Loyola and Rush University Medical Centers. Even more important, is the opportunity to educate his patients in the community he serves.

Dr. Matias enjoys spending time with his wife and friends. As aficionados of local and cultural cuisines, Dr. Matias and his wife enjoy various dining experiences. He also enjoys hiking in the great outdoors, snowboarding, and turntable disc jockeying of all things.

Toni Morley, M.A.

Toni Morley graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Sociology and from The College of Notre Dame with an MA in Counseling Psychology and Art Therapy. She worked at El Camino Hospital in the Department of Psychiatry and spent 20 years in private practice with children, individuals and couples. She worked for 8 years as a dementia specialist for the Alzheimer's Association of CA and Northern Nevada and 2 years working at the Bay Area Pain and WellnessCenter working with chronic pain patients. She is certified as an EMDR specialist and has aCalifornia license to practice hypnotherapy. She has written chapters in several art therapy books and won the Jefferson Award for her work with dementia patients.

Jessica Pullins, Ph.D

Jessica Pullins, Ph.D. graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's degree in English literature and completed a Master's degree in counseling at Oregon State University . Dr. Pullins received her doctorate in Clinical/Medical Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham , Alabama . During her graduate training, Dr. Pullins conducted psychotherapy, provided consultation, and engaged in research within UAB's well-regarded Center for Palliative Care. Her master's thesis focused on physical and emotional symptom burden in HIV-positive patients engaged in palliative care, and her dissertation examined the pain experience of palliative care outpatients across multiple clinical appointments.


Dr. Pullins completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the VA-Northern California Healthcare System in Martinez and Oakland , California . During her internship at the VA, she engaged in an extended Behavioral Medicine rotation which included both group and individual psychotherapy for clients with chronic pain. She was also part of an interdisciplinary treatment team for the VA's most complex chronic pain clients. During internship and fellowship, Dr. Pullins developed an interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and completed an intensive ACT training with the model's developer, Dr. Steven Hayes. She subsequently created and facilitated several ACT groups for clients with multiple concerns, including chronic pain.


In her personal time, Dr. Pullins enjoys spending time with her husband, young daughter, and multiple pets. She is also an avid reader, knitter, and gardener.

Judy Radcliffe

Judy Radcliffe

Lisa Richardson, M.A., R.D.

Lisa Richardson, MA RD obtained her Master's degree in Kinesiology from San Jose StateUniversity. She is also a Registered Dietitian which means she has completed a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition Science, passed a National Exam, and adhered to stringent continuing education requirements to earn and maintain the RD credentials. For the past 17 years, Lisa has been based in Los Gatos as the co-owner of the Fitness Clinic. She has become a popular corporate lecturer as well as a featured expert for The Health Trust of Santa Clara County, and NBC 11's health and fitness segments.


Lisa's basic philosophy is that small behavior changes over time can lead to: 1)The need for less medication, 2) Improved muscle to fat ratio, 3) Improved metabolic rate, 4) Decreased stress and anxiety around food and meal planning 5)Less "dieting". In her spare time, Lisa enjoys golf, gaudy sweaters, the Giants, and getting out on the trail!

Michael Sullivan P.T.

michael sullivan

Michael Sullivan is the Director of Physical Therapy at the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center .  He obtained his Masters of Physical Therapy degree from Duke University and pursued his interest in rehabilitation of orthopedic disorders, with a focus on helping people injured on the job return to an active lifestyle.  After eight years of working in a private practice setting he recognized that physical therapy, provided within the framework of a traditional medical model, was not sufficient to meet the health care needs of many people.  He began working in a multidisciplinary chronic pain program in 1997 and embraced a biopsychosocial approach to the treatment of chronic pain, recognizing the need for integrated care provided by a spectrum of people in the healing arts.  He believes that the team at the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center has furthered the evolution of chronic pain management and created an atmosphere "where healing becomes possible".


When he is not working, you can find Michael bicycling the hills around Los Gatos .  In his previous life, his passion for cycling, cuisine and travel carried him around the globe leading bicycling vacations for an active travel company.

Matt Tarzon C.P.T.

matt tarzon

Matt Tarzon CPT realized his true calling in 2005 and returned to school to earn a new bachelor’s degree in Sports and Health Sciences, with a concentration in Sports Medicine. He graduated with honors in 2007. During that time, he also earned a personal trainer certification through National Academy of Sports Medicine. The following year, Matt earned a Corrective Exercise Specialist certification, also through NASM. He has been working as a personal trainer since 2007. The majority of his clientele has been those recovering from injury.


Matt has been involved with athletics all of his life. He started swimming at an early age, played soccer from grammar school through high school, football in high school and began playing rugby his senior year of high school. Rugby became a passion through his college years and he continued to play for 17 years. He has returned to swimming and competes in open water swim races each year and is known to enter the occasional triathlon. While swimming is his new passion, Matt continues to be involved with youth rugby, coaching the Seahawk Youth Rugby team each year. He also loves to coach kids in Little League and in AYSO soccer. He finds coaching very rewarding and fun.


Matt is very happy to be with the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center and is very excited to help people get back to a more normalized quality of life.

Heather Truro

Heather Truro brings over 20 years of experience in helping employers manage and reduce workers' compensation losses by providing customized training, procedures, tools, and strategies. Her extensive claims background provides the foundation for structuring procedures that work. Her focus on reducing the total cost of risk through preventative strategies as well as injury management techniques wins her the praise of her clients.


As an independent consultant she is uniquely positioned to provide clients with customized solutions including everything from training existing staff to working as a temporary or part-time on-site claims manager. Services can be provided on a project basis such as an overall assessment with prioritized findings and recommendations, or on a routine basis such as an employer's claims advocate conducting claims reviews/audits with reserve analysis and action plans. She consults with clients on compliance issues that are required before an injury happens, as well as creating and implementing return-to-work programs.

Jamie Tsai, N.P.

Jamie Tsai, NP is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner at Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Exercise Biology from UC Davis. After college, she worked as a physical therapy aide for a year. Jamie also volunteered as a medical assistant providing care for uninsured patients at RotaCare clinic in Mountain View. It was her personal and volunteer experiences that inspired her to pursue a career in nursing.


In 2008, Jamie moved to New York City to attend Columbia University's School of Nursing for both her Bachelor's and Master's of Science degree in Nursing. Ms. Tsai is Board Certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. While pursuing her Master's degree, Jamie worked as a Registered Nurse on a medical/surgical unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell in Manhattan.


In her free time, Jamie loves to travel to new places, try different cuisines, play tennis, attend sporting events and spend time with her family, friends and puggle.

Rachel Votaw, MFT-I

Rachel Votaw, MFT-I graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology in 2004, and earned a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California.


Rachel joined Bay Area Pain & Wellness Center in 2011. Rachel facilitates art therapy groups and individual art therapy and talk therapy for the San Francisco and Los Gatos clinics. As an art therapist, Rachel uses imagery and metaphorto guide her work. Artistic expression serves as a language in the therapy process and facilitates as a healing modality by accessing one's own creative intelligence. Rachel enjoys spending her leisure time painting, dancing, being with family, and of course her pets.

George West

George West grew up in San Francisco were he spent his days riding his skateboard through out the city. When he wasn't skateboarding he would be playing baseball and basketball for his the local team. George has worked as an MRI technologist but, found his passion in fitness training. George has been a personal trainer since 2001. He continues to train his long time clients in the the evenings. Current hobbies include: riding his mountain bike, basketball and tennis.

Brenda Yamashita

Brenda Yamashita is a Nurse Case Manager at Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center. She earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Prior to joining the team at Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center. Ms. Yamashita's clinical background included experience in a variety of health care settings including orthopedics, physiatry and chronic pain. The last several years have been spent as a Utilization Review Nurse and more recently Nurse Case Manager. This has included working with injured workers, their families, insurance companies, physicians, attorneys, employers and other allied health care professions. This has provided her the opportunity to use her nursing experience and education for the benefit of all the individuals involved.


In her personal time she enjoys spending time with her husband, young son and pet dog. She also enjoys traveling, music and making jewelry for her family and friends.

Will Zahn, Psy.D.

Will Zahn, PsyD received his B.A. in psychology from Princeton University and his master's and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from Alliant University, San Diego. His pre-doctoral training included working in a crisis home, counseling students in both a K-12 school and at SDSU, working with marines with PTSD, doing psychological testing, and seeing children, adults, and families in private practice.


Now a licensed psychologist, Dr. Zahn specializes in pain management, mindfulness, and group psychotherapy. He has extensive experience with anxiety, depression, addiction, and severe mental illness. He has also employed a variety of modalities to help people including tai chi, drama therapy, music therapy, and poetry therapy. He believes that family and community are an important part of recovery, and he is thrilled to be a part of a treatment team that stresses the importance of treating the whole person to promote lasting healing.


In his free time, Dr., Zahn enjoys trail running, cycling, playing the guitar and singing.

Michelle Zenda, M.P.T.

Michelle Zenda MPT, received her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with an Exercise Science emphasis achieving Magna Cum Laude and a Master of Physical Therapy at Fresno State University. She has always had a strong interest in health, fitness and nutrition. Her interest was sparked when she drove and accompanied an injured friend to their Physical Therapy sessions. Her 20 year diverse career includes Primary Acute Care, Wound Care/Burn Unit Care, Emergency Service PT, Military Service at Travis Air Force Base, Vestibular Rehab Treatment, and Private Practice Orthopedics. Years ago, Michelle sustained serious injuries when struck by a car when riding her road bike. This gave her first hand experience and a firm understanding of chronic pain. She has since learned a number of drug free methods to successfully manage her pain and is eager to employ her professional wisdom gained from this accident to help others in this regard.


In her free time, Michelle likes to enjoy many outdoor activities. You can find her kayaking, gardening, walking her cat, running half marathons/10Ks, hiking in Yosemite and Big Sur. Her passion for hill climb cycling was ignited when she competed on the Fresno State cycling team. Either road or mountain bike, you can find her smiling while riding in Sierra Azul, Nicene Marks, or just cruising East Cliff where she resides in Capitola. She compliments her fast paced aerobic workouts by practicing yoga and meditation regularly. She also volunteers for the Coastal Watershed counsel because she believes that water is our most valuable resource. Recently, Michelle has decided to actively elevate her life-long interest in healthy eating and is now pursuing additional education in the field of Nutrition.

Melissa Houts, P.T., C.F.P.

melissa houts

Melissa Houts PT, CFP is a licensed physical therapist with over 20 years experience. With expertise in treating orthopedic conditions, she combines a strong hands-on and targeted treatment approach for injured workers in our program.

Susanna Kanther, Psy.D.

Susanna Kanther, PsyD Licensed Clinical Health Psychologist earned her doctoral degree from PGSP - Stanford Medical School, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Kanther specializes in the treatment of patients with chronic pain and provides daily cognitive behavioral therapy and coping skills training to all participants in the FRP program.

Marion Kregeloh, P.T., C.F.P.

Marion Kregeloh, PT, CFP - Physical Therapist is a licensed physical therapist who offers a wide variety of treatment approaches to serve patients at all performance levels. With expertise in manual therapy, core stabilization, and movement re-education Marion emphasizes functional restoration of physical skills for individuals with chronic pain and disability.

Allison Kurchner-Evanson, M.S., R.D.

Allison Kurchner-Evanson, MS, RD Registered Dietician is a registered dietician who assists group participants with finding a realistic approach to healthy nutrition through hands-on education and by addressing individual health and diet issues.

Elise Perea, M.S., MED

Elise Perea, MS, MED Vocational Specialist is a Vocational Counselor who specializes in helping individuals identify vocational skills, explore options, and make thoughtful decisions to find their way back to meaningful work. Through informative workshops on career topics and individual counseling, she assists participants with taking steps toward overcoming barriers to work and accessing resources to improve vocational viability.

Deepak Sreedharan, M.D.

Dr. Deepak Sreedharan joins the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center after completing advanced training in pain management at the University of California San Francisco . While at UCSF, Dr. Sreedharan honed his skills in the latest techniques including epidural steroid injections, facet radiofrequency ablation [rhizotomy], sympathetic nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulation and implantable drug delivery systems. Prior to UCSF, Dr. Sreedharan also received training in ultrasound guided peripheral nerve blocks at the New York School of Regional Anesthesia [NYSORA], an affiliate of Columbia University in NYC.


However, it was the time Dr. Sreedharan spent working at the San Francisco Veteran's Administration hospital that ultimately shaped his current practice. Often severely depressed and in pain, veterans were treated with sleep inducing anti-depressants and large doses of Vicodin, Percocet, Morphine and other narcotics by their community doctors. They were physically dependent on these meds, suffered from nasty side effects but were still in pain. Now, Dr. Sreedharan's focus is treating patients using a minimal amount of medications and relying more on physical therapy, pain psychology, wellness and meditation and where appropriate pain management procedures.


Originally from New York, Dr. Sreedharan is excited to be in California now as part of the BAPWC team, where the interdisciplinary approach is designed to help patients live their lives fully again. As an avid outdoorsman, he also enjoys finding balance in his own life by escaping city life on the weekends to hike, mountain bike, and camp along the beautiful bay area coastline.

Amy Hill, M.A.

Amy Hill graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2006 with a B.F.A. in Studio Art. She earned a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy, and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California.


Amy has a background as an artist and a writer. During her graduate training, she facilitated art therapy groups and worked one-on-one with troubled adolescents at a day treatment center. She also spent time in Nicaragua, where she conducted art therapy groups and helped organize a community art show in an impoverished community. Since 2012, Amy has worked with a local organization that provides full-force self-defense training with a focus on personal empowerment.


Amy joined the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center in 2013. She is excited to be part of a team that values creativity as an integral aspect of healing. In her free time, Amy enjoys writing, painting, being outdoors, and spending time with her family, friends, and her dog, Prudence.

Faye Gault Hirsch, Wellness Instructor

Well-ness is more than freedom from dis-ease. It is a tap into the unlimited love resource abiding in all. It is true well-th and is available to all human beings, in this very moment.


Artistically blending science and spirit, Faye works with clients to balance their breathing, thinking, nutrition, hydration, detoxification, movement, and rest. By nurturing the systems of the body, clients recover their dynamic physical, emotional and spiritual landscape, granting them freedom to savor this lifetime and shine at their brightest. This holistic restoration facilitates weight loss, improved digestion and hormone functioning, freedom from pain, improved physical performance, sustained energy, fulfilling relationships, an open heart, joy and peace of mind. Faye is honored to guide others toward their birthright of well-being.


After several dark chapters in her youth, Faye woke up to her spirit in 2001 and has journeyed towards wellness ever since. She holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley, is a certified Bikram Yoga teacher, a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach and a trained doula. A seasoned teacher, Faye began listening to her calling in 2010. She is available for individual and group sessions and especially enjoys leading workshops and seminars. Faye loves to dance, eat, laugh, seek and sing. She enjoys life with her husband in San Rafael, California.

John McKellar, PhD

Dr. McKellar has been providing psychological services for about 20 years. He completed his doctoral training at the University of South Florida and his internship at the Palo Alto VA and Stanford University. His postdoctoral training occurred at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara and involved seeing individual patients, groups, and distressed couples. Since 2000 he has worked at the Palo Alto VA doing a combination of psychotherapy, research, and training of other clinicians.


His specializations include treatment of depression, anxiety, addiction, chronic pain, insomnia, stress management, and trauma. Many of his clinical experiences fall into the category of behavioral medicine, a specialized branch of clinical psychology that integrates psychological and medical approaches to treat mental health and medical disorders. This approach borrows heavily from recent scientific advances in the area of neuroscience that reveal significant overlap between "mind and body."


Dr. McKellar likes spending time with his wife and daughter. In addition he enjoys yoga, reading, and music of all kinds.