Hult Center for Healthy Living Staff
Andrea Parker, RN, MS, Executive Director
Holly Bill, BS, CHES, Assistant Manager-Youth Health Education
Nicki Bushman, BS, MPH, Assistant Manager-Adult Health Education
Morgan Koehler, BS, Marketing and Special Events Coordinator
Renea Gatson, AAS, Administrative Assistant, Volunteer Coordinator
Becca Mathis, BS, CHES,Adolescent Health Coordinator
Kitty Bienemann, MA, NCC, LCPC, Counselor
Jessica Draper, BS, CHES, Health Education Specialist
Debbie Harris, BS, Health Education Specialist
Jeanna Rich, BS, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian
Kay Blankenship, BA, MPC, LCPC, NCC, CCMHC, Behavioral Health Clinical Counselor
Amanda Marcanio, BS, CHES, Health Education Specialist
Kari Pauli, BS, Health Education Specialist
Grace Hensold, BS, RDN, LDN Registered Dietitian
Ellery Losby, BS, RDN, LDN Registered Dietitian
Massage Therapy Staff
Healthy Living Class Facilitators
Andrea Parker, RN, MS, Executive Director -Methodist College, Bradley University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Andrea Parker has more than thirty years’ experience as a registered nurse with a background in public and community health, pediatrics and medical surgical nursing, having most recently served as Regional Health Officer for the Illinois Department of Public Health and formerly held the Public Health Administrator for the Peoria City/County Health Department. Parker is a recognized health leader in the community and serves on the Peoria Downtown Rotary Board, Human Service Board, and the University of IL Dean’s Community Council. Andrea has an extensive list of awards and achievements, among her most recent accomplishments are being inducted into the Bradley University’s Centurion Society, receiving the “ 25 Women in Leadership” and the “Women of Influence” awards. Other professional recognitions include, the Bradley University Mildred Pflederer Memorial Alumni Award for contributions to public health nursing; the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Exceptional Achievement Award, induction into the Peoria African American Hall of Fame Museum, “Mentor of the Year” from Peoria Richwoods High School and “Those Who Excel” award from IL State Board of Education. Parker holds adjunct faculty positions with Bradley University and Methodist College teaching undergraduate, graduate and post graduate nursing majors. She has published several articles on a variety of health topics in local journals and featured in the Peoria Medicine, the Official Journal of the Peoria Medical Society, Healthy Cells Magazine, IBI, and the Peoria Women. Andrea is married to her husband Bryan for over 35 years and they have two adult children and five fantastic grandchildren!
Holly Bill, BS, CHES, Assistant Manager-Youth Health Education – Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from Illinois State University
Holly earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health Education from Illinois State University, and went on to earn her certification through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing to be a Certified Health Education Specialist. She has been with the Hult Center for Healthy Living since August 2011, where she has been dedicated to giving back to the community that shaped who she is today. As a Peoria Public Schools graduate and former Hult Center fan from yearly school fieldtrips, Holly is now responsible for ensuring quality health education programs and services are being delivered to each of our youth- over 50,000 youth each year! Holly received the Outstanding Accomplishments & Achievements Recognition for Promotion of Civil Liberties from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois in 2016 for her efforts in decreasing teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections throughout Peoria County, followed by the iBi Magazine 40 Leaders Under 40 Award in 2017. Holly has served as the curriculum coordinator for Peoria Public School District’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) Committee since 2013, and is a board member on the Partnership for a Healthy Community. Other committees that Holly serves on includes: Tri-County Reproductive Health Committee, Tri-County Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Committee, various Heart of Illinois United Way committees, including the steering & curriculum committee for Healthy Minds, Healthy Neighborhoods, Peoria Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (SAP), Positive Health Solutions Fiscal Committee, and more. She is a Dale Carnegie graduate, is certified in in Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid, and is a Certified CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) Implementation Trainer. To learn more about Holly, connect with her on LinkedIn here. www.linkedin.com/in/hollybill
Nicki Bushman, BS, MPH, Assistant Manager-Adult Health Education – Master’s degree in Public Health and Bachelor’s in Community Health from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nicki Bushman has been with the Hult Center for Healthy Living since 2013 and serves as the Encore Coordinator, a program designed to educate older adults on chronic disease prevention and management. Nicki is a double graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received a Bachelors of Science in Community Health and Master of Public Health with a Certificate in Business Administration. She is an active member of Senior Care Network, CIAA’s Caring Connections, and Peoria County Triad, all of which are dedicated to improving the lives of seniors in the Peoria Area. In addition, Nicki serves on the UnityPoint Health- Peoria’s Diabetes Platform Committee. In 2015, Nicki completed the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s evidence-based National Diabetes Prevention Program training. She is using this certification to fill the gap in pre-diabetes education and prevention in the community by providing a yearlong lifestyle change program to individuals who are pre-diabetic. Nicki is also a trained Freedom from Smoking Facilitator through the American Lung Association, having facilitated many smoking cessation programs within the community.
Morgan Koehler, BS, Marketing and Special Events Coordinator – Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Music Business from Bradley University
Morgan earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Music Business from Bradley University. Morgan comes to Hult Center for Healthy Living with over 5 years of experience in non-profit marketing. Morgan has been a session speaker at the LeadingAge of Illinois Annual Convention in Schaumburg, IL as well as LeadingAge of Illinois Assisted Living Training Conference. In her free time, Morgan enjoys singing. She performs with the Morton Civic Chorus and Bradley Community Chorus. Morgan has been a featured soloist in both choirs and has performed on tours in Spain and Denmark.
Renea Gatson, AAS, Administrative Assistant, Volunteer Coordinator – Associate’s Degree in Human Services from Illinois Central College
Renea is a graduate of Illinois Central College with an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Human Services. She has worked in a variety of healthcare areas for over 18 years with UnityPoint Health-Methodist. She enjoys being around and meeting new people, and has a passion for helping others. Renea is a Peoria native, raised among a large, loving family as the oldest of 10 children. She has four beautiful children that are her pride and joy! She has two grand-dogs, Doni and Bella, and recently married her life-long partner. In her spare time, she likes to travel, spend time with family and friends, and eat good food while listening to music. Renea is a happy person who loves life!
Becca Mathis, BS, CHES, Adolescent Health Coordinator – Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from Illinois State University
Becca graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education. Becca has been with the Hult Center since July 2015. Her interest in healthy families and healthy communities drives her passion to work at the Hult Center. She currently oversees the Youth Reproductive Health Education programs; Hult’s Reproductive Health programs serve more than 4,000 youth annually in Peoria, IL, and the surrounding areas. Becca is also the coordinator the Teen Talk program, funded in part by the Heart of Illinois United Way. Becca is also a certified trainer of Youth Mental Health First Aid, a training that provides adults with the skills to identify youth who are struggling with mental health issues, as well as assist youth experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aid is included on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. To connect with Becca, click here.
Kitty Bienemann, MA, NCC, LCPC – Counselor
Kitty is a licensed clinical professional counselor and has worked as a professional counselor in medical settings since 2001. She is currently the Hult Center’s counselor working with cancer survivors, their family members and caregivers within Illinois Cancer Care. Through Illinois Cancer Care Kitty is part of a multidisciplinary team of cancer professionals seeing patients at all stages of their cancer journey. Prior to her work as a professional counselor she worked in social services with a variety of individuals: single mothers, refugee minors, the homeless and elderly, persons with developmental disabilities and the chronically mentally ill. She attended undergrad at ISU and later graduate school at Bradley. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and is a national certified counselor. Kitty is from a large family and lost a sister to lung cancer in 2012 which has forever changed her life. She loves animals, music, a good book and travel and has been blessed with wonderful friends. She loves a good laugh and has been a fan of British television since childhood. Kitty grew up on a farm in Central Illinois and currently lives in Peoria.
Jessica Draper, BS, CHES, Certified Health Education Specialist – Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education and a Minor in Psychology from Illinois State University
Jessica’s first formal experience in health education began at the ISU Health Promotion and Wellness office where she thoroughly enjoyed facilitating programs for college students as a peer educator and undergraduate intern. With over six years of experience in teaching swim lessons to children and adults of all age, she is now continuing her passion for teaching people how to live healthier lives at the Hult Center for Healthy Living. At the Hult Center, Jessica is responsible for the Illinois Tobacco Free Communities grant. In this role she assists college campuses, multi-unit housing properties, and other outdoor spaces in strengthening and/or adopting smoke-free policies. Jessica believes the healthy choice can be the easy choice for individuals through policy change, education and empowerment. Right before her journey began at the Hult Center, Jessica spent the summer of 2015 living and working on an organic blueberry farm in Sonoma County through an organization called World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. She is always looking for local and traveling opportunities where she can have a positive impact on a community. To learn more about Jessica, connect with her on LinkedIn here: http://bit.ly/jessicadraper
Debbie Harris, BS, Health Education Specialist – Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from Illinois State University
Debbie has over 10 years of experiences as a health educator, previously working as a health & nutrition educator in the school system. She also is a certified hearing & vision technician. Debbie was awarded the Robin A. Orr Community Partnership Award for promoting health and wellness through nutrition education coordination of services and access to nutrition program so that Illinois residents can achieve food security. Debbie is the Coordinator for PNC “Your Amazing Body” and Tooth or Consequences. Debbie also assists with May Healthy Heroes. Debbie is involved on serval committees, United Way Success by Six, Early Childhood Forum of Central Illinois, & A.O.K (All Our Kids). In her spare time Debbie is the Business Sponsor Coordinator for the Morton-Peoria St. Jude Run and a member of the Young Professionals of Greater Peoria. Debbie is very passionate about encouraging people to live healthier lives. To learn more about Debbie, connect with her on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbie-harris-8a613335
Jeanna Rich, BS, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian – Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Bradley University
Jeanna graduated from Bradley University in Dietetics and continued to complete her Dietetic Internship through Bradley. Jeanna is a Registered Dietitian in the cancer programs that travels to surrounding areas to work with patients. She loves helping patients take control of their disease through food and nutrition to aide in healing their body. Jeanna loves to be outdoors with her dogs, garden, four-wheel, and read a good mystery book. She has a passion for helping people build healthier happier lives through food and its benefits.
Kay Blankenship, BA, MPC, LCPC, NCC, CCMHC, Behavioral Health Clinical Counselor – University of Great Falls, Montana
Kay Blankenship is a licensed clinical professional counselor. She has worked in the field of mental health and has taught in higher education for over twenty years. Kay has an extensive background in youth mental health and helped design and implement a community wide suicide prevention screening program for schools in Wisconsin. She is certified as a QPR (suicide prevention) gatekeeper trainer and also services as a suicide prevention consultant for schools and communities. Kay is currently the behavioral health clinical counselor for the Hult Center for Healthy Living’s Youth Mental Health Matters educational program.
Amanda Marcanio, BS, CHES, Health Education Specialist – Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion with a Minor in Psychology from the University of West Florida
Amanda is a Florida native, born and raised in Pensacola, FL. Her passion for health education and public health led her on a path to Peoria, Illinois in June of 2017 for her job at Hult Center for Healthy Living. Amanda’s role is to coordinate curriculum, capacity building, and implementation for Hult’s Youth Reproductive Health program, Teen Talk. She loves cooking and exploring different places to eat. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys reading, practicing yoga and being outside. She has a bassador (basset hound, lab mix) named Millie who she enjoys taking on walks. Connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amarcanio/
Kari Pauli, BS, CHES, Health Education Specialist – Bachelor of Science in Community Wellness with a Minor in Health from Bradley University.
Kari graduated from Bradley University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Community Wellness and a minor in health. She has been at the Hult Center since September 2016 where she was a Health Educator Intern. It was through her internship that she realized her desire to work with children and to promote healthy living in the Peoria community. During her time at Bradley, Kari had the opportunity to design and implement in-school health and work wellness programs, promote health education, and assist in community health events. She maintains a strong passion for early childhood nutrition and physical activity, and coordinates the Hult Center’s annual summer program, Healthy Heroes. Living a healthy lifestyle has always been of high importance in her own life, resulting in her passion to empower others to live healthier lives!
Grace Hensold, BS, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist – Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Bradley University
Grace graduated from Bradley University in Dietetics and completed her Dietetic Internship at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois. Grace is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in the cancer programs at Illinois Cancer Care Peoria Clinic. She has a passion for extending her love of food and health to others to empower people to use food to benefit their bodies. Grace loves being active, trying new foods and restaurants, baking, meeting new smiling faces, and laughing at corny jokes. Grace hopes to extend her nutrition knowledge and support to people by encouraging healthy lifestyle choices in simple, every day choices.
Ellery Losby, BS, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist – Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Bradley University
Ellery graduated from Bradley University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics degree and completed her dietetic internship at Bradley University in 2017. She grew up in Peoria and can remember visiting the Hult Center for Healthy Living on field trips growing up. She is passionate about educating people in all areas of wellness, especially nutrition and physical activity! She teaches Les Mills BodyPump and Sprint group exercises classes and loves to help motivate others to reach their health goals. She loves to bake, travel, eat all things peanut butter, drink coffee, and spend time with her family in the area.
Elmira Akama, LMT, NCBTMB, has been offering massage and bodywork in Peoria, Illinois since 2004 after graduating from the Illinois Valley Community College Therapeutic Massage Program. As a fitness trainer and wellness professional since 1999, she has consulted, taught and trained throughout the mid-Atlantic United States, Bahamas and China. Elmira completed the “Massage for People Living with Cancer” training in April 2014.
Julie Bradshaw, LMT, graduated from the Therapeutic Massage program at Illinois Central College in December of 2011. Her massages are influenced by trigger point therapy and Reiki. She completed the “Massage for People Living with Cancer” training in April 2014. Through experience and practice she continues to educate herself in order to refine her work and offer more to her clients. Julie offers soothing, restorative massage to all her clients.
Holly Hott, LMT is a 2014 graduate of the Massage Therapy Program at Midwest Technical Institute. With an interest in supporting recovery, she then completed the training Massage for People Living with Cancer in the fall of 2014. Believing in the healing power of touch, Holly has dedicated her study to the art and science of massage therapy.
Laurie Weaver, LMT, NCBTMB, is a Peoria native graduating from Judson University in Elgin, IL with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 1981. She also graduated from Illinois Central College with a certificate in Therapeutic Massage in December 2009. Laurie practice focuses on oncology massage having served at Hult for the past 4 years. She has completed two specialized trainings in oncology massage. Most recently, the “Massage for People Living with Cancer” training in April 2014.
Jean Sloan, Yoga with Jean – Wednesdays @ Hult Center for Healthy Living
Jean Sloan has been a serious student of yoga for fifteen years, studying it first as a meditation tradition and then adding trainings in yoga anatomy, pranayama (breath), and Vipassana meditation practice. She has been teaching yoga at the Hult Center and at other area locations for the past twelve years and her classes aim toward gently increasing flexibility and strength while emphasizing mindfulness, body awareness and self acceptance. She is also active in the central Illinois meditation community and leads a local Vipassana meditation group.
Marcy Ehlen Bretsch, Restorative Yoga – Thursday evenings @ Hult Center for Healthy Living; Breath of Joy Yoga, Monday evenings @ Hult Center for Healthy Living
I began practicing yoga in 2007. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 I started attending Lisa’s Breath of Joy yoga class at the Hult Center. It made a huge difference in my recovery process. Inspired by how yoga helped me I became a certified yoga instructor in 2013. I am a certified Pranakriya Yoga instructor with 200 hours of training and in 2014 completed training in Restorative Yoga.
AEROBICS & LIVING STRONG
Beth Stauffer, Aerobics, Tuesday mornings & Living Strong, Friday mornings @ UnityPoint Health – Methodist’s Wellness Center located in the Atrium Building
Elizabeth “Beth” Stauffer, has a BS degree in Commercial Recreation from Southern Illinois University. She is AAFA certified in Aerobic Training and Pilates, certifications in PIYO and Yoga. She has always had a passion for athletics and staying physically fit. “I have found I loved teaching others about exercise and enjoyed the relationships I have made with the participants. Teaching at Hult has been a blessing in my life. Working with cancer survivors, who have a different outlook on life, gives all who participate a bond that is so much more than spending an hour together working out. There are days I come away with so much more than I could ever hope they would gain from me and my instruction. My goal at the Hult Center is to help people find energy and strength after treatment and to improve balance, strength, endurance and body awareness with creative, safe and fun low impact aerobics and strength training.”
Heather Delabre, Mindful Meditation – Tuesday evenings @ Hult – Volunteer By profession, Heather Delabre is a corporate communications specialist, but she began a journey in a very different area of expertise roughly a decade ago. Back then, she traveled to South America for the first time, exploring shamanic healing modalities deep in the Peruvian Amazon. That experience opened her awareness to the mind/body connection and set her on a path of internal exploration. She’s returned to the jungle each year since then, continuing her ongoing education in the healing arts with the shamans. At that time, she also began meditating and has since been trained in the Nine Breathings of Purification (Tibetan) and Vipassana (Indian) forms of meditation. Heather is also currently in training to become a Reiki master. She has been a meditation volunteer for 2 ½ years at Hult.