Hult Center for Healthy Living Staff
Andrea Parker, RN, MS, Executive Director
Holly Bill, BS, CHES, Assistant Manager
Renea Gatson, AAS, Administrative Assistant, Volunteer Coordinator
Becca Mathis, BS, CHES,Adolescent Health Coordinator
Kitty Bienemann, MA, NCC, LCPC, Counselor
Jessica Johnson, 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
Kari Knapp, BS, Health Education Specialist
Grace Hensold, BS, RDN, LDN Registered Dietitian
Ashwin Siddaraju, BS, CHES, Health Education Specialist
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. Mrs. 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 – 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 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 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, a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Trainer, National Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach, 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
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 Hult Center since July 2015. Her interest in healthy families and healthy communities drives her passion to work at 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 Adolescent Health Program, which aims to improve the health of adolescent in our community. Becca is also a National Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach, and 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. 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 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 Johnson, 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 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 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 14 years of experiences as a Health Education Specialist, previously working as a Health & Nutrition Specialist in the school system. 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 Hult Center’s dental health programs. She is also a National Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach and certified CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) Implementation Trainer. Debbie is the Engagement Champion for Hult Center for Healthy Living/UnityPoint Health and United Way Pacesetter Campaign Coordinator along with serving on several committees, United Way Success by Six, Early Childhood Forum of Central Illinois & Early Childhood Forum sub-committee Legislative Happening Hour, & 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 and volunteers for Hooked on Fishing Park. 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.
Kari Knapp, BS, CHES, Health Education Specialist – Bachelor of Science in Community Wellness with a Minor in Health from Bradley University.
Kari has been at Hult Center since September 2016 where she was a Health Education 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. Kari is the Healthy Heroes Program Coordinator, responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating the program, ensuring that program goals and objectives are met. Kari is responsible for coordinating and implementing Coordination Approach to Child Health (CATCH) activities and education regarding nutrition, obesity, and physical activity. In addition, Kari oversees in-house programming to youth ages 3-12 years old on variety of comprehensive health education topics. Through this role, she ensures that programs are impactful and continuous improvements are being made.
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 oncology support 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 while going through treatments. Grace loves being active, trying new foods and restaurants, baking, meeting new smiling faces. Grace hopes to extend her nutrition knowledge and support to people by encouraging healthy lifestyle choices in simple choices and supporting people going through treatments to find foods that are enjoyable and tolerable for them.
Ashwin Siddaraju, BS, CHES, Health Education Specialist – Bachelor of Science in Community Health Promotion and Education with Minors in Public Health and Business Administration from Illinois State University
Ashwin is a graduate from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Promotion and Education and minors in Public Health and Business Administration. He is currently presiding as one of our Health Educators on comprehensive youth sexual education programs. During his undergrad, Ashwin was able to dabble in a multitude of areas regarding public health through his civic engagement and various leadership experiences. All of which were designed for one purpose which was it serve, care, and empower individuals. In his most recent experience, Ashwin served as an intern for the McLean County Health Department in there Emergency Preparedness Division, working on special projects and initiatives for the county. In his spare time, Ashwin devotes time as a football coach. Most recently, serving as a Junior Varsity Head Coach for University High School in Normal. Ashwin joins Hult Center for Healthy Living to continue his passion to servitude for the greater Peoria area by adding life to years and years to life.
Holly Hott, LMT and Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki ll Practitioner is a 2014 graduate from the Massage Therapy program at Midwest Technical Institute. With an interest in supporting recovery, she completed ‘Massage for People Living with Cancer’ training the same year before joining the Hult Center team in the spring of 2015. Believing in the healing power of touch, Holly has dedicated her studies to the art and science of massage therapy and offers a nurturing environment that promotes healing of body, mind and spirit.
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.