Our Advisors

Our team of professional advisors provides expertise in their field and enables us to develop programs and initiatives that are built upon experience, cutting-edge information and practical wisdom. Their contributions are invaluable to Unite for HER and we appreciate their continuing support.

Julie Ackerman, LMT, CLT

Massage Therapy

Julie offers a rare combination of services: a full range of advanced massage techniques with a focus in Oncology Massage and Dr. Vodder Manual Lymph Drainage. She is a specialist in preventing and/or controlling Lymphedema. Julie has traveled the country studying with the foremost teachers specializing in doing massage with people who have had a diagnosis and treatment for cancer. She provides treatments in her beautiful office in Jenkintown. Since 1999, Julie has provided massage in several hospitals working with medically complicated and people at the end of life and is currently on staff as a massage therapist at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Julie is an active member of The Society for Oncology Massage and National Lymphedema Network.

Erica Dotson Bennett, M. Ed

Human Resources and Leadership Development

Erica Dotson Bennett has 25+ years of experience in Human Resources and Leadership Development Consulting. She is also currently employed at the Leadership and Executive Development Partner for Independence Blue Cross where she has responsibility for creating and delivering strategies that support the performance and professional development of the organization’s senior leaders. She is also an Adjunct Instructor in Temple University’s College of Education in the Department of Policy, Organizational & Leadership Studies. Prior to joining Independence, Erica worked for Leadership Solutions, Inc. as a Senior Leadership Development Consultant. At both Deloitte and Touche LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Erica worked as a Senior HR Consultant and advised internal clients on developing recruitment strategies for both entry level and MBA recruitment. At the Philadelphia based law firm of Schnader Harrison Segal and Lewis, LLP, Erica worked as the Manager of Legal Recruitment, managing both the entry level hiring program and the summer internship program. Her range of experiences cover consulting related activities in leadership and organization development, teambuilding, executive coaching, and training design and facilitation. Erica is a member of the Advisory Committee of the DiverseForce Board Governance Training Program that provides leadership training for people of color who want to achieve greater effectiveness as organizational leaders while making a social impact as board members. Erica also teaches regularly at the Philadelphia Job Corps Center in support of the program’s mission to teach young people the skills they need to become employable and independent. Finally, she is a proud former board member of the Support Center for Child Advocates.
In her spare time, Erica is a passionate life coach who is dedicated to aiding women and men on their journey of growth and personal development. She is the co-founder of The Twilight Café, an online support group designed to help women thrive in the face of challenges by building resilience, hope and balance.

Erica has a B.A. in Psychology from Louisiana State University and a Masters of Education degree from Temple University in Adult Education and Organizational Development. She is the proud mom of Solomon, age 17 and lives in Moorestown, NJ.

Thomas S. Burgoon, MD


Dr. Burgoon graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and in 1990 became certified in Internal Medicine. He is a member of the first graduating class of the four-year course ‘Chinese Acupuncture for Physicians: Scientific Basis and Practice’ taught at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He is also a former faculty member of the course. Dr. Burgoon is a founding member and former president of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, the largest professional organization of physicians practicing acupuncture in the United States. Since 1994, he has practiced at Medical Acupuncture in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Cal Cates

Massage Therapy

Since 2003, Cal has been providing massage therapy for people with cancer and traveling the world teaching others how to be present and skillful with this population and their caregivers. They served, from 2005-2009 as the Clinical Supervisor for Hospital/Oncology Massage at The Teal Center at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA and were a founding director or the Society for Oncology Massage, serving as its president from 2010-2014. Cal has an active private practice in addition to their duties providing and supervising massage for medically complicated, oncology and end of life patients at Washington, DC area hospitals, including Children’s National Medical Center, George Washington University and Sibley Memorial Johns Hopkins with a nonprofit organization she co-founded in 2010, called Healwell.  They have participated in adult and pediatric oncology massage research, including writing practical protocols and are active in education and policy initiatives to improve access and quality of integrative healthcare options for all patients. Cal also writes a blog about their work, the importance of love and presence and about their adventures with their son.

Eileen S. Curry, MSN, RN, CCRN, Reiki Master, CH


Eileen S. Curry is a Registered Nurse who has earned a Master of Science Degree in Nursing from Villanova University. She is a Consulting Hypnotist and a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists. She has over 30 years’ of nursing experience working with adults in critical and acute care. She works as a clinical nurse educator in a community hospital in West Chester where she educates nurses regarding nursing and holistic health care practices. Eileen is a Reiki Master Practitioner and Teacher of Usui Reiki. She is a member of the Holistic Nurses Society and has over twenty years working with energy balancing modalities such as Reiki. Eileen combines her Reiki skills and her knowledge and experience with health issues to restore balance to the human energy field.

Tracy S. d’Entremont MD

Medical Advisor

Director of Oncology Services, Abramson Cancer Center at Valley Forge. Clinical Assistant Professor. Recognized by America’s Top Doctors 2015 – 2017, and recognized in Philadelphia magazine’s May 2018 Top Docs issue.

Sameer Gupta, MD, MPH

Hematologist & Oncologist

Sameer Gupta, MD is a clinical assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson Hospital and a practicing Hematologist & Oncologist at Bryn Mawr Medical Associates in Bryn Mawr, PA. Dr. Gupta came to Bryn Mawr Hospital as an Attending Medical Oncologist in 2011 after completing a Hematology-Medical Oncology Fellowship at Fox Chase Cancer Center.  He has a special interest in breast cancer and is part of a multidisciplinary team at the Barbara Brodsky Breast Cancer Center at Bryn Mawr hospital.  He is extensively involved in teaching and clinical rotations for Breast Surgical Oncology Fellows, and has authored several peer reviewed publications related to the management of breast cancer. He is highly regarded as a breast cancer expert amongst his peers, has been voted top hematologist/oncologist in “Main Line Today” and “Philadelphia Magazine Top Doctors” for several years.

Karin Risi

Corporate Management, Strategy and Leadership

As Managing Director of Vanguard’s Planning and Development Group, Karin Risi leads the organization responsible for Vanguard’s global investment product development and oversight, enterprise strategy, marketing, communications, and community efforts. Since joining Vanguard in 1997, Karin has held various leadership roles, including leading the design and launch of Personal Advisor Services® and serving as the Managing Director of Vanguard’s Retail Investor Group, where she oversaw the business strategy, client experience, operations, and advisory service for Vanguard’s U.S. individual investors.  Outside of Vanguard, Karin is an Investment Committee member at the Barnes Foundation and serves on the Dean’s Advisory council for Villanova University’s School of Business. Karin is also the former Board Chair and current business advisor to Unite for HER, a nonprofit supporting the needs of breast and ovarian cancer patients. Karin earned a B.S in finance and an M.B.A. from Villanova University.

Karin is a breast cancer survivor and an active advocate for compassionate care, treatment, and support of those affected by the disease.

Michelle Stortz, C-IAYT, RYT500, MFA


Michelle is a certified yoga therapist specializing in cancer and chronic illness. She works in numerous medical settings in the Philadelphia area and enjoys designing custom yoga programs that anyone can do regardless of ability. Michelle also teaches meditation, drawing on both the Buddhist tradition and the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction curriculum.

She conducts classes, retreats, and private sessions.. www.MichelleStortz.com.

Robert Fried, MD, FACS


Dr. Fried currently serves as the Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief of Surgery at Paoli Hospital. Dr. Fried is responsible for communication and collaboration on clinical and operational matters. A New Jersey native, Dr. Fried received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Washington University and completed his post-doctoral fellowship in surgical research at Harrison Department of Surgical Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Fried joined the staff of Paoli Hospital in 1987, is Board certified and maintains an active surgical practice along with his administrative roles. He is currently the Director of the hospital’s Breast Health Center. He has been named the recipient of many awards and honors including being named Best Doctor in both Philadelphia Magazine and the Main Line Times.

Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP

Beauty & Wellness

Jolene is a Beauty & Health Coach, certified by the world’s foremost school for holistic health, NYC’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She is also the co-founder and Director of Education of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, an educational organization formed to advance an integrative approach to healthy skin in the new field of Nutritional Aesthetics. Jolene teaches women to become their healthiest, most beautiful selves inside and outside by addressing beauty and health concerns ranging from acne to weight gain to low energy and nutrition for healthy aging. Through her company, Beauty Is Wellness, she educates women about the powerful connection between nutrition and beauty, and teaches them how to eat for beauty each and every day with beautifying recipes and cooking instruction.

Sommer Hammound, MD

Pink Invitational Medical Advisor

Dr. Sommer Hammoud is an ABOS Board Certified assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at Thomas Jefferson University and specializes in sports related injuries of the knee, shoulder and elbow. She completed her residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.  Dr. Hammoud’s fellowship in sports medicine was completed in the Harvard program at Massachusetts General Hospital.  During her fellowship, she served as an assistant team physician in the care of the Boston Red Sox, New England Revolution, and Boston Bruins and served as the head team physician for Curry College athletics.  Her clinical interests include anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions, multi-ligament knee injuries, knee meniscus tears, shoulder instability and labral tears, as well as rotator cuff repair.  Dr. Hammoud has a special interest in sports-related injuries of the female athlete.

Patricia Lachman, Reiki Master, CH


Patricia Lachman is a Vice President of Administration with a Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Company. She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania and is a member of the American Holistic Health Association. She teaches leadership within her corporate environment and facilitates professional growth by mentoring college students and novice business associates. Patricia is a Reiki Master, Teacher of Usui Reiki and a Consulting Hypnotist. Using her Reiki skills and over 20 years’ of experience, she is able to identify areas of imbalance and adjust and rebalance the human energy field. She is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists and a member of the National Association of Professional Women.

Julia Kennedy, DO

Medical Advisor

Julia M. Kennedy, D.O. received her medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Hematology. She completed her fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at Pennsylvania Hospital, and completed her internal medicine residency through a program at Delaware Valley Medical Center with rotations at Hahnemann University, Deborah Heart and Lung, and Medical College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kennedy was Magna Cum Laude graduate of Temple University where she also received academic distinction of the honoree Phi Beta Kappa.
She maintains a special focus in the care of women with breast cancer and is a member of the Breast Evaluation Center, a multidisciplinary team evaluating all new breast cancer patients at the Aria Health Cancer Center. She is on the medical advisory board of Gilda’s Club, a support group for cancer patients and their caretakers. Dr. Kennedy has lectured and has an interest in developing programs with health and wellness in recovery from cancer treatment and survivorship. She is a member of the adjunct faculty of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been an instructor for a number of years to third and fourth year medical students during their clinical rotations.

Louise Pancott

Gymnastics – Pink Invitational

Louise has been co-owner of AJS Pancott Gymnastics National Training Center with her husband Steve Pancott for 15 years. After attending Penn State University, she coached gymnastics for five years prior to raising their four children and running the business outside of the gym. Louise has been active in coordinating and working at the Pink Invitational gymnastics meets, serving as board member of Unite for HER, and assisting with the Unite for HER wellness days.

Steve Pancott

Gymnastics – Pink Invitational

Steve has been general manager and owner of AJS Pancott Gymnastics for 15 years.  He attended and was a member of the gymnastics team at West Chester University.  Steve brings 37 years of gymnastics industry knowledge to the Unite for HER organization, and is Meet Director for the Pink Invitational.  He teaches all levels of gymnastics at AJS Pancott Gymnastics National Training Center.  Steve and his wife Louise have four children and two grandchildren, and currently reside in Kimberton, Pennsylvania.

Sabitha Pillai-Friedman

Sexual Health

Dr. Sabitha Pillai-Friedman received her doctorate degree from the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College. She is an Associate Professor at the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University where she teaches courses on couple and sex therapy. She also teaches courses on sexuality – related topics for Drexel University Medical School and Penn School of Social Policy and Practice. She frequently conducts grand rounds for physicians on sexual health. She has published peer-viewed journal articles and book chapters and is a lead investigator on a research study on breast cancer and sexuality. Dr. Pillai-Friedman has devoted a significant part of her career to support cancer survivors in addressing body image, relationship and sexual difficulties and frequently speaks to health care professionals, cancer survivors and patients about cancer and sexuality. She has been a psychotherapist for nearly twenty five years and she has a wealth of experience working with individuals and couples in all stages of the life cycle. She continues to maintain a clinical practice in Philadelphia and practices individual, relational and sex therapy.