Healing Opportunities, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote integrative medicine by providing treatment, educational, and research opportunities for healthcare providers and healing arts practitioners within the Santa Barbara community.
We partner with local organizations such as Medical Reserve Corps and Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine to provide much needed care for disaster relief first responders and community members. Visit our Get Involved page to sign up and join the Healing Opportunities team in volunteering with Medical Reserve Corps and Doctors Without Walls.
Our research proposal for Cottage Hospital will provide acupuncture care to nursing staff to measure the effects of integrative medicine on stress management. See Our Impact page for more information about the Cottage Hospital pilot research program.
Founded in 2001 in Santa Barbara, California
Healing Opportunities was first created in January 2001 by Joann Tall and Scott Blossom in order to serve the dire needs of caregivers in our community. Our program, which was funded entirely by donations, was called Compassionate Care for Caregivers and provided a multi-disciplinary program of integrative medical modalities offered in a variety of settings to help alleviate the stress and varied medical difficulties caregivers experienced. Settings included patients’ homes, clinics, and anywhere that suited our clients. These services were all free of charge and directly dealt with caregivers, patients’ staff, family or friends. Hospice, Visiting Nurses, Cottage Hospital, and the Santa Barbara Cancer Center are just a few places that received our services. In addition, we also offered our services as a bereavement program as well. Some of the modalities offered were: Acupuncture, Acupressure, Yoga, Qi Gong, Reiki, Massage, Tuina, etc.
The underlying concept was to provide loving medical care for the caregivers in our community; a group of professionals who are overworked, under cared for and in desperate need of care themselves. Our feedback was immediately and overwhelmingly positive. We couldn’t keep up with the demand; laughing and crying with joy became the norm of our days input for our daily log. This program ran for four years. The impact of caring for caregivers is immeasurable and the need is greater today than ever.
To further our mission, we have spearheaded and promoted a variety of programs since our founding in 2001. See our Events page to learn more.
Our continued efforts as a non profit will build upon our history, strengthening the Santa Barbara community through holistic healing and collaboration with other organizations.
Board of Directors
Rachil B. Vincent, L.Ac., C.N., President
Rachil has an eclectic approach to healing. She is trained in clinical nutrition, and has a master’s degree in Oriental medicine, which includes: acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Constitutional Dietary Training, Shiatsu, Cupping Tai Qi and Qi Gong (energetic healing.) Rachil enjoys helping people heal themselves naturally. By educating her patients she empowers them to access their bodies’ own healing powers: creating health and preventing disease. She is the founder of The Sage Center for Health: Consisting of a private a practice as well as a corporate wellness venture. Ms. Vincent has lived in Santa Barbara for over 20 years and is dedicated to creating awareness and access to integrative medicine in our community. She has been working with Healing Opportunities since its inception in 2001 and is proud to now be the Chief Executive Officer.
Kathleen Zisser, MD, Vice President
Kathleen is a UCLA trained physician specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She has done additional training in Medical Acupuncture, Yoga therapy, Mindfulness, Guided Imagery and Reiki. She combines these areas of interest in her private practice East West Medicine of Santa Barbara where she uses medical acupuncture for pain management, orthopedic and neurological issues, stress reduction and wellness. A larger passion of Dr. Zisser is to bring many of these healing modalities into the hospital setting to provide truly integrated medical care that can address all of the complex needs of the hospitalized patient. She joined the board of Healing Opportunities in November 2013.
LeAnne Thomason, L.Ac., C.N., Secretary
LeAnne is a licensed acupuncturist with a private practice in Santa Barbara, CA. She holds a Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine and has been working in the healthcare field since 2006, and has been on the Healing Opportunities Board of Director’s since 2007. Blending the healing tools of acupuncture, medical massage, herbology, Qi Gong/yoga and dietary therapy, LeAnne brings all five branches of Chinese Medicine together to help each patient achieve balance. With a bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Religious Studies, she brings her passion for creating a cultural understanding of health and spiritual development.
Timothy brings over 20 years of experience working in the investment industry to Healing Opportunities. He is now the Development Director of CASA of Santa Barbara County. Timothy has experience in business development as well as relationship management, portfolio management and investment banking. Timothy has also been on a spiritual path. He is a student of the Ageless Wisdom and has held leadership positions with a Western Mystery School from 2009 through 2013. He completed the Hoffman Institute Program in 2004 and has been studying Reiki Jin Kei Do since 2011, and has recently been initiated into Kriya Yoga. Timothy believes that we are all One and healing starts with ourselves. We can make a difference and heal the planet and humanity. Timothy has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Rhode Island and he completed the Executive Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Behavioral Finance and Investment Decisions. He was Chairman of the Mentoring Committee at the CFA Society of Orange County for 2013, he is the President Elect of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara North and an Ambassador for the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce. Timothy serves with honor as the CFO of Healing Opportunities.
Rachel Cansler, INHC., Development Director
Rachel is the Director of Development and an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach at Healing Opportunities. Born and raised in Southern California, she graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with Bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Psychology, as well as a minor in Education & Applied Psychology. She completed her INHC in the years following. With over seven years of experience in education and behavioral and integrative health, Rachel is passionate about helping others, spreading ideas and inspiring action regarding functional, holistic health.
INTERNS AND VOLUNTEERS
Riley Lindheimer, Communications and Public Relations Intern
Riley is the Communications and Public Relations intern at Healing Opportunities. Originally from Orange County, California, Riley is a recent graduate from University of California, Santa Barbara with Bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Global Studies. Her experiences interning for the Jane Goodall Institute and completing a social marketing project for Just Communities in Santa Barbara have fueled her passion for helping people and the environment, particularly in the nonprofit sector. Volunteering for organizations such as Worldhealer’s UCSB Global Awareness Club in Santa Barbara and One Voice in Los Angeles have also allowed her to give back to the communities she loves.
Emely Mancia, Administrative and Events Intern
Emely is the Administrative and Events Intern for Healing Opportunities. She is a Salvadoran American who enjoys reading and drawing in her free time. She is a fourth-year transfer student at UC Santa Barbara, who is majoring in Communication. In the near future, she hopes to publish her own children’s book and start a nonprofit that provides more art programs in schools for children living in low income communities.
Danelly Teutle, Marketing and Research Intern
Danelly is the Marketing and Research intern for Healing Opportunities from Indio, California. She is a third-year communication major at UC Santa Barbara. With her experience in social media and photography, she hopes to further her career in marketing after graduation. Danelly has also previously assisted in research dedicated to analyzing support that young language brokers receive and looks forward to applying those skills at Healing Opportunities. She looks forward to learning more about the aspects of nonprofits.
Rozi Yesayan, Social Media and Fundraising Intern
Rozi is the Social Media and Fundraising Intern for Healing Opportunities. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she is a junior transfer at University of California, Santa Barbara majoring in Communication. She hopes to pursue her ultimate educational goal of earning a PHD and becoming a Communication professor or working as a social media coordinator for Disney.