Our Valued Staff
Donald R. Yance ~ Founder, President, Chairman, Lead Clinician, Mederi Center
Donald “Donnie” R. Yance is a Clinical Master Herbalist and Certified Nutritionist renowned for his extraordinary knowledge and deep understanding of the healing properties of plants and nutrition, as well as epigenetics, laboratory medicine, oncologic pathology, and molecular oncology. He is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. He is also professed as a Secular Franciscan, which equips him with the breadth and wisdom to touch on the spiritual aspects of healing. Donnie conducts his clinical practice at the Mederi Center in Ashland, Oregon utilizing his unique integrative model known as the Eclectic Triphasic Medical System (ETMS) or “Mederi Medicine”, which he evolved over more than twenty years of successful patient care. The ETMS model elegantly combines his passion for the latest scientific research with the wisdom of ancient healing traditions, resulting in a compassionate, creative, intelligent, and effective approach to healing. As a visionary leader, mentor, teacher, author, and healer, Donnie’s methodology has transformed thousands of lives and is carried out through the mission and programs of the Mederi Foundation.
Jennifer Yance, Co-Founder ~ Executive Director
Jennifer Yance's work at the threshold of the organization has been a key element to its growth and accomplishments. With her impassioned determination and an aura of inspiration, she oversees and directs the fundraising, clinical, research, and education programs and gracefully guides the organization in serving its mission.
Jennifer’s business acumen, effective leadership, and deep commitment to healthy living contribute to her ability to help the organization reach its highest potential for serving humanity.
Susan Abookire ~ Director of Education
Susan Abookire, BSEE MD MPH FACP is an award-winning senior physician executive with over 20 years’ experience leading organizations in quality, patient safety, medical staff affairs, credentialing, and clinical excellence. She served as Interim Chief Medical Officer at University Hospital in New Jersey. She was Senior Vice President and System Chief Quality Officer of Houston Methodist. She was the first Chair of Quality and Patient Safety at Mount Auburn Hospital, a Harvard Teaching Hospital in Cambridge Massachusetts, where she founded and led the award-winning program in Quality and Patient Safety.
A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr Abookire completed residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and practiced Internal Medicine full time before devoting herself to leading patient safety and quality. Dr Abookire earned a Master’s in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, focusing on Clinical Effectiveness. Dr Abookire teaches nationally and internationally on topics including health care technology, human factors, high reliability, systems analysis, effective learning systems, disclosure and apology, and applying lessons from aviation safety to healthcare. She completed a Harvard Fellowship in Medical Education and led as Curriculum Director for the Harvard Medical School Fellowship in Quality and Patient Safety.
Dr. Susan Saccomanno, ND ~ Practitioner
Dr. Susan Saccomanno, ND, LAc holds a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Master of Oriental Medicine both from the National College of Natural Medicine and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Syracuse University and Appalachian State University. Dr. Saccomanno has a decade of experience as a primary care physician in family practice and specializes in holistic cancer care and chronic illness.
Dr. Saccomanno’s approach combines cutting edge research and Naturopathic and Chinese traditions along with the ETMS (Eclectic Triphasic Medical System). She has deep faith in the healing and regenerative powers of natural therapeutics, which plays a central role in her treatment. Susan enhances mainstream therapies to minimize side effects and to prevent future occurrences.
Pauleen Miller ~ Chief Financial Officer
Pauleen iserves as a key member of the Executive Leadership Team. As a true business partner to the Executive Director, Pauleen plays a critical role in developing strategic initiatives and overseeing the operational and financial aspects of the organization.
Andrea Luchese ~ Marketing Manager
In her role as Mederi’s Marketing Manager, Andrea is responsible for advancing the business development objectives of the Clinic and Foundation by overseeing and implementing marketing strategy, branding, communications, creative direction and design, social media, public relations, and event publicity. She brings a passion for supporting the Mederi mission of helping people live healthier, longer lives through sharing our story of inspiration and hope with patients, practitioners, and donors.
Andrea joined our team in 2019 from her prior fourteen-year tenure as senior member of the marketing team at our affiliate company, Natura Health Products. Andrea has a Master of Arts degree in Integral Dance with a focus on Dance & Spirituality and is the founder and president of an Ashland-based 501c3 Hawaiian cultural arts and preservation organization.
Sascha Meier ~ Executive Program Assistant
Sascha Meier assists Jennifer Yance, Mederi’s Executive Director in the areas of program development, organizational and strategic planning, communications, research, project management, and event planning. She also serves as a staff liaison to Mederi’s Board of Directors.
Over the past 20 years she has served as a business affairs executive for a leading motion picture industry studio, as an organizational change consultant, and as a business strategist showing entrepreneurs how to achieve long term sustainable growth.
Sascha also is a meditation guide and life coach. She is a graduate of Smith College in liberal arts where she studied economics and politics plus international relations at the University of Geneva in Switzerland’s Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. She loves the outdoors and health and wellness.
Gretchen Roberts ~ Customer Service / Order Fulfillment Coordinator
Gretchen has been with Mederi Center since 2004 and is intimately aware of the need for timely, accurate, rapid, actionable, and documented communication between practitioners and their clients/patients. This is especially so when it comes to knowledgeably answering order fulfillment questions about products, following Apothecary Policies & Procedures, overseeing quality assurance checks on all product orders, and archiving and maintaining accurate and up-to-date practitioner/client account information.
Melissa Pedersen ~ Executive Assistant to Donnie and Jennifer Yance, Education Program Administrator
With a Masters in Educational Technology, Melissa is ideally suited for handling both of these tasks – especially with her background in business development, project management, project progress documentation and reporting, systems analysis, and the creation and development of classroom and computer-based training/support programs as well as the requisite foundational curriculum to implement them.
Melissa is passionate about supporting the training programs that educate practitioners about all facets of the ETMS so that they can create personalized patient protocols, and increase their expertise in diagnostics and therapeutics.
Amey Broeker ~ Practice Manager
As our Practice Manager, Amey approaches her work with the belief that a healing clinical environment requires sensitivity, gracious service, clear communication, confidentiality, collaboration, and flawless functionality at all times. Amey's diverse and impressive 25-plus years of management experience in manufacturing, retail, and distribution more than qualifies her to carry out that vision.
With experience in developing policies, hiring, inventory management, merchandising, procurement, compliance and more, we've come to count on Amey as an observer, listener, communicator, and natural "problem-solver" to ensure the smooth running of the clinic for clients, patients, and staff alike.
Molly Bolin ~ Client Liaison
Molly joined the Mederi Center team in 2015 and is the Client liaison for Susan Saccomanno, ND, Lac. Molly brings over a decade of healthcare experience, providing direct patient care, as well as administrative support. She thoroughly enjoys her role at Mederi Center, as she values the Mederi model of empowering mind, body, and spirit. Providing exceptional client care is what motivates her each day.
As Dr Susan's Client liaison, Molly is the liaison between the client/patient and practitioner and it is her job to tend to all the details of this continually evolving and complex relationship (including maintaining comprehensive documentation and filing as well as scheduling) in order to provide the continuity-of-care necessary for executing long-term treatment plans and associated lifestyle changes for optimal and successful outcomes.
Erin McKinsey ~ Client Liaison
Erin is the Client Liaison for Donnie Yance as well as one of our Herbalists. She is admirably suited for both roles with post-graduate degrees in Environmental Education and Biomedical Sciences. She also has a background as a scientist, laboratory supervisor, and instructor for herbalism and medicinal plant classes for a variety of organizations.
It is her profound understanding of herbalism and medicinal plants that makes her so perfect for both jobs. She has conducted biological & chemical research of botanicals and natural products utilizing microscopy, HPLC, LC-MS GC-MS, and HPTLC techniques. She has also performed both quantitative analyses of botanical compounds and qualitative analyses for botanical identity confirmation.
It's easy to see how Erin is the ideal person to also focus on the complex, ever-changing details of accurate documentation, scheduling, and interacting with clients, all prerequisites for successful client relationships and outcomes.
Braeden Nicholson ~ Administrative Assistant
Braeden wears dozens of different hats to help with the daily organization and operation of the Mederi Center. Luckily for us, she can draw on her 20+ years of customer service, account management, and project management experience. In addition, she also has extensive experience in product info/costs and budgetary analysis, maintaining client and practitioner information, bookkeeping, marketing, and customer service. And in her copious free time, she also managed to acquire skills in corporate communications, copy editing, and international research, writing, and proofreading.
Jennifer Bartush ~ Clinic Receptionist
Jennifer is the first point of contact and “go-to resource” for both established and prospective clients of the Mederi Center. With her friendly disposition, she enjoys engaging people about our services and assisting them with scheduling appointments, as well as supporting our practitioners and staff by directing phone calls and organizing and maintaining medical records. As a seasoned administrative professional who is passionate about natural medicine, Jennifer brings experience in healthcare clinics complemented by education in holistic integrative nutrition. Her skills include superior customer service and attention to detail, consumer advocacy, grant writing, and medical credentialing.
Beverly Foster ~ Apothecary Herbalist Supervisor
Beverly iis eminently qualified for her position given her background as a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner with clinical experience advising on Ayurvedic and Western herbal/botanical remedies, diet, nutrition, and more. As supervisor for a compounding apothecary, she is responsible for all aspects of Mederi’s apothecary operations such as: training and directing our apothecary staff, having knowledge of all apothecary products and procedures, custom mixing/labeling for individual clients and practitioners, ordering/receiving inventory, quality control and procurement, accurate record keeping, ensuring AHPA Good Compounding practices are followed, and fielding non-specific questions for walk-in clients and outside practitioners.
Gayle Vezie ~ Bookkeeper
Gayle Vezie has been working as the bookkeeper for Mederi since 2003. She takes pride in and truly enjoys the challenges of her day-to-day tasks including all aspects of accounts receivable and accounts payable for the Mederi Foundation and Mederi Center.
Daniela Renn ~ Shipping Coordinator
Daniela joined the Mederi Center team in 2018 and is our go-to for handling all things shipping, including receiving and stocking inventory, packaging orders, and ordering supplies to create a streamlined customer service experience. Daniela has a background in business administration, sales, and marketing and brings a cheerful, positive demeanor to our work environment with her passion for being an uplifting influence in people’s lives. Daniela also keeps us environmentally responsible by overseeing our office recycling program.
In Loving Memory of Zeny Yance
Zeny Yance passed away January 26, 2016 at Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, OR at the age of 60. Zeny worked at the Mederi Centre for Natural Healing for more than 20 years, and was devoted to a life of service helping others. She was a great friend to many and always worked with a sense of pride and purpose. Zeny embodies the spirit that the Centre was founded on and her memory will live on with us forever.