Board of Directors

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KILEY KREKORIAN HANISH, OTD, OTR/L - Founder and President

Kiley is a bereaved mother and founder of Return to Zero: H.O.P.E. (formerly Return to Zero Center for Healing). She received her BA from Loyola Marymount University, and masters and doctoral degrees in occupational therapy from the University of Southern California. Kiley and her husband Sean are creators of the Emmy-nominated film Return to Zero, which is based on their personal experience of their son Norbert, who was stillborn. Her work with bereaved families helps them to find purpose, meaning, and healing after the tragic death of their baby. Kiley and Sean live in Los Angeles with their two children, Roxie and Cannon. Kiley is available for speaking engagements as well as care provider trainings. Contact: kiley@rtzhope.org

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DEBORAH CLARKE, EdD - Chair

Debbi first become involved with RTZ HOPE when she attended a Return to Zero healing retreat for bereaved mothers in Australia in 2015. She is deeply committed to changing the culture of silence around pregnancy and infant loss, and she’s grateful to work with such a talented board who share this passion. Debbi works at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Office of the Provost where she’s engaged in strategic planning and special projects related to student success and inclusion. She and her husband, Walt, live in North Carolina and have three children, Emma Kate, Redding, and Eason, who was born still in 2013. In addition to her work at the university, she enjoys volunteering with several non-profit organizations, reading, writing, hiking, yoga, and spending time with family and friends.

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MELINDA KOSLOW PETERSON, RN, MS - Secretary

Melinda is a bereaved mother, maternal death survivor, registered nurse, and environmental scientist. She is active in healing work, speaking, and volunteering. After losing her son Oak during pregnancy and almost losing her life, everything changed. While nurses empowered her journey, she too felt a call toward nursing. Her passion is integrative medicine, prevention of maternal death, and healing perinatal loss. Prior to becoming a nurse, Melinda worked as an environmental scientist for over a decade in both non-profit and government agencies, creating programs that advanced science through research and public engagement. 

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STEFAN LENDI - Treasurer

Stefan is the Executive Director at UBS. He has served as a Relationship Manager, Managing Director, and Executive Director at other Wealth Management banking institutions, both in the United States and internationally. Stefan speaks four languages and has lived in Zurich, Geneva, Buenos Aires, New York, and Los Angeles. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, soccer, traveling, and is a LA Kings fan. Originally born in Zurich, Stefan now lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 22 years and two teenage children.

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KARA SIMMONS, JD - Member at Large

Kara's desire to serve on the RTZ Board stems from her personal experience with her daughter, Madeleine Ava, who was born still in 2015. Since that time, she has tried to honor Madeleine’s memory by seeking opportunities to help other families who have been affected by similar tragedy. Kara received her BA from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and masters and doctoral degrees from the George Washington University. She is an attorney and looks forward to contributing her skills and knowledge.

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BETSY WINTER, BA - Member at Large

Through the journey of losing her daughter, Eliza, Betsy began the quest to embody the concept of the both and and-how during our darkest moments, we can simultaneously walk in the light and find moments of joy and gratitude. Betsy is a licensed Nia and Moving To Heal instructor and a perinatal death and bereavement advocate, offering movement-centered healing, ritual, and community support to those impacted by loss. She comes to the RTZ: HOPE board with over a decade of experience in non-profit management, board cultivation, brand development, and fundraising. Betsy provides consulting services to advance the goals of mission-driven organizations. She lives in Olympia, Washington, with her husband and two living children, Bennett and Wren.

 

Clinical Advisory Board

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SHARON COX

Sharon works as an infant loss specialist at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. After the loss of her son to stillbirth, Sharon has dedicated her time working as a chaplain and volunteering as a grief facilitator for Sharing Parents of Sacramento. She finds it a sacred honor to hold space for grieving families and to hear their stories. Sharon lives in Northern California with her husband and daughters.

Holly Currin Return to Zero Advisory Board

HOLLY CURRIN, BSN, RNC-OB

Holly is a labor and delivery nurse and Coordinator of Perinatal Loss in Nursing at the University of North Carolina. After two close friends experienced stillbirths, Holly looked closely at how she was caring for patients who experience pregnancy loss. With a newfound drive, she set out to develop a standardized plan of care for these patients. She grew up in the Charlotte, NC area and currently resides with her husband, Patrick, and three children, Parker, Reed, and Elsie Kate in Chapel Hill, NC.

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TERRI L. MAJOR-KINCADE, MD, MPH

Dr. Major-Kincade is a board-certified pediatrician and neonatologist. Her passion for premature infants and their families was inspired by the birth of her own younger sister who was born 3 months early, weighing only 1 pound. She is active in many national and local organizations including March of Dimes where she serves as Chair for the Steering Committee for African American Outreach (Texas), The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign Collaborative, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated a Public Service Sorority, a board member of PLIDA (Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance), and Angel Unaware a Neonatal and Pediatric Hospice in Fort Worth.  She is a nationally and internationally prominent and highly desired speaker for her expertise in the field of neonatal palliative care, perinatal hospice, and health disparities as they relate to poor birth outcomes.

Chris Raines Return to Zero Clinical Advisory Board

CHRISTENA RAINES, RN, MSN, APRN-BC

Christena is Associate Director of Obstetrical Liaison and Community Outreach at the University of North Carolina Perinatal Psychiatry. Chris is a dual trained, board certified nurse practitioner in both Women’s’ Health and Psychiatric-Mental Health and has practiced as a Perinatal Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at the UNC center for Women’s Mood Disorders for over a decade. She was a member of the planning team instrumental in opening the 1st in-patient Perinatal Mental Health unit in the country and continues to be an integral part of training this specialized nursing staff. Chris serves on the Board of Directors of Postpartum Support International and is currently the committee chair for forming state PSI Chapters.

Elyse Springer RTZ clinical advisory board

ELYSE SPRINGER, MA, MFT

Elyse is a Los Angeles based licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice with focus on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety disorders, LGBTQIA+, trauma, anxiety, OCD, and HIV/AIDS. Prior to private practice, Elyse worked at a cross-section of community mental health organizations, including APLA Health, where she successfully piloted one of the very first programs embedding mental health in housing services in LA County. Elyse served as co-chair of LA County's HIV Mental Health Task Force for several years.  For the last seven-plus years, Elyse has been teaching faculty at LA-based Maternal Mental NOW as well as Governing Council member and Governance Sub-Committee chair.  She has served as a board member at large for 2020 Mom for the past nearly five years and is among the first clinicians with the national PMH-C (Perinatal Mental Health Certification) designation.

Robert Strauss Return to Zero Clinical Advisory Board

ROBERT STRAUSS, MD

Bob is a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of North Carolina. He moved to Chapel Hill in 1996 to complete his training in Maternal-Fetal Medicine. As a specialist in high-risk obstetrics for over 20 years, he has cared for many women who have experienced loss. In addition, through the UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health, he helps support families with perinatal palliative care needs and their unique journey towards healing. Bob and his wife Mary have two children, Ryan and Isabella. They lost their 2-month-old daughter, Gabriella, during his medical training in 1998.

Bob Wellstein Return to Zero Clinical Advisory Board

BOB WELLSTEIN

Bob is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Jane’s Room. Jane’s Room is a Non-Profit Organization that supports the design and development of private spaces within the labor and delivery unit of hospitals to support parents and families experiencing pregnancy loss and hardship. Bob has been instrumental in creating partnerships with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, Advocate Christ Medical Center, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, Northwest Community Hospital, University of North Carolina Medical Center, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Prior to Jane’s Room, Bob was Co-Founder and Managing Partner of an executive recruiting firm based in Chicago, IL.