FOR MIND BODY MEDICINE AT MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL

For Mind Body Medicine
at Massachusetts General Hospital

Bringing the Best Self
Care Techniques to
Your Health Care Plan

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Bringing the Best Self
Care Techniques to
Your Health Care Plan

Join Our Network

About Us – Our Staff

  • Executive
  • Clinical and Wellness
  • Research Leadership
  • Administrative

Gregory L. Fricchione, MD

Director

Gregory L. Fricchione, MD is Director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also serves as Associate Chief of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Psychiatry and Medicine at MGH and is a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

He is a 1978 graduate of the New York University School of Medicine and did his postgraduate training in psychiatry at NYU-Bellevue and in psychosomatic medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. From 2000 to 2002, he served as Director of the Mental Health Task Force at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, while on leave of absence from HMS. While there he worked with Mrs. Rosalynn Carter and former President Jimmy Carter on public and international mental health issues and policy. Dr. Fricchione has published over 120 journal articles and has co-authored five books.

He has overall responsibility for the clinical, educational and research missions of BHI.

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Herbert Benson, MD

Director Emeritus

Herbert Benson, MD is the Director Emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine and Mind Body Medicine Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

A graduate of Wesleyan University and the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Benson is the author or co-author of more than 180 scientific publications and twelve books.

He assists in the direction of the clinical and research activities of the BHI.

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Joy B. Rosen

Vice President

Joy Rosen serves as the Vice President in the Department of Psychiatry and for Community Health Initiatives at MGH. In this capacity, she oversees program development, business planning, administrative and clinical operations, research management, and finance for four Departments/Institutes at MGH — the Department of Psychiatry, the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, the Home Base Program, and provides executive oversight for the Center for Community Health Improvement. She also serves as a liaison for the MGH and Partners HealthCare on determination of need-related matters.

Joy has overall responsibility for the administrative and business functions of BHI including strategic direction and new business development. She provides ongoing counsel to the Director and the leadership of the Institute on all aspects of program operations.

Joy has a BA from Trinity College and a MS from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

John Denninger, MD, PhD

Director of Research

John Denninger, MD, PhD, is Director of Research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also serves as Associate Director of the MGH-McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program and Instructor Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, Dr. Denninger completed his MD/PhD—with dissertation work on the biochemistry of the nitric oxide receptor—at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He completed his internship and residency in the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program and served as Chief Resident in Psychopharmacology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has received a Master of Medical Sciences from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology as part of the Clinical Investigator Training Program. Dr. Denninger has received many awards for his research and teaching, including the NCDEU New Investigators Award and the Harvard Medical School Students Award for Teaching. Dr. Denninger’s work overseeing the Benson-Henry Institute’s research program explores the relationship between stress reduction, resiliency enhancement and health in both clinical and basic domains. His research focuses on answering two questions about mind-body medicine interventions: (1) Assessing how well these interventions can help to promote wellness in a broad range of people and (2) determining how these interventions work, by exploring details of mechanism from genes, to biochemistry, to physiology, to brain activity.

Marilyn Wilcher

Senior Director

Marilyn Wilcher, senior director of the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI), has been associated with the Institute since its founding in 1988 as the Mind Body Medical Institute — first as a trustee and later as senior vice president. During these years, she was involved in many aspects of the Institute, including administrative oversight of clinical areas, finances, development and marketing.

At BHI, her primary responsibilities include marketing, clinical administration, and the Resilient Youth Program. Ms. Wilcher launched the program, which was formally known as The Education Initiative, in 1989 to offer a relaxation response-based curriculum to students and educators. She and her staff have successfully trained thousands of students and educators in independent, urban, suburban and special needs schools throughout the United States.

Ms. Wilcher is an honors graduate of Wellesley College and did post graduate work at the University of Washington.

Darshan Mehta, MD, MPH

Medical Director
Director of Medical Education
Staff Physician

Dr. Mehta received his BA in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MD from University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School. He completed his residency in internal medicine at University of Illinois-Chicago Hospital. He recently completed a clinical research fellowship in complementary and integrative medicine at the Harvard Medical School Osher Research Center, during which he received a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.

His educational and research interests include curricular development in complementary and integrative medical therapies, mind/body educational interventions in health professions training, and promotion of professionalism in medical trainees. He directs medical student and resident rotational electives at BHI-MGH. Dr. Mehta sees patients in a consultative role for use of complementary and integrative medical therapies, as well as mind/body interventions for stress management and stress reduction.

He is also Associate Director for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and serves as a consulting physician to the Home Base Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Mehta in an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also active in the Massachusetts Medical Society, and is a member of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Mehta is a diplomate of the American Board of Holistic Medicine, and has completed professional training in mindfulness-based stress reduction at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Peg Baim, MS, NP

Clinical Director
Center for Training Director
Stress Management and Resiliency Training Program

Ms. Baim is Clinical Director of the Center for Training at the Benson-Henry Institute, where she has earned international recognition as a leading educator and lecturer in the field of mind body medicine. She is also the Director of the Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) Program, which serves patients coping with a variety of illnesses and stress-exacerbating symptoms. Ms. Baim is also an Adjunct Professor at the MGH Institute for Health Professions. Ms. Baim began her nursing career upon graduation from the Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing. She is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Boston College, where she earned her graduate and post-graduate degrees. Prior to joining the Institute in 1990, Ms. Baim’s professional background included work in the following medical specialties; cardiac, respiratory, critical care, and also oncology nursing (at Stanford Medical Center). Much of Ms. Baim’s work focuses on the relationship between stress and health conditions, creating innovative programs to help patients decrease physical and psychological symptoms. As a researcher and clinician, Ms. Baim’s principle areas of interest include mind/body applications of meditation practices, empathy, humor, and the cultivation of beliefs and behaviors that enhance resilience.

Annie Brewster, MD

Staff Physician

Annie Brewster is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and a practicing Internist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. She is also a patient, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2001. She has been collecting patient stories since 2010 and is a frequent contributor to her local NPR station, WBUR. In 2013, she founded Health Story Collaborative, a nonprofit organization committed to empowering patients and their loved ones to find meaning, through storytelling, when confronted with illness. She joined the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine in the spring of 2016.

Leslee Kagan, MS, FNP-BC

Director of Women’s Health
Co-Director
Stress Management and Resiliency Training Program

Ms. Kagan is the director of Women’s Health at BHI. She is a board-certified family nurse practitioner who co-directs the Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) program and leads the Mind Body Program for Women and Mind Body Program for Health and Fertility. In addition, Ms. Kagan is a member of the BHI Research Team, which is dedicated to furthering our understanding of the science of mind body medicine.

Her work in menopause has been recognized by the North American Menopause Society and she is the lead author of Mind Over Menopause, The Complete Mind-Body Approach to Coping with Menopause, (Harvard Health Publications; Simon and Schuster) and a contributing author to Our Bodies Ourselves: Menopause (The Boston Women’s Health Collective; Simon and Schuster 2006).

She earned her BS degree in French and Spanish from the State University of New York at StonyBrook and then transitioned to a career in health care, completing her MS/RN degree and postgraduate nurse practitioner training in New York and Boston. She was in clinical practice at several institutions in the Boston area before joining Dr. Benson in 1999.

Ms. Kagan has trained numerous health care professionals around the country in mind body medicine and women’s health, and is a celebrated speaker at conferences around the country.

Michelle Dossett, MD, PhD, MPH

Staff physician
Researcher

Dr. Dossett is board-certified in both internal medicine and integrative medicine. She received her BS in cell and molecular biology as well as her MD and PhD in immunology from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine and research fellowship in complementary and integrative medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Harvard Medical School. During fellowship she received a MPH degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Dossett is also a certified Ananda Yoga (RYT 200), restorative yoga, and meditation teacher. Dr. Dossett’s research interests include mind body medicine, the patient-clinician relationship, provider well-being, and homeopathy. She is the lead investigator on the HEART Alumni Study, a study of physicians who participated in an integrative medicine elective as medical students, and has lectured widely on the science of mind body medicine and the utility of these skills for clinicians.

Laura Malloy, LICSW

Director of Yoga Programs
Co-Director Resilient Youth Program
Program Leader Mind Body Program for Successful Aging

Ms. Malloy is Director of Yoga Programs and a Co-Director for the Institute’s Resilient Youth program (formerly the Education Initiative). She is also a program leader for the Mind Body Program for Successful Aging.

Laura is a licensed independent clinical social worker, specializing in working with children and their families.

She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and her MSW from Salem State College. Ms. Malloy is also a Kripalu yoga teacher, certified at the 500 hour level, with additional certifications in Yoga of the Heart, for individuals with cancer and cardiac disease, Laughter Yoga and Yoga Ed for children. She has a certification in yoga therapy from the Rocky Mountain Institute for Yoga and Ayurveda. Ms. Malloy has been practicing yoga since 1994 and teaching since 2001.

Her specialty areas include yoga for stress reduction and health promotion, and bringing mind/body stress reduction strategies into school settings.

Ellen A. Slawsby, PhD

Director Mind/Body Chronic Pain Service
Staff Psychologist

Dr. Slawsby is director of the Mind/Body Chronic Pain Service and provides individual therapy, specializing in individuals with chronic illness, IBS/IBD, GERD, chronic fatigue, and pain. She received her MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.With the BHI since 1996, she is also a researcher and clinical trainer at the Institute and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Slawsby has published and presented research on chronic medical illness and infertility.

Rana Chudnofsky, MEd

Director, Resilient Youth

Ms. Chudnofsky has served as the Director of the Resilient Youth Program (formerly the Education Initiative) at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) since 2006. Ms. Chudnofsky is a frequent public speaker and also lectures at the Benson-Henry Institute’s Clinical Training in Mind Body Medicine program (offered through Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education) as well as other continuing education seminars.

Rana specializes in relaxation techniques and cognitive strategies for clinical treatment centers, schools and universities. She received her training in Biofeedback from Boston Behavioral Medicine, trained in Vipassana Meditation at Vipassana Meditation Center, and is certified in Medical Qigong. She also completed a fellowship in Clinical Pastoral Education at Mass General, through the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care.

Ms. Chudnofsky graduated from Harvard University where she earned her MEd in Technology in Education. She earned her BA from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a dual undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Education. In addition, Ms. Chudnofsky is a long-term accomplished entrepreneur, trainer and lecturer. She is the founder NextStep Training Inc., a software training firm which specializes in technical and Java training.

John Denninger, MD, PhD

Director of Research

John Denninger, MD, PhD, is Director of Research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also serves as Associate Director of the MGH-McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program and Instructor Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, Dr. Denninger completed his MD/PhD—with dissertation work on the biochemistry of the nitric oxide receptor—at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He completed his internship and residency in the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program and served as Chief Resident in Psychopharmacology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has received a Master of Medical Sciences from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology as part of the Clinical Investigator Training Program. Dr. Denninger has received many awards for his research and teaching, including the NCDEU New Investigators Award and the Harvard Medical School Students Award for Teaching. Dr. Denninger’s work overseeing the Benson-Henry Institute’s research program explores the relationship between stress reduction, resiliency enhancement and health in both clinical and basic domains. His research focuses on answering two questions about mind-body medicine interventions: (1) Assessing how well these interventions can help to promote wellness in a broad range of people and (2) determining how these interventions work, by exploring details of mechanism from genes, to biochemistry, to physiology, to brain activity.

Elyse R. Park, PhD, MPH

Director of Behavioral Health Research

Dr. Park has extensive experience designating and evaluating behavioral intervention trials. Her clinical research focuses on tobacco treatment for cancer patients, cancer risk perceptions, cancer survivor quality of life, and resiliency. She is an expert in mixed methods research development and uses qualitative research to inform interventions and measurement design. Her research has been supported by funding from the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Livestrong Foundation. She has published over 120 peer reviewed original articles.

At the Benson-Henry Institute, Dr. Park has created a manualized version of the Relaxation Response Resiliency program (3RP) which is currently being tested with a variety of medical populations (women undergoing breast biopsy, women with infertility, patients with Multiple Myeloma) and providers (palliative care clinicians, cancer care interpreters). She is also the lead investigator for several mind-body behavioral trials, assessing the feasibility and potential efficacy of integrating the relaxation response into hospital based group and individual treatments. She is currently testing the validity and reliability of a postpartum stressors scale. To see Dr. Park’s BHI-related research, here.

Judy Phalen, MPH

Director of Administration

Judy Phalen is responsible for the overall administrative and financial management of the Benson-Henry Institute. She has over 25 years of experience in program planning, administration, and research in non-profit, healthcare, and higher education settings. Prior roles included serving as a Deputy Director of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national program office, leading college health and wellness efforts, and managing a collaboration between Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA. Judy has previously participated in research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the US Department of Education, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Mental Health. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education.

Jocelyn Meek

Director of Communications, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships

Jocelyn oversees the Benson-Henry Institute’s communications and marketing outreach efforts and manages the institute’s website and social media outlets. She works with the Massachusetts General Hospital Public Affairs Office to promote BHI’s work and coordinates the institute’s annual Continuing Medical Education conference at Harvard Medical School. A former journalist, she has worked as a public relations and marketing professional for more than a decade.

Sue Clough

Training & Events Coordinator

Sue oversees coordination of the Benson-Henry Institute’s clinician training programs, assists in the organization of the institute’s annual Continuing Medical Education conference (CME), and coordinates speaking engagements for BHI staff. She has been a key player at BHI for eight years, and has been part of Massachusetts General Hospital since 1991. Sue enjoys working with patients and staff and is always available to answer questions and help out. A long-distance runner, she is committed to mind body practices.

Richard Jennette

Patient Services Coordinator

Richard assists patients access care and programmatic offerings both in person and on the telephone. He also co-manages clinical scheduling, organizes SMART and Specialty programs, and supports the clinical staff in daily operations. Richard recently joined the Massachusetts General Hospital staff, having worked previously as a training program coordinator in the Radiology Department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Richard has an extensive background and training in multiple holistic healing related modalities including therapeutic massage, energy healing and guided journeying/hypnosis, as well as hospice work.

Jeff Sniffin

Patient Services Coordinator

Jeff manages the front desk, assisting patients in person and on the telephone. In addition, he co-manages clinical scheduling, organizes SMART and Specialty programs, and assists the clinical staff in daily operations. He has been a member of the Massachusetts General Hospital staff for five years, having worked as a temp for the HomeBase Program and Child Psychiatry Department before coming to BHI in 2012. Prior to joining MGH, Jeff worked as a customer service representative at The Massachusetts Medical Society.

Lisa Teague

Operations Manager

Lisa has been with the Institute for more than 18 years, serving in supervisory and managerial roles. As Operations Manager, she is responsible for overseeing the daily administrative operations for the clinical practice, including managing support staff, maintaining schedules for providers and programs, and assisting patients with resolving insurance and claims issues.

Katherine Benedict Liscomb

Development Director

Kay Liscomb has served as the Benson-Henry Institute’s development officer since January 2015, helping to enlist supporters and ambassadors for the Institute. Having participated in the SMART program, Kay is an avid proponent of mind body medicine. Prior to working with BHI, Kay worked with Mass General’s Cancer Center, with Partners In Health and with The Humane Society of the United States.