From 2002 to 2011, Meals to Heal’s founder and CEO, Susan Bratton, was touched by the impact that cancer had on her friends and family who suffered from the disease. She noticed that they all suffered from some sort of nutritional issue including lack of appetite, nausea, changes in taste and difficulty swallowing, which impacted their ability to eat and consistently receive a healthy, well-balanced diet. And they struggled with treatment related fatigue and lack of energy. As a result, many experienced significant weight loss, weakened immune systems and depression.
Susan spent over one year conducting research and interviewing oncologists, nurses, registered dietitians, cancer patients and cancer caregivers and found that what her friends and family were struggling with was not uncommon in cancer patients and that 50% to 80% of all cancer patients experience some sort of nutritional issue. She found that caregivers also have nutritional issues and suffer from poor nutrition while caring for someone with cancer. She found significant scientific evidence that a proper diet can support and strengthen the immune system, increase energy levels and the ability to withstand and respond to cancer treatment and prevent weight loss. And, that a proper diet is also important after treatment for recurrence prevention. Yet, patients and caregivers struggle to consistently eat healthy, nutritious meals due to lack of time and energy and an absence of any alternative in the market serving cancer patients’ and cancer caregivers’ unique and important needs.
She found that patients search the internet to find cancer nutrition information but that there are so many websites (102mm) and no way to determine whether they are safe and based on high quality scientific studies or whether they are anecdotal and promise false cures for vast sums of money. This is confusing, frustrating and frightening.
She found that scientific research indicates that early and ongoing nutritional intervention, such as nutritional counseling by a registered dietician, results in improved clinical and quality of life outcomes. Yet 80% of people with cancer never see a nutritionist.
Susan created Meals to Heal to provide a single, comprehensive solution to cancer patients’ and their caregivers’ nutritional needs – home delivery of healthy, nutritious meals for both patients and caregivers, information that is safe and based on high quality scientific studies and access to experienced, high quality oncology nutrition professionals who hold the Certified Specialist in Oncology (“CSO”) credential.
Meals to Heal is dedicated to making the lives of cancer patients and their caregivers easier and less stressful by providing services which relieve them of the significant time, energy and worry associated with ensuring proper nutrition for themselves and their loved ones.
Susan Bratton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Susan founded Meals To Heal in 2011 after a career on Wall Street where she represented and focused exclusively on early and growth stage healthcare services and insurance companies. During her tenure on Wall Street, Susan was a member of the healthcare groups at firms including Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Robertson Stephens and Wasserstein, Perella & Co. Susan brings to Meals to Heal over 25 years of industry experience in healthcare and business as well as expertise in strategy, finance and management. She is actively involved in a number of industry associations including Women Business Leaders in Healthcare. She also serves on the Advisory Board of HCap, the national leading venue for healthcare providers and capital to meet, and is the Secretary for Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee. In addition to her role as CEO of Meals to Heal, Susan speaks nationally on the role of proper nutrition in the cancer patient at industry association meetings as well as advocacy group summits and other oncology meetings. Her work in oncology extends beyond Meals to Heal and speaking on the role of nutrition to her volunteer work at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in pediatrics and as a runner for Fred’s Team to raise money for research at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Susan earned a B.A. from Duke University and M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business.
Jessica A. Iannotta, MS, RD, CSO, CDN, Chief Operating Officer. Jessica is a registered dietitian and certified specialist in oncology nutrition (CSO). She studied nutrition at Cornell University and completed her dietetic internship at NewYork Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. She obtained her Master’s degree through the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Jessica has worked in inpatient and outpatient oncology settings since 2001 in the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Jessica is in charge of all operations including clinical and culinary operations ranging from menu development to evidence-based website content, relationships with registered dieticians and social workers and developing processes and protocols for intake, management and outcomes analysis of patients.
Jon Bond, Marketing Advisor. Jon Bond is one of the advertising and marketing industry’s most recognized thought leaders and entrepreneurs. He has developed several significant companies and marketing concepts over his 30-year career. Jon was Co-Founder and CEO of Kirshenbaum Bond and Partners (KBP). KBP was the first to develop the modern multi-disciplinary, integrated agency. He was CEO of Big Fuel (now part of Publicis) and co-founded and sold one of the first online media agencies (iballs) to Microsoft. Currently, Jon is founder and Chief Tomorroist at TOMORRO\\\. Established in 2012, TOMORRO\\\ is a value accelerator using marketing, innovation, and strategic business development to help visionary companies achieve their ambitions.
Jon is co-founder of Evolve, the only non-partisan gun safety and responsibility group. He is a board member of Gods Love We Deliver and a former board member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Ad Council. Jon co-authored “Under the Radar,” a book about talking to today’s cynical consumer. He has also written for Mediapost and the Huffington Post and is a keynote speaker represented by The Guild Group. Jon has appeared in Morgan Spurlock’s documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, CNN, 20/20, CNBC, Barbara Walters, Deborah Norville, and Piers Morgan. In 2010, Jon was voted number 4 in Adweek’s “Executive of the Decade” poll.
Corinne Easterling, Community Manager. Corinne is a graduate in Nutrition and Food Studies, with a concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics. She started at Meals to Heal as an intern while receiving her Bachelor’s degree from New York University. She continues to assist the Meals to Heal team in maintaining the website and other day-to-day activities, as well as volunteering part-time. She will be continuing her education to become a Registered Dietitian at Leeds Metropolitan University in the Fall.
Tasha Feilke, MS, RD, CSO, LDN, Clinical Operations and Customer Service. Tasha is a registered dietitian as well as a Massachusetts licensed dietitian. She obtained her Master’s of Science in Nutrition at Bastyr University in Washington state and completed her dietetic internship at San Francisco State University. She has worked in various inpatient, outpatient,and community settings in Seattle and the Bay Area since 2005. Prior to her move to Boston in 2014 she worked exclusively at the Alta Bates Comprehensive Cancer Center in Berkeley,CA. Tasha is passionate about motivating people to reach their fitness and nutrition goals throughout all stages and conditions of life and believes food can truly serve as medicine.
Aoi Goto, DTR, Community Manager. Aoi graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Studies. She was an intern at Meals to Heal for a year before she joined the team. Her work involves customer service, website/article contribution, and other special projects. She is a volunteer at the UCSD Medical Center and Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego. She is interested in the oncology field and plans to pursue her education to become a Registered Dietitian.
Alyson M. Gould, RN, BSN, OCN, Clinical Operations and Customer Service. Alyson is a registered nurse and is certified in oncology nursing (OCN) through the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS). She also has her certification as an ONS Biotherapy and Chemotherapy Provider. Alyson studied nursing at Thomas Jefferson University where she obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN). Since starting her nursing career in 2004, Alyson has had a strong dedication and commitment to oncology patients. She has worked inpatient specializing in Bone Marrow and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation. Alyson currently works in outpatient oncology at the North Shore-LIJ Monter Cancer Center. Alyson is part of the clinical team at Meals to Heal where she counsels patients on oncology and oncology nutrition issues and contributes to website and other Meals to Heal content.
Angela Hummel, MS, RD, CSO, LDN, Clinical Operations and Customer Service. Angela is a registered dietitian and certified specialist in oncology nutrition (CSO). She studied nutrition at Central Michigan University, where she completed her bachelor’s degree, dietetic internship, and master’s degree. Angela has worked in the inpatient, outpatient, and community oncology settings since 2005 and currently works part time at the Reading Health System. Angela’s passion to help oncology patients has developed from learning the nutritional demands of cancer and seeing the improvement that nutritional modification can provide. Angela is part of the clinical team at Meals to Heal where she counsels patients on oncology nutrition issues and contributes to clinical website and other Meals to Heal content.
Holly Mills, MS, RD, CDN, CSO, Clinical Operations and Customer Service. See Bio below under Scientific Advisory Board.
Jessica Norris, MA, RD, CSO, LDN, CNSC, Clinical Operations and Customer Service. Jessica is a registered dietitian who holds the titles of board certified specialist in oncology nutrition and certified nutrition support clinician. She studied at West Chester University, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. She completed her dietetic internship and Master’s degree in nutrition education through Immaculata University. Jessica has worked in the inpatient and outpatient oncology setting since 2008. Jessica strives to communicate how nutrition can help the body function at its best. Jessica is part of the clinical team at Meals to Heal where she she counsels patients regarding oncology nutrition and treatment related issues.
Hillary B. Sachs, MS, RD, CSO, CDN, Oncology Nutrition Education Consultant. Hillary is a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition (CSO). She received her BS in Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University and MS in Clinical Nutrition at New York University, and completed her dietetic internship at the James J. Peters Bronx VA Medical Center. Hillary works as an outpatient dietitian at the North Shore-LIJ’s Cancer Institute, where she counsels patients and their families before, during and after cancer treatment. Additionally, Hillary counsels clients on nutrition through her private practice, Recipe for Health, L.L.C., and has been invited to present at several nutrition-related events including the Breast Cancer Update Symposium at North Shore-LIJ (2013) and Adelphi University’s Farm to Table lecture (2014). Hillary strives to translate the science behind health, nutrition and prevention into practical and easy-to-follow recommendations.
Aimee M. Shea, MPH, RD, CSO, LD, Clinical Operations and Customer Service. Aimee is a registered dietitian and board certified specialist in oncology nutrition. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science from the University of Maryland and her Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before moving to Columbus, Ohio, where she now resides, Aimee served as the Outpatient Oncology Dietitian at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital, part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill HealthCare System. In addition to working part-time for Meals to Heal, Aimee is an adjunct nutrition instructor, both online and at a few local universities.
Maria Varthis, MS, RD, CDN, CSO, Clinical Operations and Customer Service. Maria is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Hofstra University, and Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York Institute of Technology. Maria has been working as a nutritionist for over seven years providing nutrition counseling to patients and their families, as well as educating medical professionals through one-to-one counseling, group counseling, lectures, discussions, and presentations. Maria is part of the clinical team at Meals to Heal where she counsels patients on oncology nutrition issues and contributes to clinical website and other Meals to Heal content. In addition to working part-time at Meals to Heal, Maria works at NSLIJ-LIJ Cancer Center.
Board of Directors.
Jan Berger, M.D., MJ
Jan founded Health Intelligence Partners as a health care consultancy that blends more than twenty five years of both business and clinical experience. Health Intelligence Partners focuses both nationally and internationally on healthcare business strategies and solutions. A great deal of Jan’s focus is on consumer engagement and behavior change and how it affects the decisions that the consumer makes and the actions that they take.
Prior to founding Health Intelligence Partners, Jan served as Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for CVS Caremark. During that time she had both P & L, management and strategy responsibilities. Before going to CVS Caremark, Jan had 15 years experience in healthcare administration within the health plan and academic arenas.
Jan presently sits on the boards of Care Core National, the University of Arizona School of Pharmacy and the advisory boards of Truvaris and RxAnte.
As the recent author of the books “Leveraging Health” and Thirteen Common Pitfalls in Consumer Engagement” , the Editor in Chief of American Journal of Pharmacy Benefit and on the editorial boards of a number of healthcare journals, Jan is considered a national health care thought leader. Jan speaks and writes on a broad range of health care issues. She also serves on the boards of Care Core National (Committees: Audit (Chairperson), Compensation, Search, M&A and Strategic Directions) Midwest Business Group on Health (Committee: Strategy) and University of Arizona School of Pharmacy. She also sits on numerous business and healthcare committees.
Dr. Berger holds both a Doctor of Medicine degree and a Masters degree in Jurisprudence from Loyola University in Chicago and a Certificate in Healthcare Business Administration from University of South Florida. She is also an assistant professor at Northwestern University School of Medicine in Evanston, Illinois.
Aafia Chaudhry, M.D., Director, Medical Affairs, Novocure. Aafia is a pioneer in the study of key opinion leadership science, influence networks, physician sentiment analysis and healthcare innovation adoption relating to pharmaceutical life cycle management strategy. She departed full-time clinical practice in general surgery in order to pursue a career in healthcare advisory and consulting and has successfully supported drug commercialization efforts within the world’s largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Until March 2010, Aafia held the position of President at 81qd, an innovation hub employing proprietary data mining techniques to deliver custom Key Opinion Leader strategy solutions for leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. In her spare time, Aafia serves as a Leadership Alliance Board Member for the Melanoma Research Foundation, and is a frequent invited speaker at industry symposia. In 2007 she received a Healthcare Business Women’s Association Rising Star Award, and in 2008, she was the recipient of the prestigious Healthcare Business Women’s Association’s, President’s Award. She lives and works in New York City and is an avid oil painter, gardener and world traveler.
Carl Schramm, Former President and Chairman of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Carl Schramm is recognized internationally as an authority on entrepreneurial innovation, job creation, and economic growth. He is president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s premier organization dedicated to creating new firms and understanding the role they play in economic growth. The Kauffman Foundation is the leading private funder of economic research related to growth and innovation in the United States. Before joining Kauffman, Schramm served as a professor of health finance and policy at The Johns Hopkins University, founded several companies in health care finance and information technology, served as executive vice president of Fortis, and established a merchant banking firm. He was chairman of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission and a member of the Maryland Health and Higher Educational Facilities Authority. Schramm is also a prolific writer whose commentary often runs in publications such as Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times. He frequently appears on CNBC and Fox Business News. His two books, Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism (with Robert Litan and William Baumol, now published in eight languages) and The Entrepreneurial Imperative, are considered international classics in their field for their insights into economic growth. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Batten Fellow in the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. He earned degrees in economics and law and holds several honorary doctorates. In 2005, he received the University of Rochester’s George Eastman Medal.
Lynn Shapiro Snyder, Partner, Epstein, Becker & Green, P.C. Ms. Shapiro Snyder is a Senior Member of the law firm Epstein, Becker & Green, P.C. in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, and she is Strategic Counsel with EBG Advisors, Inc. Ms. Snyder has over thirty years of experience at Epstein Becker Green, advising clients about federal, state, and international health law issues, including Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, compliance, and managed care issues. Her clients include health care providers, payors, pharmaceutical/device manufacturers, and those companies and financial services firms that support the health care industry. She is a frequent speaker and publishes extensively. Ms. Snyder is Founder and President of the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation.™ She has authored “Advancing Women in Business: 10 Best Practices” and co-authored “Answering the Call: Understanding the Duties, Risks and Rewards of Corporate Governance.” Ms. Snyder joined the firm in 1979 and is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, the State of Florida, and before the United States Supreme Court. She was board recertified as a Specialist in Health Law in the State of Florida beginning August 1, 2003. She earned a B.A. in Economics from Franklin & Marshall College in 1976 and her J.D. from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1979.
L. Peter Smith. Mr. Smith started his healthcare career at Baxter International, a diversified medical products and services company, from 1978-1990. While at Baxter, Mr. Smith served as Chief Operating Officer of Baxter’s Japanese Subsidiary located in Tokyo. Subsequently, he was the President of Baxter’s Caremark Division. In 1991, Mr. Smith founded and led CorSolutions, Inc. which became a leading national disease management company. CorSolutions was sold in 2005 to Matria Healthcare for an IRR of 25%. Mr. Smith also founded and led Medmark, Inc., a leading specialty pharmaceutical distribution company which was also sold in 2006 to Walgreens for an IRR of 45%. In the case of both CorSolutions and Medmark, Mr. Smith was responsible for developing the business plans and management teams and securing funding. During his career, Mr. Smith has served as a director of a number of both public and private healthcare companies. He currently serves as a director for Matrix Medical Corporation Smartpill Corporation, and E-O2 Concepts, Inc. Mr. Smith received his BA from Princeton University and his MBA from the University of Chicago.
Scientific Advisory Board
Barbara L. Grant, MS, RD, CSO, LD, Clinical Operations and Customer Service. Barbara is a Registered Dietitian and is a Certified Specialist in Oncology (CSO). In addition to her work at Meals to Heal, Barbara also provides nutrition counseling throughout the continuum of cancer care at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center Cancer Care Center in Boise and Caldwell, ID. She is currently serving as a Commissioner for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (“CDR”) and was Chair from 2011 – 2012. The CDR is the credentialing organization for over 90,000 nutrition and dietetic and professionals in the United States. Barbara is also a member and a past chairman of the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group (ON DPG) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Barbara is a frequently published author of clinical and scientific papers and journal articles and has also received numerous honors and awards including the 2011 American Medical Writers Association’s Medical Book Award for Health Care Consumers Category and the Distinguished Practice Award and Service Award from the Academy’s Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Barbara received her BS, Cum Laude from Washington State University, her MS in Adult Education from the University of Idaho, and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics. Barbara is part of the clinical team at Meals to Heal where she counsels patients on oncology nutrition issues and contributes to clinical website and other Meals to Heal content.
Jonathan M. Kurie, M.D. Professor, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Kurie received a BA in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC and an M.D., Medicine from East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. He was a Medical Oncology Fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York from 1988 to 1993, a Biotechnology Fellow, Laboratory of Genetics, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. He did his Internship and Residency at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA. Dr. Kurie has authored numerous publications.
Jedd F. Levine, MD, MBA, Medical Oncologist, Faculty Member Oncology Department, Yale Oncology Center. Dr. Levine is a medical oncologist and faculty member in the Department of Medical Oncology, Yale Cancer Center. Previously, Dr. Levine was Managing Partner of Connecticut Oncology and Hematology, LLC. He currently serves as Chief Medical Officer of Egenix, a development stage oncology company, and OncoplexDx, an oncology diagnostics company focused on development of biomarkers for personalized cancer care. Dr. Levine is a Managing Director at JL Healthcare Consultants. Dr. Levine received his BS from Yale University, MD from Harvard Medical School and was a Research and Clinical Fellow and faculty member in the Division of Oncology, Stanford University. He also received an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Joel B. Mason, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Nutrition, Tufts University; Director, Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Laboratory, Jean Mayer U.S.D.A. Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University; Staff Physician, Divisions of Clinical Nutrition and Gastroenterology, Tufts Medical Center; Associate Director for Nutrition and Cancer, Tufts Medical Center Cancer Center. After completion of his residency in Internal Medicine, Dr. Mason received postdoctoral training in both Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition at University of Chicago. He then joined the faculty of Tufts University, where he has spent his entire professional career. He directs a very active research laboratory, the focus of which is the role of nutrition in the prevention of cancer. For the past 15 years, he has also directed a postdoctoral training program in Human Nutrition and Metabolism supported by the National Institutes of Health. He continues to work as a clinician as well: two decades ago he created a multi-disciplinary team—the Nutrition Support Service–that provides consultative guidance to other physicians pertaining to the management of nutritional issues in critically ill patients; and in his clinic he specializes in the management of nutritional complications of gastrointestinal diseases.
Holly Mills MS, RD, CDN, CSO, Nutrition Consultant. Holly Mills is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist and Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition, a founding partner of Fresh View Nutrition and a nutritionist at a comprehensive clinical cancer center in NYC. Holly previously worked at New York-Presbyterian hospital as a clinical nutritionist on the oncology service where she managed the nutritional care of cancer patients going through surgery for tumor removal, chemotherapy and radiation. Holly also has extensive ongoing experience with general medicine patients with a variety of conditions including diabetes, heart disease and renal disease. Holly holds a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Holly is also a member of the Company’s Advisory Board.
Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
Fellow American Board of Naturopathic Oncology
Dr. Schor is a graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. He has practiced naturopathic medicine in Denver with his wife, Dr. Rena Bloom, since 1991. He is the current president of Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathic Doctors News and Review, and an associate editor of The Natural Medicine Journal. He is also a contributor to The Natural Medicine Journal, Naturopathy Digest, and Wellness Times. Dr. Schor is a fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncologists and active member of the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) chose Dr. Schor to be the first recipient of the 2008 Vis Award, in honor of naturopathic doctors who have exhibited characteristics of service to their patients and profession and commitment to living and practicing naturopathic medicine. Dr. Schor also chairs the speaker selection committee for the AANP’s national convention.
Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, M.D., MPH, CEO, BFFL. In 1993, upon graduating from Johns Hopkins Medical School, Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson devoted herself to taking care of women. When her mother developed breast cancer, Elizabeth decided to focus her career on this specific disease. During her residency, Elizabeth also obtained a Masters Degree in Public Health from Harvard. As a Radiation Oncologist, Elizabeth worked part-time while raising her four children. In 2006 after years of breast surveillance and biopsies, consultations with genetic counselors and her own physicians, Elizabeth underwent prophylactic mastectomies. Recovery from this surgery and interaction with her physicians led to a second part-time job with the Reconstructive Surgeons, helping other women with the decisions and the recovery from breast surgery. Elizabeth felt that while the surgeries and radiation treatment for breast cancer had evolved and been truly revolutionized, the garments she could offer to her patients undergoing radiation therapy and surgery were designed in the 1970’s, mostly for patients undergoing surgeries of the past. Patients were concerned and confused about their surgeries, “What should I bring to the hospital?” “Help me find the tools to recover.” Elizabeth decided to develop a line of recovery bags, bras and surgical accessories for the modern age of patient recovery. With needle and thread, Elizabeth cut and pasted bras to meet the needs of the 21st century patient. BFFL provides line of recovery bags, bras and surgical accessories for the modern age of patient recovery. The BFFL Bags ™ for breast cancer patients, traumatic brain injury patients, and axilla pilla™ are available today and other garments will roll out in 2012. BFFL is dedicated to improving the patient experience.