Meet Our Team
Our board member's bring a wealth of diverse knowledge, experience, and selfless dedication to ensure our non-profit thrives in order to complete our Mission & Vision.
Dr. Rick A. Friedman, MD
Dr. Rick A. Friedman is a world-renowned leader in the treatment of acoustic neuromas. He began his career as a fellow at House Clinic and later joined the group as an Associate where he had a busy practice for 15 years. He now serves as program leader at UC San Diego Health. He is an NIH-funded scientist, and his laboratory studies the genetics of common forms of hearing loss. Dr. Friedman belongs to a majority of the societies in his area of specialization, including the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, the American Otological Society, the Acoustic Neuroma Association, the American Neurotology Society, the North American Skull Base Society, and the Triological Society. He is also a member of the NIH/National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), where he serves as an Ad Hoc Reviewer. For full resume, click here.
Kris serves as Program Manager for UC San Diego Health. Having gone through brain surgery herself to remove an acoustic neuroma, she knows first-hand how difficult the experience is. Kris brings board experience and expertise as she also serves the Acoustic Neuroma Association Board of Director's. Kris has a passion to help others which shows in her hard work and dedication to this cause and many others.
Co-Founder & President
Brent Russell is Co-Founder of Yoga Support and currently serves as its Board Chair. Having gone through Brain Surgery, he experienced first-hand the challenges of getting his life back post-surgery dealing with depression, facial paralysis, deafness, tinnitus, and loss of balance. He now has overcome those things and now lives a fulfilled life and wants to help others with similar circumstances.
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Passion and empathy. Hana Russell infuses these into the practice. Yoga has completely changed her life. Having experienced many personal hardships, she connects with others on a raw level to help the growth process begin. She first completed Zuda Yoga's "Open Your Heart" Teacher Training in 2016 and continued to complete Level's One (Sedona, AZ in 2017) and Two (Menla, NY in 2017) with The Baptiste Institute. From this place of inspiration, she co-founded Yoga Support in 2017 after helping her own husband rehabilitate after brain surgery. She is a registered 500 hr Yoga Therapeutic Specialist with Yoga Medicine and specializes in Nervous System & Restorative Yoga, Mental Health & Wellness, Yin and Meditation, Myofascial Release, Mental Health & Wellness, Yoga For Older Beginners, Pain Science, Shoulder Intensive, Women’s Health & Fertility, Prenatal Therapeutics, Teaching Yoga To Children and Yoga For Addiction & Recovery. She is honored and excited to help others who need it most!
Hannah is a believer in all things loving and kind. Hannah trusts that all beings deserve to be healthy, happy and free. Her value system and deep desire to create positive change in the world have inspired her to practice, study and teach yoga and meditation. For the past 20 years she has been a student and a teacher at various studios and venues. Additionally, Hannah is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Northern California who enjoys helping people learn to live the life they truly desire and deserve to live. She inherently believes in growth, possibility and in learning to find peace and gratitude in each moment. She has received specialty training in trauma work gifting her with tools to help others rid the physical body of pain, trauma and stuck habits/energy. The use of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Brainspotting, CRM (Comprehensive Resource Modeling) and Heart Centered Therapy have given her practical means to help people move through real physical and emotional pain to a place of ease and health. Hannah trusts the mind, body and spirit can heal quicker and more naturally when in in sync and given restful space and care. It is her true desire to help others heal mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Lorraine Spack is a fitness professional with multiple certifications in group exercise, personal training, yoga and Pilates. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and practicing for 14 years in critical care, she left the profession in 2001 to pursue sharing her passion for health and wellness with others. Then in 2013, Lorraine suffered her own personal struggle of having brain surgery to remove a meningioma. Using yoga, meditation and breathing was her main source of recovery and rehabilitation that gave her the strength to return to a healthy state of well being. Now she would like to share the healing aspects of yoga with others who are experiencing the trauma of brain surgery and recovery themselves.
Katie found peace in her chaotic, competitive life when she discovered yoga. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California (Fight on!) in 2005 and became Board Certified in Orthopedics in 2008. In recent years, she has been interested in treating patients who have sustained concussions as well as those with other vestibular dysfunctions and has started to incorporate lessons learned in yoga into the treatment plans for her patients. She is currently pursuing further yoga teacher training education to broaden her knowledge base. Currently, Katie works as physical therapist based in Northern California, surrounded by the boundless love and noise that comes with being a full-time working wife and mother. In her spare time, she can be found out on a run, on her yoga mat, or in the kitchen cooking with and for her family and friends.
Dr. Saravanan Chockalingam
Dr. Saravanan Chockalingam, PT, DPT, CLT, CYT (Van) is a Physical therapist specialized in Vestibular Rehabilitation and is currently practicing in an outpatient setting at FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers, Waterford, Michigan. He has been practicing physical therapy for more than 25 years and has had the opportunity to practice his unique skills of vestibular rehabilitation for 13 years in a variety of clinical settings. He attended several seminars and clinical meetings on vestibular rehabilitation and implemented the same in his own private practice. He also successfully developed and implemented Vestibular rehabilitation programs in home care, hospital and out-patient rehabilitation settings. Dr. Chockalingam has provided numerous presentations on vestibular pathology and rehabilitation in the form of seminars as well as in-services before therapists and physicians, both nationally and internationally. He completed his Doctorate degree in Physical therapy at Utica, New York. He is a Professional Member and Vestibular specialist, Ambassador to Defeat Dizziness™ in Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA). He is also a certified Lymphedema therapist. Dr. Chockalingam was certified as a Yoga Instructor in 2004 with the Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India. He practices Yoga Therapy in conjunction with Physical Therapy. He conducted numerous Yoga Therapy seminars and camps. He has completed APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program.