Michael Hollifield, M.D.

Founder, President & CEO

Dr. Hollifield founded WSI in 2016, with the goal to help war survivors heal, to develop projects that will promote healing connections to foster peace and understanding and to train a new generation of students in the practices of WSI. Dr. Hollifield developed The Path to Whole Health© seminar series for war survivors, which is the core program for survivors and for students’ learning. Dr Hollifield has established programs in the U.S. and abroad for warriors and civilians, and has conducted research about the effects of was and unique interventions, such as imagery, acupuncture, and aspirational healing.

Location: Long Beach, CA and Albuquerque, NM

Valerie Wada, R.N.

Chief Financial Officer / Treasurer

Valerie is a nurse, an artist, and the sole proprietor of VWada enterprises. She has provided administrative and clinical services in many contexts, including for Veterans. She provides critical leadership support providing programmatic options for Veteran and Refugee services, and will lead outreach efforts.

Location: Long Beach, CA

Kala Carrick, B.A.

Secretary & Volunteer Therapist

Kala is receiving her Masters degree in Psychology from Cal State University, and plans to continue her work treating trauma survivors with psychotherapy and movement therapy such as dance and yoga. Kala has Volunteered with Veterans at the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center and helped with the establishment of WSI.

Location: Long Beach, CA

Amber Elizabeth Gray, M.A., M.P.H.

Vice-President WSI New Mexico, Human Rights Psychotherapist

Amber is an internationally recognized expert in refugee mental health and torture treatment. A pioneer in the application and integration of somatic, movement and creative arts therapies into clinical work with survivors of torture, she is the originator of Restorative Movement Psychotherapy, a Mindfulness-based Somatic and Creative Arts approach, and co-developed Polyvagal Informed Dance Movement Therapy for Trauma.

Amber is the 2010 recipient of The American Dance Therapy Associations “Outstanding Achievement Award” for her work in complex humanitarian emergencies with survivors of war and torture.

Location: Santa Fe, NM

Susan Rhema, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.

Vice-President WSI Kentucky, Refugee Health Specialist

Dr. Rhema’s early career included work as a community developer in Kenya, Peru and Mexico. Her current work includes mental health consultant for the Kentucky Office for Refugees, assistant professor at the Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville, and Clinical Director of the Survivor of Torture Recovery Center.

As a therapist, Dr. Rhema utilized trauma-informed practices that adhere to mind-body integrative practices. She is trained in cognitive behavior therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Narrative Exposure Therapy, and Expressive Therapies.

Location: Louisville, KY

Cameron Clonch

Founder & Co-Director of Students, Seattle Chapter Lead

Cameron is the Founder and national leader of Students for WSI (SWSI), a branch of WSI that gets young people (mostly high school students) involved in projects that help war survivors and reduce violent conflicts. She started SWSI as a junior in high school, the first project being a clothing drive to benefit refugees in Iraq and raise awareness about the current refugee situation.

Location: Seattle, WA

Andrea Gory, B.A.

Volunteer & Therapist

Andrea received her B.A. in Psychology from University of California, San Diego and is currently pursuing a Psy.D. from Azusa Pacific University. Andrea is a Clinical Research Assistant at the VA Long Beach and has volunteered in working with Veterans in Recreational Therapy at the VA San Diego. Her clinical and research interests include trauma, trauma recovery, refugees and Veterans.

Location: Long Beach, CA

Sasha Verbillis-Kolp, L.C.S.W, M.S.W.

Senior Consultant: Strategy and Innovation

Sasha is a clinical social worker and health and human services consultant with more than two decades managing and developing programs making meaningful impacts in the lives of individuals and families. Sasha supports programs and projects from visioning, development, funding, to oversight and reporting. She has experience in nurturing external partnerships with community stakeholders, elected officials, government agencies, donors, and foundations.  She also provides therapeutic and healing support to survivors. For WSI, Sasha supports national program strategy, innovation, branding, partnerships and more! She leads efforts in Portland, Oregon to spread WSI transformational healing mission serving both Veterans and refugees.

Location: Portland, OR