Staff

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Chief Operating Officer

Arwen Turner

ArwenPhotoArwen Turner has over 12 years experience in non-profit management and fund-development in the United States and abroad.

Arwen had a long-time career with Girl Scouts as the director of membership, program, and adult development for Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast as well as working overseas for the national headquarters of Girl Scouts as one of the Directors of USA Girl Scouts Overseas. For nearly four years Arwen directed the Girl Scout Program for 15 U.S military installations in Japan and South Korea. Additionally, she oversaw the logistics, operations, and fund development for all of the US Girl Scout Committees in Okinawa, Japan and South Korea.

As a non-profit management consultant and grant-writer Arwen has worked with a multitude of non-profits and non-govermental organizations that focus on youth empowerment, female leadership and global healthcare issues.

Arwen is best known in her field for creating innovative partnerships to increase membership, funding, public relations and program opportunities.

Director of Volunteer Services

Ali Houghnou

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Ali has been a huge supporter of Project HEAL, throughout her own recovery process, since its inception in 2008. In February 2013, Ali joined the organization as an official volunteer by founding Project HEAL’s Utah Chapter. Upon completing her undergraduate studies in Utah with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Behavioral Science (with an emphasis in psychology) and moving back to Long Island, NY in July 2014, Ali stepped down from her role with the Utah Chapter and began working with Project HEAL on a national level as the Director of Chapter Management and a junior advisory board member. Her primary responsibilities involve interviewing and on-boarding new volunteers and chapters, as well as managing Project HEAL’s 40+ chapters (both nationally and internationally), helping them operate successfully in their local communities as fundraisers,  mentors, educators, and advocates.

In addition to her roles with Project HEAL, Ali simultaneously spent the last two years as a Staff Associate for the NYU Child Study Center, a mental health and research focused outpatient program within the NYU Langone Medical Center  and NYU School of Medicine’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Within this role, Ali was responsible for a wide range of tasks, including completing intakes for new patients, scoring psychological assessments, completing prior authorizations, care coordination, billing services, management and coordination of the needs among clinicians and staff, as well as serving as a liaison between patients and their clinician. She has been referred to by clinicians in her office as the “Insurance Warrior” for her tenacity and success rate in helping patients receive coverage for their medication and reimbursement for services.

Ali has a strong background and interest in the study of eating disorders, as well as obesity and plans on applying to PhD programs in clinical psychology within the next couple of years. Recently, Ali became certified as a facilitator and trainer of the Body Project. Ali is very passionate about her work and has been featured within outlets including the Dr. Oz Show, NBC News, ABC4 Utah, and more. She is beyond excited to bring her knowledge, clinical and administrative skill set, and zeal to the Project HEAL team on a full-time basis.

Director, Communities of HEALing 

Grace Patterson

GracePattersonPhotoSquareGrace Patterson is an accomplished trainer, organizer and strategist driven by a desire to help others to join, create, and act in service of a better world. To that end, she has supported hundreds of leaders in more than 15 countries, helping to develop their skills in intercultural engagement, strengthen their theories of impact, and effectively communicate their visions.

Grace’s background touches on interfaith engagement, conflict resolution, international development, and strategic communications. As the Director of Global Programs for World Faith, she supported religiously diverse teams of young people around the world who are working to end religious violence and global poverty. As the Director of Strategy for Mean Communications, she worked with social good startups to help craft and execute communications strategies. She has designed and facilitated workshops and trainings for adult learners on topics ranging from effective storytelling to religious literacy, to building effective community online. She has written about all this and more for Mic.com and State of Formation.

Grace comes to Project HEAL excited to bring both her professional experience in program management and training, as well as her personal experience of the transformative power of being in community with those working toward active recovery from eating disorder.

Program Coordinator Communities of Healing Essex County

Krista Sturgeon

KristaKrista Sturgeon is an author, activist and speaker who is devoting her life to educating others about a condition that impacts millions of people. A survivor of a 20 year bout with anorexia and living with the debilitating after effects, Krista is a prominent advocate for eating disorders, particularly eating disorders in LGBTQ+ folx. She is the author of a highly acclaimed and respected autobiography,” An Angry, Distorted and Exhaustive View of My Body Image”, which serves as an incredible guide to what it takes to reach long term recovery from anorexia.

In the past Krista has been deeply involved with the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) and willingly shares her own experiences with an eating disorder with audiences across the country to help guide others to recovery. Through ANAD she has developed a peer support group module for specific triggers in LGBTQ+ folx and has advised proper terminology to be used for group and hotline personnel. Krista has researched and developed a resource of non-profit organizations to partner with ANAD to start peer support groups in the United States. She is now in the process of developing a Communities of HEALing support group in Essex County, Massachusetts. She frequently speaks at middle schools, high schools and colleges about eating disorders, primarily anorexia. She also writes a blog which serves as a source of information and inspiration for people dealing with this condition.

Treatment Assistance Program Manager

Laurie-Marie Pisciotta

unnamedLaurie-Marie Pisciotta comes to Project HEAL with 16 years of nonprofit experience and a passion for helping, inspiring and leading. She is driven by the core beliefs that we are meant to take care of each other, especially our most vulnerable; positive change is always possible if we want it bad enough; and the personal really is political. The breadth of Laurie’s experience spans advocacy and human service roles. She has been a lobbyist and policy analyst for a state chapter of the ACLU; a case manager at AIDS Action Committee; a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the child welfare system; and a patient advocate at a women’s clinic. In her spare time, Laurie enjoys creative writing projects, hiking, running, reading, baking vegan treats, and spending time with friends. Laurie recovered from anorexia nervosa when she was 17 years old, and she is thrilled to help others on their healing journey. Laurie holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in political science from the University of Florida.