Carol has been a friend and volunteer of the Co-Op for several years now. She was a Board Member for part of that time. We are delighted to announce her election as President of the Board since May, 2008.
Carol has resided in Rhode Island for the past 26 years. Currenly she lives in Tiverton, RI. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the Board through her experience as a self-employed business executive. In addition to volunteering at The Healing Co-Operative, Carol works with the Meals on Wheels Program, Waterfire-Providence, is a PPAC Usher and periodically serves with the Providence Preservation Society. Her love of children has led her to become a licensed & certified Foster Mother through BoysTown.
In her leisure time, Carol enjoys yoga, traveling, hiking, boating and playing golf.
Linda T. Phelan, Founder & Executive Director
Linda T. Phelan, BS, LMT, & Family Mediator & President, founded The Healing Co-Op shortly following her own journey through and beyond cancer. Diagnosed at the age of 29 following a one-year misdiagnosis, Linda underwent surgery followed by 6 months of chemotherapy and 6 weeks of radiation therapy. Throughout it all, Linda felt compelled to providing a much needed service to RhodeIslands cancer population. Her dream of a Co-Op was realized and the center came to fruition after years of work and sacrafice - all of which continues. Her daughters, Cara and Meghan, have made this journey with her and fully appreciate a life of service. "Dreams do come true," Linda will say. But not without clarity, very hard work and a strong, unwavering belief in yourself as well as your goal. The Co-Op has gone from a dream to a reality serving more than 1,200 from Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. Linda received her BS from San DiegoState in 1979 and later went on to study massage therapy. She is the author of a book, Twenty-Something & Breast Cancer, the writer, producer and co-director of an award winning breast cancer documentary, Beyond Words and the writer/cast member/producer of a play, CHEMO BRAIN!, which is currently being filmed in a documentary format in 2009, Sisters in the Hood, stories from the sisterhood of cancer. She is also the founder and designer of HopeCraft, Handcrafted inspirational jewelry by inspiring women making the journey through & beyond cancer and more recently her own line, lindaphelan.com.
Christa Johnson, MD, Secretary
Christa Johnson, MD, Secretary - physician, public speaker, author and graduate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School is currently devoting all her professional time to the practice of Mind Body Medicine.Prior to this, she was a staff physician in the Emergency Dept. of Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, Mass. for over twenty years.Over the last five years she has been teaching mind body spirit medicine workshops. Dr. Johnson was destined to become an integral part of the Co-Op. Back in 1993, Christa was given a gift certificate for a therapeutic massage session with founder, Linda Phelan, as a Secret Santa gift. Neither of the two women knew who the other was. Busy raising her three adopted children and being a wife and physician, she never did get around to using it. But as time went by she kept hearing this woman's name, Linda Phelan. Then one day, an unlikely source brought the two women together and they rest as they say is history in the making!
TerranceGavan, CPA, CFP , Treasurer Terrence Gavan has more than thirty-five years of varied experience in Finance and Accounting. Mr. Gavan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from NortheasternUniversity. After a stint in the Peace Corps, he attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he earned a Master of Science in Accounting. Mr. Gavan started his professional career at the Boston office of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, one of the “Big Four” accounting & auditing firms. While at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Mr. Gavan specialized in technology clients and earned a CPA certificate. Later, he worked in a variety of senior-level accounting positions for “Fortune 500” technology companies. In the early 1980s, Mr. Gavan moved to Newport, RI with his wife Christine, a native Newporter. For fifteen years, Terrence taught Taxation, Accounting & Finance at SalveReginaUniversity. He rose to Associate Professor and Department Chair. Mr. Gavan also started a part-time accounting & tax practice. He left Salve to develop a full-time accounting practice. In addition to Accounting & Taxation, Terrence expanded into Financial Planning and earned a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation. Mr. Gavan is also a Registered Investment Advisor He now practices as a complete financial professional, helping clients with Taxation, Financial Planning,Accounting & Consulting. Mr. Gavan has published several history books on the Newport area.
Marie Silvia-Phelan, Officer
Fernando Serna, M. Div., Officer - was born in New York City of Colombian immigrant parents. He completed a B.A. degree in Chemistry at New York University. In addition, he possesses a Master’s degree in Religious Studies from Providence College, Rhode Island and a Master of Divinity degree from the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C.
After completing his undergraduate degree at N.Y.U. he went to Europe to begin medical studies with the goal of becoming a psychiatrist. During his first years of studies he made a radical personal change of direction and en-tered a Benedictine monastic community in the northern Italian city of Parma. He eventually returned to the U.S. to pursue monastic life and in 1979 joined Portsmouth Abbey, Rhode Island where he has been known by his monastic name "Mark". After initial monastic formation and theological studies, Fernando began full time teaching and other pastoral duties at Portsmouth Abbey School. He was ordained a priest in 1986 and served as the monastery’s Abbot from 1991 to 2005 and Headmaster of the Portsmouth Abbey School from 1995 to 2000. After retiring from office in 2005 he lived with the Cistercian community of St. Benedict’s Monastery, Snowmass, Colorado, living a more solitary life in common with the contemporary spiritual teacher Fr. Thomas Keating.
After a three year sojourn in Colorado and Nevada where he also taught, preached, led spiritual retreats, did par-ish ministry, and was Assistant Director at Stillpoint: Center for Spiritual Development in Las Vegas, NV, Fer-nando returned to the east coast and was soon asked to take on the leadership of Glastonbury Abbey, Hingham, MA for a period of two years to assist the monastic community in renewal and re-visioning.
In October 2010 Fernando announced his decision to leave formal monastic life and active ministry as a Catholic priest in response to a new spiritual call discerned very carefully over many years.
Over the years Fernando has accumulated extensive experience in spirituality, human development, spiritual direction, education, leadership, non-profit board leadership and membership, pastoral ministry, and interfaith dialogue. In the important field of interfaith engagement and dialogue he completed service in October 2010 as President and Chairman of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (www.monasticdialogue.org) which has sponsored many important dialogue events, including a series of encounters with Buddhist monks and nuns, one with the participation of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.
Fernando’s areas of personal and professional interest and experience include but are not limited to:
* Christian contemplative prayer * Pastoral Care
* Meditation as a practice of awareness * Literature
* Spiritual direction * Movies
* Interfaith dialogue * Hiking
* Group facilitation and consultation * Music & the Arts
* Leading spiritual retreats
Fernando is a Certified Grief Recovery® Specialist who has been trained and certified by The Grief Recovery In-stitute®.
Fernando resides in Rhode Island and is doing work in Clinical Pastoral Education in order to enter the ministry of hospital/hospice chaplaincy.