Amy Balog, ACHPN, FNP-BC, RNFA, Owner of Saratoga Family Health NPs:
Amy Balog is the owner of Saratoga Family Health NPs. She is a board certified Advanced Hospice and Palliative Nurse Practitioner and an ANCC Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over 8 years of experience in palliative care, family health, acute care, and operating room. She graduated with her Master's of Science Family Nurse Practitioner in 2012. She is certified as a first assist through the National Institute of First Assisting. She is a student at the University of Maryland in the Graduate Master's Degree Program in Palliative Care. Amy is also a provider with the palliative care team at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, NY. As a nurse and nurse practitioner she has traveled to Haiti, Guatemala, Peru, and Ethiopia on medical missions. Amy is originally from Illinois and is a transplant to upstate New York. She now calls Saratoga Springs her home with her two sons and husband of almost 20 years.
Todd Balog, Practice Manager
Kanani Fuimaono, Assistant Practice Manager
Deborah Dittner, FNP-C, RMT, CHHC, AADP, Reiki Master Teacher, Holistic Health Counselor, Certified Integrative Health Coach & Wellness Educator, Nutrition Consultant, Owner of Body Balance Empowering Athletic Performance:
Deb Dittner, a Family Nurse Practitioner, Reiki Master Teacher, and Holistic Nutrition Counselor has been a longtime advocate and provider of integrative and holistic practices. She has experience in family health, sports medicine, holistic nutrition, pediatrics, women’s health, college health, and holistic counseling. Deb was the nutrition consultant for several players on the Adirondack Phantoms, now the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, professional AHL hockey team. Her work with them lead to the publishing of her book, Body Balance Empowering Performance, in which she explains nutrition in the simplest way using common sense so you can choose your foods wisely. Deb currently works with the ECHL Adirondack Thunder.
Deb received her BS in Nursing from Western Connecticut State University, her certificate as a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner from Albany Medical College, and Reiki Master Teacher certificates from the Reiki Room of Saratoga Springs, NY. She is a graduate of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in NYC in 2009, which combines the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts of different dietary theories. Deb continued at IIN through the Immersion program in 2010, 2011 and 2012 while counseling students enrolled in the professional training program. She has been honored in Marquis Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare and has been affiliated with Saratoga Integrative Practitioner’s Network (SIPN) since its inception in 2001.
Deb strongly believes in supporting men and women to improve their health and wellness through a variety of lifestyle changes including but not limited to high quality nutrition, physical activity, relationships, family, career and community. Deb emphasizes a holistic approach towards creating optimal health through integration with medical protocols. She will personalize your daily nutrition while exploring the necessary tools needed to create a lifetime of balance. Food changes everything. Imagine what your life would be like if you had clear thinking, energy, and excitement every day.
Christina Harrington-Stutzmann, Licensed Psychotherapist:
My approach towards helping you is to create a supportive space to bring you comfort to your current experiences.I believe it's necessary to accept where you are and to understand where you want to go. I have 15+ years of experience providing treatment to individuals, couples and families. I also provide support and consultations to reputable organizations. I invite you in to talk to explore the changes in your life that may be necessary for you to grow.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker-"R", Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 15+ years experience.
I am certified in grief counseling (GC-C). I am also an Accredited Certified Social Worker (ACSW), Diplomat in Clinical Social Work (DCSW), Qualified Clinical Social Worker (QCSW), Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology (CSW-G), Certified Social Worker in Health Care (C-SWHC), an Advanced Bereavement Facilitator and a Disaster Mental Health Critical Responder. I also have 7 years direct experience with the hospice organization.
Jennifer Horn, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT is a licensed creative art therapist (LCAT) with experience working in a variety of settings with adults, children and adolescents. She brings to her practice a deep understanding that all people need a safe way to explore what may be troubling them and not everyone communicates best verbally. The creative process found in art therapy, along with the therapeutic relationship, provides a safe way to explore areas that may be too difficult to talk about or for which words don’t even exist. Art therapy requires no background in art and is tailored to the client to best address what is troubling them.
Jennifer provides individual art therapy services in Saratoga Springs, NY to children, adolescents and adults. Jennifer is board certified by the American Art Therapy Association (ATR-BC) and has a Master’s degree from New York University.
Reverend Betty Hurley, Ed.D., Chaplain, End of Life Doula:
Rev. Betty is an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister. Since her ordination in 2016, she completed one credit of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) at Albany Medical School and now serves as a volunteer chaplain at Albany Medical Center and St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam as well as a volunteer at Gateway House of Peace. Betty also has an End of Life Doula Professional Certificate from the University of Vermont.
In August 2019, Betty will retire after 36 years as a faculty member at SUNY Empire State College, where she served primarily as a mentor. During these years, she was committed to serving the educational needs of hundreds of students by helping them meet personal goals through individualized degree programs. Additionally, she focused on developing math courses that empowered learners to become successful users of quantitative information. Some may see little connection between math and ministry, but to Rev. Betty, all her life feels like an integrated whole.
As technology has improved, our health care institutions sometimes take a mechanistic approach to healing, focusing on cure. Rev. Betty’s approach to those experiencing health challenges is more holistic, where she and the patient meet to share the less tangible aspects of life and healing.
Chaplain Don Moldovan, Clinical Chaplain and Pastoral Counselor, CPSP and SCA National Board Certifications, Assisted Living Administrator Certification, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD. – Advanced Clinical Chaplaincy Dementia and Alzheimer’s Advanced Certifications:
My role as a chaplain is to be actively present and available to the listening of others in their time of grief and concern. This means to view me as a guest in their space of sharing with no agenda and to be an instrument of peace and completeness.
One may need the opportunity to sit in silence, to share something that has been hidden deep inside oneself and now wants space to be heard. One may ask for prayer in their traditional faith. This requires me to speak to that concern in whatever faith or spirituality brings peace and completeness for healing.
To be available means to be empty so one can be filled with the grief of another, not as a victim, but as a “midwife” to aid in the birth and transformation of the person to their best self in the light of very difficult circumstances.
I remember meeting Dr. Daniel Sulmasy at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore as he saw me with a patient. When he asked me how I felt about the experience I said, “ Blessed to be there for others which gives me a feeling I am floating.” He said, “That is because what you experienced at the bedside was the doorway to God.” We both nodded and smiled at this mutual knowledge. We parted and continued our service to others.
As a side note: My rabbi at Hebrew school taught theology and practice of “Tikkun Olam.” Tikkun Olam is a Hebrew phrase, "repairing the world" (or "healing the world") which suggests humanity's shared responsibility to heal and transform the world. Rabbi Robinson was a great social civil rights activist and religious scholar. His stories of him and his friend, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. adventures’ became the standard of living out “Tikkun Olam” for me, as all of God's children are "created in the image of God" (Genesis 1:27).
As a chaplain, I focus on creating a space for others to show up and give voice in their need for healing. Some of the services I offer include Grief & Bereavement Support Groups, Caregiver Support Groups, Legacy Videos of Remembrance, visiting patients as the clinical chaplain and pastoral counselor.
Pierre Zimmerman, MS, Organizational Consultant, Mindfulness Leader & Chaplain in End of Life Care:
Pierre Zimmerman has been working in Behavioral and Elder Health Care for over 30 years in many capacities including business administration, clinical program development, and contracting and marketing in the US and in Canada. He holds a BA in psychology and Eastern philosophy and an MS degree in organizational management.
Pierre received his mindfulness training at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, where he trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli, and Diana Kamila. He has been teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes for over 10 years to the general public as well as special groups including: law enforcement personnel, physicians and other clinicians, people with chronic illness, and those affected by domestic violence. The Saratoga Stress Reduction Program has served over 3300 people in the last 12 years. He also teaches mindfulness and leads support groups for cancer patients and caregivers at Saratoga Hospital. Private courses are available by request.
Pierre provides several organizational management and wellness workshops to professionals in local and international business organizations which include: Mindful Practices in the Workplace, Mindful Leadership, Managing Change in the Workplace, Moral Distress and Burn Out, Balancing Home Life and Work Life, Team Building, Compassionate Care for the Dying, and Embodied Awareness Practices. He is promoting a Wellness Program for Physicians, PA’s and Nurse Practitioners at Saratoga Hospital.
Pierre is an ordained Buddhist chaplain in end of life care for Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe. He worked as a chaplain at the d’Amour Cancer Care Center as well as at Baystate Medical Center as an interfaith chaplain. He has mentored many international chaplaincy students at Upaya for over a decade. He leads many meditations in the community and Dharma Meditation every Sunday morning.
He officiates weddings and memorials and belongs to the Saratoga Clergy Committee. He is on the board of directors of Beyond My Battle, a non-profit for people with disability.
Jennifer Lamb, PharmD, RPh, Compounding Pharmacist, Owner of Menges & Curtis
Melissa Pilkey, MA, LHMC:
Melissa is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice for 16 years specializing in women’s issues, trauma and adolescents. As a former ballet and modern dance instructor and resident artist, she has utilized creative arts in her work with children of all ages, including classroom residencies, as well as adults, the other-abled and the elderly population. She has also developed and managed programs for adolescents and for people affected by cancer.
Dr. Elaine Handley, DA, MA, MLitt:
Dr. Handley is a writer and teacher who believes writing can be an effective tool for perspective and healing. Writing empowers us as creative, independent people. She has taught adolescents, inmates, veterans, seniors and adults returning to college. Elaine holds a Doctor of Arts, a Master of Letters, a Master of Education and Master of Arts degrees, and is a published poet and fiction writer.
Luann Gilligan-Gay, Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teacher (Breathwork):
Luann Gilligan-Gay is a certified Kundalini Yoga and Meditation teacher and has spent decades exploring the way we breathe.
Luann uses intentional breathing exercises and breath meditations as tools to allow the mind to clear and energize, the heart to open to love and appreciation, and the body to relax and release physical tension. The body breathes automatically. Using conscious and focused breath patterns and rhythms, we can choose to breathe for self-care. It is a choice that is available to everyone. Luann works with both groups and individuals to provide personalized instruction and practical plans for a successful home practice.
Julie Corbally-Carson, Massage Therapist
Lisa Ciniglia, Massage Therapist:
A respected advocate for complementary therapy in healthcare, Lisa Ciniglia has dedicated her 15 year massage practice to bringing massage therapy to the palliative and hospice care environments. She brings great comfort and an improved quality of life to individuals who are facing life changing illnesses. It is her belief that this is the time in life when a holistic approach to wellness is most important.
Lisa holds a private massage office in Ballston Spa, but most often works with individuals bedside in their own homes and travels to nursing facilities.
She also consults in the development and implementation of massage programs at local healthcare facilities; teaches touch skills to health care providers; educates the public on the many benefits of massage; and has been an instructor at various massage schools.
Lisa received a BS from Siena College and an MBA from RPI. Her passion for holistic wellness started at a young age and evolved further when she attended The Center of Natural Wellness in 2005. She is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association and The Hospice Foundation of America.
Lisa brings remarkable depth, wisdom, and therapeutic presence to her work.
Saratoga Palliative and Family Health NP's and Just Cats Veterinary Clinic understands that our feline companions are our best friends until the end and beyond. When faced with life altering diagnoses, we want to be sure our cats are taken care of beyond our lifespan. Saratoga Palliative and Family Health NPs is now partnering with Just Cats to assist in re-homing your feline companion to meet your wishes when the time comes. Because they’re not Just Cats, they’re family.