AWB Team

Acupuncturists Without Borders is a community of passionate and determined individuals who seek to make a difference in the world. We couldn’t do what we do without the help and support of thousands of people around the world.


Nipin Gangadharan

Executive Director

Nipin is a non-profit senior executive with over a decade of experience leading international relief and development operations for non-profit organizations. Nipin earned his B.E. in environmental engineering from India and M.A. in International Affairs with conflict and security concentration, from The New School University in New York. Nipin started his career working on grassroots women’s organizing around disaster risk reduction and reconstruction in India. After completing his master’s program, Nipin went on to work with international non-profits providing emergency response services and economic development opportunities to crisis affected populations. Nipin is passionate about social justice, human rights and mental health and has worked in designing and implementing large scale programs with many leading international donors, foundations and UN agencies. Nipin has worked in many countries including Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Nepal and Bangladesh and is now settled in Oregon with his family.

Diana Fried, M.Ac., M.A., NCCAOM Dipl. Ac., Acudetox Specialist

AWB Founder

Diana launched Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, along with a team of people from the acupuncture community. She has worked in disasters and underserved communities doing community acupuncture healing all over the U.S., Haiti, Nepal, Mongolia, Ecuador, Mexico among other locations. Diana developed AWB’s Healing Community Trauma training program which has now provided training for over 6000 acupuncturists in the United States, and hundreds in other countries, on how to do mobile community service field work with acupuncture. Diana envisioned and fostered AWB’s Military Stress Recovery Project (MSRP) to help heal the wounds of war and heal intergenerational trauma, establishing free community clinics around the U.S. to serve active duty military, veterans and their families. Diana initiated AWB’s World Healing Exchange program with the first trip to Nepal in 2009. 

Diana Fried has many years of experience and training in emotional/trauma healing work, along with years of work in international grassroots community development (Oxfam America, Grassroots International), including travel and work in Mexico, Central America, Asia, and Africa. She graduated from the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture with an M.Ac. (1999), is a certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist trained by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA), and a certified Qigong Instructor.

Diana is trained in the Council practice through the Upaya Zen Center and the Center for Council. She sees this practice as the perfect complement to acupuncture, where the group process becomes the needle that allows for energetic transformation for the group and the individuals in the group. Diana is a graduate of the Upaya Zen Center Buddhist Chaplaincy program, and has studied Vipassana and other forms of Buddhist practice since the 1980’s. 

Carla Cassler, DAOM, L.Ac.

Director of Programs and Community Clinics

Carla Cassler has practiced acupuncture and Chinese medicine for over 35 years, specializing in women’s health, pediatric, orthopedic and trauma treatment. Her interest in trauma treatment began in l992 when she practiced acupuncture on an Israeli kibbutz, where many of her patients suffered from physical and mental health problems related to multiple wars and the Holocaust. For the past nine years she has worked with Acupuncturists Without Borders in various capacities: Teaching Healing Community Trauma and AWB’s trauma-informed care certificate program Repairing the Shattered Heart, as Acting Executive Director; and currently, as the Director of Programs and Community Clinics. She founded AWB’s Israel-West Bank program; the AWB Refugee Support Program which provides direct service to refugees in Europe and Mexico; and disaster relief projects throughout the US and Puerto Rico.

Dr. Cassler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a part-time clinical practice there.

G. Ravyn Stanfield, LAc, DOM, M.Ac, NCCAOM Dipl. Ac.

Director of Education and Community Engagement

Ravyn is the author of Revolution of the Spirit: Awaken the Healer, a guide to liberate the healing super powers within each of us. She has worked for AWB since 2014 teaching Healing Community Trauma and coordinating the Nepal program and served as Executive Director from 2017-2019. She practices acupuncture in Portland, Oregon with a focus on chronic pain and traumatic injury. She graduated from the International Institute of Chinese Medicine with a Masters in Oriental Medicine in 2002.

Ravyn is a cultural alchemist, writing to transform the heartbreak of our times and reveal the gold in what seems worthless. She designs trainings for emerging leaders and healers in the US, Canada, Europe, Nepal, and Australia. She teaches at conferences and festivals worldwide, including Symbiosis, Spiritweavers, Bioneers, Lightning in a Bottle, and many more. Her fiction and essays have been published in The Rumpus, Guernica Magazine, Nailed Magazine, Manifest Station, Elephant Journal, and Wake Up World among others. She creates modern ritual art, combining music, poetry, and performance to make contemporary offerings of the human imagination. She uses her background in traditional medicines, medical social work, trauma recovery, writing, neurobiology, and theatre to coax more of the extraordinary into the world through the cracks in Western civilization. www.gerriravynstanfield.com


Kathy Paxton

Operations Manager

Kathy has been with Acupuncturists without borders since 2018. She earned a degree in Psychology from PSU and holds a certification in Yoga.  She has lived in the PNW for 17 years with her two sons and loves to be a part of all it’s natural offering. She can be found outside most of the time with her dog Nama and loves most activities including most sports. She is passionate about the holistic and natural aspects related to trauma relief and mental health. 

Carrie Jones, M.Ac.

Trainings and Communications Director

Carrie joined the AWB team in 2017. She earned her B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Oregon and a M.S. in Acupuncture from Bastyr University. She owned a private acupuncture and massage practice in Seattle, WA for several years before taking time away to travel and pursue other interests including metalsmithing and visual design. She is thrilled to be working with AWB, combining her passion for natural health, design and social justice. She lives in Portland, OR with her husband and 2 dogs where she enjoys hiking, climbing, painting and cooking.

Stephanie Alvarez

Organizational Projects

Stephanie Alvarez joined the Organizational Strategy team at AWB in 2020. She earned a B.A. in Government and Latin American Studies from Franklin and Marshall College and an M.A, in International Affairs and Conflict Resolution at the Externado University of Colombia. Prior to joining AWB, Stephanie was a Program Coordinator for the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities and a Social Impact Consultant for different NGOs, startups and universities. Stephanie has a passion for Human Rights and has worked with grassroots organizations in Latin America, promoting the protection of the rights of vulnerable populations and the implementation of policies for sustainable peace.

Carol McGlauchlin, D.O.M



Verena Smith, L.Ac.

President of the Board

Verena has practiced and studied Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in England, America, China and India over the last 30 years. She teaches locally and has been published nationally. She maintains a family practice in Amherst MA.

Verena’s story:

“My introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine happened while I lived in the UK, South Devon. It occurred in my early thirties and at the time I was suffering from a sciatica condition that had made my existence as a young mother miserable to say the least. Some of my women friends brought me almost “by force” to seek the help of Dr. Hannes Lange (MD) who was a doctor disillusioned by the allopathic model and was using homeopathy and acupuncture techniques.

“The day, I met Dr. Hannes Lange I was as skeptical, thirty years ago, as are some people today, when they first hear about acupuncture. However, Dr. Lange turned out to be a wonderful, wise old man, slightly cantankerous, albeit humorous. When I crawled up on his table I was in severe pain, he had a very wonderfully soothing personality and made me almost forget about the needles. They were, at any rate never as difficult as the pain that had brought me there in the first place – after he inserted the needles I rested in this very unique deep place for 25 minutes and when I cautiously lowered myself down from it there was absolute relief of all pain. I was free from pain at last and as a bonus had found my calling! For the next two years I apprenticed with Dr. Hannes Lange, before moving on to further studies. I am forever indebted to this wonderful wise teacher of mine who demonstrated knowledge, wisdom and compassion.”

 Vision, feeling, curiosity, these are the motivating qualities. I feel the sociopolitical and humanistic urge to add my voice to the deafening chorus, to make the world a healthier place with more gratitude for beauty and growth.

Verena is also an avid painter. Please visit her art website at VerenasGiftofArt.com.

Beth Nugent, DACM, MS, LAc.

Board Member

Beth began a journey into medicine at age 18. She became an Emergency Medical Technician in N.Y. City, and fell in love with the idea of helping people heal from trauma. She didn’t know then where that journey would take her, but her mother, an avid holistic nutrition and homeopathic medicine follower, inspired Beth’s evolution. Beth began yoga and martial arts at an early age, and followed her mother’s insights into more natural ways to health. After many years of working in the western medical field, she sought a more integrative approach to healing. Acupuncture was the doorway to that approach. Beth spent 6 years in New York City as a Paramedic, and 28 years with the Nassau County Police Department as a Police Officer, EMT and Detective. She has also worked as the Athletic Trainer for the NY Sharks Women’s Tackle Football Team, and has Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine. Beth is a graduate of New York College of Health Professions, receiving a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine. She is recently completed the doctoral program at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, earning her Doctor of Chinese Medicine degree. She has studied Classical Tuina massage through the Zheng Gu Tuina Institute, and is a daily meditator. Beth is licensed in New York and Oregon and has been in private practice since 2013. She has traveled with AWB to Nepal to provide acupuncture to earthquake survivors and victims of human trafficking, to Greece to treat Syrian and Afghan refugees and volunteers in the region, as well as Puerto Rico to treat people impacted by Hurricane Maria.

Walter Bosque, L.Ac.

Board Member

Walter is a license acupuncturist and a certified NADA trainer. In the early 1970’s he became a member of the acupuncture collective at the Lincoln Hospital Detox program. He was one of the first North American students to graduate from the “Acupuncture Association of Quebec” 1977 (Canada). He was also the first ‘Puerto Rican’ to be licensed to practice acupuncture in the state of California, 1979.

Walter was Assistant Director of the Tri State Acupuncture Institute in New York and Stanford, Connecticut 1980-1985. In 1991 he returned to the Health and Hospital Corporation in New York City, and was hired at the Governor Hospital. (Ryan White program) as a Detox Specialist. In 1997 he was hired by Casa Promesa Inc. Nursing Home in the Bronx. He became a delegate for 1199 SEIU and in 2005 was elected to the Executive Council. He remained at Casa Promesa until his retirement in 2010.

He moved to Puerto Rico and continued to create Holistic Health groups and collectives. In 2015 he was ask to participate in an Acupuncture Forum in San Juan, Puerto Rico, sponsored by the SAPP collective (Salud y Acupuntura Para el Pueblo). He continues to volunteer and participate in the “Free Community Clinics” throughout the island, as well as in New York City.

In 2018 he was hired to coordinate the “Summer Free Acupuncture Community Clinics in New York City. It was successful and returned the following Summer 2019. Unfortunately the Summer Clinic of 2020 was canceled due to CoVid-19.

He served on the Board of the Tri State Acupuncture College of New York. 2016-2018.

He was invited to volunteer with “Acupuncturists Without Borders” shortly after “Huracan Maria” in Puerto Rico, working thru the western part of the island and participating in AWB community clinics. He was humbled and honored to participate with AWB and looks forward to continuing his collaboration with them.

Trần Nam Thư (last-middle-first name), LMT

Board Member

Nam-Thư is a descendant of refugees from the American War in Việt Nam and currently resides on indigenous land of the Karankawa, Ishak-Atakapa, Caddo tribes and Black Liberator Ancestors, now known as Houston, Texas. Her initial training in herbal medicine began by connecting to plants in the garden and kitchen. She earned her B.A in Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, and has experience in community organizing and the nonprofit sector. Nam-Thư is a licensed massage therapist who practices intuitive touch and a student in a dual master’s and doctoral program at the American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. As an acupuncture student not yet licensed to needle, Nam-Thư felt eager yet limited. However, AWB’s Healing Community Trauma training in December 2018 empowered her to connect with volunteers and acupuncturists. Shortly after, in January 2019 they formed a mobile relief clinic for refugees and asylum-seekers suffering primary trauma living in tents in Matamoros, Mexico. In addition, they also treated secondary trauma experienced by humanitarian groups assisting refugees in Brownsville, Texas, and generational trauma the Carrizo Comecrudo tribe faced resisting the border wall construction on their ancestral burial grounds. She served as Team Leader for the AWB Rio Grande Valley Clinic in 2019. Nam-Thư is excited to inspire other students, volunteers and donors to enrich the work of AWB.


Cynthia Neipris, L.Ac.


Cynthia Neipris is licensed as an acupuncturist in NewYork and California, in private practice since 2,000. She has been involved with AWB since it’s inception in 2005 on the Advisory Board and the Board of Directors. She is Director of Outreach and Community Education for the New York campus of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, where she educates and supervises students doing community style acupuncture and has coordinated over several hundred outreach efforts. Ms. Neipris is an Acu-Detox Specialist in New York, and has held a NADA certificate since 2001, providing and supervising between 10,000 and 20,000 NADA treatments. She previously served as Assistant Academic Dean at Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and providing acupuncture services at Step Up on Second for clients with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders and at the Clare Foundation Drug Court program in Santa Monica, California. Cynthia also serves with the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) and with ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) as a site visitor and has been published in Acupuncture Today, Oriental Medicine News, and Epoch Times among other Acupuncture related publications.

Peter Goldberg, Dipl. Ac., Lic. Ac., AP.


Peter Goldberg is a nationally board certified (NCCAOM) acupuncturist. He is licensed in Massachusetts and Florida as a Licensed Acupuncturist and Acupuncture Physician respectively. Peter holds two graduate degrees, one in Acupuncture Physical Medicine and the other in Community Health Administration. A hospice volunteer, he has been a board member of the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, the Berkshire Food Coop and Chairman of the Board the Egremont, MA Board of Selectmen. Peter has held top administrative positions in the corporate, private and non-profit sectors, with a focus on organizational development, corporate education and training and volunteer administration.

Corporate and public speaking in the areas of health and wellness care is one of his passions as he has given over 200 presentations throughout North America and Israel.

Laurie Kleinman, MD


Laurie Ann Kleinman M.D. is a nationally licensed medical doctor, Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (DABPMR), a Diplomat of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (DABIHM), a Diplomat of the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (DABMA), and a member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. Additionally, Dr. Kleinman is a certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist using the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol. For many years in Monterey County, California, Dr. Laurie Ann Kleinman has provided relief to her patients in an integrated Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PMR) practice and in a Medical Acupuncture practice. Her practice also included Electrodiagnositc Medicine (EMG/NCS) and she is a retired member of the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine.  Dr. Kleinman is the founder of both the Chinatown Community Acupuncture Clinic and the Gathering For Women Community Acupuncture Clinic. These clinics provided community style acupuncture for people experiencing homelessness in Monterey County, California. Dr. Laurie Ann Kleinman is past President of the AWB Board of Directors (2019-2020), an AWB Board member (2014-2020), and a proud member of Acupuncturists Without Borders since 2012.  Traveling both internationally and nationally, Dr. Laurie Kleinman has treated many people affected by trauma with the NADA protocol and the Medicine of Peace. She looks forward to many more years of healing those in need of her skills.

Dr. Robert Woodbine, N.D., M.Ac.O.M., L.Ac.


Dr. Woodbine’s father was his first teacher in the healing arts and taught him Eunice Ingham’s Foot Reflexology method when he was ten years old. Dr. Woodbine was also influenced and trained by his grandmother who was a respected midwife and healer and his mother who was a seer.

Since 1985, he has studied, practiced and taught Chinese Qigong and Taijiquan and has trained with various notable teachers including a 3-Year residency Training Program in Qigong and Taijiquan with Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. His other notable teachers have been Master Mantak Chia, Master Wang Qingyu, Fabian Maman, and Grandmaster Roosevelt Gainey.

Dr. Woodbine earned a doctorate (N.D.) in Naturopathic Medicine from the historic National College of Naturopathic Medicine (now the National University of Natural Medicine) in 1996 and a Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (M.Ac.O.M.) from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in 1999. In 1990, he earned his diploma as a Swedish Massage Therapist from the prestigious Bancroft School of Massage Therapy. As the owner of San Bao Holistic Care, he served the Harlem community in a clinical capacity through 2015.

With the blessing of Bill Douglas (the founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day), Dr. Woodbine created and hosted the Annual Harlem Celebration of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day in Harlem’s historic St. Nicholas Park from 2007 through 2019. This venue was uniquely designed to include local holistic practitioners who shared their healing modalities with the Harlem community.

Currently, he is retired from clinical practice, but maintains his New York State Acupuncture license (L.Ac.). Dr. Woodbine’s passion and commitment is teaching communal self-reliance, optimal well-being , and resilience through these and other indigenous healing arts and disciplines.

Ted Kapchuck


Ted J. Kaptchuk is Professor of Medicine and Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard-wide Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter (PiPS) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

As a leading figure in placebo studies, a scholar of East Asian medicine, and an academic authority on medical pluralism, Professor Kaptchuk’s career has spanned multiple disciplines, drawing upon concepts, research designs and analytical methods from the clinical, basic and social sciences, and the humanities.

In collaboration with his colleagues, Professor Kaptchuk has made significant contributions to the field of placebo studies through his investigations of the impact of placebos in various illnesses, the neurobiology of placebo effects, the experience of patients being treated by placebo, and various psychological, cultural, sociological and philosophical dimensions of placebos.  

Professor Kaptchuk has written well-regarded histories of placebo controls and the placebo effect, and significant ethical analyses of the use of placebos in clinical practice and research. 

His team has pioneered the idea of ‘open-label placebo’, demonstrating that honestly prescribed placebos can still evoke placebo effects.  Professor Kaptchuk entered the field of placebo research after pioneering the study of East Asian medicine in the United States and Europe and establishing himself as a scholar of multiple healing traditions.  He is the author of The Web that Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine, a classic textbook, and was senior writer and researcher for the 9-hour BBC-TV series The Healing Arts which documented healing practices around the world.  in the 1980s, he directed the pain unit at Boston’s Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, a state-run chronic disease facility.

Professor Kaptchuk received a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Columbia University in 1968 and graduated with a degree in Chinese medicine from the Macao Institute of Chinese Medicine (Macao, China) in 1975.  He was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine in 1998, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007, and to full Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in 2013. In 2015 he was also appointed Professor or Global Health and Social Medicine. He was a member of NCCAM’s National Advisory Council from 1999 to 2010 and an expert panelist for the FDA from 2001 to 2005.  Ted Kaptchuk’s work was listed among “The Most Notable Medical Findings in 2015” by The New Yorker.  

Dr. Paula Burgess, MD, MPH


Dr. Paula Burgess received both her MD and her MPH from Emory University in Atlanta. After a general surgery residency, she became Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and worked as an Emergency Physician for 20 years. She served as Medical Director of several emergency departments before being recruited to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Subject Matter Expert in Emergency Response and Preparedness post 9/11. In her 18- year career at the CDC, Dr. Burgess served in high level scientific leadership positions and provided expertise in a wide range of subjects, including emergency preparedness and response, epidemiology, toxicology, environmental health, and traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Burgess is licensed to practice medicine and acupuncture in Georgia and Texas. She received her acupuncture training at the Helms Medical Institute and is a diplomate of the American Board of Medical Acupuncture. Dr. Burgess has been an active member of Acupuncturists Without Borders for several years. Her volunteer work includes providing NADA trauma relief protocol to veterans at an AWB veterans’ clinic in Atlanta as well as several AWB volunteer trips to the Rio Grande Valley(RGV) in Texas. In the RGV, she worked in clinics for refugees in the encampment in Matamoras, Mexico, as well as providing NADA protocol relief for secondary trauma experienced by volunteers assisting refugees in Brownsville, Texas.

Barney Monks