Dr. Amy Maher has joined IPM in July 2019. She is thrilled to be back in California. She has had a history of academic and career excellence. She attended Middlebury College in Vermont and completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Dr. Maher received her MD from Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Oregon in 2002. She completed her internship at Virginia Mason Medical Center and her anesthesia residency at UCSF Medical Center. Dr. Maher continued on to complete a fellowship in Pain Management at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Dr. Maher has spent time as a clinical instructor for the USCF Department of Anesthesia. Over the last twenty years, she has studied extensively in nutrition, hormonal health, emotional health, and mindfulness techniques such as yoga. Dr. Maher offers her services in pain management. She also offers medication-assisted treatment to help those with opiate use disorder. She supports those with sleep disorders, headache, and mental health issues. She has experience using a multidisciplinary approach such as exercise, emotional health, and nutrition. Therefore, she looks forward to supporting each person on their unique journey towards health and happiness.
Dr. Abaci is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate education at UC San Diego, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and attended medical school at the University of Southern California. During his last year of residency, he served as Chief Resident and participated in a senior elective in pain management. That experience sparked an interest that led him to UC San Francisco, where he completed his fellowship training in Pain Management. In private practice since 1996, he serves as the Medical Director of the nationally recognized Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center, located in Los Gatos, California, which he co-founded with Dr. John Massey. A widely respected expert on chronic pain management and a highly successful chronic pain sufferer, he is the author of 'Take Charge of Your Chronic Pain: The Latest Research, Cutting-Edge Tools, and Alternative Treatments for Feeling Better'. Dr. Abaci began his quest to radically change conventional chronic pain thinking and treatment after dealing with the agony of his second anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. There is help for conquering chronic pain, without a life addicted to drugs, and hope for healing and long-term health. Commonly prescribed pain-killing medications—Vicodin, Demerol, Oxycontin, and other narcotics—can result in a heightened sensitivity to pain, along with addiction. This has lead Dr. Abaci to focus on developing alternative solutions to treating chronic pain. Drawing on neuroscience research, evidence-based medicine, ancient Eastern spiritual traditions, stress management techniques, nutrition principles, exercise programs, art therapy, and real-life lessons, Dr. Abaci focuses on creating an integrative pain-fighting regimen for his patients.
Alexis Persin, LMFT, ATR is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist as well as Registered Art Therapist. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design from San Jose State University, California 2010, and subsequently her Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University in 2015. Her research focuses on investigating how art therapy can reduce anxiety and increase reminiscing in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. She spent two years providing counseling, art therapy, and leading psychology groups for adults managing chronic pain. Alexis was able to pursue working with families, and children with depression and anxiety in a School-Based Program. Alexis has presented in partnership with Belmont-Redwood Shores Healthy Schools Initiative Grant on youth mental health and ways to help adolescents cope with anxiety and depression. In 2019, Alexis was able to combine both interests of clinical counseling and art therapy in her position at IPM Los Gatos and Capitola. With her passion for helping others express emotions through art, Alexis offers individual therapy focusing on addressing the whole person using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies and person-centered therapy. Alexis specializes in using art therapy, sleep hygiene, mindfulness, and developing a deeper understanding of how chronic pain affects a person’s mind, body, and spirit. Alexis is interested in the whole body and became interested in studying further after her own arm tendon injury and back injury. Alexis continually seeks information on chronic pain, inflammatory response, and whole-body healing. In her free time, you may find Alexis out walking with friends, enjoying tea, or collaging art.
Dr. Allison Alonas is a physical therapist practicing at IPM Los Gatos, delivering individual patient care. She had a love of movement from a very early age as a dancer and completed her undergraduate education at Chapman University, receiving a Bachelor of Biological Sciences and a Dance Minor. She later received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco State University, combining her loves of movement and science. During her time as a Student Physical Therapist, she developed particular interests in teaching others about pain. This interest led her to Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center in Los Gatos, now IPM Medical Group, for one of her clinical rotations. She was impressed with the clinic’s unique philosophy of treating the whole person and recognized the therapeutic potential of working as part of a multidisciplinary pain management team. After completing nine months of post-graduate training at Kaiser Vallejo and receiving her certification in Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation as a Level V Therapist, she is happy to be back at IPM Los Gatos. Dr. Allison Alonas has a passion for educating patients about their pain, empowering them to take an active role in their treatment, and seeing them return to valued life activities. When she’s not in the clinic, you can find her hiking on the trail, grooving in the studio, or catching the latest modern dance performance in the theater!
Alyssa Gomez, FNP-C attended Santa Clara University where she completed a bachelor’s degree in biology. She received her Master’s degree in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Samuel Merritt University in 2016. Since then, she has worked at IPM-Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center where she is helping her patients regain function and cope with their chronic pain. Alyssa focuses on educating her patients about the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach in dealing with chronic pain as well as promoting patient involvement in their healthcare. When she is not working, you will find her either at a San Francisco Giants or a 49ers game.
Erika Palmquist Smith, LPCC, RYT-500 is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor as well as a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500-hour level. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Scripps College in Claremont, California in 2003, and received her Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2006. She also pursued post-graduate studies at St. Mary’s University to learn advanced diagnostic and treatment planning techniques. She spent five years providing in-home counseling and support for adults, families, and children dealing with chronic illness and a traumatic brain injury before moving to California in 2011. Once she moved to the Bay Area, Erika was able to pursue her second passion of teaching yoga and meditation and received specialized training in functional anatomy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and adaptive yoga for clients dealing with cancer or other chronic illness. Additionally, she spent time providing counseling and support to families with children on the Autism Spectrum, as well as providing mental health training for volunteers on the county crisis line. In 2017, Erika was able to combine both interests of clinical counseling and mindful movement in her position at IPM Los Gatos. Erika leads psychoeducational groups within the Functional Restoration Program to facilitate a greater understanding of the effects of mood, stress, and cognition on chronic pain. In individual counseling sessions, Erika utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies as well as mindfulness, relaxation, and breathing exercises to help foster a deepening awareness of our internal capacity to heal.
Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Medicine Dr. McKellar began his career as a researcher and clinical educator at the Palo Alto VA and Stanford University studying interventions for addiction, pain, and PTSD before spending several years as a national trainer for cognitive-behavioral pain interventions in the VA. His approach for helping patients with chronic pain incorporates Mindfulness/CBT interventions with pain neuroscience education. Whether working with pain or trauma Dr. McKellar helps patient use their understanding and self-com passion to develop effective ways to cope with pain and negative mood.
Lindsey began practicing yoga more than 13 years ago when she was searching for a way to have a healthier connection to her body and mind. What began as a method of relaxation, turned into a journey of self-discovery that encompassed mindfulness and fitness. In her practice, Lindsey found better body alignment, reduction in stress, and a passion for helping people feel the same. This leads her to complete a 500-hour teacher training through the JOY of Yoga with Jennifer Prugh and 200 hour Qigong training. As a practitioner and an instructor, Lindsey blends several styles of yoga including Yin, Restorative, Gentle flow, Qigong, and Chair with meditation and visualization techniques. A common theme across all the styles that Lindsey teaches is aligning to the body, not the posture. Further, she believes in focusing upon breathing for the purpose of unifying body and mind to alter an individual’s energy. Aligning the body with breath yields positive results on a person’s frame of mind, leaving the practitioner relaxed and empowered to face the challenges of the day. Lindsey believes in making yoga an accessible and enriching experience for all people; working with a broad range of ages and levels, from teenage beginners to daily practitioners and seniors.
Matt heard his calling after spending 6 years in corporate customer care and returned to school to receive his B.S. in Sports and Health Sciences with a concentration on Sports Medicine. He earned his personal training certification and increased his coaching to a wider range of sports including rugby, football, baseball, soccer, and swimming. After 3 years as a personal trainer working with a wide range of clients including many post-rehab, he happened upon a job posting for BAPWC in January 2010. Once he started here, he knew it was a perfect fit. Matt is married with 2 boys. His wife is a pediatric nurse who thoroughly enjoys helping kids recover from illness and injury. Both of his boys are student-athletes, one now attending Kent State University and the other a senior in high school. In his time here, he has increased his knowledge earning specialty certifications and his M.S. in Sports and Health Sciences. He thrives on seeing the patients here progress and move on to a more active life with the ability to do more of what they love to do. He continues to coach high school football and maintains a high level of fitness.
Michael Sullivan is the Director of Physical Therapy at the IPM Los Gatos and Capitola offices. He obtained his Masters of Physical Therapy degree from Duke University and pursued his interest in rehabilitation of orthopedic disorders, with a focus on helping people injured on the job return to an active lifestyle. After eight years of working in a private practice setting he recognized that physical therapy, provided within the framework of a traditional medical model, was not sufficient to meet the health care needs of many people. He began working in a multidisciplinary chronic pain program in 1997 and embraced a biopsychosocial approach to the treatment of chronic pain, recognizing the need for integrated care provided by a spectrum of people in the healing arts. He believes that the team at IPM has furthered the evolution of chronic pain management and created an atmosphere “where healing becomes possible”. When he is not working, you can find Michael bicycling the hills around Los Gatos . In his previous life, his passion for cycling, cuisine and travel carried him around the globe leading bicycling vacations for an active travel company.
Sang Won Yoon has been a Diplomat of Oriental Medicine since 2004 (NCCAOM) and California licensed acupuncturist since 2005. He graduated with a Master in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Science in Oakland, CA. After passing his California board exam, he went to Shanghai, China for a post-graduate internship at Shu Guang TCM Hospital. Afterward, he went to Kyung Hee University Hospital, in Seoul, South Korea, where studied in the Oriental medicine wing of the hospital at the internal medicine, neuropsychiatry, rehabilitation medicine, and gynecology departments. Sang Won has traveled all around the world treating and educating people about acupuncture. I have a passion for Chinese Medicine and trying to help improve the lives of my patients.
Sharleen Vigil is a Licensed Physical Therapy Assistant, Certified Kinesiotape Practitioner, Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist and speaks Spanish. Sharleen has over 40 years of experience in all areas of physical therapy working with the teenage and adult population. The majority of her experience has been in outpatient orthopedics, industrial injury, Ergonomic evaluations, and some neurological injuries. Sharleen obtained her A.A. degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant at DeAnza College in 1977. She believes that specific exercise and proper body mechanics are of utmost importance in restoring function and improving one’s life. She is currently providing physical therapy at the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center in Los Gatos, California.
I received my bachelor’s degree in nursing at University of Maryland Baltimore and later completed my master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Simmons University in 2018 as a member of Sigma Theta Tau, nursing’s National Honor Society. I am nationally certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. I have several years of experience as a bedside nurse working on a medical intensive care unit and cardiac telemetry unit. I love to empower patients and help them understand the reasoning behind my approach. Outside of work I enjoy dancing, traveling, and spending time with my fiancé. Having relocated from Maryland, I also enjoy exploring and discovering new activities and foods in our area!
Stephanie Soto, LMFT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and with a certification in Art Therapy. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, in the Health and Development Track and Studio Art at Stanford University. She completed her Master of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy at Notre Dame de Namur University. She has specialized in trauma and grief counseling for over 10 years and is passionate about guiding others to find their unique path towards healing. Stephanie joined the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center in 2017. She provides psychoeducation in a group setting to those with chronic pain in the Functional Restoration Program. Trained in Focusing meditation, she also provides mindfulness and relaxation techniques to attend to the body-mind-spirit connection.
Toni Morley graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Sociology and from The College of Notre Dame with an MA in Counseling Psychology and Art Therapy. She worked at El Camino Hospital in the Department of Psychiatry and spent 20 years in private practice with children, individuals and couples. She worked for 8 years as a dementia specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association of CA and Northern Nevada and 2 years working at the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center working with chronic pain patients. She is certified as an EMDR specialist and has a California license to practice hypnotherapy. She has written chapters in several art therapy books and won the Jefferson Award for her work with dementia patients.