The perfect team — founders, board of directors, consultants.


Elaine Hanson, Psy.D. J.D.
Executive Director

Dr. Hanson is a licensed clinical psychologist and attorney with experience working internationally and training others to work internationally. She is an expert in trauma and trauma interventions. 

Click here to read more about Dr. Hanson.

Gwen Vogel Mitchell, Psy.D.
Director of Clinical and International Services

Dr. Vogel Mitchell is a published international clinical psychologist with extensive experience working and training both nationally and internationally.  She is a core faculty member in the International Disaster Psychology graduate program at the University of Denver and has particular interest in staff welfare, capacity building of local NGOs and refugee and military trauma.

Click here to read more about Dr. Vogel Mitchell.


Andrew Riley, M.A.
Country Coordinator, SalusWorld Myanmar

Andrew Riley graduated with an M.A. in International Disaster Psychology from the University of Denver in 2013. He is pursuing an international mental health career, and is particularly interested in working in resource-limited contexts with marginalized populations.

Click here to read more about Andrew

Colin Martin, M.A.
Web Designer
Operations Manager
Chief Content Officer and Producer, 30 Seconds In Podcast

Colin Martin is a 2013 graduate of the University of Denver's Master's of International Disaster Psychology Program. He has most recently worked in disaster behavioral health settings in Colorado, serving as the state's program coordinator for two FEMA/SAMHSA Crisis Counseling Program grants as well as a SAMHSA Emergency Response Grant (SERG). Colin's international experience has seen him working in Thailand and Singapore offering educational services and in southern India offering mental health training and consultation services.


Elisa Moran, J.D.
Board President 

Elisa Moran has been a trial attorney in the Denver Metro area since 1981, specializing in employment discrimination and civil rights cases.  She has received the Channel 7 Everyday Heroes Award (2005) for her work with Head Start Children in Denver and has served on a number of non-profit boards including the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Children’s International Summer Villages, serving as president. Moran is currently on the Board of Directors for the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation which raises and distributes funds to support children with medical illnesses and their families.

Click here to read more about Ms. Moran

Courtney Welton-Mitchell, LPC, Ph.D.
Board Member

Courtney Welton-Mitchell is the director of the Humanitarian Assistance Applied Research Group (HAARG) through the Josef Korbel School of International Studies (JKSIS) at the University of Denver. She is also a Research Associate with the Institute of Behavioral Science's Environment and Society program, Natural Hazards Center, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a current adjunct faculty at JKSIS, Humanitarian Assistance Program, and former faculty in the International Disaster Psychology M.A. program at the University of Denver (2010-2013), as well as the American University in Cairo. Courtney has coauthored articles in the areas of international disaster psychology, mental health of refugees and other forced migrants, intimate partner abuse, and trauma and memory. She worked for several years with U.N. and other humanitarian agencies with camp-based and urban refugees in Nepal, Tanzania, and Egypt before returning to the U.S., and continues to do consultancy work, including a global evaluation of mental health and psychosocial services for humanitarian aid workers (2012-2013) for UNHCR.

Click here to read more about Dr. Welton-Mitchell


Howard Markman, Ph.D.
Board Member

Howard J. Markman, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. He has conducted long term research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation for 28 years. These studies have resulted in over 100 publications in scientific journals, books, and chapters. He has also co-founded PREPinc, a company that has provided research based help and programs for couples. Markman has co-authored 12 books including, We Can Work It Out, 12 Hours to a Great Marriage and the best seller, Fighting For Your Marriage and regularly appears as an expert on Oprah, The Today Show, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Washington Post, Redbook, Men's Health, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.


Debbie Coyle, M.D.
Board Member

Dr. Deborah Coyle is a board certified psychiatrist in Denver, Colorado. She received her medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and has been in practice for 36 years.  She is certified in EMDR and is on faculty at the CU Medical School.  



Bill Scanlon, M.A.
Board Member 

Bill has a B.A. in Anthropology, a Master's in Teaching from the University of New Hampshire and a Master's in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder. For the past 30 years, Bill was a journalist at the Daily Camera, where he had a column and wrote about education, science, business and the environment.  From 1990 to 2009 he worked at the Rocky Mountain News, covering local government, the Legislature, the environment, science and health. A few months after the Rocky closed in 2009,  Bill got a job at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, where he writes feature stories about wind and solar energy as well as press releases, budget summaries and speeches.



The areas in which SalusWorld works have been impacted by natural and man-made disasters and our services have been in high demand. Every year, dozens of private therapists, trauma experts and psychologists selflessly volunteer their time and provide their services at no cost. These mental health professionals are a key resource in meeting that demand. SalusWorld would like to thank all of our current and former volunteers and interns for your commitment to our cause.

The following is a list of our expert volunteer consultants to date:


Maria Vukovich, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
SalusWorld Research Associate
Co-Author: Sharing Circles: learning from a community based psychosocial intervention model implemented with vulnerable populations in Myanmar

Maria Vukovich is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Research Methods and Statistics with concentrations in Global Health and Human Rights from the University of Denver (DU). Her mixed methods dissertation utilizes cross-cultural measurement to examine cultural idioms of distress across resettled refugee groups receiving mental health services in Denver, Colorado. She also holds a Master’s degree from DU in International Disaster Psychology. Maria has researched and written on topics related to mental health and psychosocial support in vulnerable populations, refugee integration/resettlement, developmental cognitive processes of early math learning in young children, traumatic stress, staff welfare and vicarious trauma, and cross-cultural measurement in refugee populations. Her approach to evaluation and research is rooted in community-based participatory methods, and utilizes rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods. At SalusWorld, she served as a research and evaluation adviser for domestic and international programs.  Maria recently accepted a research position with the Center for Victims of Torture. 

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Veronica Laveta, M.A.
Training Consultant

Veronica has worked as a licensed clinical social worker for 16 years with a specialty in trauma. Following her time with SalusWorld, she accepted a Clinical Advisor position with the Center for Victims of Torture.  She started the trauma task force at Kaiser and developed a psycho-educational trauma skills curriculum that was adopted in the Colorado region. She volunteers for HealthRight International doing psychological evaluations for torture survivors and facilitates restorative justice circles with Longmont Community Justice Partnership. She recently finished a Masters in Conflict Transformation with a focus on peacebuilding in traumatized societies and recently returned from teaching a class on Understanding Psychosocial Trauma at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute. An excerpt from her reflection on this class:

"As many who work in the development and peacebuilding fields, these front line workers feel overwhelmed by the enormous need and the lack of funding and staffing to meet those needs. In the class, we focused heavily on healing strategies and interrupting cycles of violence. We all brought song and dance from our various countries that helped physically discharge the intensity of trauma we were discussing. We enacted the reality that “joy can co-exist with pain” and shared how cultural approaches can help with community healing..."  

Click here to read Veronica's blog post about her work in Myanmar

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Whitney Haruf, LCSW
SalusWorld-Northern Thailand (Shan Migrant Project)
Visiting Consultant
Co-Author: Community Based Mental Health & Psychosocial Assistance (in Trauma and Recovery on War's Border: A Guide for Global Health Workers)  

Whitney Haruf was the Director of Adult Mental Health for Burma Border Projects from 2010 to 2012 in Mae Sot, Thailand. She partnered with Burmese staff at Mae Tao Clinic's Counseling Center providing clinical supervision and counseling training to the staff, as well as leading mental health and psychosocial trainings to other local organizations working along the Thai-Burma border.  Previous to this Whitney volunteered with SalusWorld along the Shan State border where she partnered with Shan Burmese peer support counselors providing support for their psychosocial outreach program in outlying Shan migrant communities.  Currently, Whitney is the Clinical Director for the Refugee Family Stabilization Unit at Lutheran Family Services in Denver. 

For more about Fortune Mental Health and our work with them on the Thai-Burma Border click here



Courtney Higgens, Psy.D.
SalusWorld-South Africa & WolaNani

Courtney has been a practicing clinician for eight years. She began her career as an adult specialist at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco where she specialized in mood disorders, HIV/AIDS and trauma.  Last year, Courtney applied for a 6-month unpaid leave of absence from her position so she could explore the world and spend some time volunteering through SalusWorld with our local partner Woli Nani in South Africa. Following her work with SalusWorld she has lived and worked in Hawaii and San Diego.  Courtney brought a unique skill set and energy to her capacity building project in South Africa and they were deeply appreciative of her support.

Click here to read the thank you letter from Woli Nani highlighting Courtney's contributions.


Rebecca Hermann, Psy.D.
SalusWorld-Northern Thailand (Shan Migrant Project)
Visiting Consultant

An experienced international psychologist, Rebecca has made training trips to Bosnia and Northern Thailand to work with the displaced Shan (coming soon: link to Thailand/Shan project).  She has devoted many years of her life to serving at-risk youth.  Currently, Rebecca focuses her work on both children and adults and is an expert at psychological and learning disability assessments.  Rebecca's partner, William (seen in photo) accompanied Rebecca on her consultancy and also contributed greatly to SalusWorld's Northern Thailand project supporting Migrant Shan. 



Mykell Winterowd, LCSW
SalusWorld-Northern Thailand (Shan Migrant Project)
Country Coordinator & Organization Consultant to Fortune Mental Health 

A Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 18 years of experience in more than 20 countries, Mykell supported the regional capacity building program in Fang, Thailand over the course of multiple grant cycles and visits. While there, she focused on offering training and support to local medics, teachers, community leaders and "Fortune" members - a community based organization that has grown out of this mental health initiative.  An expert in crisis management, training and program development, Mykell trained local staff on stress management, resiliency, basic helping skills and community outreach.  Mykell also has knowledge and experience in psychosocial and staff wellness support, including trauma and secondary trauma, in high stress environments and helped complete a needs assessment in Mae Sot, Thailand on vicarious trauma related issues.


Hillary Prag, M.A. 
SalusWorld-Northern Thailand (Shan Migrant Project)
Training Consultant
Co-Author: Therapeutic photography: fostering posttraumatic growth in Shan adolescent refugees in northern Thailand 

Hillary Prag received her Master’s Degree in International and Intercultural Communication at the University of Denver (DU) where she specialized in international development and photojournalism. Her work concentrates on developing programs that allow marginalized populations to advocate for themselves by equipping them with photojournalism tools to articulate their own experience. Her photography workshop program for at-risk youth began in 2006 in Seattle and has since traveled with her to Boston, Denver, Port-au-Prince, Haiti and, most recently, northern Thailand. Her curriculum is designed to help students access their traumatic stories from a workable distance with the camera and to train mental health workers to support the process. She is currently based in Denver where she works with refugee youth in the Denver Public Schools district.


Eda Spielman, Psy.D.
Training Consultant 

Eda Spielman, Psy.D, is the Clinical Director of the Center for Early Relationship Support (CERS) and faculty of the Infant-Parent Training Institute (IPTI) at Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS) of Greater Boston. She holds a certificate in Infant/Parent Mental Health and came to JF&CS to develop Early Connections, a program of home-based mother-baby psychotherapy for dyads facing early relationship challenges.  She is currently involved in a SAMHSA-funded project at CERS developing an adaptation of the evidence-based practice of Child-Parent Psychotherapy to support trauma-exposed mothers and their young children in residential treatment for substance abuse recovery. She taught a clinical developmental seminar at Mass. School of Professional Psychology for many years, has served as a consultant to Early Intervention, Early Head Start and Healthy Families and is in private practice in Newton, MA with a specialty in issues of pregnancy, parenting and early childhood mental health.  Her recent publications are the result of collaboration with Dr. Ruth Paris at BU School of Social Work from research on Early Connections, exploring the outcomes and process of parent-infant psychotherapy. Current professional interests include postpartum/maternal depression, adoptive parenting, development of reflective practice and the application of infant/early childhood mental health principles and attachment research beyond clinical settings. 

Click here to read Eda's blog post about her work in Myanmar.


Ben Molland, Psy.D.
SalusWorld Myanmar
Training Consultant 

Ben is a clinical psychologist who currently works as a staff member at the Yale University Mental Health and Counseling Department. He has specific interest and experience working with young adult and college age populations and has provided college mental health services in multiple university settings over the last several years. In addition to a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, he has also earned a masters degree in international disaster psychology and has a background in several related clinical areas including trauma, refugee mental health, and cross cultural mental health. He has traveled widely and has provided mental heath consultation and training in several different international contexts including West Africa and Sarajevo, Bosnia. 

Click here to read Ben's Blog Post about his work in Myanmar


Charles Steinberg, MD
Training Consultant 

Charles  is an AIDS treating physician from Boulder Colorado.  In 1985 he focused his family practice on people living with HIV/AID (PLWHAs) at his Boulder clinic, Wellspring Partners in Health.   In 1987 he founded AIDS, Medicine and Miracles, a national conference for PLWHA’s that brought hope and the latest in traditional and complementary therapies to thousands.   From 1995 until 2003 he directed The Beacon Clinic, Boulder Community Hospital's HIV/AIDS center of excellence.   

Charles speaks internationally to physicians and PLWHA’s on how to live long and well with HIV.  His lectures deal with the human issues and the medical aspects of HIV infection, touching the mind and the heart.   In the U.S he talks to groups of doctors about care in resource limited settings and inspires U.S. health care providers to become involved in the developing world.  Charles is a professional photographer and uses his impactful images in his presentations.

Charles has done international medical work in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Nepal, Mexico, Peru, Romania and The Ukraine. In early 2004 he spent two months as a trainer brought by the Infectious Disease Society of America to teach African doctors about anti-retroviral therapy (ART) at the Academic Alliance for AIDS Care in Africa at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.  He then spent one year as the ART consultant at a PEPFAR funded HIV clinic in Kampala, supervising the care of 1800 patients, training nurses as the primary care providers and setting up an ART program for 600 patients.  He has served as a consultant training AIDS practitioners for the Clinton Foundation and I-TECH in Uganda, the Ukraine  and Ethiopia. He served as the Head of the Training Department at the IDI, and continues there as a senior trainer and consultant.  He is particularly keen to help train nurses and clinical officers as the primary care givers in resource limited settings, and to involve PLWHAs in the training of health care workers. He also works to train PLWHAs as front line soldiers fighting for HIV prevention.


Polly Dewhirst, LCSW
Training Consultant

Polly Dewhirst is a licensed master social worker, researcher, and project manager with over 15 years of international experience working with victims and survivors of human rights violations. She is an expert in transitional justice and has conducted extensive advocacy, research and community-based intervention projects around South Africa's historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She is a specialist in working with relatives of those who have “disappeared” or gone missing due to political conflict and helped to develop the International Minimum Standards for Psychosocial Work around Exhumations and Human Rights Investigations. More recently she has worked with international organizations such as ICTJ, UNICEF and EAAF to improve human rights documentation and promote refugee access to mental health. She obtained her master's degree in International Social Work from Columbia University in New York City, USA.  


Rachele Vogel, M.A., Psy.D. Candidate

Rachele is a doctoral candidate at the University of Denver, Graduate School of Professional Psychology. She is completing her internship at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.  

Click here to read more about Rachele's experience with SalusWorld in Myanmar.