NPHTI Board of Directors
Cheryl Bemel, PhD, LP
Cheryl Bemel is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota's School of Dentistry, training dentists and dental students in psychophysiological management techniques with pain patients. She also has her own Private Practice to treat these mind/body issues. Dr. Bemel is a consultant at Allina Health in the Center for Obesity and Bariatric Interventions. Dr. Bemel has provided on-site trauma services within the Minneapolis Police Department’s Child Development Policing Project. She has also provided care as a Crisis Psychologist in hospital emergency departments. Dr. Bemel is an Approved Consultant with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. She teaches as a faculty member for ASCH workshops & NPHTI workshops (The National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute). 'Engaging in play' is important to her, so she will be happy to play Pickle Ball or bicycle with you when you visit Minnesota.
And yes, that was a hypnotic suggestion, 'when you visit Minnesota!' For more information about her work, you may visit www.drcherylbemel.com
Bonnie Boucher, HMCC, CMP
Bonnie has been a leader in the meeting and hospitality industry for over 25 years. Her career began at the University of Minnesota Medical School which spanned over 27 years where she held both support and leadership positions. She was the Assistant Director of Continuing Medical Education and facilitated medical education meetings and courses both nationally and internationally. In her last position at the University of Minnesota Medical School, she was the Administrative Director for the medical simulation center and participated on the single largest grant ever issued by the U.S. Department of Defense as the administrative lead on the project.
In 2015, she began a new career with ConferenceDirect and now negotiates group and convention contracts globally and fully facilitates meetings and events for her clients. She was recognized by her company for being in the Top 102 Top Producers in 2019. She received her CMP designation in 2004 and taught portions of the CMP Prep Camp through the Minnesota Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). She also served as a board member of MPI and was nominated for “Meeting Planner of the Year”. Bonnie received her Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC) in 2018. She is also actively involved in several industry organizations such as Midwest Society of Association Executives and serves on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization. She has been the President of Mallard Point Townhome Association for the past 10 years and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute since 2019.
In her spare time, Bonnie enjoys traveling and family trips to the cabin. She also has enjoyed being a co-leader for several junior high school trips to Spain, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Germany, Italy and Africa.
Lynn Gershan, MD
Lynn Gershan is a graduate of McGill University School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at the University of Michigan and McGill University Faculty of Medicine. She completed her Neonatal-Perinatal fellowship at McGill and St. Louis Universities. Her career started at the Medical College of Wisconsin before she transitioned to private General Pediatric practice and then began her training in Integrative Health. Dr. Gershan returned to academics in 2010 and started the Integrative Health program at the University of Utah- Primary Children’s Hospital. Her published research and clinical interests included ways of incorporating Traditional Chinese Medicine, self-hypnosis, and other Integrative modalities into pediatric academic health centers.
She is board certified in Medical Acupuncture and certified in clinical hypnosis, medical herbalism, pediatric massage therapy, and aromatherapy.
Lynn’s current interests include hiking/almost any outdoor activity, refining her French language skills, and volunteering at Mission Animal Hospital. As a new member of the NPHTI Board, she is honored to participate and looks forward to contributing to NPHTI’s mission and scope.
Daniel Kohen, MD, FAAP, ABMH
Daniel P. Kohen is Co-Founder and Director of Education of NPHTI and founding member of the Board of Directors of NPHTI, a 501c3 non-profit educational organization. He is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician now retired from clinical practice with Kohen Therapy Associates, Minnetonka, MN, and a retired Professor of Pediatrics and Family Medicine and Community Health in the Departments of Pediatrics and Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota. Dr. Kohen is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Medical Hypnosis and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and the Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis; and an approved Consultant by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
He has been honored with multiple awards for scientific writing in clinical hypnosis and for clinical excellence and education in Pediatrics and Pediatric Clinical Hypnosis by local, national, and international hypnosis organizations. Dr. Kohen has published over 100 scientific publications including manuscripts in peer-reviewed publications, books, book chapters, and Abstracts. With Dr. Karen Olness he wrote the textbook, Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy with Children, now re-named Hypnosis with Children and in its fifth edition (2023). He has also created dozens of educational video recordings of clinical encounters illustrating and elucidating therapeutic encounters in pediatric clinical hypnosis. Dr. Kohen is past-President of and examiner for the American Board of Medical Hypnosis, past-President of the Minnesota Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and in 2016 completed 30 years as Director of Education and Training for the Minnesota Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
He has been teaching Pediatric Hypnosis internationally as an invited Faculty since 1980, having taught in more than 20 different cities in over 10 different countries, as well as throughout the U.S.
He is the former Director of Fellowship Training in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota and previously was the Associate Director of Medical Education, Minneapolis Children’s Medical Center (1978-1986) and Director of the Emergency Room, Minneapolis Children’s Medical Center (1978-1981). Dr. Kohen graduated from the Wayne State University School of Medicine (Detroit, MI) and completed Pediatric Residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit and the Oklahoma Children’s Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma City, where he also served as Chief Pediatric Resident. Dr. Kohen served as a Commissioned Officer in the Division of Indian Health of the U.S. Public Health Service (1971-1978) on the Navajo Reservation in Fort Defiance, Arizona. He is especially proud of his wife, Harriet, their two sons and their wives, and their three grandchildren.
Lisa Lombard, PhD
Lisa Lombard is a licensed clinical psychologist in independent private practice for 30 years treating children and adults experiencing anxiety, stress-mediated health concerns, and pain. She draws upon her clinical and research training in hypnosis to help children and families (re)-discover resiliency. She is a former Research Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Center for Food Allergy and Asthma Research (CFAAR), and for many years has been a school-based clinical psychologist and consultant. She is also the psychological advisor for Alerje, a start-up firm that has developed a multi-disciplinary app to support patients engaged in oral immunotherapy (OIT).
While on the NU faculty she researched psychosocial factors related to chronic health conditions like food allergies. She also led the development of a free, web-based platform of tiered behavioral health support for healthcare providers and staff.
In March 2022 she formed Comfort Kits for Children, in collaboration with NPHTI and Health Frontiers. This organization, soon to be a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, has sent about 300 kits/guidance pamphlets that support children’s emotional re-regulation after exposure to trauma to Ukraine and Poland, offered webinars to pediatric healthcare providers in Ukraine and elsewhere, and launched a website of curated behavioral health resources for children and caregivers. In August 2022 the mission expanded to offer these resources to children in Chicagoland exposed to traumatic experiences.
Lisa earned her Ph.D. in Psychology/Human Development from the University of Chicago, where she conducted research on self-directed hypnosis with Erika Fromm, PhD. She is an ASCH Approved Consultant and the President of the Chicago Society for Clinical Hypnosis. She is the APA Division 30 (Society of Psychological Hypnosis) Council Representative and is a former Clinical Section Head of the Illinois Psychological Association (IPA). She has been on the NPHTI faculty since 2012, joined the NPHTI Board of Directors in 2020, and was elected President of the Board of Directors in January 2021.
Neil Meyer is a shareholder in the Minneapolis law firm Meyer Njus Tanick, PA. He practices in the areas of business representation, commercial real estate and estate planning. He has been selected to the Best Lawyers in America, Minnesota Super Lawyers, a Minnesota Lawyer of the Year, and honored by the Minnesota Supreme Court as the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board Volunteer of the Year. Neil recognizes that the practice of the law is a privilege to be earned each day and with that privilege is a responsibility to give back to the community.
Neil has served as a founder of and president of LegalCORPS, a non-profit pro bono organization providing business lawyers to microenterprises and small non-profits, and helped develop and lead its Inventors Assistance Program, the first pro bono patent law program in the country. He has also served on the Lawyer’s Professional Responsibility Board, having been appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court to that position.
He is honored to serve on the Board of NPHTI and to help it in carrying out its mission. Neil received his undergraduate degree from Drake University, and his law degree from the University of Minnesota School of Law. He is a passionate baseball fan. In what other sport is the goal to be “safe at home.”
Robert Pendergrast, MD, MPH
Robert Pendergrast is Professor, Department of Pediatrics, and director of Adolescent Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He completed Pediatrics Residency and a Fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS. After a graduate degree in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, he has spent his career teaching medical students and pediatric residents in the context of pediatric primary care of children and teens. Since 1997 he has been the director of Adolescent Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and an Approved Consultant in clinical hypnosis, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
After beginning training in clinical hypnosis in 2002, he started the Pediatric Mind-Body Program at MCG in 2003, serving children and teens with chronic pain and other chronic medical conditions. In 2005 he completed the Fellowship at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center and has since contributed to editing portions of their online curriculum in nutritional medicine.
He is a founding member of the Section on Integrative Medicine of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has been part of NPHTI’s Core Faculty since 2012. He has authored and co-authored a number of medical research articles and book chapters, including published research through the Georgia Prevention Institute on the effects of meditation on cardiovascular disease risk factors in youth. He was honored by the MCG School of Medicine class of 2004 by being voted their Educator of the Year. He has received the Exemplary Teacher Award in the Department of Pediatrics seven times since 2010, and was Teacher of the Year for the Department of Pediatrics in 2020. Major clinical and teaching interests include adolescent primary care, nutrition, doctor-patient communication, cancer and other disease prevention, and clinical hypnosis. His book, Breast Cancer: Reduce Your Risk with Foods You Love, was a Finalist in the Indie Excellence National Book Awards competition in 2011.
Our Training Leadership
In 2009, NPHTI’s Co-Founders, Dr. Daniel Kohen, MD, FAAP, ABMH and Dr. Pamela Kaiser, PhD, CPNP, CNS, began the journey to create the only pediatric-specific hypnosis training program in North America. As Co-Directors, Drs. Kaiser and Kohen solicited expert input toward forming NPHTI’s program development and curricular content and format. These Senior Faculty contributed greatly: Karen Olness, MD, FAAP, ABMH; Candace Erickson, MD, MPH, FAAP; Leora Kuttner, PhD; Laurence Sugarman, MD, ABMH, FAAP; Jud Reaney, MD, FAAP, BCB; and Bob Deutsch, PhD.
Additional inaugural faculty invited to join this endeavor included Howard Hall, PhD, PsyD, BCB; Melanie Gold, DO, DABMA, DMQ; Andy Barnes, MD, MPH, FAAP; Tim Culbert MD, FAAP, ABMH, BCB; Rebecca Kajander, MPH, PNP, BSB, CPMHS, Rev. James Warnke, MA, LCSW, MSW and Harriet Kohen, M.A., M.S.W., LICSW, CPT.
In 2016, Drs. Kohen and Kaiser welcomed Bonnie Boucher, HMCC, CMP, with Conference Direct, to join us as the administrative manager and conference coordinator for implementing our annual tri-level training program and our webinar series. In 2019 Ms. Boucher was invited to join the NPHTI Board of Directors.