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Wellness Place names new clinical staff

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

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Wellness Place Cancer Resource and Support in Palatine has announced the addition of three clinical staff members and a new clinical director. Kathy Scortino has been promoted to clinical director of the organization. New staff members are Program Manager Sandra Manley, and clinical specialists, David Efken and Renie Stoller-Zak.

As clinical director, Scortino leads all oncology-based, clinical and programming activities for Wellness Place.  A licensed clinical professional counselor and registered nurse, Ms. Scortino has a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. Scortino is a resident of Arlington Heights, and has been on staff at Wellness Place for eight years. 

“Kathy focuses on the resilience of the human spirit in her individual counseling and in her group work with survivors, family caregivers, healthcare professionals, and persons dealing with grief and end of life issues,” said Pamela Reiss, executive director of Wellness Place.  “She is a leader in her field and a mentor to all of us.”

In her role as program manager, Manley is responsible for scheduling informative, stimulating and healing programming for Wellness Place in addition to restructuring Wellness Place’s Community Spotlight Programs, a series of workshops, classes and seminars offered free of charge to the public. Manley has her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loyola University Chicago and her master’s degree in social work from Columbia University.  She is a resident of Port Barrington.

“I believe it is through effective programming that participants can find support and a sense of empowerment,” Manley said.  “2013 will be an especially exciting year for Wellness Place Spotlight Programs, as we focus on offering diverse and never-seen-before information through an improved holistic program calendar with the theme, ‘Eat, Breathe, Move,’” she added. 

As a Wellness Place clinical specialist, Efken works with individuals and families to identify and utilize strengths and coping resources, while addressing the emotional, social and spiritual distress that accompanies a cancer diagnosis.  Efken is a licensed professional counselor and has worked both as a hospital chaplain in an oncology unit and as a grief counselor with several hospice organizations. “David counsels with a holistic perspective and has a true passion for helping individuals and their families cope with a cancer diagnosis,” said Reiss. Efken is a resident of Algonquin.

Clinical Specialist Stroller-Zak brings to Wellness Place extensive experience in supporting oncology patients. A licensed professional counselor with a master’s degree in counseling psychology, Stoller-Zak will support Wellness Place patients and their families throughout their cancer journey as they find a balanced way of life.  “Renie brings tremendous passion and energy to Wellness Place,” said Reiss. Stoller-Zak is a resident of Roscoe Village in Chicago.

Wellness Place offers professional support free of charge, to individuals, families and caregivers affected by cancer. Programs and services help manage emotional and physical responses to treatment, sort through options and side effects, formulate questions for doctors, and communicate matters to family and employers. Specialized services are available for young children and teens. The facility is located at 1619 W. Colonial Pkwy. in Palatine and serves the surrounding northwest suburban Chicago area.

For more information, visit or call 847-221-2400.

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