PIHMA Leadership, Staff and Faculty

Governing Board


Amy Kahn, Ph.D. (Public Member)

Members at Large

Catherine Niemiec, J.D., L.Ac., PIHMA President

Mark Johnson, CPA (Board Member)

R. Kirby Woods, MSOM (Alumni Member)

Marie Yahner, MSOM, L.Ac. (Alumni/Faculty Member)

Administration & Staff

Catherine Niemiec, JD, L.Ac.

Debbie Major, MAED, EdD

David Myrick, MSOM, Dipl.Ac. & Dipl.CH (NCCAOM), L.Ac.

Judy Drayer

Cecelia Keeto

Lisa Dunn, MSAc

Mary Ellen Simmons

Lisa Dunn, MSAc

David Myrick, MSOM, Dipl.Ac. & Dipl.CH (NCCAOM), L.Ac.

Sybil Ihrig, DAOM, MSTOM, CCH , L.Ac. (Interim)

Gail Rekers, PhD

Jianying He, MD (China), PhD

David Murdoch, MSOM, Dipl.Ac. & Dipl.CH (NCCAOM), L.Ac.

David Myrick, MSOM, Dipl.Ac. & Dipl.CH (NCCAOM), L.Ac.

Catherine Niemiec, JD, L.Ac. (Interim)

Michael Iliescu, MD

Margot Arellano, MSAc, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac.

Whittni Grubaugh, CCH

Dan Bedgood, MSOM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac.

Linda Kay Andrews

Deb Johnson

Debbie Pope

Tina Ciampaglia

Anne Donnell

Johnny Martinez

Brittiany Needham

Raffaele Conca, CCH


Robert Abrahamson Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM) L.Ac. (U.K. & CA), O.M.D. (CA), graduated from the college of TraditionalAcupuncture in the United Kingdom in 1976 and from Samra University in California in 1981. He has been practicing and teaching Oriental medicine for over 20 years in the United States and Europe. Robert is an Acupuncture Coordinator for the detoxification program at Desert Canyon Treatment Center in Sedona, Arizona. He is also part of a multidisciplinary practice in Sedona, Arizona. In addition to teaching at PIHMA, he teaches at the Academy of Chinese Medicine at Winterhur, Switzerland.

Scott C. Anderson, M.S.O.M., Dipl.Ac. & Dipl.C.H., (NCCAOM), L.Ac., earned his Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine at PIHMA and graduated as Class Valedictorian in 2002. Subsequently, he became the Herbal Pharmacy Manager, and later an instructor at PIHMA. Scott is the first acupuncturist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix where he manages a practice. He currently serves as Chair of the Herb department at PIHMA.

Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine of NYCC

Dan Bedgood, M.S.O.M., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac., is a Cum Laude graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, in San Diego, California.Subsequently, he established a private practice in Florida and specialized in Geriatrics and Pediatrics. Dan is a member of the Florida Toyohara Association. He is a former faculty member of the Academy of Chinese Healing Arts and the Sarasota School of Natural Healing Arts. Dan serves as Dean of Students and Institutional Development Officer. In his spare time, Dan serves as a docent at the Desert Botanical Gardens, has a private practice with a specialty in Toyahara, sports injuries and performance, and geriatrics.

Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA)

Toni Bennalley, CPhT, M.S.Ac., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac., has been working in the healthcare field since 1991. She graduated from PIHMA where she also served as Student Body President for 3 years. She obtained additional medical training at Chengdu University, in China, where she studied emotional disorders, scalp acupuncture and tui-na. Formerly a Senior Certified Pharmacy Technician, Toni maintains a private practice in Glendale, Arizona specializing in neck/back pain, migraines and sciatica and is also one of the first acupuncturists at Banner Hospitals in the Phoenix area. Toni also oversees the NADA clinic in Phoenix. Toni serves as chair of the Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners.

Kathy Bilak, BS, PA-C, is currently an Oriental Medicine student at PIHMA. She has been a practicing physician assistant for 22 years, the last 15 of which have been in Radiation Oncology. She has a strong interest in cancer treatment support, recovery, and survivorship. Her undergraduate Biology degree is from Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR and she received her physician assistant training at Kettering College in Kettering, OH. She is also an M.A. (candidate) in Humanities at California State University, Dominquez Hills.

Alexis Brereton, ND, received his degree in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle in 1987. In addition to his private practice, he has taught Anatomy & Physiology, Pathyphysiology and Western Diagnosis in Washington and the Phoenix area for 20 years.

Arlan Cage, N.D., M.S., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM), graduated from Whitman College with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics & Astronomy, and graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a Master’s degree in space technology.&; Dr. Cage later graduated at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, and studied at PIHMA. Dr. Cage was an adjunct instructor in physics at Scottsdale Community College from 1999 to 2002, and holds an Arizona Community College Teaching Certificate in Physics. He is currently in private practice in Southern California.

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)

Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA)

Kay Evje, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), D.O.M (New Mexico), is one of the original founders of PIHMA.She graduated from theSouthwest Acupuncture College in Santa Fe, NM, and received her Oriental Medical Doctor degree from the North American Academy of Advanced Asian Medicine (NAAAM), and served as a faculty thesis advisor for its doctoral programs. She was a prominent practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Sedona since 1987, and served as Vice-President of the Acupuncture Society of Arizona. She was also a member of the National Association of Teachers of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. Kay went on to work in the field of hospice care in California.

Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA)

American Medical College of Homeopathy

JinZhou Medical University

Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University

Mary Herring, M.S.N., received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Illinois Wesleyan University and her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Hawaii. There she studied cross-cultural medicine & medical anthropology that evolved into appreciation of CAM modalities. She is certified in Occupational Health Nursing from the National Board of Occupational Health Nurses as well as certified in hypnosis by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Her publications include: Cardiovascular Nursing, a text published by Medical Examination Co. Inc., contribution to Comprehensive Nursing Review by Mosby, and most recently she was co-editor of Blackwell Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fast Facts for Medical Practice, published by Blackwell Publishing, 2002. Ms. Herring has a private nursing practice providing medical hypnotherapy.

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine

Arizona State University

Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA)

Zhen Hu, MD (China), Dipl.Ac. & Dipl.C.H. (NCCAOM), L.Ac. Dr. Hu studied Oriental Medicine at Guangxi College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and at the University of Shanghai, where she later worked as a clinic supervisor. She subsequently worked for 15 years at the Hospital of Guangxi Province, specializing in Anesthesia, Acupuncture, Hemorrhoid, and Dermatology. She came to the States, where she worked as an herbal chemist for Chemolee Labs. She currently operates her own Chinese herbal center in Chandler in addition to teaching and supervising at PIHMA. Dr. Hu also serves on the Chinese language Committee of the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

Sybil Ihrig, L.Ac., MSTOM, CCH (Cand) is a graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, CA and holds NCCAOM certifications in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology. Her practice, which focuses on reproductive health, senior wellness, and supportive care of patients with or recovering from cancer, incorporates primarily Japanese and Classical Chinese Medicine approaches as promulgated by Shudo Denmei, Masakazu Ikeda, Miki Shima, and Jeffrey Yuen. Also a classical homeopath of long standing, Sybil has completed the Certificate program at American Medical College of Homeopathy in Phoenix and numbers Massimo Mangialavori, A.U. Ramakrishnan, and Luc De Schepper among her mentors. A 20-year veteran of the book publishing field, Sybil provides book production services to Eastland Press and prominent homeopathic authors.

Middlesex University

Jinan University, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine

Bio: Dr. Solos holds a Medical Degree (2003) and a Master’s of Medicine in Traditional Diagnosis (2008) both from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, and a Medical Ph.D in Integrative Medicine (2016) from the Jinan University in Guangzhou (China). He is classically trained in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine (Jingfang). In recent years, his clinical focus has shifted to a traditional Chinese martial style acupuncture for spinal and musculoskeletal problems, and his own personal style of “Tendon and fascia reconditioning manipulations” for bone, joint and spinal disease. He is an established academician with numerous books and peer-reviewed articles, and he is currently serving as a Council member in several committees for the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies. 

Brian Skow, M.S., LMT, AOBTA®-CP, Dipl.ABT (NCCAOM), is a Zen Shiatsu therapist practicing in North Scottsdale and nearby areas. He has been involved in the Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) profession in a variety of ways, and is currently a member of the NCCAOM ABT Exam Development Committee (EDC), an AOBTA State Representative for Arizona, and an AOBTA Public Relations committee member. Brian has been in private practice since 2002, and has been teaching since 2003.

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine

Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA)

Peng Sun, Ph.D., has degree in medicine and a PhD from Shanghai University of Traditional Medicine and a master’s degree in medicine from the Medical College of Qingdao University. He was a Professor at The American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Minnesota and a visiting professor at Niigata Nursing and Medicine College (Japan). In China he taught at the Shanghai University of TCM. He is the co-author of “Combination Treatment of TCM and WM to Rheumatic Disease” and is widely published in acupuncture and Chinese medicine in such journals as the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture; Journal of Tui Na Medicine; Chinese Journal of Orthopedics; Chinese Journal of Clinical Rehabilitation; Shanghai Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine; and, Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine.

Pamella J. Wallach, R.N., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac., graduated from the Midwest Center for the Study of Oriental medicine in 1991. She has additional training from the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Moxibustion in Guangzhou,, China. Pam also studied Chinese herbal medicine at the Institute of Chinese Herbology in Oakland, California. Previously, Pam received her nursing degree from Mayfair College in Chicago and has been a registered nurse for 26 years, 17 years of which were spent working in labor and delivery. She currently practices Oriental medicine with a focus on women’s health issues, including infertility and in vitro fertilization, and on sound/mind/body qi gong.

John Heuertz, DOM, is a graduate of the International Institute of Chinese Medicine and later served on their Faculty Advisory Board. He is a lecturer and research consultant for Golden Flower Chinese Herbs and the formulator of the herbal remedy Chemo Blood Support Formula, and author of a published paper on Children’s Ear Infections. He has a private family practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Marcia Hindman, B.S.N., R.N., M.S.O.M., Dipl.Ac. & Dipl.C.H. (NCCAOM), L.Ac., graduated from Lake Superior State University in Michigan with a degree in Nursing. During her employment at various hospitals throughout the United States she has worked with diabetes, chemotherapy, many areas of behavioral health, ortho/neuro, med/surg, trauma, infection control, AIDS, and telemetry. She managed the Childrens’ Unit in behavioral health for five years. In 1999 Marcia graduated with a Masters of Science Degree in Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, California, and practices locally in Goodyear, Arizona.

Michael Iliescu, M.D., completed a four year residency program in surgical/clinical pathology at Winthrop University Hospital in Long Island, New York. He completed a Forensic fellowship at Broward County Medical Examiner’s office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Iliescu worked as a medical examiner at Maricopa Medical Examiner’s office and at Coconino County Medical Examiner’s office. Dr. Iliescu graduated from a 3 year homeopathy program at the American Medical College of Homeopathy (AMCH). Dr. Iliescu also has an Autopsy and Forensic consultation business, where he performs private autopsies and gives consultation to attorneys. He has 7 years of teaching experience in the fields of Biochemistry and Pathology of Trauma. He has taught at several community colleges and universities, including the Medical University of Timisoara, Romania. He is Chairman of Basic Medical Sciences Department at doctorial program at AMCH.

Joshuah Kim, MSOM, Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM), Dipl. CH (NCCAOM), L.Ac., Joshuah graduated from South Baylo University after having obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Sung Kyun Kwan University in Seoul, Korea. He currently practices in Scottsdale and Flagstaff, and provides medical missionary services to Hopi & Navajo Indians on the reservation.

Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA)

Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA)

Christ’s College

Willie Lim, B.A., has 42 years experience in Tai Chi and martial arts, and currently holds the rank of 8th Dan Black Belt in Karate. Willie teaches the classical way of Tai Chi in Scottsdale. He has taught in England, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Finland, Thailand and Malaysia. He combines an international approach with the classical art, making it both adaptable and practical. He was a nominee for Martial Artist of the Millenium- Australasian Martial Art Journal and teaches tai chi at the Virginia Piper Cancer Center, The Boulders Resort, and the Gainey Ranch Spa.

Rachelle Marmor, M.S.Ac., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac., received her Master of Science Degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine from PIHMA. Rachelle graduated as Valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude and was the recipient of the 1999 Arizona Consortium of Complementary Healing Organization’s “Dream” Scholarship. She has a private practice in Tempe, where she specializes in migraines, digestive disorders and chronic pain. As a result of a life long interest in sports and 16 years in the music business, she also treats many athletes and musicians for sports related and repetitive stress injuries.

Kenneth Morris, Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac. (CA), beganhis study of Chinese Medicine in 1976 with Korean Master Se Han Kim and the Taoist Master Ni Hua Ching. He graduated from the American Chinese College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, San Francisco, in 1986. He is founder of the Institute of Chinese Herbology in Oakland, California and has taught comprehensive herbal seminars to health professionals around the country. Recently, Ken has developed his own line of premium quality herbal extracts known as Tai Botanicals. Ken is also a practicing acupuncturist, herbalist and nutrition consultant.

Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA)

David Myrick, M.S.O.M., Dipl.Ac. & Dipl.C.H. (NCCAOM), L.Ac., received a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine from the International Institute of Chinese Medicine in New Mexico, In addition to teaching at PIHMA, David serves as Associate Academic Dean at PIHMA. David maintains a private practice and is an acupuncturist for Banner Health Systems.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine

Maharishi School of Vedic Medicine

Florida College of Ayurveda

Catherine Niemiec, J.D., L.Ac., is the President and Founder of the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture. After her studies (University of Arizona, University of California-Hastings), she practiced law in California and served as director for a national legal education company. She has prepared students for bar exams since 1989. She is a Certified Practitioner of Chinese Herbology, having completed the residency program at the Institute of Chinese Herbology in Oakland, California. She co-authored Arizona’s acupuncture law which was enacted in 1998. She served as President of the Arizona Consortium of Complementary Healing Organizations, Chair of Arizona’s Acupuncture Board of Examiners Subcommittee on Preceptorships, and Founder & President of the Arizona Society of Acupuncture and Arizona Society of Oriental Medicine & Acupuncture. She recently completed 5 years as Vice-President of the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) and served as a representative to the National Education Dialogue and the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Healthcare (ACCHAC). She currently serves as a Commissioner for the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) and is Interim President of the Arizona Society of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She also serves as an advisory board member for several other organizations including, Wellcare Foundation, Paradise Valley and Phoenix community colleges, and Acupuncturists Without Borders.

Bryon Powers, MSOM, M.S., L.Ac., obtained his Bachelor of Science in Physics and Math from the University of Texas in Arlington. He went on to obtain his Masters degree in Physics from there and pursued post-Master’s studies in Physics and Hebrew at Purdue University. He has taught Introductory and Modern Physics courses and labs at both universities. He also studied with Dr. Xie Peiqi of Beijing for six years until Dr. Peiqi’s death; during that time he studied traditional Body-Energy Healing system which included An Mo/Tui Na, Qi Gong/Guiding Energy Meditations, Luchan Patting, and Healing Sounds. Bryon graduated with his Master of Science Oriental Medicine at PIHMA.

University of Southern California

Yo San University

Thomas More College

Texas Women’s University

Nathalie Rennell, RN, is a licensed registered nurse in Arizona and, has had many years of experience in health care ranging from staff nurse in acute and community settings to administrator of free-standing and hospital based hospice and home health programs. She has also worked in a regulatory setting at the Arizona State Board of Nursing as well as teaching public heath courses at ASU’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation. For several years, she has also given her time and expertise as a caregiver on health missions throughout the world but particularly in South America. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from University of Michigan and a Masters in Nursing from Wayne State University.

Suzana Rizvanolli, M.S. Ac., MD(Kosovo), L.Ac. is currently on faculty at the Southwest Skills Center at Estrella Mountain Community College teaching western sciences and medical terminology in their practical nursing program as well as starting a private practice in acupuncture having just recently graduated from PIHMA. Suzana is a graduate of the University of Prishtina Medical School in Kosovo and worked as a general practitioner there until moving to the US in 1999.

Rush Medical School

Hahnemann College of Homeopathy

Chris Vedeler, MSOM, Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac., C.Ht. first started his career as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, after having obtained his Bachelor degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from New Mexico State University, and postgraduate studies in Psychology from University of Washington. He studied at International Institute of Chinese Medicine and graduated from Southwest Acupuncture College in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since then, he has combined his experience in psychology with Chinese and Japanese medicine in his practice in Phoenix and his teaching at PIHMA.

Marie Yahner, MSOM, Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac. received her Master of Science in Oriental Medicine from the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture and maintains a private practice in Scottsdale, Arizona. She completed a clinical internship at Chengdu University Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Sichuan, China. Prior to studying at PIHMA, she received her Bachelor of Arts at Purdue, working in Madrid, Spain, Boston and Phoenix in management, language instruction and publishing. Marie is the faculty advisor to the Animal Acupuncture club at PIHMA, works as the Pharmacy Manager at PIHMA, and is the alumni member of the PIHMA Governing Board.

Jennifer Watkins, Ph.D., earned her PhD in Chemistry from Arizona State University for research performed on recombinant fluorescent proteins. The focus of her research was the relationship between the structure and function of proteins, resulting in several peer-reviewed publications. During her graduate studies, she taught extensively in the chemistry and biochemistry fields. Dr. Watkins was also a fellow at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society and Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes at ASU and was also the Coordinator and Moderator of the ASU-CNS Science Café Lecture Series.


The Foundation for PIHMA Research & Education (a non-profit corporation), oversees the National Library of Traditional Medicine, as well as supports PIHMA through research, nonprofit clinical work, scholarships and fellowships.


Board Chair: Dominick Grillas

Board Members:

  • Dan Bedgood, MSOM, L.Ac.
  • Cristina Whitehawk
  • Paul Sugar
  • Tamara Weaver, CPA
  • Todd Rowe, MD, MD(H), DHt, CCH

Assistant Executive Director/Library Director: Aniko Pinter

Library Director: Aniko Pinter


  • Jianying He, MD, PhD
  • Ioannis Solos, MD (China), PhD, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM)


Phoenix Medicinary is operated by PIHMA Pharmacy, LLC, a separate limited liability company.

AOM Manager: Jianying He, MD, PhD

Homeopathy Manager: Raffaele Conca, CCH

Herbalist: David Murdoch, MSOM, L.Ac.