Staff & Board

TSNW Staff

Sara West, MSHS-PH

Executive Director

With more than 20 years of experience as a care provider, educator, and speaker, Sara brings both professional leadership and a personal connection to the mission at Team Survivor Northwest. With a background that includes dual BS degrees from Southern Illinois University and a Masters of Health Sciences in Public Health from Touro University, Sara effortlessly helps to guide the organization as we expand our reach to serve the diverse needs of women in our communities. Sara also serves as a certified instructor for the Institute of Reproductive Grief Care and has collaborated on several research studies on women and family health. With a history in the non-profit industry, Sara leads TSNW into a new chapter of growth and service.

Beatriz Palacio

Operations Manager

Beatriz joined Team Survivor in June 2019. She has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. In her career, she has done office management work for companies like HSBC, Citi Group and Colonial Life. With her experience implementing information technology solutions, her expertise has been put straight to use at TSNW. Beatriz is an organizer and loves planning events like galas and retreats. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and a good listener, ready to help wherever needed with a smile. When she isn’t at work, she enjoys volunteering and spending time with her family, including her 13-year-old daughter.

Rachel DeMeester, MPH

Program Director

Rachel has a master’s degree in Public Health from Brown University and a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. She is passionate about practical strategies to help people lead healthier lives—like the programs at TSNW. She loves that TSNW is dedicated to building community and removing barriers to exercising when women really need the support. Both individual- and system-level behavior changes are vital, and Rachel has extensive experience in both. Past positions in fitness include personal trainer, water aerobics instructor, and physical therapy aide. In healthcare, she has helped many organizations implement quality programs with a special focus on equity, including improving tobacco cessation training and outreach, implementing medical records, reducing racial disparities in care, and examining how payers can pay for care differently to improve clinical outcomes.

Rachel speaks English and Spanish and enjoys modern dance, running, swimming, and lifting weights. As an adult she was always active but has a better appreciation after children of the mental and physical barriers and benefits to working out. She is delighted to be part of the TSNW team to learn from members and support their connection and health.

aNISA iSHIDA

Communications Manager

Anisa Ishida is an accomplished marketing professional with an exceptional brand management and nonprofit leadership career. Her journey has been defined by her resilience and passion for making a difference, as she is not only a seasoned 20+ year marketer but also a 7-year breast cancer survivor. Anisa’s career spans creative agencies where she drove impactful campaigns, exceeded targets, and fostered lasting partnerships with major clients like Microsoft Surface and Xbox, as well as leading marketing for the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) through exciting exhibitions and a brand-bending rebrand.

Anisa’s dedication to community service shines through her leadership roles at the Junior League of Seattle, where she served as a member for the past 15 years and led as a past president from 2019 to 2020. Additionally, she is deeply involved in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Seattle walk, where she sits on the Executive Leadership Team and serves as co-chair of this fall’s walk.

Excited to join Team Survivor Northwest as Communication Manager, Anisa is poised to leverage her expertise to empower cancer survivors and enhance communication strategies for an organization that means so much to so many.

Krysta Strasbaugh

Member & Volunteer Coordinator

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Krysta loves coffee, nature and just about anything cozy. She is passionate about human connection and believes we are better together!
In recent years Krysta has focused much of her time on local causes, working alongside fellow parents to improve racial equity in schools and with community leaders toward antiracism in city government. She became a mother through transracial international adoption and advocated for ethical adoption practices while living overseas. Previously, Krysta earned her degree in American Sign Language/English interpretation from Western Oregon University and provided interpreting services in the greater Seattle area.
Krysta is inspired by the hope women find as TSNW members and is excited about supporting the organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to increase access and belonging. She enjoys every chance she has to connect with our members – ideally out for a beautiful, crisp walk with a warm thermos in hand.

TSNW Board

helen lally - President

Helen hails from New York and was brought out to Seattle by a local insurance company in the mid-90’s. She joined TSNW in October 2019 after finishing her breast cancer treatment. Her first exposure to TSNW was the Fitness Retreat and she has enthusiastically embraced the organization since!

According to Helen, the best thing about having cancer was finding TSNW. When she was diagnosed, she said that she would come out stronger and help others with this disease. Her involvement in TSNW allows her to achieve those goals.

Helen is the owner of an insurance consulting company and is excited to bring her professional business skills to the board and help perpetuate the organization to continue reaching the survivor community. 

Helen is an avid golfer and enjoys most sports. She loves to garden and brings all those goodies into the house where she cooks and cans. She and her wife Laura live in Edmonds with their border terrier (Lizzie Frances) and long-haired calico (Marin).

Lisa Black - Vice President

Lisa Black is a 12-year cancer survivor. She retired from Intel in 2016 after 17 years working as an engineering manager, program manager and senior operations manager. Prior to that she worked for various software companies delivering commercial software. Lisa has a BA in Anthropology from Wellesley College and a Masters degree from Seattle University in Software Engineering. Since retiring, Lisa has immersed herself in the non profit world, currently serving on two boards that connect to her passions. She considers it a privilege to be able to work for her favorite causes. Lisa joined TSNW as a member in 2010, served as President from 2019 to 2022, has served as a volunteer for the Fall Gala for several years, Dragon Boat Captain for two years and is now delighted to be able to continue to support TSNW as Vice President. She believes that joining TSNW is the silver lining in the dark cloud of cancer. She has no children and currently resides in Maple Valley with her husband Bob Sterzinger and their two cats.

Priti Gairola - Treasurer

Priti has been living in Pacific Northwest with her husband and kids for the past 23 years. Over the years she has enjoyed hiking, biking, and camping with her friends and family. Her educational background includes Chemistry & Bio-Medical Engineering. She graduated from University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Priti joined TSNW in 2022 after completing her cancer treatment and finding TSNW has been a blessing for her. She has benefited from various fitness classes and the outdoor activities. She is glad to join as a TSNW board member and wants to support the group because she has a strong belief in Team Survivor’s mission.

Jaimie Reavis - secretary
Jaimie Reavis is a transplant to the Pacific NW from Arizona, where she grew up riding her bike, hiking, and swimming. She moved to Seattle to attend graduate school for urban planning at the University of Washington. As an urban planner since 2005, she has a passion for active transportation – walking and bicycling – and encouraging development of healthy communities. During breast cancer treatment she gained a better understanding of what kinds of activities feed her soul – getting outside and exploring, experiencing new things, appreciating everyday moments of wonder. In Team Survivor Northwest she has found a community of supportive and amazing women and a venue to build physical and emotional strength.
Jan Fitzpatrick

Jan lives with her husband, Jim, on Capitol Hill where they raised their two sons. They enjoy many outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, kayaking, backpacking, and snow activities – whatever gets them outside! During Jan’s cancer treatment and recovery, she was extremely grateful for Team Survivor Northwest. The positive upbeat camaraderie with focus on fitness was exactly what she needed. Now she is paying it back by helping Team Survivor as a board member.

Jan’s education includes a degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington, along with certifications in computer systems, project management, and business analysis. She spent over 30 years at REI, mostly in IT project management. Volunteer work includes helping The Mountaineers and Hanford Challenge, a watchdog organization dedicated to the safe cleanup of the Hanford nuclear site. In her spare time she enjoys participating in Team Survivor activities and connecting with Team Survivor members.

Jo Gartenberg

Jo has been a Team Survivor member for several years. She grew up outside of Boston MA, has lived in Philly, DC, Redmond, London and now resides in Bellevue. Jo’s background is customer driven focused. She has worked for several Associations in Membership and has volunteered at her children’s schools, parent councils and non-profit organizations. She is currently working part time in a non-technical capacity for a regional computer IT-company.

In Dec. 2017, Jo was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, discovered by a routine mammogram. Wanting to continue an active lifestyle, Jo looked to TSNW Active Women/Healthy Women classes during chemo for a positive place to stay fit, strong and supported. In January 2019, she signed up to climb Mt. Adams at TSNW’s annual retreat, joined forces with the Midweek Hiking group to train, and summited Mt. Adams in July.

Jo and her husband recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and have three boys ages 24, 21, and 19. In addition to participating in TSNW fitness classes, Jo loves to play tennis, hike with her dogs, and travel with her family. “Being active has been a vital component- both physically and mentally – to my recovery. TSNW has been a silver lining in my journey and I feel passionate about giving back and encouraging others.”

Patricia Gow

We are thrilled to welcome Patricia Gow to our TSNW Board! Currently head of R&D Business Operations at Amgen, a publicly-held, global biotechnology company, Patricia oversees and drives business operational excellence with a focus in finance & supplier management within the Research & Development organization.  
 
Prior to Amgen, she held scientific, project management, business development and marketing leadership roles at two other organizations and has over 25 years of volunteer and fundraising experience. Patricia holds a Music Degree in Piano Performance from University of Toronto, BSc, MSc from McGill University and completed Amgen’s Executive Women’s Leadership program at UCLA – Anderson’s School of Management.  
 
Patricia joined TSNW over a year ago and is excited to be joining the board.  Her passions outside of work and volunteering include her family (husband and two children – one in college and the other a senior in high school), her adorable Australian mini labradoodle (Biscuit), cooking, reading and traveling.

Advisory Board

  • Julie Gralow MD
  • Kristine Rinn MD
  • Ann McTiernan MD PhD
  • Denise Bundow, ARNP
  • Sandi Johnson MSW
  • Hannah Linden MD
  • Kristi Harrington MD PhD
  • Mary Heffernan ARNP
  • Janice Connolly MD FHM
  • Kim Dammann RN
  • Patricia Dawson MD
  • Lexi Harlow PT
  • Katie Fitzmaurice
  • Ginger Hultin MS RD LDN

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