Commissioners bring various work experience and peer leadership skills that are essential to ACHENA’s operations including homeopathy, education, public policy, finance, management, fundraising, outreach and communications. The board is represented by leaders of homeopathy schools, homeopathy students, board-certified Classical Homeopaths, administrators or practitioners of other fields of integrative healthcare or higher education along with members of the public who support homeopathy. Commissioners serve three-year terms, with an option to serve two terms. Professional self-monitoring accreditation agencies strive for a broad system of checks and balances in formulating policy and ACHENA takes action to promote neutrality and equity in all of its various deliberations (see Conflicts of Interest Policies at bottom of page). Further, ACHENA aims for up to 50% of our board to include expertise from ACHENA schools and/or non-accredited homeopathy schools. Yet whenever possible, and with sufficient community involvement, we place limits on the number of Commissioners representing a single school who serve the board at one time.
ACHENA invites you to lend a hand and Get Involved!
Acting President (2021, 2nd term)
Anna Vakil, PhD, CCH
Anna lives in Yuma, Arizona where she runs both a local and a remote health and wellness practice. She has an interdisciplinary PhD in planning and public policy from the University of Michigan and brings extensive policy analysis, public university teaching and research experience in both the USA and Canada to her service as ACHENA vice president. Anna teaches research methodology to homeopathy students and continues to do health policy consulting work, specializing in community health impact assessment.
Acting Vice President (2021, 1st term)
Cynthia Chrisman, MPH, CCH
Cynthia is deeply committed to the promotion of educational standards and professionalism in homeopathy in North America. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Council for Homeopathic Certification. She also supervises homeopathic students preparing for the CHC certification exam. Her articles on the advancement of professional standards in homeopathic practice, published in NASH’s The American Homeopath, include: The Crowning Jewel of Homeopathy (2013), Putting The House In Order (2014), The Whole House (2015), Educational Alliance Building (2016) and Healing the Profession: Educational Alliance Building (2017). She holds a Master of Public Health (MPH, UCLA, 1986) with a focus in holistic public health education programs and disease prevention. She has been in private homeopathic practice in Massachusetts since 1996.
Secretary - Public Member (2022, 1st term)
Deborah Hildreth Phelps
Deborah studied homeopathy at Teleosis School of Homeopathy in Chatham, NY, 1997-98. She has a BA in art education from Wagner College and is a Gobelin tapestry artist. She is a Certified Music Practitioner through The Music for Healing and Transition Program and a Shabda Sadaki through The Yogic Mystery School. She is currently employed as a Complementary Therapist for Community Hospice, Albany, NY providing therapeutic sound at the bedside for the dying and their families. Working in healthcare has strengthened her belief in the need for homeopathy as an option. She has been under the care of classically trained homeopaths for over 20 years.
Commissioner (2022, 2nd term)
Alastair Gray, PhD, Cand.
Alastair Gray teaches at and heads up the academic, course development and e-learning departments at the Academy of Homeopathy Education NYC | World. In addition, he holds various consulting roles: academic (Endeavour College, Australia), educational (Portland Centre of Integrative Medicine, UK), management (Director Operations College of Health and Homeopathy NZ), as well as consulting to many organizations on homeopathic provings and e-learning world-wide. Prior, in Australia he headed up the homeopathy department at Endeavour, later the bioscience department, and was the National Academic e-learning Manager. Other operational roles included the Campus Manager at the Sydney and Gold Coast campuses. He has lectured under and post-graduate Integrative Medicine, CAM, homeopathy and naturopathy for 20 years, including philosophy, case taking and management, ethics, business practices and scope of practice. A regular seminar and conference presenter worldwide he is the author of 23 books and numerous articles on primary research in natural medicine. Originally educated as an historian, he teaches the history of healing and medicine at schools, colleges and universities in four countries. He is passionate about e-learning and educational technology in his academic and teaching work. Currently he is enrolled in a PhD at the University of Technology Sydney exploring the intersection of Education, CM and learning technologies. Clinical practice (28 years) remains a significant focus of his work with a practice that specializes in Anxiety, Drug and Alcohol compulsion and working with men. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Denise Straiges.
Commissioner (2020, 2nd term)
Parker Pracjek, MA
Parker lives in New York City, where she has worked as an educator in higher education and the non-profit sector since 2000. Parker is an herbalist, runs a small herbal apothecary and practices classical homeopathy. She is an advocate for historically-disenfranchised communities and a student of nature – our teacher of restoring balance, holding healing potential on all sides.
Commissioner (2022, 1st term)
Kamala Ramasubramanian, BHMS, CCH
Kamala Ramasubramanian is a homepathic practitioner, working with both adults and children and with chronic and acute cases. She holds a four year clinical training degree from India (BHMS) and is a nationally certified classical homeopath (CCH) with the North American Council for Homeopathic Certification. She provides a caring and supportive focus in her work and uses an integrated healthcare approach including diet, exercise and yoga techniques to improve the overall well-being of clients. She dedicates her knowledge, enthusiasm and deep respect for this science with gratitude for the opportunity to benefit the well being of others.
Commissioner - Public Member (2023, 1st term)
Michael Schanz, BSc, MBA
Following an undergraduate degree in agriculture and an MBA from The John Molson School of Business in Montreal, Michael spent the next fifteen years in the pharmaceutical and international financial sectors. Following senior executive postings to South East Asia, Switzerland and the UK, he opened his own strategy and leadership consulting firm in Frankfurt, Germany servicing international corporate clients. Following his return to Canada in 2009, he became an advisor in the higher education sector.
In his time abroad Michael has gained a deep appreciation for naturopathic medicine and its power to prevent and heal disease. His passion lies in supporting the profession to achieve its rightful place in Canada and the US. Michael also has a personal interest in classical homeopathy and has taken a number of courses over the years in this area. He has also spent many years studying Jungian based depth psychology. He lives with his wife and three children in White Rock, BC.
Carli Auer, BS, CCH, Executive Administrator
Carli has been with ACHENA since 2016 and has a heart for collaboration and service, and a passion to promote homeopathic medicine through high quality education and a unified community. She discovered her love for homeopathic education during her time with the Homeopathic Practitioner Program at the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture where she served in various roles including Program Director and Faculty Member. Carli is a graduate of the American Medical College of Homeopathy and holds a Bachelor of Science in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University with a background in Early Intervention and Therapies for Developmental Disabilities.
Conflict of Interest Policies
Self-regulatory oversight is the norm for virtually all professional education in the US, including homeopathy education, and this necessarily involves an inherent Conflict of Interest (COI) for school administrators and faculty who serve on accrediting agencies like
ACHENA. This being the case, ACHENA, like all accrediting agencies, has strong COI policies in place that are strictly implemented and
measured against best practices articulated by the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) and the US Department of Education. The ACHENA Board has always been comprised of homeopathy school leaders and educators along with
students, practitioners, and public members.
The following Policies and Disclosures are implemented for all ACHENA Commissioners, Volunteers, Advisors, and staff:
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