Meet Our Coaches

Learn more about some of the passionate, experienced clinicians who coach in our programs.

 
Joe hiking amid boulders and pine trees.

Joe Alfano, BS, RN, ACSM- CPT

Joe graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science prior to receiving a Bachelor’s in Nursing from SUNY Brockport. Joe functions as a nurse performing biometric screenings and coaching clients through the condition management programs as well as serving as an exercise specialist within the Center for Employee Wellness. When not working, Joe enjoys spending his time staying physically active and seeking adventure in the great outdoors.

Wellness tip: “A body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion tends to stay in motion” Reflecting on Newton’s Laws of Motion, physical activity is essential to everyone’s health and wellness, keep moving!

Laurent standing with hands raised in front of a mountain vista.

Lauren Baughman, BSN, RN

Lauren graduated from University at Buffalo’s accelerated Bachelor’s in nursing program in 2012. With a background in medical surgical nursing she came to work for UR Medicine’s Employee Wellness Program in 2016, performing biometric screenings and coaching clients one-on-one in the condition management program. She is currently enrolled part-time in a family nurse practitioner program. She is a vegetarian and believes in the power of whole food plant based diets to promote good health. In her leisure time she enjoys travelling, watching television (guilty!), a night out, spending time with her pets and loved ones, yoga, cooking, and running.

Wellness tip: Prepare and pack your lunch! It will help you to make more conscious and healthier food choices compared to buying out.

Ging and a friend standing in front of a bend in the Grand Canyon.

Ging Hoang, BS, RN

Ging (pronounce “Jing”) received her Bachelor’s in Integrative Neuroscience in addition to Nursing at Binghamton University. She’s worked in emergency, cardiology, and orthopedics before she came to work for UR Medicine’s Employee Wellness program. When Ging is not working, she likes to travel, take walks, bike, and try out healthy (and unhealthy!) recipes. She loves to take the Body Pump class at the gym!

Wellness tip: Set aside at least 15 minutes once a week to do something for yourself. Go for a walk, shop online, read, meditate, clean, whatever it is- it has to be something for yourself that you enjoy. Self-care is healthy, necessary, and important!

Katie kayaking in Hemlock Lake.

Katie Niebuhr, MS, EP-C, C-PT

Katie is an exercise physiologist for UR Medicine Center for Employee Wellness where she provides personalized recommendations and exercise prescriptions for those with chronic conditions. Katie received her Masters of Science in Kinesiology & Health from Miami University in Ohio. She has worked with everyone from first time exercisers to endurance athletes to help them achieve their goals and live healthier lifestyles. Katie’s passion lies in the impact physical activity has on the body and mind, as well as its influence on other healthy behaviors. When Katie is not working, you will most likely find her outside hiking mountains, running on trails, or curled up under a tree with a good book.

Wellness Tip: Start every morning with a glass of water and a good full body stretch! Your glass of water will help rehydrate you after your body has spent the night recovering and a full body stretch will increase circulation and wake up the body in a nice and relaxing manner. This one-two punch will help you conquer your day the right way!

Maureen sitting on a rocky cliff near the ocean.

Maureen Silber, RN

Maureen is a registered nurse at the Center for Employee Wellness and has worked in variety of healthcare settings over the years. She trends towards a whole foods, plant- based diet and is interested in exploring simple but tasty ways to prepare healthy meals.
Maureen enjoys running, biking, yoga and traveling and always has a book that she's reading that she wants to talk about!

Wellness tip: Invest in a few quality pieces of clothing and/or gear to keep you outside and active throughout the long winters and short summers of Rochester. “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing.” –Norwegian Quote

Natalie Thompson, MS

Natalie is a nutrition and wellness coach with both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition and a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition. She practices nutrition at the intersection of human and environmental health, and encourages a mind-body-spirit approach to building sustainable dietary practices. Natalie makes wellness a part of her life by moving as often as possible, spending time outside and in nature, eating foods that nourish her body, sharing experiences with others, and finding time to be quiet and alone to restore her mind and spirit. When she is not offering nutritional guidance, Natalie can be found on (or off!) a trail in the woods, close to (or in!) water, on her bike, atop a mountain, or in her garden and kitchen preparing for the next feast.

Wellness tip: Listening to your body is a skill. Just like any other skill, it is something to practice. If you think you cannot hear what your body is telling you, continue to practice the art of listening: slow down, be kind to yourself, encourage your mind to focus on your body, and breathe; soon you will hear what your body needs. As you become skilled in the art of listening, your capacity for wellness will grow naturally.

Vestina wearing a bicycle helmet and sunglasses.

Vestina Turner, RN BSN, MSN

Tina graduated from Monroe Community College, and went on to receive her BSN and MSN in Nursing Education from Roberts Wesleyan College. With a background in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Tina came to work for UR Medicine’s Employee Wellness Program in 2017, performing biometric screenings and more recently, coaching clients one-on-one in the condition management program.
When Tina is not working, she enjoys a very robust hobby of making quilts, teaching others to quilt and finding other things to make on Pinterest! Tina enjoys biking on the many trails around, finding new trails to ride and also teaching the love of biking to others. Tina enjoys trying new workouts and has enjoyed boxing, body pump, barre, cardio kickboxing, zumba and weight lifting.

Wellness tip:Take time everyday to do something you absolutely love, that’s just for you and brings you joy. This is a way to fulfill yourself and fill yourself in order to be the best you to others when they need you.

Robin leaning towards daffodils that have not yet bloomed.

Robin Walpert, BFA, RN

Robin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from R.I.T. and attended M.C.C. for nursing. Her previous professional focus centered on women’s health while working in post-surgical oncology and labor and delivery.
Robin is grateful for the calm and renewed sense of being that she receives from meditation, gardening and exploring the natural world.

Wellness tip:During the winter months I grow springs bulbs inside. It offers an opportunity to awaken the senses to the scent and beauty of spring and reminds me that there is growth and change even during our darkest months.

Mitchell Wharton, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNS

Mitchell received his Bachelors (1999) and Masters (2003) in Nursing Science from Widener University. He is dually trained as a community- based nursing clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and board certified family nurse practitioner (FNP). In 2013 he received a Doctorate in Health Practice Research from the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Mitchell embraces the mind-body connection by meditating daily, eating a vegetarian diet, and staying active.

Wellness tip: Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with new goals. Make goals that are incremental and realistic. Every challenge has the ability to teach you something about yourself.