Keynote Speakers


Oncology and Massage Therapy: An Approach to Optimized Care

Keynotes | Presenters | Pannelists


Lauren Cates

Lauren is the founder, Board Chair and Executive Director of an Arlington, VA-based organization called Healwell. They served as the Clinical Supervisor for Hospital/Oncology Massage at The Teal Center at Virginia Hospital Center from 2005-2009 and as a founding director and president of the Society for Oncology Massage from 2007-2014.

In addition to their duties providing and supervising massage for medically complicated, oncology and end of life patients at numerous hospitals in the Washington, DC area, Lauren speaks around the world on a variety of topics related to integrative medicine, emotional self-care for practitioners and the mechanics and politics of introducing massage therapy into clinical settings.

Lauren has been participating in research, education and curriculum development for massage therapy courses focused on hospital-based practice, oncology massage and end of life care since 2007.  Lauren is passionate about elevating the profession of massage therapy and also about broader and more seamless integration of massage therapists into mainstream healthcare.


Jerrilyn Cambron, LMT, DC, MPH, PhD

Dr. Cambron currently serves in many positions including: Immediate Past President of the Massage Therapy Foundation; Dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences and Distance Education and Professor in the Department of Research at the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois, USA; Adjunct Faculty in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. Dr. Cambron has taught numerous research-related courses and post-graduate seminars and has served as a Principal Investigator on clinical research studies focused on massage therapy and chiropractic care for 25+ years. She has been an investigator on several projects funded by federal agencies including NIH and HRSA, and private foundations such as the Massage Therapy Foundation. Dr. Cambron is passionate about helping students and therapists understand and apply the research literature in order to improve client care and also helping therapists write case reports about the interesting clients they have treated.



William Collinge MPH, PhD, LCSW

William Collinge is a researcher and practitioner in the field of integrative health care. He has worked extensively with people with cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions, as well as Veterans and their families, and has led workshops and retreats across North America, in Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia and the UK. William has served as Principal Investigator on nine studies sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health involving integrative therapies. He directed production of the Touch, Caring and Cancer program for family caregivers, that was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and is now included in NCI’s Research-Tested Interventions Program (RTIPS). Touch, Caring and Cancer is available in six languages and is used in cancer centers and hospice programs internationally. His most recent book is Partners in Healing: Simple Ways to Offer Support, Comfort and Care to a Loved One Facing Illness. For more info visit


Lauren Cates will be presenting with one of their instructors:

Kerry Jordan, LMT, S4OM

Kerry is a teacher for Healwell and is an essential part of the curriculum development team. She brings 20 years of experience as an instructor and has an extensive background in teaching pathology and physiology and adapting massage therapy for special populations.  Before training as a massage therapist, Kerry owned and operated a successful yoga studio in Boston. She has been teaching yoga since 1999. Kerry is recognized by Yoga Alliance as an RYT-500 and a Continuing Education Provider, weaving the principles of yoga and meditation into her teaching and service work with yogis, massage therapists and healthcare providers.



Cathy Ryan RMT

Cathy Ryan is a RMT/RMTBC member with a strong interest in patient-centered care, evidence informed practices and life-long learning. Over her, decades-long career, Cathy has engaged in the profession in a variety of clinical, educational and leadership capacities. Cathy is an established continuing education provider and has presented at various Massage Therapy Association conferences, the 2018 Society for Oncology Massage Healing Summit and the 5th International Fascia Research Congress – Berlin 2018. As a writer (and self-proclaimed science nerd), Cathy is best known for her interest in scar tissue, connective tissue and fascia. She has written numerous articles featured in: RMT Matters Magazine and Massage Therapy Canada Magazine and along with Nancy Keeney-Smith, she co-authored: Traumatic Scar Tissue Management – Massage Therapy Principles, Practice and Protocols (Handspring 2016).


Grace Dedinsky–Rutherford BSc, RMT

Grace Dedinsky-Rutherford graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology; after which she attended West Coast College of Massage Therapy. She has been in practice since 1992. In addition to enjoying a thriving client base in North Vancouver, BC.; she has also maintained an active role in the profession by serving as a board member of the Massage Therapist’s Association and teaching various classes for West Coast College of Massage Therapy. Grace is a Certified Vodder Therapist. In 2006; Grace opened North Vancouver’s only Lymphedema clinic. Because of her commitment to patients living with Lymphedema; she has been president of NAVALT – North American Vodder Association of Lymphatic Therapy as well as Lead in the Advanced Practice Group for Lymphatic Health. 

In the process of expanding her quest for Lymphedema treatment and care; Grace was introduced to the Visceral Manipulation and Neural Manipulation treatment modalities of the Barral Institute. It wasn’t long before these two techniques became key to Grace’s private practice. Grace is an Instructor for the Barral Institute. She also hosts popular monthly study group in Vancouver, BC for Visceral and Neural Manipulation students.


Gayle MacDonald, MS, LMT

Gayle MacDonald, MS, LMT, began her career in 1973 as a secondary school health teacher. In 1989, she became a massage therapist, which lead to the blending of her first two careers. After finishing massage school, she started teaching Body-Mind education for massage students. A serendipitous phone call in 1993 led her to develop a hospital massage program for cancer patients at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon. Over time, MacDonald worked with heart transplant patients, women hospitalized because of a high-risk pregnancy, orthopedic and general medicine patients. 

Gayle is a pioneer. Her book, “Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer” (Findhorn Press) was pivotal in overcoming the myth that people with cancer could not have massage due to the fear of metastasis. She wrote the first modern hospital massage text, “Massage for the Hospital Patient and Medically Frail Patient” (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins). She has travelled the United States, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, The Netherlands, and Belgium sharing what she has learned since starting at OHSU.