staff & board
Oren “Ren” Pilinger, executive director
Ren is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist who has lived in the greater Boston area since 2006. In his words: “I came to acupuncture as a patient who could not afford treatment until I found a community acupuncture clinic. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine made such a big difference for my health that I wanted to help other people the same way. So I went to the New England School of Acupuncture (NESA) and earned a Master’s Degree to be able to get licensed to practice this medicine. My dream has been to start a non-profit POCA clinic in Boston, with a collaborative management structure. I love doing this work and want to help make acupuncture, herbs, and all types of holistic health care more available to more people.”
Andrew Cheever, substitute acupuncturist
Andrew Cheever is a licensed acupuncturist practicing mainly at Open Space Community Acupuncture in Somerville, MA and Acupuncture Together in Medford, MA – and also as a detox acupuncturist for Fenway Community Health Center in Boston. Andrew is a master practitioner and teacher of the Korean martial art, Soo Bahk Do. He earned his Acupuncture Master’s Degree from the Tri-State Acupuncture College (2011). Andrew began practicing Soo Bahk Do in 1989 and earned his master rank in 2005. Andrew practiced acupuncture at the New York Presbyterian Hospital’s pediatric oncology ward and has experience working with individuals with physical, cognitive and social disabilities. Andrew is a POCA member and supporter of Boston Acupuncture Project, who will be occasionally covering for Ren.
Mary Maresca, substitute acupuncturist
Mary is a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture. She is licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Medicine and the State of New York and is a nationally certified Diplomate of Acupuncture from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Mary is a compassionate healer, trained in both Chinese and Japanese acupuncture traditions. She has a private practice in Chestnut Hill (Maresca Acupuncture) where she applies her expertise in pain management, orthopedics, women’s health, scar treatment, addiction and Medical Qi Gung. Mary is also a detox acupuncturist in the Behavioral Health Dept. at Fenway Community Health.
Board of Directors
Bradley U. Dimunah, Director and Treasurer
Brad has been a clinical research assistant, EMT, and founding Board Member of the Vital Healing Project in Boston. He is currently pursuing an education in medicine. In his words:
“The Vital Healing project’s mission is to de-stigmatize mental health issues all while connecting under/un-insured community residents with seasoned healthcare professionals. After hearing about the scaled pricing to meet the needs of the community, and how POCA is already changing lives all around the country, I am inspired and excited to work with the Boston Acupuncture Project. I believe the goals of both nonprofits are aligned and can better serve the communities within Boston by working together
I have extensive experience in a clinical setting as an emergency medical technician and a volunteer with EMS Academy in Quincy, MA. My desire is to actively take part in changing the way our community impacts the lives of those afflicted with maladies both apparent and inconspicuous.”
LaTeisha “Tj” Johnson, Director
Born and raised in Boston, Tj earned her Masters in Acupuncture degree from the New England School of Acupuncture at MCPHS University and her B.A. in Counseling and Health Psychology at Emmanuel College. She has over 10 years of experience in client care coordination and management, including at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, FlexPlus Physical Therapy, ATI Physical Therapy, and Boston Public Schools.
In her words: “Four years ago, I set out on this journey in Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture with one goal: to make it accessible to my community and effectively integrate it into preventative medicine. At the time I had no knowledge of the community acupuncture model. The only thing I knew was that this was a powerful medicine and a permanent answer to a biased medical system at the mercy of insurance conglomerates…and my community needed it.
We need a proactive and preventative medicine that is unbiased and free from merciless regulations that stifle our ability to provide the care that is needed. This is where Eastern Medicine comes in. The Boston Acupuncture Project is an opportunity to accomplish the goals set forth four years ago and bring the type of healing to communities who, for too long, have been without it and desperately need it.”
Steve Kingsbury, Director and Chair
Steve is an acupuncturist and active volunteer for People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA). He started Ashland Community Acupuncture, LLC in 2008 and took over ownership of MetroWest Community Acupuncture in 2014. He is fully committed to providing affordable health care to his local communities in metrowest Massachusetts. In his words:
“I am committed to POCA’s mission of making acupuncture more affordable and more accessible. Lending support to a new POCA clinic is a great way to help realize POCA’s mission and goals. I have 10 years of experience as a community acupuncturist and a POCA clinic owner.”
Julie Klunk Gillis, Director
Julie has 17 years of experience as a clinical psychologist and directs a PTSD clinic for the Veterans Health Administration. In her words:
“I love the community acupuncture model due to its accessibility to many more people than a more traditional boutique model of care. I have really benefited myself from acupuncture, and believe strongly that this should be an option for people from a range of backgrounds. I have felt welcomed and well cared for at BAP, and have recommended BAP to many of my friends and colleagues. I am excited to learn more about BAP by being on the board and finding ways to reach those who live in the community where BAP is located.”
Shoba Monteserin Narayana, Director
Shoba is a nurse midwife and a yoga teacher. In her words: “I am passionate about acupuncture. It has healed me in many ways and I continue to be amazed at its effect on my body every time I sit in that chair. I think this is something that needs to be accessible to all communities – particularly communities of color. I want to be a part of this Board to offer support to the mission and vision that Ren put forward and because it is exciting to be a part of an organization like this that is just starting up.
Christine Rose, Director
Christine Rose is co-founder and owner of 4 Corners Yoga + Wellness in Dorchester and the founder and owner of Imani Massage in Jamaica Plain. Her professional career spans the food service industry, financial services, service-based businesses, and the not-for-profit sector, while her volunteering and community leadership have taken her from Big Sisters, to Hebrew Senior Life Nursing Home, to her current Board position at educational non-profit Abraham’s Tent. Christine is an active member of and volunteer with the American Massage Therapy Association and the Dorchester Food Coop.
Christine now brings her entrepreneurial brilliance and passion for helping others to Boston Acupuncture Project!
In her words: “As a wellness practitioner, I believe in all complementary modalities to help affect change in the mind, body, and spirit. I also believe whole-heartedly in accessibility. I love that BAP is located in an adjacent neighborhood to me.”
Angela “Angie” Wolfrum, Director and Clerk
Angie is currently a student at the New England School of Acupuncture at MCPHS University, expecting her degree in May 2021. In her words: “As an acupuncture student, I’m learning again and again that healing is more than physical — it is social, environmental, political, emotional, and spiritual. Community Acupuncture was my first introduction to this practice and continues to support me in my imagining of a just world.”