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THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
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Shawnee Isaac Smith, LCSW
Co-Founder, The Heart Touch Project

Seeing the needs of isolated AIDS patients with a compelling need to be touched by the hands and hearts of others, Shawnee Isaac Smith founded The The Heart Touch Project in 1994.

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René Russo
Co-Founder, The Heart Touch Project, Actress, Model

In addition to being a successful model and actress, René Russo is well known for her philanthropic endeavors and as an advocate for many children’s causes. René is the media spokesperson for The Heart Touch Project.

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Mario Milch, MD
Board Chair, The Heart Touch Project

Mario Milch joined the Heart Touch Board in 2018 after retiring from 50 years of medical practice.  Dr. Milch attended UCLA as an undergraduate and received his MD degree from University of Southern California. 

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Debbie Mulvaney, MBA
Treasurer, The Heart Touch Project

Debbie Mulvaney has been the principal of Mulvaney Business Advisors, a business management and bookkeeping firm, since 2005.  She has an MBA in Finance from New York University.

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Naphat Chatchavalkosol

Naphat is a Harvard Graduate and sustainability-focusing international professional with extensive work with United Nations agencies. Naphat is trained in United Nations Development Programme Global Policy Network Surge Advisor.

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David Hawkins, MBA

David Hawkins is an executive business consultant specializing in driving measurable change in business outcomes and digitally reinventing finance business services through complex finance transformations. David's recent work with mission-driven companies in life sciences and personal family experience led him to The Heart Touch Project.

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Misbah (Missy) Akbar, MSN-FNP

Misbah Akbar is an NP working in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Originally from Connecticut, Misbah relocated to Southern California to be closer to her family. 

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Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith Is a partner at Vision Computer Works with his sister Lisa for 30+ years. He was first introduced to Heart Touch by his wife Noriko who has been a volunteer with Heart Touch for many years. He has always felt his biggest rewards have always been through volunteering.

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Dr Krissy Jones

Dr Krissy Jones is a serial, award winning entrepreneur and philanthropist started her career in the health & social care sector as a social worker and care home manager, following this she became a qualified teacher where she taught social care in a higher education college.

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Pauline Yi, MD

Dr. Pauline Yi is a board-certified physician and assistant clinical professor for the Department of Internal Medicine & Pediatrics at UCLA. She graduated from Cornell University, cum laude, and completed her medical degree and residency training at Rutgers University. Dr. Yi is bilingual in English and Korean and believes that understanding one's health is essential in the prevention and absence of disease.

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Jessica Abercrombie

An award-winning marketing and PR executive, Jessica Abercrombie drives brand strategy and innovation for some of the globe’s most renowned Fortune 500 companies and coveted start-ups alike. Beginning her career in storytelling with Esquire and most recently founding, scaling and exiting her own digital communications agency, Jessica brings a dynamic tenure to her expertise.

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Robin Patrick

Robin Patrick is a senior executive specializing in commercial management and execution. His focus and expertise is centered on establishing successful operating frameworks and accelerating profitable growth for organizations. His experience has seen him occupy senior roles in regional and global businesses, frequently managing large cross functional teams to drive commercial outcomes. 

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Gagan Sokar

Gagan is a charismatic healthcare leader whose mission is to create a positive and lasting impact in the lives of those around us through meaningful actions and genuine care. She is a passionate leader with experience in risk management, quality improvement, professional practice, consulting and occupational health.

THE ADVISORY BOARD:
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Eric Daar, MD

Dr. Daar is Medical Director, Division of HIV Medicine, at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Daar was an early advocate of massage therapy to relieve the discomfort of his AIDS patients, and in his advisory and educational role with The Heart Touch Project he brings current knowledge on AIDS research and patient practices.

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Margarita Loeza, MD

Since 2001 Dr. Loeza has been the Chief Medical Information Officer at Venice Family Clinic. She also serves as the physician for the school-based clinic at Santa Monica High School and volunteers at Homeboy Industries in their Tattoo Removal Clinic.

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Georgia Noble, Ed.D

Georgia Noble is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a doctorate in counseling. She specializes in family systems and their impact on the individual. Using her experience in a range of group settings, Georgia helped to design The Heart Touch Project curriculum and training programs to prepare future volunteers to address the emotional issues that arise in their work.

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Nirbhika Parsani-Moojani, MBA

Nirbhika completed her MBA at the Stern Business School at New York University. In her native India, she carved out a niche leading Kimaya Fashions Pvt. Ltd. from a start-up to a marquee operating business. She has launched retail stores in India, the United Arab Emirates and, most recently, in the United States. Today Kimaya is India’s largest multi-designer luxury and fashion house.

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