Team AwesomeBoard of Directors, Officers and Advisors

Andrew Schlabach

Andrew Schlabach | AcupuncturistPresident, Board Member

Andrew Schlabach is the co-founder and President of the Acupuncture Relief Project having received his Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in 2008. His master’s research project founded a Practice Based Research Network for Oriental medicine practitioners and researchers in Oregon and Southwest Washington in collaboration with the Helfgott Research Institute.

Currently on faculty at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, Mr. Schlabach teaches orthopedics, advanced acupuncture and serves as a clinic supervisor. He maintains a private practice at Wintzer Acupuncture in Camas Washington and is the author and publisher of the Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine - Clinic Survival Guide. Mr. Schlabach also served as President and Creative Director of Split Diamond Media, Inc. of Portland Oregon for 15 years. Specializing in business-to-business advertising, Split Diamond Media pioneered digital publishing technologies and internet services for a variety of regional and national companies. Mr. Schlabach is also an accomplished mountaineer with expedition experience in the Himalayas, distinguishing himself as an instructor at the prestigious Himalayan Mountain Institute in Darjeeling India. Having travel extensively in central Asia, Mr. Schlabach has become a student of world theology, Tai Ji and yoga. As a veteran of the U.S. Army, he received an Army Commendation Medal for distinguished service to his unit.  

Sheri Barrows

Sheri BarrowsSecretary, Treasurer, Board Member

Sheri Barrows is the Secretary and Treasurer of Acupuncture Relief Project as well as a professional remote bookkeeper based in Vancouver, Washington. Ms Barrows has traveled extensively in developing countries and has witnessed first hand the tremendous need for affordable and available health care.  When the opportunity arose to assist in the start up of ARP, Ms Barrows was eager to participate, allowing her to support the practitioners and the organization and thus by extension, the patients who need them so desperately.

Leith Nippes

Leith Nippes | AcupuncturistBoard Member

Leith Nippes is a board member and co-founder of the Acupuncture Relief Project.  Mr. Nippes received his Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. His master’s thesis covered the effectiveness of acupuncture on post stroke sequelae. Mr. Nippes also holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Pre-Physical Therapy from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. While at Gettysburg, Mr. Nippes was a Division III College athlete and worked in the training room. Mr. Nippes later interned with Health South Rehabilitation in New Jersey. Mr. Nippes has traveled extensively in Asia, studied in China, and spent the last 10 years studying both yoga and Buddhism.

Diane Wintzer

Diane Wintzer | AcupuncturistAdvisor, Project Coordinator

Diane Wintzer is the Project Coordinator and an Advisor to the Board for the Acupuncture Relief Project. She has been volunteering as both a Project Lead and Practitioner with ARP since its inception in 2008. Diane graduated from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine with a Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Diane also holds a B.S. in Environmental Education, received from Western Washington University. Ms Wintzer worked as an instructor and staffing coordinator with the Voyageur Outward Bound School for 9 years and served as the Program Director at the Rio Grande Program Area in Southwest Texas on the US-Mexico border. She has in-depth field experience of traveling with groups in remote regions, facilitating a learning experiences, problem solving, creating an environment of safety, and supporting individuals and groups through both personal and interpersonal challenges. Diane has a love for adventure, medicine, healthcare, and third-world environments. Currently Diane is self-employed in a full-time practice in Camas, Washington.

Tsering Sango Sherpa

Tsering Sherpa | Nepal LiasonAdvisor, Nepal Liaison

Mr. Tsering Sangpo Sherpa serves as Acupuncture Relief Project's Nepal Liaison and is an Advisor to the Board. Born and raised in Nepal, Mr. Sherpa's comes from a family of professional mountaineers. His late father Sirdar Azewa lead many summit expeditions in the Himalayas. Graduating in 2005 from Prasadi Academy in Kathmandu, Tsering is fluent in Nepalese ,Hindi, Sherpa, Tibetan and English. He is trained medical interpreter and has been working with the Acupuncture Relief Project since August 2010. He is interested in becoming a acupuncture practitioner and has been undertaking a clinical apprenticeship in Oriental Medicine.

Tsering also attended the Academy of Culinary Education (Cidade de Goa) in Goa/India, where he successfully completed the course in Food Production where he secured the First Rank and the First Grade. He studied music performance with the Trinity College of London and was an active member of the Agogic Guitar Orchestra of Goa, serving a the lead classical guitar player. Tsering currently runs the office of SUSWAASTHYA NEPAL (GOOD HEALTH NEPAL), a non-profit partnership with the Acupuncture Relief Project in Kathmandu, Nepal. He also owns the mountaineering and trekking agency SHERPA KHUMBIYILA ADVENTURES Pvt. Ltd. in Kathmandu,

Tsering’s is living his dream of bringing health education and facilities to remote parts of Nepal, where the people don’t have access to sustainable health facilities. He has a keen interest in the outdoors and nature, loves adventure, trekking and biking.

Elissa Chapman

Elissa ChapmanBajrabarahi Clinic Director
Australian Liaison

Elissa Chapman is an advisor to the board and liaison for the Acupuncture Relief Project.  She has served as the Clinic Director in Bajrabarahi since 2016. Elissa received a Bachelor of Applied Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) from the University of Western Sydney in 2005 which included a certificate of clinical practice from the Jiangsu Provincial Hospital of TCM in Nanjing.  Elissa has been practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine in Australia since 2006 and currently has a practice in Canberra, ACT.  She has served with the Acupuncture Relief Project both as a practitioner and Team Lead and is passionate about promoting outreach programs for practitioners of acupuncture and other specialized healthcare modalities. 

Rebecca "Bex" Goebner

Sarah Richards | Volunteer CoordinatorAdvisor, Special Projects
Rebecca Groebner holds a physics degree from Portland State University as well as a Masters in Chinese Medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), where she works as an adjunct faculty member. She is a volunteer member of the State of Oregon's Emergency Reserve Pool of Healthcare Volunteers (SERV-OR) and a past camp lead and volunteer with the Acupuncture Relief Project.  Prior to becoming an acupuncturist, she worked for many years as a chef and later, as a case-manager for women suffering from domestic violence. She owns The Local Healer Acupuncture Clinic in Northeast Portland and loves treating patients with acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutritional therapies, especially children.
 
Bex is originally from Olympia, Washington and very much loves the entire Puget Sound region and the smell of salt water. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, riding her motorcycle, indoor skydiving and is currently working on her PADI scuba and ASA sailing certifications. She is the mama of two amazing boys and enjoys watching them fully embrace their brilliant selves. 

Sarah Richards

Sarah Richards | Volunteer CoordinatorVolunteer Coordinator

Sarah Richards joined Acupuncture Relief Project in 2016 after serving as a volunteer in 2012 and a Team Leader in 2015. She currently volunteers with ARP as the Volunteer Coordinator to continue supporting the project from home.

Sarah has been a Licensed Massage Therapist in the State of Washington since 2000 and is passionate about anatomy and movement as well as alternative healing therapies such as energy medicine, hypnotherapy and spiritual healing.

The self-care that she cultivates for herself is ecstatic dancing, yoga, floating, receiving acupuncture and bodywork, hiking in the PNW, travelling the world, and riding her motorcycle.

Emma Sanchez

Sarah Richards | Volunteer CoordinatorAdvisor, Team Leader

Emma Sanchez has been collaborating with Acupuncture Relief Project since 2016, staying for extended periods of time as a volunteer and Team Leader.

Emma received her Masters in Acupuncture from the Tri-State College of Acupuncture in 2011 and her diplomate in Chinese Herbology from Pacific College of Medicine in 2013. Her previous job as a fashion stylist had given her a taste for world travel and remembering that a desire to work with NGOs abroad had provided the initial motivation to change careers, at the end of 2015 she closed her private practice and moved out of New York to do just that. She also volunteers for projects in Guatemala and Peru, trying to stay with each community for as long as is practical with the goal of consolidating change and instilling useful lifestyle practices for as many of her patients as possible.

Jeff Chiu

Sarah Richards | Volunteer CoordinatorAdvisor, Herbal Dispensary Manager

Advisor to the Board, Jeff Chui manages the herbal dispensary for Acupuncture Relief Project's clinic facilities.  Jeff received his Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental medicine in 2017.  Upon graduation Jeff wanted to relax, so he spent 4 months as a volunteer practitioner with ARP.  Joking aside, Jeff's time in Nepal was life changing and the experience continues to influence him as he grows as a practitioner in Portland, Oregon. 

Kimberley Shields

Kimberly Shields | Volunteer CoordinatorAdvisor
Kimberly initially heard about ARP when her friend volunteered as a licensed acupuncturist in 2012.  Since then, several of her peers have volunteered with the project.  After completing her master’s degree in Chinese Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in 2017, she decided to follow suit.
Upon her return to the US, Kimberly decided to remain involved with ARP as a board member.  She hopes to return to Nepal again in the near future, but for now, she supports the organization by assisting with projects from Portland, OR, while building her private practice.

Featured Case Studies

  • Chronic Gastritis +

    52-year-old female presents with chronic, burning epigastric Read More
  • Hemiplegia (Stroke Sequelae) with Acute Lung Consolidation +

    81-year-old female presents with complete left-sided hemiplegia Read More
  • Chronic Abdominal Pain +

    31-year-old male presents with chronic abdominal pain. Read More
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Recent Blog Posts

  • Walkabouts in Nepal’s Agricultural Nirvana +

    As an American Acupuncture volunteer for Acupuncture Read More
  • The Work of Farming +

    I’ve been moving around for awhile, but Read More
  • Everyday Acupuncture Podcast +

    Here in the west we are used Read More
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Your Donations Help

In addition to volunteering their time and energy, our practitioners are required to raise the money it takes to support their efforts at our clinic. Please consider helping them by making a tax deductible donation in their name.

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