Meet our dynamic team — yoga teachers + non-profit managers + family medicine physicians + business advisors + YOU!
Greg Van Hyfte, MA, MA/HAP, RYT 500 - Co-Director & Co-Founder / Secretary
In his role as Co-Founder & Co-Director, Greg helps YogaCare secure partnerships with community health centers and non-profit organizations. He co-coordinates the strategy, business development, evaluation, and fundraising of YogaCare programming. He has been teaching yoga in English and Spanish since 2006, and is certified by Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour level. Current teaching includes gentle hatha, alignment-based therapeutic yoga, and mind-body therapies at Chicago Family Health Center and CommunityHealth. He is also Founder & President of GrowthVisionHealth, a consulting company that works with nonprofit organizations on grant writing and management, fundraising, applied program evaluation, research, and development. Greg earned a Master of Arts in Social Sciences, a Master of Arts in Social Service Administration, and a Graduate Certificate in Health Administration and Policy from the University of Chicago, and he is a Schweitzer Fellow for Life. He also is a co-founder of the Socially Engaged Yoga Network (SEYN).
Julia Pedersen, CYT 200 - Co-Director & Co-Founder / Treasurer
As YogaCare’s Co-Founder & Co-Director, Julia's role involves overseeing the programs, marketing, teacher training scholarships, events, and operations of YogaCare. She co-coordinates strategy and the development of YogaCare's teacher training curriculum and training tools for community-focused yoga teachers to build the capacity of community centers to operate quality yoga programming. She brings over 15 years of diverse business experience working in sales, management, training and development, marketing, analysis, and procurement. She completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Moksha Yoga Center with additional training in Prenatal Yoga, Yoga for Kids and Families, and Yoga for Cancer Survivors. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Merchandising Management from the International Academy of Merchandising and Design. She also is a co-founder of the Socially Engaged Yoga Network (SEYN), which is dedicated to supporting yoga teachers, community organizations, and other stakeholders committed to sharing the benefits of yoga with underserved communities in the Chicagoland area.
Kohar Jones, MD - Medical Director & Co-Founder / Board Member
As YogaCare’s Co-Founder & Medical Director, Dr. Jones serves as community site collaborator, business strategist, and co-investigator on YogaCare research that provides evidence for the benefits and operations of YogaCare programs. She is a family physician with a passion for partnering with patients and communities to promote health. Dr. Jones served as Director of Community Health and Service Learning at the University of Chicago Medicine, and practiced family medicine at Chicago Family Health Center in the South Chicago neighborhood from 2008 to 2015. She also served as Medical Director of the South Loop (Chicago) location at Harken Health and Iora Health, seeing patients and developing programs with an eye towards preventive health and wellness. She currently serves as Medical Director at Heartland Health Outreach. She is delighted to be able to liberally prescribe yoga for her patients for pain, stress and general health, and refer them to YogaCare classes. She completed her medical degree at Yale University School of Medicine and is a Schweitzer Fellow for Life.
Kelli Bosak, LSW - Volunteer Coordinator
Kelli is a social justice activist and social worker who aims to combine her clinical work with her passion for yoga and mindfulness practices. She is a Licensed Social Worker providing behavioral health services at PCC Community Wellness Center, a federally qualified health center on Chicago's West Side. Kelli has served as a volunteer with YogaCare and Socially Engaged Yoga Network (SEYN) since 2015. From 2014-2015, Kelli completed a Fellowship project developing and leading weekly trauma-informed “Body Empowerment” groups for women detained in Cook County Jail rooted in yoga and mindfulness practices to directly address the physical and mental health consequences of incarceration, trauma, and substance use. She is a Schweitzer Fellow for Life and holds a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration (SSA). Prior to attending SSA, Kelli served a two-year term of AmeriCorps service in Philadelphia, where she supervised volunteers and coordinated operations at a community resource center providing direct social services to community members. Kelli received her Bachelor of Arts in French and anthropology from the University of Michigan.
Aggie Stewart, MA, AVI Certified Yoga Therapist - Board Member
Aggie is certified through the American Viniyoga Institute (AVI) as a yoga teacher at the 500-hour level (2009) and a yoga therapist (2011). She initially turned to yoga to find relief from the stresses of her publishing career and found so much more. She began studying with Gary Kraftsow in 2007 has been part of the faculty for his Foundations for Teaching and Yoga Therapy Program at Mount Madonna Center in California. She has also studied with Richard Miller in his iRest program. As a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), Aggie has presented on her yoga therapy work with people who have rheumatoid arthritis at IAYT’s Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research in 2011 and published a paper on that work in the 2013 edition of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. She specializes in therapeutic work for back and other musculoskeletal conditions, autoimmune conditions, arthritis, chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. She has a particular interest in yoga therapy’s efficacy for addressing the effects of trauma on a wide range of auto-immune conditions. In addition to her therapeutic work, she teaches on the yoga of creativity and is a passionate gardener. She incorporates her love of art, creativity, and the natural world into all levels of her work with individuals and groups, and is writing a book on the Yoga of writing. Since 2013, Aggie has served as the Accreditation Manager for IAYT, which began accrediting yoga therapy training programs internationally in June of 2014.
Sonia Oyola, MD - Board President
Dr. Sonia Oyola is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Chicago and board eligible in Integrative Medicine. She completed Dr. Andrew Weil's fellowship at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in 2013 and recently became a certified yoga instructor through Yogaview. Her clinical work emphasizes Mind-Body Medicine for underserved communities , preventing physician/student burnout and for stress management. She is the founder of Be Alright, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created in 2009 that supports of survivors of domestic violence and Chicago-area domestic violence shelters. She is grateful for her wonderful husband of 17 years and 3 precious children.
Past Board Members - thank you for your service!
Nubia Ptah, MS
Nubia is an Educational Consultant and Resource Specialist with over 20 years of Entrepreneurial endeavors. She has a strong sense of community which is best shown through her need to inform. Having completed undergraduate and graduate work at DePaul University (B.A. in Black Studies, M.S. in Public Service Management), Nubia has used her knowledge to further her agenda for the community by founding a nonprofit with an entrepreneur base.
Kevin Stephens, MD, MBA
Kevin has over 4 years of experience in the health industry and is training to become a primary care physician. He is experienced with implementing sigma six and lean production techniques in the healthcare setting. He received a Molecular Biochemistry & Biophysics Bachelor of Science degree from Yale College and completed the MD/MBA program at the University of Chicago with concentrations in Quality & Safety, Operations, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship.
Kristin Cho, MBA
Kristin has 5 years of experience leading business expansion strategy projects working with companies from various industries. She has experience in building financial models, delivering negotiations with governments, building strategies for global and domestic expansions and acquiring new clienteles. She received a Finance and CPA accounting Bachelor of Science degree from New York University Stern School of Business and completed the MBA program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Marketing and Strategic Management. She is a CPA in New York.