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(949) 764-7239


From the moment you step into our comfortable, women-only environment, Hoag for Her Center for Wellness' experienced, helpful team is here to support you on your personal journey to optimal health and wellness.

Our nationally recognized Women’s Health Specialists are credentialed to provide you with the highest level of personalized care. Each of our caring practitioners works together in partnership with you and your physician to help you achieve your unique health and wellness goals.

Hoag for Her Center for Wellness is home to an expert team of Women's Health Specialists. Learn more from our women's health specialists here.

Massage Therapists

Taryn Lazaris, CMT

Certified Massage Therapist

Taryn is a certified Massage Therapist with a passion for holistic health. She believes in healing the body as a whole and massage therapy is just one great approach to do so. She knew at a very young age she wanted to become a Massage Therapist and becoming one in 2011 was one of the best decisions she has ever made. Her specialties are circulatory, sports massage, deep tissue, assisted stretching and abdomen massage. She also has training in acupressure and prenatal massage.

In addition to her massage education, Taryn also has a 200 hour yoga teaching certification and a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology she received from California State University, Fullerton.

In her free time she loves hiking with her girls hiking group, relaxing with family and spending time with her two Chihuahuas, Hazel and Spike. She also loves running, yoga, going to the beach and of course, treating herself to a massage.


Christina Nguyen, M.S., L.A.C.

Christina Nguyen, M.S., L.A.C., is a California state licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. Christina began her education at the University of California Irvine where she received her bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in Education in hopes of one day becoming a teacher.

While working at Coastal Acupuncture and Natural Health Center (CANH), she discovered a passion for nutrition and holistic medicine. Her love for teaching and healing became a platform towards pursuing her Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at South Baylo University.

Christina knew early on in her acupuncture career that she wanted to specialize in women’s health, fertility, mental health, and pain management. Christina has assisted in many reproductive treatments such as intra-uterine insemination and in-vitro fertilization pre and post transfer. Christina worked alongside her mentors creating many successful fertility protocols.

Her goals as a practitioner are to incorporate her passion for education with her love for integrative medicine to ensure patients receive the proper knowledge and care to help reach their health goals. Christina strongly believes wellness is not simply skin deep but starts from within. By promoting balance-- the internal with the external, western with eastern, exercise with dietary counseling, Christina’s treatment plans are customized to treat not only the symptoms of imbalance but the root cause.

All of her treatments begin with acupuncture but depending on each patient’s needs, she might incorporate other healing modalities such as cupping to help relax the muscles and detoxify the body.

Meet Tara M. Pierce, DC, LAc

Tara M. Pierce, DC, LAc, has lived most of her life in beautiful Orange County. She attended California State University, Fullerton where she earned a bachelor of science degree with a focus in exercise physiology. She then continued on to complete her graduate studies at Southern California University of Health Sciences' rigorous Doctor of Chiropractic program and joined the University's Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program in order to offer her patients a greater variety of treatment options.

As a licensed acupuncturist and Oriental Medicine practitioner, Dr. Pierce offers treatment options for various conditions including sciatica, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis and golfer's elbow, and has helped many cope with digestive disorders, anxiety, fertility challenges, IVF support, premenstrual symptoms and more. Dr. Pierce uses traditional acupuncture strategies as well as contemporary dry needling techniques for musculoskeletal pain disorders. Myofascial decompression therapy (cupping) is often incorporated as a complementary therapy.

Dr. Pierce's clinical experience has included working with people from all walks of life with unique individual needs, from elite level and professional athletes to treating everyday ailments to improve health and well-being.

Dr. Pierce currently lives in Costa Mesa with her husband, Kevin, son Zane and two wild pups, Maximus and Emma Jane!

Pilates & Fitness Instructors

Nicole Ervin, Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, Fitness Coach

While studying nutrition in college, Nicole worked at a local women's gym which inspired her to learn more about fitness. After all, she believes combining fitness and nutrition is the best way to achieve optimal health!

After graduating Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a BS in Nutrition, she became a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). She started her career at a major chain gym where she became successful as one of the club's top trainers. From there, she launched Benefitness.

Nicole's mission is to help her clients accomplish their fitness goals and assist them in making practical lifestyle changes suited to their life. Customized fitness and nutrition programs are designed specifically for the individual, whether they're in junior high or enjoying retirement. Nicole prides herself on offering a safe place to achieve lasting health and fitness habits.

Vanessa Huffman

Vanessa discovered Pilates in 2001 while recovering from multiple injuries playing college basketball, and in it, she found not only a way to rehabilitate sports injuries, but also a core set of principles upon which she’s since built her life and career. Her ability to connect with people, establish trust, explain concepts in innovative ways has helped her clients become stronger, stand taller, and move more efficiently. Prior to her role at Hoag, Vanessa worked on a corporate Pilates team where she was responsible for writing and developing a comprehensive teacher training program for Pilates and establishing a Master Teacher Trainer program.

Yoga Instructors

Dolly Lai, Certified Yoga Therapist

Dolly Lai is a certified Yoga Therapist with professional degrees and practical experience in Physiotherapy and Special Education. Her holistic approach guides participants through an integrated practice of asana, pranayama and Yoga Nidra meditation. To enhance student understanding, she also provides an explanation of the anatomical and physiological benefits of each pose to ensure her classes deliver a bio-mechanically sound practice.

For the last 20+ years, Dolly has shared her knowledge of traditional Indian yoga in Florida, Illinois and California to promote overall health and well-being. Her early career focused on infants and young children with special needs. In addition to hands-on clinical work, she was also responsible for setting up programs to bring PT techniques to villages in rural India, coordinating a national awareness campaign to highlight the needs of people with disabilities, and developing a plan to attract the Special Olympics to Calcutta.

In Orange County, Dolly began designing programs for both pre-natal yoga and Mommy-and-me yoga over ten years ago and has implemented them at a large medical wellness facility and local yoga studios. Besides her regular yoga classes, she specializes in working with participants with limited mobility and medical conditions. She has successfully run her own yoga studio for the last 15 years and teaches 12-14 classes per week.

Over the years, her practice has evolved to incorporate spirituality, weaving deep philosophy, storytelling and humor into her teaching.

Milka Gronlund, PhD, PsyD, Certified Yoga Instructor

Dr. Milka Gronlund, PhD, PsyD specializes in wellness and has been practicing internationally for over 20 years.

She empowers patients to discover their inner strength and care for oneself and be healthy in all areas - mentally, physically and spiritually. She teaches people to take better care of themselves; resulting in a happier and healthier life. She is a beloved instructor at Hoag who modifies her classes to fit all needs and levels and offers variety in her classes, which include gentle yoga, relaxation, mindfulness and meditation. Her classes are ideal for those who want to de-stress and find a peaceful connection between the body and mind.

She is certified in personal training, group fitness, yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and Reiki in addition to other wellness certifications.

Shivani Hiralal, Certified Yoga Instructor

Shivani is a certified Yoga & Mindfulness Guide and works with individuals one-on-one to change their relationship with their mental health and anxiety. This holistic approach is tailored for each case, as there is no one size fits all to mental health. She integrates mindfulness into her classes to allow students to truly connect body, mind, and movement for a more integrated experience.

She is also trained in both pre and postnatal yoga and integrates mindfulness, pranayama, and asana so her students are able to manage the stresses that come along with pregnancy and motherhood effectively. Her classes include explanations of anatomy, physiology, and modifications for a more comprehensive practice. Additionally, Shivani leads guided meditations for both private and group sessions to introduce the basics of meditation, mindfulness, and connecting within to ease stress and anxiety.

Registered Dietitian

We have several registered dietitians who can work with you to meet your personalized goals. Call 949-764-7239 for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Sexual Health & Relationship Counseling

Danielle Dawson, MA, LMFT, Psychotherapist

Danielle is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is passionate about counseling couples and individuals around sexual health and other relationship challenges. She has years of experience working with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and self-esteem.

Danielle has a natural ability to connect with clients, to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. She strives to help others determine their goals and gives them tools to achieve those goals. Working together, she helps clients understand that any trauma, crisis or negative experience in life is an opportunity to discover a healthier self and find the power within to thrive in life. By understanding their feelings, goals, fears, and aspirations first, clients are able to develop positive beliefs and behaviors to cope with the stress and anxiety of everyday life. By providing a positive and safe environment filled with empathy and acceptance, Danielle will help you do the work necessary to find balance in your life through self-awareness, purpose and empowerment.

Danielle earned her Bachelor's degree at UCSD and a Masters in Science in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University. She had specialized training at American Association of Couples and Sex Therapy, UCLA. She is a member of AASECT and currently working on her AASECT certification.


We have Reiki masters who can work with you to meet your personalized goals. Call 949-764-7239 for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Guided Imagery

Rhona Jordan, C.Glt, C.Cht-Guided Imagery Therapist

Rhona Jordan is passionate about her offerings with our patients for their well being. Rhona offers workshop, classes, public speaking engagements at conventions, and medical meetings. Well known Hypnosis Instructor and teacher to the teachers. She is a certified Primordial Sound Meditation Instructor. Her clients base is international as far as Peru, thanks to Skype and Facetime technology.

Rhona's hobbies are growing and wiring Bonsai trees. Her home and yard reflects international travels and special love of the Hawaii islands.

Wellness Coach

Anusha Wijeyakumar, MA, Dip Mentoring, CPC, RYT, Wellness Coach

Anusha Wijeyakumar (MA, Dip Mentoring, CPC, RYT) is a Wellness Coach providing service at Hoag for Her Center for Wellness. Anusha teaches Vinyasa, Yin, Hatha and Pre-­Natal yoga for all levels and because of her knowledge base has been invited to teach as part of Yoga Alliance certified Teacher Training Programs across Southern California. Anusha runs yoga workshops internationally, yoga retreats in Southern California and is a published spiritual writer and motivational speaker.

Anusha is also knowledgeable in the areas of Meditation, Mantra, Pranayama/Breath work and the Philosophy and Mythology associated with Yoga. Anusha has over 15 years of senior management experience working for Fortune 50 global corporations, not-­for-­profit charitable organizations & private companies in three continents. She holds a BA, MA, Diploma in Mentoring, Certified Professional Coach qualification, is a Registered Yoga Teacher/RYT with Yoga Alliance and a Meditation Practitioner.

Anusha teaches yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices in a way that honors her students and her teaching style. Anusha specializes in teaching yoga to beginners and those with additional needs due to injuries who require more individual attention and modifications. Her teaching methodology is focused on alignment, breath and beginning the process of quieting the mind, and going within to discover lasting inner peace.

Physical Therapists

Heather LaPaglia, PT, DPT, PRPC

Heather LaPaglia began her academic career by earning her Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Oregon. As an undergraduate, she nurtured her passion for combing health and science by working as a certified personal trainer and as a fitness instructor for several years.

She continued her education at Chapman University in Orange, California where she earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Currently, in addition to her work at Hoag Pelvic Health Program, she is an anatomy lab instructor for the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Science at Chapman University. Other teaching experiences include teaching the physical agents course with Chapman’s DPT program in 2014. Heather has focused her practice efforts on both orthopedic and pelvic health for men and women with emphasis on spine, pelvis, and tailbone pain, and their role in urinary incontinence, painful intercourse, urinary frequency/urgency, prostatitis, interstitial cystitis, and pre and post-partum pathology.

Currently Heather is pursuing post-professional studies in manual therapy with the Institute of Physical Art, and expanding her expertise in Women’s Health by participating in the coursework offered by Herman & Wallace. Heather has a strong passion and interest in both orthopedic and pelvic health fields, and brings the two together in the treatment of her patients for optimal outcomes. Heather is a current member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

“What I love about working at Hoag Pelvic Health Program is that the clinic, staff, and patients make it feel like home.”

In her free time, Heather enjoys anything outdoors and involving music.

Mona Espanola - PT, DPT, WCS, PRPC

Mona Espanola is a physical therapist specializing in pelvic health for both men and women. Mona earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Touro University Nevada in 2013, and received her Bachelor's degree in Clinical Exercise Science from California State University Fullerton. She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) - Section on Women's Health, International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS), Southern California Pelvic Floor Sexual Medicine Collaborative Group (PFSM). Mona has advanced designation in pelvic physical therapy as a certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner (PRPC) and is Board Certified in Women’s Health through the APTA as a Women’s Health Clinical Specialist (WCS).

Mona has a special interest in chronic pelvic pain conditions such as pudendal neuralgia, interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, vulvodynia, prostatitis, post-surgical pain, and post-partum pain. She also wants to create an awareness, while providing personalized care and treatment for the underserved male population experiencing pelvic pain. Mona focuses on patient-centered care while utilizing the most current evidence-based manual therapy techniques through specialized education and training received from Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute, Pelvic Education Alliance, and a post-graduate fellowship focusing on chronic pelvic pain and pelvic floor dysfunction.

While working on her Doctorate, Mona volunteered at the Children’s Heart Center, Sunrise Hospital in Nevada and other non-profit organizations to promote health, wellness, and fitness to the youth in the Las Vegas area. During her free time, Mona likes to stay active with yoga, paddle boarding, hiking, and running. She plans to work on her yoga teacher training and incorporate this into patient care. She likes to attend sporting events, concerts, spend time with family and friends, and play with her French Bulldogs Bruce and Gus.

Kathryn Karkut, PT, DPT, PRPC

Kathryn enjoys treating men and women of all ages with orthopedic and pelvic health conditions with special interest in pelvic pain, incontinence, and post-partum restoration.

She received her B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Southern California with a minor in Nutrition and Health promotion. While there, she competed on the NCAA Division 1 track and field team in the hurdles. She went on to receive her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from California State University, Long Beach and completed a 12-week internship at Hoag Pelvic Health Program. Kathryn has continued her education and earned her Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC).

In her free time, she enjoys golfing, volleyball, casual runs and riding her bike to the beach.

Kathryn loves the supportive and friendly community at Hoag Pelvic Health Program and their commitment to providing patients with the best care. She believes in the multidisciplinary approach provided here to meet all the patient's needs in order for them to enjoy each day of their life.

Staphany Lao, PT, DPT

Staphany was interested in a career as a physical therapist starting in her undergraduate years. She graduated from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an emphasis in pre-physical therapy studies. She later went on to pursue her Doctorate degree and graduated from California State University Northridge (CSUN). Staphany completed an internship at the Hoag Pelvic Health Program where she not only gained skills and training, but nutured her interest in the specialty of pelvic physical therapy. She enjoys working with both men and women, and has a special interest in patients who are pregnant and postpartum or suffering from pelvic pain, incontinence, and orthopedic related diagnoses. She has a passion for bringing awareness to pelvic floor diagnoses, while providing patients with the knowledge and resources they need to feel empowered to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Born and raised in Southern California, Staphany enjoys being at the beach, baking, and finding new restaurants in the neighborhood to try. She likes to live an active lifestyle and enjoys paddle boarding, hiking, yoga, or just having a good sweat session at the gym.

What she loves most about working at Hoag’s Pelvic Health Program is the warm, inspiring, welcoming environment they have created, and their dedication to helping patients achieve optimal health through their multi-disciplinary approach.

Alicia Meyer, PT, DPT

Alicia began her academic career by receiving a B.S. in Kinesiology at California State University of Fullerton. While there, she competed on the NCAA division 1 gymnastics team. Her love of sports, science, and the human body led her to continue her education at Chapman University, where she earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. During her studies she took an elective pelvic health course, and then completed an eight-week clinical rotation at Hoag Pelvic Health Program.

She enjoys working with the friendly team at the Hoag Pelvic Health Program. She believes in a multidisciplinary patient centered approach to achieve the best possible outcomes. Alicia is a lifelong learner and plans to receive her Pelvic Rehab Practitioner Certification in the future.

In her free time Alicia enjoys spending time with her friends and family, going to the beach, hiking, and traveling the world.

Carissa Francisco, PT, DPT

Carissa began her academic career at Point Loma Nazarene University by receiving a Bachelor of Arts in exercise science. During this time, she was referred to physical therapy which is where she developed an interest in the field, specifically pelvic health. She went on to receive a Doctorate in physical therapy at Chapman University in pursuit to carry out her passion of helping those with pelvic floor dysfunction. She completed an internship at the Hoag Pelvic Health Program and took pelvic health courses through Herman and Wallace while a student. She enjoys working with men and women with any pelvic floor dysfunction, but she has a special interest in pain science and finding the driver in pelvic pain.

Carissa loves that Hoag provides an atmosphere of excellence and offers a multitude of wellness services that allows her to treat patients as a whole to address all areas of their health.

During her free time, Carissa enjoys playing with her chocolate lab, cooking new dishes and taking Pilates classes.


Salpi Salibian MS PA-C

Salpi joined Hoag Hospital in 2015 as Director of Clinical Operations and Program Development for women’s outpatient health and wellness, including Hoag Pelvic Health Program, a specialized pelvic rehabilitation program, and Hoag for Her Center for Wellness.

She holds a Master of Science degree from Northeastern University, Physician Assistant Program Boston MA and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts, cum laude, from Harvard University, Division of Continuing Education Cambridge, MA.

Salpi’s career in healthcare started in Corporate Training and then as a Physician Assistant (PA) more than 10 years ago. In 2007, Salpi moved to California with her family and worked as a PA in a Hoag affiliated private practice specializing in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) in Newport Beach, CA subsequently joining Keck Medicine of USC, Institute of Urology Beverly Hills, CA.

She has extensive experience in Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome, Overactive Bladder, Sexual Dysfunction, Chronic Pelvic Pain and Urodynamics. She also has a strong interest in teaching and research.

Salpi is thrilled to bring her experience and passion for Pelvic Medicine to Hoag and to be part of its vision to expand services that promote and improve the health and well-being of patients. Salpi is fluent in Armenian, Arabic and Turkish.

Clinical Supervisors

Christine King Burke, PT, DPT, MHA, PRPC

Christine is the Clinical Supervisor at the Newport location, specializing in pelvic health with a strong background in orthopedics that she incorporates into her practice. She enjoys treating patients with sacroiliac or hip pain, coccyx pain, painful intercourse, post-partum complications, interstitial cystitis, pelvic pain and incontinence. Christine has participated in numerous community education events as a speaker and a panel member.

She graduated from Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR with a Bachelors of Science in Exercise and Sport Science and then went on to Chapman University in Orange, CA where she received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Most recently, Christine received her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Southern California.

Originally from Oregon, Christine loves to enjoy the sandy beaches and warm sunshine that California offers. She likes to stay active with Crossfit, and incorporates the principles of functional fitness into her patient’s rehabilitation plans whenever possible. She loves to travel and spend time with her husband and their French bulldog Remy, as well as her friend and family.

Christine loves the supportive environment that the Hoag Pelvic Health Program provides for everyone who walks through our doors. She feels that the holistic care our team offers contributes to the overall well-being of an individual, and not just their current diagnosis. She is thrilled to be a part of such a passionate multidisciplinary team.

Kathleen Lombardo, PT, DPT, WCS

Kathleen is the Physical Therapist Lead at the Irvine location.

Kathleen is the Physical Therapist Lead at the Irvine location, she received her Bachelors degree in Physiological Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2005. She graduated with her Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from Chapman University in 2008. She also has advanced board certification from the APTA as a Women's Clinical Specialist (WCS) in physical therapy. She has extensive training in various manual therapy techniques and exercise for pelvic pain, voiding dysfunction, pregnancy and postpartum conditions. She finds women's health physical therapy as a specialty where she can integrate her knowledge and passion for multi-system physiology and biomechanics for treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction. She believes in a multidisciplinary approach to care and in empowering patients with knowledge about the body to foster healing. She is committed to continuing education and learning to provide highly skilled care for her patients.

She has been involved in various speaking engagements for community education including participation as a panel member alongside physicians and other healthcare providers in topics of continence and sexual health. She has also been a featured columnist in the Orange County Register to improve community awareness on pelvic floor dysfunction and physical therapy. She served as lead pelvic floor therapist at Hoag Rehabilitation Services since 2011.

Her free time is spent mostly with her family. She is a proud mom and dog mom of two boys.

"I am happy and proud to be part of a team of genuinely caring and warmhearted women providing specialized therapies here at Hoag ."

Wellness Coordinator

Asia Yates, Wellness Coordinator

Asia is the Wellness Coordinator at Hoag for Her Center for Wellness. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology. During graduate school, she conducted research on the effect of Pilates on muscle activity, and the benefits of physical fitness within the older adult population. During graduate school and beyond, she worked at a wellness center on the Long Beach State campus, where she focused on mentoring students and promoting social and physical wellness within the older adult population.

Asia has been teaching Pilates since 2013 and loves helping others learn the importance of posture and mindfulness, both during exercise and in everyday life. She is a certified Pilates instructor and personal trainer, and enjoys furthering her fitness knowledge with new certifications.

Her mission at HOAG is to improve the mental and physical health of our Hoag community by providing educational resources and wellness services.

In her free time, Asia enjoys going backpacking with her fiancé and their dog, Bodhi. She also participates in sprint triathlons with her dad to stay fit.