Meet Our Team
Lynda Mitchell, MA, CAE
Lynda is serving as Allergy & Asthma Network’s interim CEO while the organization conducts a search for a new Chief Executive Officer. She leads the Network’s operations and strategic digital outreach to optimize stakeholder engagement, operational effectiveness and mission impact.
Lynda was a healthcare consultant when she became a parent of a child with asthma and food allergies. She saw the need to connect families with peer support and trustworthy information to keep their children safe and healthy. She used her professional background in consumer health informatics to start the nation’s first online community for parents raising children with food allergies.
In her nonprofit leadership roles, Lynda uses digital strategies to enable patients and caregivers to improve their health and quality of life, and to become empowered consumers and patient advocates.
Lynda also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Global Parents for Eczema Research and the American Health Information Management Association Foundation. She lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she enjoys being involved in animal rescue, 100+ Women Who Care Bucks County, and running every day with her two Labrador Retrievers.
Charmayne Anderson, MPA
Director of Advocacy
Charmayne’s career in government affairs and advocacy spans nearly 30 years serving both public sector and nonprofit organizations. At Allergy & Asthma Network, Charmayne brings a unique capability of engaging the Network in the public policy process, enhancing partnerships with policymakers and collaborating with national associations and other constituencies. She also leads the Network’s annual Allergy & Asthma Day Capitol Hill event.
Centering her advocacy efforts on the health and well-being of individuals and creating sustainable communities that thrive, Charmayne has successfully developed and executed policy and funding strategies to influence legislation and agency actions that address critical public infrastructure needs, service delivery and quality of life of local constituencies. Not only is Charmayne a resilient advocate for patients, but she also works tirelessly in this role on behalf of her children and herself – all who suffer from asthma and allergies.
Charmayne brings her passion and expertise to organizations that make a difference in the lives of children as a volunteer in her community, and actively participates in charitable events as a member of the Washington Football Team cheerleader alumni.
William E. Berger, MD, MBA
Medical Director and National Spokesperson
Dr. William E. Berger is board-certified in both pediatrics and allergy/immunology. He founded Allergy and Asthma Associates of Southern California Medical Group in Mission Viejo, California.
Dr. Berger received his medical degree from University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1973. He completed an internship and residency program in pediatrics at the UCLA Medical Center. In 1995, Dr. Berger established the Southern California Research Center, focusing on respiratory and allergy clinical research. He held dual appointments as clinical professor at the College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Immunology, and adjunct professor of Health Care Management at the University of California, Irvine.
Dr. Berger is Past President of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI). He served on the ACAAI’s Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters and as chairman of ACAAI’s Managed Care Committee. Dr. Berger was also chairman of the Mission Hospital Institutional Review Board and president of the Orange County and California Societies of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
A former television medical correspondent for the Orange County Newschannel, Dr. Berger is the author of many academic papers and lay press articles in the field of allergy, asthma and immunology, including the published book “Asthma for Dummies.”
Kris comes to Allergy & Asthma Network from the Nashville, Tennessee area. She previously served in areas of work that allowed her to thrive using her customer relations and people skills in the Nashville area. She believes these relational gifts come from a heart to serve those in need.
Kris relates to people who have chronic allergies, as she underwent immunotherapy/allergy shots from 7 until 13 years of age. She also had to periodically have tubes in both of her ears to prevent the buildup of fluids in the ear drum due to allergies.
Kris helps care for her mom, and she also has a passion for the church. During her free time, Kris enjoys spending time with friends. You may also catch her taking in a Nashville Predators game if you visit “Smashville” during the hockey season!
Don Bukstein, MD
Dr. Bukstein is a board-certified Allergist/Immunologist, Pediatric Pulmonologist, and Former Director of Allergy and Asthma Research. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; and American Thoracic Society. He currently volunteers at a Medicaid clinic in inner city Milwaukee and with the Allergy & Asthma Network.
Dr. Bukstein has ongoing interests in shared decision making in allergic disease and asthma, problem-based learning, and treatment of the underserved which aligns with the Network’s mission.
Jacqueline Eghrari-Sabet, MD
Telehealth Medical Director
Dr. Jacqueline Eghrari-Sabet is board-certified in Allergy/Immunology and Pediatrics. She is the founder of Family Allergy & Asthma Care and FAAR Institute where she has been in private practice treating children and adults since 1994 in the Washington, D.C. area. She is the president of White Coat Resources, a health education consulting service that helps connect patients to therapy through innovative medical messaging and educational programs.
Dr. Eghrari-Sabet’s bucket list goal was realized when she became Assistant Clinical Professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences where she mentors the next generation of doctors. She is a native New Yorker, and lives in metro DC, now empty nested with two sons and her very supportive husband. Her love is to travel having schlepped from Norway to Antarctica, with many miles more to go!
Senior Editor and Communications Strategist
Gary believes in the power of today’s media to inform, inspire and empower people to change their lives. He is an award-winning writer and editor with a diverse background that includes producing digital content and print publications for healthcare, education, physical fitness and professional sports.
Gary joined Allergy & Asthma Network in 2012 with the goal of producing practical healthcare information that is understandable and relatable for every patient and healthcare professional. He manages the organization’s digital platforms, including website, social media and monthly E-newsletter. He also serves as communications lead on press releases and statements.
Gary previously worked 10 years as director and managing editor of a professional football team’s official website. He has also worked as an editor with the Humane Society of the United States, several newswire services, and a daily newspaper in New Jersey. Gary lives in Cheverly, Maryland with his wife and two daughters.
De De Gardner, DrPH, RRT, RRT-NPS, FAARC, FCCP
Director of Research and Evaluation
Dr Gardner is responsible for all aspects of the research mission area and focus on ensuring the patient voice is incorporated in all aspects of research.
De De is a respiratory therapist, a higher education professional and a public health professional. She is recognized for her leadership and contributions to the respiratory field with numerous awards and 40 peer reviewed publication and presentations.
Before joining Allergy & Asthma Network, Dr. Gardner served on the faculty and in leadership roles at two universities. Dr. Gardner continues to serve on variety of local leadership roles in the respiratory care field. She also continues her roles as adjunct faculty at two universities.
De De holds degrees in respiratory therapy, health and human services and a doctorate in public health.
Dr. Gardner lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, a high school football coach and history teacher. Dr. Gardner has a daughter with lifelong eczema and a son with severe pollen allergies. In her spare time, De De enjoys reading, puzzles, and gardening.
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Marcela is a Journalist and Communication Specialist from Chile. She joined the Network in 2007 to lead Outreach and expand our Hispanic Outreach Program, ensuring all our Spanish-language resources and services are inclusive and culturally competent. Marcela has managed multiple projects with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expand asthma education in African American and Hispanic communities. She has supported the Network’s health disparities work and initiatives in many capacities through the years.
Prior to joining the Network, Marcela was editor and publications manager at the Pan American Health Organization (Family and Community Health Area), where she developed health-related resources for community programs in several Latin American countries.
Marcela’s passion is to provide support and advice to the families we serve in her maternal language. She lives in Northern Virginia.
Andrea Jensen, AE-C, CHES
Andrea is a Certified Heath Education Specialist (CHES) and a Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C). She served as Asthma Program Coordinator at the Utah County Health Department from 2009-22 and coordinated the county’s Asthma Home Visit Program. Andrea is past chair of the Utah Asthma Task Force and is currently on the Executive Board of Directors for the Association of Asthma Educators.
She has written articles for asthma.net and allergies.net and served as a medical editor for Allergy & Asthma Network. Her blog “My Life as an Asthma Mom” is nationally recognized as a Top Asthma Blog and is also included in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Andrea lives with allergies, food allergies and asthma. She has raised three adult children with allergies, food allergies and asthma. Andrea loves Jane Austen movies, chocolate, and traveling, although not necessarily in that order.
Tori Martel, MPH
Social Media Community Manager
Tori works with Allergy & Asthma Network’s digital outreach team to promote content on all social media platforms to engage our audience and keep them informed.
Tori is a Master of Public Health graduate from Tufts University with a concentration in Behavioral Science and Health Communication. She started working with Allergy & Asthma Network as a part-time intern while completing her education. She uses her academic knowledge of public health and health communication to optimize the dissemination of information to the public.
Tori also volunteers her time as the Associate Executive Director for Penpals United, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Type 1 diabetics in third-world countries. She lives in Boston, MA, where she enjoys going to the beach and spending time with her friends and family.
Tonya Nash, MPH, CHES
Assistant Project Manager
Tonya is a public health consultant with over 15 years of experience in both public and private sectors. She is a certified health education specialist and has a certificate in digital health communication from Tufts University. Tonya is the President of Spectrum Public Health Strategies, LLC, and founder of the award-winning Autism Faith Network.
Tonya is Assistant Project Manager for our CDC EXHALE project. She recently served as Project Manager for our Not One More Life Trusted Messengers program. In that role, she coordinated with volunteers, faith leaders and Atlanta city officials to provide COVID-19 and respiratory health screenings at predominantly African American churches. Tonya is passionate about communicating health information in a way people from all backgrounds can understand.
Purvi Parikh, MD
Dr. Purvi Parikh is an adult and pediatric allergist and immunologist at allergy and asthma associates of Murray Hill in New York City. She is currently on faculty as Clinical Assistant Professor in both departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Parikh is a committed to allergy and immunology care, is a champion for vaccines and often makes appearances as a medical contributor on their behalf to NBC, FOX, CNN, Wall Street Journal and CBS. She is featured weekly on Fox News FOX 5 for health watch segments.
Dr. Parikh is one of the investigators for the COVID-19 vaccine at NYU Vaccine Center and is currently the youngest president of the New York Allergy and Asthma Society. She was recently named in Emory University’s inaugural 40 under 40 class where they chose outstanding young alumni in their 20s and 30s from all of Emory’s graduate and undergraduate programs.
SEO Specialist / WordPress Developer
A graduate of Pratt Institute and owner of a Marketing Agency for over 4 decades, Kolleen faced many challenges living with asthma and severe allergies, long before they were common. “I felt like the canary in the coal mine growing up,” she says in regards to having very little medical help available to mitigate the symptoms.
Kolleen first came to the network as a consultant and created our website redesign under Shallcross Marketing & Design. Since then she has fully supported the Network’s mission and was happy to be invited on board as a full time employee.
In addition to supporting Women Owned Businesses through mentoring and community outreach, Kolleen also organized and led Long Island’s first secular homeschool group. Her work helped the group grow from a handful of families to more than 300 members at its height. Under her leadership, the group encouraged child-led learning, social gatherings and physical activity for a variety of age groups and abilities.
Dr. Vickram Tejwani
Dr. Vickram Tejwani is an Assistant Professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. He joined Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine as a physician in the asthma and COPD centers after completion of a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Tejwani is an active scientific investigator in both asthma and COPD and has served in COVID-19 Intensive Care Units since March of 2020. He is passionate about patient education and translating nuanced evidence and data into actionable recommendations. He has enjoyed partnering with Allergy and Asthma Network on numerous patient-centered and academic endeavors.
Leandra Tonweber, PA-C, AE-C
Leandra is a Certified Physician Assistant and Certified Asthma Educator with 15 years of experience in allergy, asthma and immunology. She joined Allergy & Asthma Network in 2021 as the lead Asthma Coach and participates in several educational and research projects.
Leandra has had allergies since she was a young child and her personal experiences have fueled her desire for treating and educating patients with asthma and allergies. She began her career as a medical assistant and health educator for an Allergy, Asthma, Immunology and Rheumatology Practice in Rochester, New York.
Prior to joining Allergy & Asthma Network, Leandra worked for allergy, asthma and immunology medical practices in Charlotte, North Carolina. She works from Charlotte, where she enjoys spending time with friends and family.
Paul is an award-winning graphic designer and illustrator. He controls the imagery of Allergy & Asthma Network, providing a consistent look and feel across a wide variety of products from the website to the Network publication Allergy & Asthma Today.
Prior to joining the Network, Paul was Senior Art Director in charge of three business-to-business magazines. Paul believes that graphics help convey the meaning of the information that we receive and works to make that information accessible to every patient.