Prema R. Rao, Ph.D., Founder, Executive Director
Dr. Rao has Bachelors and Masters degree in Life Sciences and a Ph.D. in Psychology, with emphasis in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Prema’s dissertation dealt with treatment of anxiety disorders from allopathic and Ayurvedic perspectives. She has over ten years experience as a Research Scientist in biomedical devices with publications and patents to her credit. Prema is dedicated to Integrative Medicine and has provided behavioral medicine services to help patients with stress management at the Ashland Free Medical Clinic. She was the Healing Arts Committee Service Chair at Good Samaritan Hospital, which focused on providing CAM therapies for chronic disorders and cancer care.
Suzanne Slyman, L.M.F.T., Treasurer
Suzanne has a Bachelors degree in Education and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology. She maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Oakland, CA specializing in treating adults and couples. She includes transpersonal and somatic approaches in her work, and has served as faculty at the original Gestalt Institute of San Francisco, Facilitator and Approved Consultant for EMDRIA (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association), and is a certified Bioenergetic Analyst. She also serves as a founding Board Member of the Ashland Free Medical Clinic located in San Lorenzo, CA, and as its Treasurer.
Ruchika Sikri, M.S., Program Director
Ruchika Sikri is passionate about developing a culture of mindfulness and compassion at the workplace. As Head of Well-being Learning Programs and Strategy at Google, she helps more than 100,000 Google employees lead a sustainable and full life.
Grace Kendrick, CAS, RYT, Program Director
Grace Kendrick is a holistic health practitioner in the San Francisco Bay Area specializing in yoga, Ayurveda and mindfulness. Prior to becoming a holistic health advisor, she spent twenty years in corporate marketing with Fortune 500 companies and Silicon Valley start-ups. Grace designed the mindfulness and yoga curriculum for Teen Success, a California non-profit focused on helping teen mothers and has partnered with the UC system on pilot research studying the effects of mindfulness and yoga on pre- and postnatal attachment. She is a Certified Ayurveda Specialist (C.A.S.) and holds yoga certifications through Whole Birth® Prenatal Yoga and Support, the White Lotus Foundation and Kundalini Research Institute (KRI). Grace is on the faculty for Mind-Body Zone and Kriya Prenatal Yoga teacher training programs and has been teaching yoga and meditation in the Bay Area for over fifteen years.
Sonia Rao, M.B.A., Marketing Director
Sonia is a passionate advocate of using technology to improve health and promote wellness, and she brings valuable relationship management and marketing experience to Akhila Health. After graduating from Dartmouth College, she moved to the Bay Area to work at Google, where she founded a well-being program used at Google offices around the world. She then transitioned to become a marketing manager for Jiff, a health benefits startup, where she focused on increasing customer adoption and engagement with health and fitness programs at various Fortune 500 companies in the US. She recently graduated with a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and is currently employed as the Head of Corporate Partnerships at Spire.