We strive to create projects and programs that will transform mindsets and help break the stigma of scoliosis

Our Team

BTH’s Executive Team and Advisory Board Members are comprised of trusted leaders in the industry known for being trailblazers in their profession and community. As advocates and ambassadors of BTH, the team supports the organization through strategic direction and insight to ensure innovation and excellence.


Marcus John

Founder and Executive Director

Marcus John created Back to Healing with the mission to improve the quality of life of individuals affected by scoliosis through mental health awareness, empowerment, education and advocacy. After having a friend suffer from a severe ‘S’ shaped spinal curvature while growing up, Marcus John has firsthand witnessed the daily struggles of what it is like to live with scoliosis; empathetically seeing the drastic effects that physically and mentally take place.


Pioneering a new industry by merging Medicine, Art, Fashion and Education (MAFE), Marcus John is also a highly sought-after Creative Director, Curator, Storyteller, Public Speaker and Influencer based between Brooklyn, NY. and Atlanta, Ga. Marcus John has worked with A-list celebrities such as Kevin Hart, J. Cole and Tyra Banks, and has had his editorial work featured in world-renowned publications such as TIME, Billboard, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and GQ.


“I knew I wanted to be a positive inspiration to the many people living with this condition by making each and every one of them feel beautiful in its purest form – where the definition of true beauty isn’t hindered by society’s superficial projections. In an industry filled with models, makeup and the latest trends, I want individuals living with scoliosis to know and realize that they are just as strong and beautiful – if not more empowering, relatable and genuine. I want the world to realize beauty is not only skin deep.“

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Dr. Emmanuel Menga

BTH Medical Director

Dr. Menga is the Division Chief of Spine Surgery and an Associate Professor of Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Menga also serves as the Louis A. Goldstein Spine Surgery Fellowship Program Director, in addition to the Associate Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program Director for the Orthopaedic Surgery residency training program at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Dr. Menga is a board certified Orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive spinal surgery and complex spinal surgery/scoliosis. Menga has extensive experience in managing degenerative disc disease or degenerative spine and disc herniation and stenosis of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Menga's team provides both nonoperative and operative treatment of cervical, thoracic and lumbar pain and radiculopathy/sciatica. He also manages traumatic spine disorders and a wide range of spinal pathologies using techniques ranging from minimally invasive spine surgery to complex spinal reconstruction.

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Dr. Baron Lonner

BTH Medical Advisor

Dr. Lonner is the Chief of Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery and Pediatric Spine Surgery and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Dr. Lonner's central clinical interest is caring for patients with scoliosis and other spinal curvatures using both operative and non-operative treatments. His approach to patients and their families is a holistic one in which the patient's quality of life, values, and perspective are at the forefront of decision-making about the patient's treatment options. 


Dr. Lonner has performed over 3,000 surgeries in pediatric and adult scoliosis patients including primary and revision surgeries. He has been an innovator in the area of minimally invasive surgery and non-fusion surgery of the spine for scoliosis, kyphosis, and other conditions. He is a world-wide leader in the treatment of scoliosis patients with Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) non-fusion Anterior Scoliosis Correction.


With over 200 publications in the orthopedic literature, Dr. Lonner's research interests include outcomes in scoliosis and kyphosis surgery and non-operative care. He has lectured around the world and performed surgery on nearly 20 medical mission trips for underserved patients in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

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Mary Lisa Idol

Advisory Board Member

Mary Lisa grew up in Maryland where she completed her undergraduate degree at Towson University. Mary Lisa currently resides in NYC and is a Vice President at Michael Kors. In addition, Mary Lisa enjoys traveling and health and fitness. Mary Lisa was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 12 with a 42 degree curved, braced for a year, and surgery followed.

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Chad Jackson

Director of Strategy

Chad Jackson is a Executive Director at GE Healthcare, a global leader in healthcare technology. With 13 years in the health industry, 8 of those years in spine, he has led a successful career in consultancy and management. Chad has equally led a successful medical device sales career from being an apprentice sales representative to an award-winning sales expert, as well as ranking as the top sales agent at different companies. Chad has shown tremendous talent in strategic planning and project management, the ability to understand and simplify complex concepts quickly as well as being innovative with systems that promote productivity and customer satisfaction. A native of Indiana, Chad holds a BS in Behavioral Psychology from Indiana State University, where he graduated with honors. In the nonprofit arena, Chad contributes his time as a junior board member and volunteer for Foundation for Orthopedics and Complex Spine. Mr. Jackson currently resides with his fiance in New York.

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Vivian Doan

Director of Partnerships

Vivian is a certified Integrative Health Practitioner (IHP) with a background in physical therapy, yoga for scoliosis, corrective exercise, and functional and naturopathic medicine. Ever since she was diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), she’s been fascinated with the human body and the way it moves. She helps those with scoliosis regain strength and confidence by building body awareness through fitness, as well as nutrition and mindfulness practices. By creating SCOLIOFITNESS, a program that incorporates scoliosis specific exercises and everyday techniques, Vivian empowers #scoliosiswarriors to live a life out of possibility and not out of fear.

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Dr. Charla Fischer

BTH Medical Advisor

Dr. Charla Fischer is an Ivy League-trained orthopedic spine surgeon who completed her residency at Columbia after completing both medical school and undergraduate school on a full academic scholarship at University of Southern California. As an Associate Professor of Spine Surgery at NYU Langone Health, Fischer is one of New York City’s top minimally invasive spine surgeons, specializing in lumbar disc herniations, lumbar spinal stenosis, lumbar degenerative disc disease, instability, and cervical spine degeneration.

Fischer is an expert in endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery techniques such as endoscopic microdiscetomy, MIS lumbar fusions, robotic-assisted spine surgery, and advanced MIS techniques.  Her advanced skill in MIS helps her deliver accelerated patient recovery times with the least possible post-operative pain. Dr. Fischer is committed to improving the care of all orthopedic patients as the Spine Division Director of Quality and Patient Safety for the Department of Orthopedics.

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Nicole Barrett

Chief People Officer

Nicole Barrett is an accomplished Entrepreneur and professional with over 19 years of experience in the public and private sectors of Human Capital, including 9+ years with global professional services firms Deloitte Consulting and Ernst and Young, with a specialization in
career development, talent management, assessments, training, learning and development, and talent acquisition. She is an effective consultant with expertise and strong experience in the area of customer experience transformation from strategy through to implementation, and has been responsible for implementing management strategies that have enabled fortune 500 companies to recruit, train, and retain a high performing and talented workforce. Prior to Consulting, Nicole supported both established organizations and entrepreneurial ventures. She served as the Founder and CEO of Nicole LLC, an organization built to grow, house and sustain small businesses. Nicole co-founded the award-winning NiaNicole Salon in 2008 and championed the business through major growth cycles and stabilization prior to selling the business in 2014. 

Nicole holds a BBA in Management Information systems from the University of Georgia. She is a strong volunteer within her community and is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

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kieran murrells-allaway

Director of Social Media

Born and raised in small-town British Columbia, Canada, Kieran joined the Back to Healing Advisory Board in hopes of giving back to the community that supported her through her own personal journey with scoliosis. Recently completing her Bachelor of Science in Medical and Molecular Biochemistry and with future career aspirations in the medical field, she is passionate about helping make the scoliosis journey less daunting and lonely for others. Having had spinal fusion surgery part way through her degree, Kieran is familiar with the daily mental and physical hurdles that can come with a scoliosis diagnosis.  

Outside of Back to Healing, Kieran has been fortunate enough to have traveled to both Malawi and the Philippines on volunteer optometry trips, providing vision care to those in need. As such, she hopes to follow suit within the scoliosis community, aiding in providing a community of knowledge and support to individuals all around the world seeking a community where they can be understood.

While still working towards future career plans, Kieran currently spends her time working in the field of optometry, showing dairy cattle for breeders across Canada, and modeling internationally.

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Taryn Kaschock Russell

Advisory Board Member

In July of 2023, Taryn Kaschock Russell stepped away from her position of four years at the 92nd Street Y, NY (92NY) to begin building her own organization focused on generating support and sustainable networks for the next generation. During her tenure as the Director of the
Harkness Dance Center at 92NY, Kaschock Russell oversaw all aspects of dance from educational to artist development and performance. Under her curation and directorship, a dance season returned to the historic Kaufmann Concert Hall after a 50-year absence; the same stage where Alvin Ailey’s Revelations was premiered.

Prior to 2019, Kaschock Russell served on the Artistic leadership team of the Juilliard Dance
Division for three years; between 2013 and 2019, she taught on faculty at the Juilliard School and as a lecturer at the Conservatory of Dance, SUNY Purchase. She spent ten years with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, spending one season as Rehearsal Director and five as the Director of Hubbard Street 2 after enjoying an extensive performing and touring career with both Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Joffrey Ballet.

Kaschock Russell currently serves on the Artistic Advisory Council for MOVE[NYC] and the Advisory Council for the The Misty Copeland Foundation, two organizations whose visions and missions she passionately supports. Having been diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis at the age of 11, Taryn feels proud to serve on the Advisory Board for Back to Healing, and hopes to assist in both empowerment and community building for individuals living and thriving
with scoliosis.

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Victoria Vo

Director of Strategy

Victoria Vo, CEO of Haute International, is a renowned luxury expert in brand activations, international trade, and global luxury real estate. Her personal experience with scoliosis fuels her dedication to the Back to Healing Organization. Victoria also contributes her leadership to Girls Write Now's partnership committee and has served on the many national boards. She's an international advisor to Fortune 500 companies, facilitating global expansion and brand activation. Haute International excels in serving diverse clientele and fostering capital relationships. Victoria is also the Managing Partner of VoLo Capital Partners, focused on affordable housing. Her global reach spans real estate, tech, medical, hospitality, and beauty. She's the Founder and President of AREAA Greater Tampa Bay, advocating for AAPI homeownership. In all she does, Victoria embodies business acumen, empathy, and a commitment to positive change.

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Simone Roberts

Director of Engagement

Simone is a SHRM-SCP and relationship-driven People Partner with a passion for professional development, coaching, and storytelling. An Austin native, Simone received her Bachelor's in Corporate Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.  In addition to a 10+ year career in Human Resources, she is a short film producer and also serves as a documentary screener for American Documentary.  She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and has the most fun when watching films, traveling, and dancing. 

Fused in 2010, Simone is also an advocate for Scoliosis awareness and meaningful community-building. She joined the Back to Healing team in 2023 and supports mentorship and story-sharing efforts. 

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Denise Barker

Advisory Board Member

Denise Barker embarked on her wine journey in 2007 when she eagerly enrolled in the prestigious sommelier training course Windows on the World by Kevin Zraly, whom she later met and interviewed. Driven by a thirst for knowledge and a desire to work among the vines, she decided to relocate to France and began working alongside winemakers while exploring the diverse wine regions of Europe.


Upon returning to the US, Denise began working with iconic brands, including Chateau d’Esclans (The Whispering Angel) and Barons Philippe de Rothschild. Her commitment to knowledge propelled her to attain notable certifications, including the WSET Level 2 Sake and WSET Advanced Level 3. She is pursuing the WSET Level 4 Diploma. Denise is also a Lead Instructor at the respected Sommelier Society of America in New York City, America’s Oldest Wine School. Her classes explore her favorite viticultural regions and themes and advanced blind-tasting techniques.


Denise's expertise and achievements have garnered attention in various media outlets, including Fox 5 Good Day New York, host of Wine4Food’s ’Somm School Insider' on Roku, CNET, Wine & Spirits Magazine, Decanter Magazine, Daily Motion, Liquor.com, and more.


In addition to her responsibilities overseeing daily operations and consulting for prominent e-commerce wine retailers, Denise's journey of confronting Scoliosis and her profound commitment to wellness inspired her to establish 'Meditasting: A Holistic and Intuitive Guide to Exploring Wine.' As an IIN Certified Health Coach, she is devoted to nurturing conversations about health and well-being within the alcohol industry. 


At Back to Healing, Denise remains resolute in her dedication to placing the well-being of women and men affected by scoliosis at the forefront of her mission. Having undergone three spinal fusions herself, she aspires to serve as a mentor and source of support for young women grappling with this lifelong condition.

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Dr. Jaysson Brooks

BTH Medical Director

Dr. Jaysson Brooks was born and raised in Maryland, and met his future wife, in high school there. He then attended Oakwood University, in Huntsville, AL where he participated in multiple local and international mission trips with The National Association for the Prevention of Starvation (NAPS). In 2007 he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Biological Sciences and then we went on to the Loma Linda University School of Medicine graduating in 2011. In 2016, he completed his orthopaedic surgery training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland where he fell in love with the field of pediatric orthopaedic. He went to the Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego to complete his formal training in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Scoliosis. He took his first job out of fellowship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he developed his clinical interests in pediatric spine deformity and trauma. In 2021 he was recruited to the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, TX and is now an assistant professor at UT-Southwestern. Dr. Brooks is deeply involved in research
related to pediatric spine deformity and diversity in orthopaedics and is the author of 53 papers and 9 book chapters. Currently he is the membership committee chair for the J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society and participates in multiple DEI efforts within the AAOS and AOA. Dr. Brooks has three young children of his own and enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball, biking, and watching any movies related to superheroes.

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Dr. Isador Lieberman

BTH Medical Advisor

Dr. Isador Lieberman is a fellowship trained Orthopaedic and Spinal Surgeon board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. In his practice at the Texas Back Institute in Plano, TX, he specializes in the surgical treatment of spinal disorders.


His clinical interests include adolescent and adult scoliosis, spinal tumors, trauma, cervical and lumbar degenerative disorders (eg, herniated discs, spinal stenosis), musculoskeletal manifestations of multiple myeloma, spinal deformity correction, treatment of vertebral compression fractures (using kyphoplasty), and advanced spinal surgery using minimally invasive, robotic and endoscopic surgical techniques and technologies.


At the Texas Back Institute Dr. Lieberman has been instrumental in accelerating the research program and mentoring clinical spinal fellows. He established the Scoliosis and Spine Tumor Program, and while President, oversaw the clinical and administrative aspects of the organization.


Along with all his clinical and development activities, Dr. Lieberman established the Uganda Spine Surgery Mission which, for the past 16 years has been providing services to the less fortunate in Uganda who are afflicted with spinal ailments including tuberculosis and scoliosis. During this span of time, he and his team have been able to raise over one million dollars in donations, medications and supplies, and with a dedicated team of over 100 volunteers have operated on over 300 patients.

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40% of individuals affected by scoliosis are more likely to have suicidal thoughts due to perceived self-image and appearance. Your generous donation to BTH contributes towards creating life-changing scoliosis empowerment initiatives .


40% of individuals affected by scoliosis are more likely to have suicidal thoughts due to perceived self-image and appearance. Your generous donation to BTH contributes towards creating life-changing scoliosis empowerment initiatives .

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