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 stands as a visionary force at the forefront of a groundbreaking industry that fuses Medical, Art, Fashion, and Education (MAFE), a term coined by Marcus John himself. Based between Atlanta, Georgia, and Brooklyn, New York, Marcus is celebrated as a Creative Director, Curator, Storyteller, Public Speaker, and Influencer. His impressive portfolio includes collaborations with A-list celebrities and features in prestigious publications like TIME, Billboard, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and GQ.

Beyond his creative endeavors, Marcus founded Back to Healing (BTH), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to mental health awareness, education, empowerment, art and advocacy for those affected by scoliosis and other spinal conditions. Inspired by a friend’s challenges with severe scoliosis, Marcus aims to redefine beauty and empower individuals with spinal conditions to embrace their strength and resilience.

As of 2024, BTH has reached over 6.9 million people, aiming to expand its impact through transformative programs and inspiring mission trips throughout the Caribbean and Africa. Marcus and the BTH team are committed to destigmatizing spinal conditions, amplifying the voices of ScoliWarriors, providing treatment to those in need, and promoting empowerment and representation within the community.

In Marcus John’s world, beauty and confidence transcends superficial standards, embodying authenticity, resilience, and inner strength. Through his visionary leadership and multifaceted initiatives, Marcus continues to leave an enduring legacy of positive change and empowerment.


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. 

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.

Mary Lisa Idol

Advisory Board Member

Chad Jackson

Director of Strategy

Vivian Doan

Director of Partnerships

Vivian Doan, Back To Healing’s Director of Partnerships is a certified Integrative Health Practitioner, Neuro-Accelerated Hypnotist, and the visionary behind SCOLIOFITNESS™️, a revolutionary approach tailored to individuals with scoliosis. 

Beyond physical fitness and rehabilitation, SCOLIOFITNESS™️ fosters holistic growth, nurturing not only physical strength but also emotional resilience and mental fortitude. Through her comprehensive methodology including lifestyle practices, scoliosis-specific exercises based on physical therapy and neurology, mindset and nutrition; Vivian helps individuals with scoliosis build a foundation of physical, emotional, and mental fitness, guiding them towards a life of vitality and empowerment.

Her coaching also blends cutting-edge insights from quantum and circadian biology with ancient wisdom from Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese & Vietnamese Medicine, RRT and GNM. Her integrative approach transcends conventional boundaries, guiding individuals towards optimal health and profound balance.

As a dedicated Mind-Body specialist, Vivian dives deep into the intricate connections between physical well-being and emotional harmony. She uncovers underlying root causes and stressful conflicts, empowering clients to embark on a transformative journey.

With her education and background in Physical Therapy for Musculoskeletal Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Neurology, Human Development, Psychology, and Sociology; Vivian is committed to advancing holistic wellness and serves on the Advisory Board for Back to Healing as our Director of Partnerships and advocates passionately for scoliosis awareness as a supporter of The Paige Fraser Foundation. 

For more information, visit: 

https://www.daywithviv.com/meet-viv or send her a message on Instagram at @daywithviv

Dr. Charla Fischer

BTH Medical Advisor

Charla R. Fischer, MD, one of New York City’s top minimally invasive spine surgeons, specializes in lumbar disc herniations, lumbar spinal stenosis, lumbar degenerative disc disease, instability, and cervical spine degeneration.  She 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. 


Dr. Fischer is an Ivy League-trained orthopedic spine surgeon having completed her residency at Columbia after completing both medical school and undergraduate school on a full academic scholarship at University of Southern California.  She spent a year specializing in spine surgery at NYU-Langone Health. 


As an associate professor of spine surgery at NYU Langone Health, Dr. Fischer regularly teaches residents and medical students in the areas of compassionate patient care and minimally invasive spine surgery.  She has received grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF). The funding helps her pursue the advancement of minimally invasive surgical techniques, and quality of life improvements after spine surgery. She routinely publishes in the top peer-reviewed journals and presents her findings at internationally attended academic meetings.  

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. Nicole has led the design, development and delivery of multi-dimensional cross-functional solutions to clients, bringing together strategy, business process design, organizational change, and change management.

Prior to Consulting, Nicole supporting 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.  Currently, Nicole serves as Founder of a company that creates sustainable products.

Nicole holds a BBA in Management Information systems from the University of Georgia. She is Chairman of the board for Back to Healing.  Nicole is a strong volunteer within her community and is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.  Nicole speaks nationally at conferences and is a published Author.  Nicole and her family reside in Atlanta, GA.

Dr. bassel Diebo

BTH Director of Research

Dr. Diebo is an assistant professor and director of orthopedic spine research and innovation at Brown University as well as director of spine research fellowship. He has been recognized frequently for his outstanding work. In 2023, he was the recipient of Brown University’s Lucas-Palumbo award for excellence in orthopedic spine surgery. In 2022, he was named one of the “Ten spine surgeons under 45 to know,” by Becker’s Spine Review and in 2020 was listed among the “20 under 40,” by the North American Spine Society. He is a past American Orthopaedic Association Emerging Leader.

Dr. Diebo obtained extensive medical and surgical training through fellowship and residency programs. He completed a fellowship in complex adolescent and adult spine and scoliosis surgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and took part as an inaugural traveling fellow with the International Spine Study Group. Dr. Diebo completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at SUNY, Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. Previously, he earned his medical degree from Aleppo University, Syria, and then completed research fellowships in spine surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery and NYU Langone Medical Center, Hospital for Joint Diseases, both in New York.

He has co-authored hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and academic chapters and presented extensively at industry events. Dr. Diebo is an active member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Scoliosis Research Society.

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.


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.

Cheryl Marty

Advisory Board Member


Cheryl Marty, a Nurse, and Scoliosis Warrior, has a long history with scoliosis as a patient and caregiver.  Scoliosis affected all the girls on her mother’s side of the family.  Cheryl was first diagnosed with scoliosis in 1971 (in 6th grade) with a 48-degree curve.  She was placed in a Milwaukee brace for a year, but her curve increased to a 58-degree curve despite the brace.  She had her first Harrington Rod surgery in 1972, performed while in a plaster body cast.  Cheryl subsequently went on to have 9 more operations over the next 22 years. 


During those years Cheryl knew she wanted a career in medicine and to help others going through scoliosis treatment.  She started as a volunteer at Dayton Children’s Hospital as soon as she was old enough and worked in various clinics, including the scoliosis clinic.  Cheryl developed a slide presentation with a script for nurses to show patients the night before their surgeries so they knew what to expect.  She also organized a fashion show for patients in casts and braces with the support of a local department store, started a support group for patients and parents hosted by Dayton Children’s, and wrote a pamphlet about scoliosis for the hospital.  Cheryl eventually was hired by an orthopaedic surgeon to work in his office during the summers and her gap year between high school and college.  


After graduating from nursing school, Cheryl worked in the operating room for 5 years before having her first child and moving to a new city.  She was a stay-at-home Mom for her two boys while her husband grew his medical career in Internal Medicine.  When they became empty nesters her husband changed his practice model and Cheryl became his nurse and clinical manager.  They continue to work together at the time of this writing.  


Cheryl has never lost her desire to share her story and scoliosis experiences.  In many ways, helping others has helped to pay forward and give a positive light on all that she has gone through over the years.   She has been following Back to Healing for quite a while and finally had the opportunity to attend the exhibition in Washington, DC, and share her story.  It was a tremendous experience to meet so many other scoliosis warriors and their families and friends.  It is also the first time she has heard of a scoliosis curve called “beautiful” and to be proud of the scars, strength, and resilience all these experiences have created.  Cheryl is excited and honored to work with Back to Healing as an Advisory Board Member to continue paying it forward.  


Cheryl holds a B.A. in Zoology from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and an R.N., B.S.N. from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.  She resides in Cincinnati, OH with her husband.  She loves to travel, especially to visit their sons in Brooklyn, NY, and Washington, D.C.


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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.


Dr. Jaysson Brooks

BTH Medical Director

Dr. Jaysson T. Brooks is an orthopedist in Dallas, Texas and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Children’s Medical Center Dallas and University of Mississippi Medical Center. 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 surgery. Determined to get further training in this field, he went to the Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego to complete his formal training in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Scoliosis. Dr. Brooks is very involved in research related to pediatric spine and hip disorders and is the author of multiple papers and book chapters. He also is uniquely involved in producing research related to orthopaedic education and diversity within orthopaedic surgery. Dr. Brooks has two young children of his own, Callie (daughter, 10 yo) and Dean (son, 9 yo). He enjoys spending time with his family, being active in his church, playing basketball, 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. 


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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