Executive Board

Executive Board President

Melissa Callahan

Melissa has worked within the healthcare community for many years as a patient advocate. She has worked with the Cushing’s community and with many other communities related to endocrine associated chronic illnesses. Melissa has been and is a strong advocate for patients that have insurance issues. She is very passionate about ensuring that this community, as well as others, receives the attention, treatment and services that are required to ensure a patient’s health.
Melissa has been an active member of her community, on issues of social and economic improvements.

Melissa can be reached via e mail at melissa@epictogether.org or phone at 888-862-5554 Ext. 701 Toll Free

Executive Board Vice-President

Carolyn Pilgrom

Carolyn lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband and 2 cats. She works fulltime as a Workforce Analyst for a cloud services company based in Silicon Valley and spends her free time exploring the world of food through her exotic meat private chef service. She is also an avid advocate for small business and consults startups through business planning, funding, and financial forecasting.

Carolyn was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease in 2009 and had her first of two pituitary surgeries that same year. She went on to have her adrenal glands removed before being declared cured from Cushing’s and began her life as an Addison’s patient. She has been an active part of the Cushing’s community since first self-diagnosing herself from a House MD episode. She has helped to educate many about self-advocating with doctors and pushing through until resolution. Carolyn is excited to be a part of EPIC as a means to continue to educate and campaign for those with life altering chronic illness.

Carolyn Pilgrom graciously accepted the role of Executive Board Vice President in February, 2017. The EPIC foundation is proud to have her as part of our team!

Carolyn can be reached via e mail at carolyn@epictogether.org or phone at 888-862-5554 Ext. 703 Toll Free

Executive Board Secretary

Lorinda Suthers Salbego, LCPC

Lorinda Suthers-Salbego is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who graduated from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2006 with a Masters in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Counseling.  While completing her Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Lorinda worked for Integrated Development Services where she provided at home, school, and community therapy to children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.  She went on to complete her Clinical Practicum placement at the City of Chicago, North River Mental Health Center where she acted as primary therapist and was awarded the Family and Friend Award.

Lorinda’s interest in working with individuals with severe mental illness expanded and she began working at Thresholds in 2007, an established non-profit.  While with Thresholds, she worked on the Mobile Assessment Unit, as an outreach worker providing short-term mobile services to individuals on the south and west sides of Chicago who were street or shelter homeless and mentally ill, facilitating linkage to services.  As an active member of the Trauma Committee, she went on to become the unit’s Safe Havens Team Leader where she managed daily operations for two recovery oriented residential programs.  Later, as the Intake Coordinator  for the Thresholds McHenry County Program, she assessed for placement in residential, community and vocational services; and collaborated with numerous providers including State mental health and private hospitals, NAMI, community mental health centers, nursing homes, the McHenry County Mental Health Board, family members and shelters while also representing Thresholds on the committee for providers to the McHenry County Crisis Line.    After Thresholds Lorinda took on a new challenge, and worked as the Clinical Director of Behavioral Health for Alden Terrace of McHenry. She managed two 24-hour residential mental health treatment units for adults with severe, chronic mental illness totaling 50 beds.  While in this role she oversaw all counseling staff, clinical services, treatment programing, and the compliance related to functions.

Lorinda’s interest and passion for women’s issues and eating disorder treatment has been a pivotal component in her career.  She began working in this field in 2006 as a Mental Health Counselor at Timberline Knolls in Lemont, IL, a residential treatment center for females presenting with eating disorders and/or chemical dependency issues.  Lorinda returned to this area in 2011 when she began at Insight Behavioral Health Centers, where she continues to work at this time.  She works as a therapist and has served in a program coordinator role facilitating individual, group and family therapy.  Insight partnered with Eating Recovery Center in 2013 and continues to provide and grow services in seven states to serve individuals with all types of eating disorders, while continuing to offer mood, anxiety and co-occurring substance abuse treatment in Illinois.  Lorinda currently acts as the Director of Quality and Compliance for the Illinois and Ohio locations while also working with individual therapy clients.

Lorinda strives to promote awareness, education and advocacy within the mental health community and beyond; with a goal of empowering those with chronic illness to get the treatment and support they deserve.

Lorinda can be reached via e mail at lorinda@epictogether.org or phone at 888-862-5554 Ext. 707 Toll Free

Executive Board Treasurer

Maureen Castillo, LC

With family surviving Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Diabetes, Maureen is eager to increase awareness and provide support for people suffering with invisible chronic illnesses. Maureen is a wife and mother of two, as well as a Lighting Designer and Instructor by trade.

Maureen can be reached via e mail at maureen@epictogether.org or phone at 888-862-5554 Ext. 706 Toll Free

Executive Board Assistant Treasurer

Kelda Giavaras

After receiving her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in Early Childhood Education, Kelda taught in both private and public schools for more than 20 years. Kelda recently stepped away from teaching in the classroom, but she remains passionate about educational issues for children and families. She and her husband have been married for 28 years and are the proud parents of two sons. In her free time, Kelda loves to walk and bike for exercise, knit, and read.

Kelda can be reached via e mail at kelda@epictogether.org

Executive Board Director

Alicia Held, MSW

Alicia Held lives in Arizona with her husband and teenage daughter. Alicia has always had a desire to help others and that is why she completed a Master’s Degree program in Social Work in 2002. Alicia worked as both a Pediatric Medical Social Worker and as a Counselor for children in state custody. She loved working with children, especially those who had faced trauma, unfortunately, Alicia had to leave full time employment due to being diagnosed with Cushing’s disease in 2009. In 2010 she had brain surgery to remove a tumor on her pituitary gland. Alicia has been fighting the long-term effects of Cushing’s for many years since, and has also needed another surgery to remove her adrenal glands, which has left her with Addison’s Disease.

Alicia continues to advocate for those in the Cushing’s community including desiring better and more consistent diagnostic means as well as better treatment options that provide a cure at a much higher rate than is currently available. In addition, she is passionate about educating both the public and the medical profession about Cushing’s Disease, especially the understanding of how this is a multi-system disease that affects both mind and body and can cause permanent damage, that although may not be visible, is no less life- altering. Alicia is excited to be a part of the EPIC community, and looks forward to helping raise awareness about the significant impact chronic illness, like Cushing’s, has on mental health.

Alicia can be reached via e mail at alicia@epictogether.org or phone at 888-862-5554 Ext. 704 Toll Free

Executive Board Director

Stephanie Thames-Harris, M.S.

Stephanie has over 15 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry. She obtained both her Bachelors Degree and Masters of Science Degree in Biological Science from Jackson State University. Stephanie has worked with Abbot Laboratories since 2001. She is currently the Director of Global Sales Training and Development for Abbott Medical Optics. She is responsible for US and ex-Us training and development.

Stephanie Thames-Harris shows an interest in Cushing’s as Co-Producer of the documentary, “Battleground Diagnosis: The War to Survive Cushing’s Disease/Syndrome”. She is the wife of the director of the documentary, Marc Harris. Stephanie and Marc are the proud parents of three beautiful daughters. As a family, they would like to contribute to Cushing’s awareness and the empowerment of Cushing’s patients and families.

Stephanie can be reached via e mail at stephanie@epictogether.org or phone at 888-862-5554 Ext. 705 Toll Free