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Support Group Facilitators

Alice Allen-Redfern, MSW, LSWAIC
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Alice is an MSW (Master of Social Work) intern with the Center for Chronic Illness. She is going into her second year of my Masters program at the University of Washington and hopes to pursue a career in palliative care. She feels very grateful to be a part of such a wonderful community here at CCI and continues to learn a great deal from both the facilitators and participants. Her goal is to take what she learns over the next year and enter into the social work field advocating, empowering, highlighting, and fighting hard for the unique needs of those living with chronic conditions.

Alice facilitates CCI's Supporting Loved Ones and Parenting Chronic Illness support groups.

Alicia Sloan, MPH, MSW, LICSW


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Alicia is an licensed independent clinical social worker with over 18 years of experience working with individuals with chronic illness and their loved ones. She works full-time as a Rehabilitation Care Services Social Worker at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System specializing in multiple sclerosis and other chronic illnesses. She previously worked for 16 years at the VA Puget Sound for the MS Center of Excellence, coordinating research studies and educational projects that addressed medical and mental health needs of veterans with multiple sclerosis and their family caregivers. Alicia also has a private counseling practice, Sloan Counseling and Consulting. She enjoys the physical and mental health benefits of yoga, guided imagery, mindfulness and meditation. She is passionate about suicide prevention and is a Master Trainer for the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). Alicia is a graduate of Tulane University School of Social Work and School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and of the University of Oregon with a BA in Psychology. She enjoys living in the Puget Sound area for its healthy lifestyle, close proximity to the mountains and water, and its abundance of outdoor activities!

Alicia facilitates CCI's monthly Living with Chronic Illness Support Group.

Angela Farrar Small, MSW, LICSW, MDiv


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Angela is happy to join with CCI in helping African-American / Black people living with chronic illness to experience community support, with compassion and dignity for every group member. She is a licensed clinical social worker and clergyperson. No matter how painful life can be or how fragile they feel, Angela believes have amazing resiliency and capacity for growth. She likes to empower people living with chronic illness to tap into their whole selves—body, mind, and spirit—in the process of healing. 

Angela facilitates CCI's 2nd and 4th Wednesday Supporting African Americans Living with Chronic Illness Support Group.

Annie Moon, LMFT

Annie received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kansas and a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy at Seattle Pacific University with additional training in Medical Family Therapy.

Annie has had a keen interest in supporting families living with both mental health and chronic illnesses. She believes CCI provides an essential resource to the community of individuals and families impacted by chronic illness and is honored to be a part of the team.

Annie will facilitate CCI's Post-Partum and Living with Chronic Illness Support Group (starting May 2023).

Bartja Wachtel, MSW, LICSW, MHP, CMHS


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Mindfulness, compassion, positive psychology are Bartja's great passions in life and feels sharing these practices is an honor. Bartja works as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Mindfulness Educator. Bartja is a trained Teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion out of University of California San Diego's Center for Mindfulness. Bartja has a passion for supporting people who find themselves on the margins of society on their journey from birth to death, with a focus on people living with disability, chronic and terminal illness. Bartja has been with CCI from its beginnings and feels it is an honor to work with such a compassionate organization.

Bartja facilitates CCI's twice monthly Living Mindfully with Chronic Illness Support Group.

Carissa Singh, MA, LMHCA


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Carissa Singh MA, LMHCA is mental health practitioner on Duwamish land that is commonly known as Seattle, WA. Her background is within the intersections of existential, humanistic, and somatic work. In this work she is guided by principles of authenticity, integrity, advocacy, and universal human dignity. As someone who lives with chronic illness herself, she is very familiar with the inequities of biomedical care, and the limitations and challenges it presents. Her practice emphasizes the interrelation of collective liberation and individual healing. She strongly believes in meeting each individual and collective exactly where they are, honoring their truths, feelings, choices and their strategies for getting through the day. In this, she strongly believes in the power of using our voices, sharing our stories, and being witnessed. She feels deeply grateful to be able to continue this work with CCI.

Carissa facilitates CCI's 4th Wednesday Living with Chronic Illness Support Group for Washington state residents.

Carrie Pope, MSW, LICSW


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Carrie is a licensed independent clinical social worker in Washington and Oregon. Carrie primarily focuses on chronic illness, chronic pain, aging, caregiving, trauma, LGBTQ and end of life issues. She leads several local support groups through the Center for Chronic Illness and the Greenwood Senior Center, as well as providing individual therapy in her private practice.

Carrie is currently on hiatus from facilitating groups for CCI. 

Kerry J. Heckman, MSW, LICSW


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Kerry is a therapist in private practice in West Seattle, who has a passion for working with clients who have chronic illness.

She has a masters degree in social work from Loyola University in Chicago and is a licensed independent social worker in both Illinois and Washington State. Kerry was a high school social worker in the Chicago area for 10 years, before moving to Seattle in 2018.

Kerry believes when it comes to chronic illness or any challenge, it is important to remember you do not have to face it alone. Accessing support and developing a community are some of the most helpful ways to cope with chronic illness.

Kerry facilitates CCI's Rare Chronic Illness, Living with Cystinosis, Caring for Cystinosis, Living with Thyroid Eye Disease, and Caring for Thyroid Eye Disease support groups.

Kylie Brief, MSW, LSWAIC


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Kylie is an MSW (Master of Social Work) graduate from the University of Washington. They have a professional background in adolescent residential psychiatric care and substance use disorders. As a member of the disabled community, Kylie is a strong advocate for disability justice and accessibility. Kylie is also interested in the radicalization of social work and furthering the liberation of those who face intersections of body-based oppression. They are a believer in the importance of peer support and mutual aid.

Kylie facilitates CCI's Body Image and Chronic Illness support group.

Natalie Hopkins, MSW, LICSW



Natalie's educational and professional training as a social worker and counselor have focused on connecting with adolescents and families to address challenges that interfere with well-being. In addition to facilitating support groups through the Center for Chronic Illness, Natalie's private counseling practice supports adolescents, young adults, families and caregivers. Natalie's belief in CCI's mission is informed by her work with families and individuals impacted by chronic illness and her commitment to community based support to address well-being.

Natalie facilitates CCI's Teens Living with Chronic Illness support group.

Zoë Freeman, LSWAIC, MSW


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Zoë is a licensed social worker associate-independent clinical (LSWAIC) in Washington State from the University of Washington. She focuses on chronic illness and pain, caregiving, LGBTQIA+, older adults, and grief and loss. She believes that providing a space for isolated and often misunderstood individuals can be an invaluable resource, as building a community of compassion and understanding can make a difference. In addition, Zoë is a clinician in a group practice in Woodinville. 

Zoë facilitates CCI's 2nd Wednesday Living with Chronic Illness Support Group for WA state residents, the Living with Rare Chronic Illness Support Group for WA state residents, and the LGBTQIA+ and Living with Chronic Illness Support Group.

Alison Kennedy, MSW student


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I grew up in the Hudson Valley in New York, loving hiking and being out in nature. It was 23 years ago when I became sick with Lyme disease. I am also the parent of a child with a chronic condition. My personal experiences and work as a healthcare professional have added to my passion to be a greater advocate for families and individuals with chronic conditions. I am grateful for this opportunity to join The Center for Chronic Illness as a MSW intern.

Alison facilitates CCI's monthly Covid LongHaulers and twice monthly Living with Chronic Pain support groups.

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