Meet Our Coaches

Learn more about some of the passionate, experienced clinicians who coach in our programs.

Ging and a friend standing in front of a bend in the Grand Canyon.

Ging Hoang, BS, RN

Ging (pronounce “Jing”) received her Bachelor’s in Integrative Neuroscience in addition to Nursing at Binghamton University. She’s worked in emergency, cardiology, and orthopedics before she came to work for UR Medicine’s Employee Wellness program. When Ging is not working, she likes to travel, take walks, bike, and try out healthy (and unhealthy!) recipes. She loves to take the Body Pump class at the gym!

Wellness tip: Set aside at least 15 minutes once a week to do something for yourself. Go for a walk, shop online, read, meditate, clean, whatever it is- it has to be something for yourself that you enjoy. Self-care is healthy, necessary, and important!

Kim piloting a boat on a sunny day.

Kim Olfano, BS, RN

Kim is a registered nurse currently enrolled in the Master’s in Nursing Education program at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Her previous experiences in nursing include working on an inpatient Acute Care Medical-Surgical floor and outpatient as a Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy nurse and Safety Director at the Strong Wound Healing Center. Kim enjoys sailing in Sodus Bay and on Lake Ontario and traveling with her twin sister, family, and friends. Her goal as a coach is to leave clients feeling inspired and supported while setting measurable goals over a reasonable time.

Wellness Tip: Take active breaks throughout the work day, even if it is for five minutes to get some water or go for a quick walk. Not only will you feel better, but it will boost your productivity by stepping away from the desk and putting yourself in a healthy mindset.

Catherine with her dog, Gryff.

Catherine Pluta, MSACN

Catherine graduated with a BA in Musical Theatre followed by receiving her Masters in Science and Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College. She received her RYT 500 hour yoga instructor certification through Breathe yoga where she currently teaches Power Vinyasa, Basics, Foundations and meditation classes. Catherine is available as a nutritionist and wellness coach within UR Medicine Employee Wellness. She is an active member of the Pluta Cancer Center Junior Board. Catherine enjoys long distance running, golfing, enjoying time with her friends and family (especially her adorable niece and nephew!) and her dog, Gryff.

Wellness Tip: Listen to your body! Become so aware of the things your body is telling you and asking you for that you are able to respond by nourishing it properly with what it needs. If all else fails, drink water!

Stephanie on a rocky beach with her dog.

Stephanie Pogue, MS, RD, RN

Stephanie is a Registered Dietitian, Registered Nurse, and working towards a Masters’ Degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. Stephanie and her husband have 4 children and one dog. Together, they spend many summer weekends at the cottage, enjoying the outdoors. Stephanie also enjoys dancing with her kids, distance running, HIIT workouts, swimming, and reading. Stephanie strongly believes that there is an opportunity with every interaction. She truly enjoys learning more about the people she works with and helping them to identify their own strengths. “Nutrition does not have to be complicated, it just has to be relevant to take action.” Stephanie is passionate about the influence of food and mindset on physical and mental health.

Wellness Tip: Allow nutrition to be simple. Eating well is a form of selfcare and as I heard recently, self-care is a form of compassion for yourself. When you Care for yourself, more things flow your way.
You’re supported and we are a resource for you!

Erinn kayaking in the ocean.

Erinn Rist, BS, RN-BC

Erinn graduated with a Bachelors in Physical Education and a minor in exercise physiology from SUNY Brockport. It was her Wilderness First Responder class for Outward Bound that sparked her interest in emergency medicine and she went on to earn her Registered Nursing degree from MCC. She spent 7 years working in Burn/Trauma at Strong Memorial Hospital before joining the UR Medicine Employee Wellness team in 2020. When not working Erinn enjoys strength training, running, reading, being outdoors, hiking, whitewater kayaking and has a deep fondness for most board sports such as snowboarding, skateboarding, stand up paddle boarding and (recently!) wake surfing.

Wellness Tip: Health is adding intention to every aspect of your life. Be mindful of your habits, how you eat and exercise should provide joy, freedom and peace of mind. You have to nourish in order to flourish!

Samuel standing beside a small hiking tent.

Sam Salter, BS, RN, AEMT

Sam graduated with a BS in Recreation & Resource Management from the University of Montana. After more than 10 years as a US Park Ranger for the National Park Service performing emergency services on public lands, Sam moved to New York for his BS in Nursing from the University of Rochester. He worked as an emergency department nurse before pursuing his current career providing biometric screenings and wellness coaching for UR Medicine Employee Wellness.

Sam loves to travel, especially by foot and bicycle, and enjoys long distance bicycle tours and backpacking. Other favorite activies include skiing, cleaning, and running, as well as playing and listening to live music.

Wellness Tip: Get outside and do it! No matter what it is -- walking, biking, hiking, etc. -- you will feel better mentally and physically afterwards, I guarantee it!

Jill in the foreground with a pine forest and expanse of blue sky behind her.

Jill Scheltz, RN, BSN, LMT

Jill is a registered nurse, licensed massage therapist and certified health and well-being coach. She completed a Bachelors in Anthropology at SUNY Geneseo and a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Rochester. She has an added certification in Applied Mindfulness and Meditation from The University of Toronto and completed a 200-hr Yoga teacher training at Open Sky Yoga. Jill has spent years studying and practicing approaches that foster growth and support health and wellbeing. Drawing on this training and experience, she has developed a toolkit which has supported her in making and sustaining positive changes in her own life and that enables her to partner with others to make positive changes in theirs.

Jill loves spending time in nature and is a Master Gardener with the Ontario County Cornell Cooperative Extension. Through the years she has worked to turn her urban backyard into a large pollinator-friendly perennial garden. She has yet to meet a houseplant that doesn’t want to come home with her.

Wellness Tip: Behavior change is a process that takes patience. Small changes become big changes over time. Practice what supports YOU - short moments, many times.

Maureen standing on a rocky cliff overlooking the ocean

Maureen Silber, RN

Maureen is a registered nurse at UR Medicine Employee Wellness and has worked in variety of healthcare settings over the years. She trends towards a whole foods, plant- based diet and is interested in exploring simple but tasty ways to prepare healthy meals.

Maureen enjoys running, biking, yoga and traveling and always has a book that she's reading that she wants to talk about!

Sam loves to travel, especially by foot and bicycle, and enjoys long distance bicycle tours and backpacking. Other favorite activies include skiing, cleaning, and running, as well as playing and listening to live music.

Wellness Tip: Invest in a few quality pieces of clothing and/or gear to keep you outside and active throughout the long winters and short summers of Rochester. “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing.” –Norwegian Quote

Natalie in the sun

Natalie Thompson, MS

Natalie is a nutrition and wellness coach with both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition and a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition. She practices nutrition at the intersection of human and environmental health, and encourages a mind-body-spirit approach to building sustainable dietary practices. Natalie makes wellness a part of her life by moving as often as possible, spending time outside and in nature, eating foods that nourish her body, sharing experiences with others, and finding time to be quiet and alone to restore her mind and spirit. When she is not offering nutritional guidance, Natalie can be found on (or off!) a trail in the woods, close to (or in!) water, on her bike, atop a mountain, or in her garden and kitchen preparing for the next feast.

Wellness tip: Listening to your body is a skill. Just like any other skill, it is something to practice. If you think you cannot hear what your body is telling you, continue to practice the art of listening: slow down, be kind to yourself, encourage your mind to focus on your body, and breathe; soon you will hear what your body needs. As you become skilled in the art of listening, your capacity for wellness will grow naturally.

Vestina wearing a bicycle helmet and sunglasses.

Vestina Turner, RN BSN, MSN

Tina graduated from Monroe Community College, and went on to receive her BSN and MSN in Nursing Education from Roberts Wesleyan College. With a background in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Tina came to work for UR Medicine’s Employee Wellness Program in 2017, performing biometric screenings and more recently, coaching clients one-on-one in the condition management program.
When Tina is not working, she enjoys a very robust hobby of making quilts, teaching others to quilt and finding other things to make on Pinterest! Tina enjoys biking on the many trails around, finding new trails to ride and also teaching the love of biking to others. Tina enjoys trying new workouts and has enjoyed boxing, body pump, barre, cardio kickboxing, zumba and weight lifting.

Wellness tip:Take time everyday to do something you absolutely love, that’s just for you and brings you joy. This is a way to fulfill yourself and fill yourself in order to be the best you to others when they need you.

Robin leaning towards daffodils that have not yet bloomed.

Robin Walpert, BFA, RN

Robin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from R.I.T. and attended M.C.C. for nursing. Her previous professional focus centered on women’s health while working in post-surgical oncology and labor and delivery.
Robin is grateful for the calm and renewed sense of being that she receives from meditation, gardening and exploring the natural world.

Wellness tip:During the winter months I grow springs bulbs inside. It offers an opportunity to awaken the senses to the scent and beauty of spring and reminds me that there is growth and change even during our darkest months.

Mitchell standing with a bicycle

Mitchell Wharton, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNS, FAAN

Mitchell received their Bachelors (1999) and Masters (2003) in Nursing Science from Widener University. They are dually trained as a community-based nursing clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and board certified family nurse practitioner (FNP). In 2013 they received a Doctorate in Health Practice Research from the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Mitchell embraces the mind-body connection by meditating daily, eating a vegetarian diet, and staying active.

Wellness tip: Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with new goals. Make goals that are incremental and realistic. Every challenge has the ability to teach you something about yourself.