Program Staff

Mary Koithan, PhD, RN, CNS-BC, FAAN
Program Director


My scholarship is focused on the effectiveness of and responses to complex systems of care, including integrative oncology and survivor wellbeing, homeopathy, integrative nursing and wellbeing in chronically ill populations, and care coordination delivered by professional as well as lay providers. I am also interested in responses to integrative therapeutics, care delivery models for whole systems of care, preparing faculty members to teach integrative nursing across academic programs and novel methodological approaches consistent with complex systems science.


Cheryl L. Lacasse, MS, RN, OCN, PhD Candidate
Curriculum Development and Program Faculty


I am a clinical nurse specialist engaged in cancer survivorship research and education of students and professional nurses. My clinical practice philosophy includes an integrative approach to achieving patient-centered outcomes and quality of life. As an educator, I have incorporated the principles of integrative nursing into specific course content and model the application of these principles for students. As a leader in nursing education, I use a program-wide strategy to facilitate the incorporation of an integrative approach to leadership and health-care environments. My experience in nursing practice, education and research has led me to focus on mentoring students, faculty and other professionals in the application of integrative health principles across health-care populations and delivery settings.


Cathleen Michaels, PhD, RN, FAAN
Curriculum Development and Program Faculty


I previously served as co-director of the Tucson Holistic Healing Initiative for Nurses, a learning network established to introduce integrative therapies into nurses’ self-care, and principal investigator for research projects that investigated people’s perspectives about health, in particular their explanatory models for what causes and relieves chronic symptoms. I am passionate about the role words play in health — how words are used to talk about one’s health or symptoms, and how words can be used to understand a patient’s mental model of illness to garner support for a treatment plan and to broaden a patient’s health literacy, especially about chronic illness and its treatment, including integrative therapies.


Natalie Pool, PhD, BSN, RN

Program Coordinator, Curriculum Development and Program Faculty


I have more than a decade of clinical nursing experience, primarily working with underserved populations in sub-Saharan Africa and with two southwestern Native American communities. These opportunities have afforded me the privilege of experiencing a variety of healing modalities based in cultural traditions. I currently teach Healing Environments, a Masters level course focused on the application of integrative nursing approaches in the clinical setting. My previous work with a grant supporting Native American students in the health sciences reflects my interest in improving cultural safety training benefitting patients, providers and researchers in nursing.


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Michael Principe, BA, MA(LIS)
Administrative Support


I provide administrative and web support for all aspects of the INFF program. A graduate of the University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science, I was first introduced to integrative therapeutics as a library intern at Han University of Traditional Medicine in Tucson, AZ. In addition to my work with the INFF program, I manage the Community Cancer Connections website, a UA College of Nursing-led resource promoting long-term, holistic wellbeing for those affected by cancer.