The Women with Wings Foundation
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The Board

Patricia Varga   |   Founder and CEO

Patricia's career in sales, marketing and content development includes working with some of the finest publishing companies: The Economist Group, Hearst, Hachette, Time, Inc., Conde Nast, Rodale, Times-Mirror and Mariah Media, publishers of Outside Magazine.

Her love for the creative process, years of education and experience led her to "scribble and doodle" her way to discovering a teaching method that allows people to "get out of their heads and into their hearts," where the healing process begins.  Her work is now being taught in over 800 domestic violence shelters around the world, through A Window between Worlds ( and her signature Create to Heal (TM) program is being used in hospitals and cancer centers in Southern California, the Pacific Northwest and East Coast.

Patricia is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard's Publishing Program, now being taught at Columbia School of Journalism. She continued her love for the creative process and visual communication through Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA. 

Patricia Varga

Mauro W. Zappaterra, MD, PhD   |   Chief Medical Officer

Mauro W. Zappaterra, MD, PhD graduated from Harvard Medical School and specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with a particular focus on optimizing human performance through regenerative medicine, nutrition, mind-body exercises, mind-training, and biofield therapies.

He completed his PhD at Harvard, studying neuronal stem cells and the effects of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in brain development and in adults. He has published numerous scientific and medical articles and his work on the CSF was chosen as the cover image for the prestigious Neuron journal. He has been featured in the New England Journal of Medicine in regards to teaching medical students about living with life threatening diseases and in Psychology Today on an article titled “Joy: The Art of Loving Life."

He combines his training in rehabilitation medicine, evidence-based research, nutrition, and various complementary and alternative medicine modalities such as polarity therapy, reiki and biodynamic craniosacral therapy to work holistically with individuals to optimize their potential and improve their quality of life.

Mauro W. Zappaterra, MD, PhD

Colleen Coleman   |   Treasurer

Colleen Coleman is a communications specialist with over 20 years of experience in community and public relations, marketing, and business development for environmental, architecture, civic and arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Her strengths lie in successful development of new markets, business planning, fundraising, and strategies for beneficial collaboration. Throughout her career, she has supported organizations that have pioneered the concepts and practice of sustainability. She is often called upon to increase an organization's visibility and develop partnerships between like-minded organizations. Colleen is also the Board Treasurer for Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute, and a Board Member of Columbia Riverkeeper. Colleen lives and works in Hood River, Oregon.

Colleen Coleman

Carolyn Cooper   |   VP, Medical Liaison

Carolyn Cooper is a RN, Board Certified Nurse Practitioner with 30 years of experience in a variety of settings. Carolyn started her career at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic caring for patients with Head and Neck cancers. She moved to California to work at UCSD Pediatric Intensive Care unit as a staff nurse, administrative nurse and clinical nurse specialist where she developed numerous programs including a Pediatric Oncology Nurse Certification program. She received her Masters degree as a Family Health Clinical Nurse Specialist and Family and Pediatric Nurse practitioner from the University of San Diego and worked in (General Pediatrics) private practice for 10 years. Relocating to the Bay Area brought her again to a tertiary care center at Stanford Children's hospital as a PNP in Hematology Oncology.

As a stage 3 breast cancer survivor, undergoing surgery, chemo and radiation therapy, Carolyn has developed a passion for a holistic approach to patient care. Carolyn meditates daily and is pursuing a Healing Touch Certification.

Carolyn Cooper

Trina Marie Smith   |   Director of Development

Trina Marie Smith started her career as a pre-school teacher then studied Marriage and Family Therapy at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, CA. Through her work with a teen parenthood prevention program, she found a perfect marriage between her interests in adolescent development and social justice for communities of color. This program developed into a non-profit and in 1995 became TEEN FUTURES, a youth empowerment organization committed to interrupting the cycles of disadvantage. Trina served as Executive Director since its inception and continues in an advisory role.

Trina brings a wealth of non-profit experience to Wings, along with excellent leadership and organizational skills. She is currently the executive director for The Foundation for Living Beauty,, a non-profit based in Pasadena, CA that is dedicated to uplifting the lives of cancer survivors and women living with cancer.

Trina Marie Smith

Chaplain Mary D. Farah   |   Secretary

Chaplain Mary Farah was born in Beirut, Lebanon and as a child, experienced some of the best and worst in humanity. At age 12, her home was bombed, but her family escaped harm and found refuge. During the Lebanese War, Mary’s innate compassion and caregiving skills emerged.

Chaplain Mary began her education in Beirut, but finished here in the States, receiving her MA in Religious Studies and Certified Family Education at Andrews University, and her Clinical Pastoral Education at Stanford Medical Center. Part of her education and “ministry” at Stanford included a residency in Spiritual Care Services, attending to bone marrow transplant and cancer patients.

Mary has extensive experience working as Chaplain for Adventist Health System at Florida Hospital and Adventist Health West, directing Spiritual Care, Community and Volunteer Services at Adventist Health Hospice of Southern California.

Chaplain Mary D. Farah