About Us

Essential Health & Wellness

At Essential Health & Wellness, we challenge the disease management approach of conventional primary-care.  We believe in treating people, not symptoms and place wellness and prevention at the forefront of our practice.  

To bring our vision to life, we have recruited a team of specialized healthcare professionals with advanced training in Integrative and Functional medicine who invest in personal relationships with thier patients.  We have also built advanced technology solutions to better understand the unique health profiles of our patients.  With the combination of our patient-centered approach and our innovative treatment programs, we are creating the next-generation of primary-care.  

Danielle DeHaven - Clinical Operations Officer . FAARM, ABAAHP

Danielle DeHaven was born in Westfield, NY and graduated from Westfield Academy and Central School, where she was an avid athlete and scholar. She attended Houghton College, and she received her Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training with a minor in Education.

In 1998, she and her husband moved to Raleigh, NC, where she began working in orthopedics as a medical assistant. In 2003, she left orthopedics and attended the Medical Arts Massage School in Raleigh and received her massage therapy certification. She opened her own practice, Advanced Therapeutic Massage, with locations in Raleigh and Cary and worked with the Carolina Ballet company as both an athletic trainer and massage therapist. 

Shortly after starting her own practice she desired to return to working with physicians and began a part-time job at Wake Medical Center in Cary, NC as a clinical secretary. Her management skills soon led to a position as the Clinical Secretary Team Leader for the Medical-Surgical unit and eventually to the Team Leader for all of WakeMed Cary Hospital.

Her leadership skills were recognized through receiving the WakeMed Circle of Quality Service Award, a distinguished award throughout the WakeMed Hospital system. In 2009, she was invited to join Dr. James Stevens in AIHF Executive Health as his Clinical Care Coordinator. She continues to work with him today and has expanded her clinical management and leadership skills as the Clinical Operations Manager for Essential Health & Wellness, Cary and Raleigh. 

Danielle is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. She has been attending these continuing education modules along with Dr. Stevens since October of 2013. In May of 2014, Danielle passed the American Academy of Anti Aging Health Practitioner certification exam and is now a Diplomat in Metabolic, Nutritional and Functional Medicine.

In 2017 she passed the certification exam for the Fellowship in Stem Cell Therapy. Danielle is married to Corey DeHaven and they have two children. When she’s not working, she enjoys playing with her children, quiet time, traveling, and reading a good book (Nichols Sparks being her favorite author).

Jennie Welner   FNP-BC, ABAAHP, FAARM

Jennie Welner earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Florida State University in 2008. After graduation, she moved to North Carolina and worked in the Neurosurgical/Neurological Unit at Duke University Hospital as a registered nurse, caring for high-complexity patients from 2008 until 2012.

While working full time at Duke, Jennie started her graduate program at UNC Chapel Hill and graduated with a Masters of Science in Nursing in 2012. She then became board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) through the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2012. In her first year as an NP, she treated patients in a family practice specializing in integrative/holistic medicine in Chapel Hill, NC. 

In February 2012, she attended the American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine’s Conference. At this conference, she was introduced to and began her passion for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). She developed and implemented BHRT practice protocols for both men and women.

She also has developed experience with weight management, nutritional supplementation, vitamin intravenous therapy, and managing adrenal fatigue. She believes that medicine should not be about treating the individual symptom, but collaborating with the patient to reach their optimum health.

She joined the wonderful team at EHW in 2013 and is thrilled to be able to focus on her passion for BHRT and functional medicine. Jennie is a member of the American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine, and is certified as a Diplomat by the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners. She has received additional certification in advanced intravenous nutrient therapy and is currently working on her certification in Weight Management through MMI. 

She lives in Cary with her husband, Mike, their son Gabriel, and daughter, Maya. She enjoys spending time with her family and dog, traveling, and exploring the outdoors. She had the luxury of being within a 30 minute drive from the beach growing up, so now they try to escape to the mountains every chance they get!

Danielle "Dani" Blanchard  RN

Danielle “Dani” Blanchard graduated from Parkland College School of Nursing in 2010. She immediately began working at Memorial Hospital in Springfield, IL on their Transplant, Urology, & Nephrology inpatient unit. After obtaining her coveted “year of experience” she was able to move to North Carolina and work as a Charge Nurse on the Acute Burn & Wound Unit at UNC for two years.

Danielle spent the next few years working in an Outpatient Urology setting, when she decided to make the transition to a more “patient-centered” approach to healthcare. She fell in love with EHW’s values and approach to achieving wellness, rather than simply symptom management.

Danielle lives in Raleigh with her fiancé, Quan, and their daughter, Sydney. In their spare time they enjoy wine tasting, going to the beach, and exploring different restaurants throughout the triangle.

Lisa Giordano   RN, CFNP

Lisa Giordano, RN, CFNP has joined Essential Health & Wellness with over 20 year’s experience as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Her experience includes primary care, women’s health, aesthetics, dermatology, weight management and hormone replacement. Lisa graduated from Bloomsburg University in PA with a BSN and a minor in Psychology and Widener University, Chester PA with MSN in Family Practice. She is originally from Bethlehem, PA and has lived in NC for 11 years now. 

Lisa is newly remarried to Dr. Louis Giordano and they have 5 children ages 18-22 together—all in college! Lisa is a Fitness enthusiast and has completed many Sprint Triathalon’s. She enjoys traveling, going to the beach, skiing and reading in her spare time. She attends Hope Community church and is planning a medical mission trip to Bolivia to combine her faith and love for helping others. Her passion is Women’s Health and diet and exercise teaching. She feels blessed to help all patients achieve their best life possible.

Betsy Kizakevich  RN

Registered Nurse and Clinical Nutritionist Betsy grew up in Raleigh the youngest of 4 girls and attended Leesville High School. She went on to attend Appalachian State University and earned a BS in Exercise Science with the goal of becoming a Physical Therapist. In preparation for PT school, Betsy spent time in the hospital as a nursing assistant to develop her patient contact skills and learn more about the medical field. It was this experience that opened her eyes to the field of nursing and the huge impact it can have on the lives of people in the community. She loved the hands on, physical, compassionate care that nurses provided to the sick and injured.

Betsy went back to school and earned a BS in Nursing from UNC Chapel Hill. After graduation she worked many years at Rex hospital in the Neuroscience unit as an RN before joining EHW in 2015. The past several years Betsy began to see the strong relationship between the food that people eat and the state of their mental, emotional, and physical health. She noticed that changing her own diet and the diet of her family really effected their energy, moods, focus and body composition. She decided to pursue a post-graduate certification in Clinical Nutrition so that she could further understand the biology and chemistry of nutrition and help teach it to others. 

Betsy is thrilled to be returning to EHW in the role of Clinical Nutritionist. She will be using her knowledge gained in her functional nutrition courses to can help patients prevent the diseases that arise from poor nutrition and help treat and heal their current heath issues through diet and lifestyle changes. Random fact… Betsy once spent an entire month in the wilderness with no shelter. Eating, sleeping, cooking and bathing outside. Three weeks of this venture were in snow! The experience opened her eyes to the power of nature and how spending time outside can both ground and enlighten the spirit. Betsy currently lives in Raleigh with her husband, two children, and a crazy dog. She loves to hike, read, cook and hang out with her family.

Erin Brooks  Phlebotomist And Clinical Assistant

Erin Brooks moved to North Carolina with her family in 1997 when her Dad retired from the military. In high school, she developed a love for medicine.  She soon joined her local volunteer EMS squad where she volunteered from 2002-2005.

During her time as a volunteer she earned her Diploma as an Emergency Medical Technician. In 2005, she also earned her Clinical Assistant Certification followed by her Phlebotomy Certification in 2006. After earning her certifications, she worked at Wake Med Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina as a phlebotomist from 2007 until 2009.

After leaving the hospital she worked for both LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics over the next couple of year before joining Essential Health & Wellness in 2012. She lives in Smithfield with her husband Gerald and their daughter Kenzie. During her time off she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and reading.

John McKinney   PBT (ASCP)

John graduated from the Cameron School of Business with a concentration in finance at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in May 2017. During his time at UNCW he became certified in phlebotomy by the American Society of Clinical Pathology and began working at Onslow Memorial Hospital as a lab assistant in 2015.

It was during his time at the hospital where John realized his passion for the medical field. John joined the Essential Health & Wellness Raleigh team in the Summer of 2017 as both a phlebotomist and clinical assistant. If John is not at Essential Health & Wellness, you can probably bet he is hitting the science books in pursuance of his medical career. John enjoys spending his free time with his fiancée Kyrie and his daughter Teagan.

He tries to go to the beach every chance he gets, but if the beach isn’t possible he likes cuddling up on the couch with his fluffy white cat.

Sarah Ioveno  Office Administrator 

Sarah Ioveno graduated from New York Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences/Pre-Med in 2006. Throughout college she worked as a medical assistant for a pediatrics office.

Following college, she worked for a chiropractor focusing more on office administration and insurance coding. In 2007, she moved to Cary, NC and began working as the office administrator for a dermatology office.  

Throughout her five years there she expanded her knowledge in office management and insurance coding.  In 2012 she joined Essential Health & Wellness.  She is the office administrator and also helps out with patient care whenever needed. She lives in Cary with her boyfriend Eric and their beagle, Penny.  When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her family, going hiking, and traveling.

Dee Varh   Receptionist 

Dee worked at Entira Family Clinic from 2005-2007 as their front desk receptionist while earning her Medical Assistant degree in 2008. She continued to work at Entira Family Clinic as a medical assistant until she married in 2009 and moved to Charlotte, NC. 

In 2010, she joined Dr. Neal S. Taub a Physiatrist as his medical assistant. She enjoyed her time with Dr. Taub and his patients. After 6 years with Dr. Taub, she moved to Raleigh with her husband, where he is attending school.

Dee joined Essential Health & Wellness in February 2016. She currently lives in Cary with her husband, Andrew, and their German shepherd babies, Bandit & Rogue. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her family, taking her dogs to swim and going on long walks and hikes. 

Subhashini Sharma  Office Administrator - Raleigh

Subhashini Sharma earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Masters of Physical Therapy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked as a software designer for Nortel Networks for eleven years and returned to school to pursue a degree in a healthcare related field. She worked as a physical therapist at an outpatient orthopedic clinic for the last nine years.

In her practice as a physical therapist, she always strived to build personal relationships and treat the whole person. This aligns closely with the mission of Essential Health and Wellness. Subhashini joined Essential Health and Wellness in November 2017 as an office administrator. She is committed to creating an excellent patient experience while working alongside a dedicated team of physicians and clinical staff. Subhashini lives in Cary with her two children, Priya and Rishi. She enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

An Integrative & Functional Approach

Our team of physicians are board-certified with advanced training in Integrative and Functional Medicine.  This means we put our patients at the center of the relationship, taking into account the whole person, including body, mind, and spirt.  We seek to understand the underlying imbalances and root-cause of illness.  We believe good medicine is based on good science and is open to all treatment paradigms.  As Integrative and Functional medicine providers, we will always take a personalized approach to your care.