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UMB's Launch Your Life

‌As part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore's Launch Your Life Program, our team offers Qigong, Massage, Meditation and Tai Chi sessions.

Learn more about Launch Your Life.

The Team

Liz Parker, PhD, RD

Liz is an Assistant Professor of Family & Community Medicine in the Center for Integrative Medicine, part of University of Maryland School of Medicine.  She completed her PhD in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise (HNFE) and Bachelors of Science in HNFE with a double option in Dietetics and Exercise Health Promotion at Virginia Tech. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer.  Her research interests include obesity, energy balance and lifestyle interventions to improve health and chronic disease related outcomes.

Kara Keicher, BA, BSW, LMT

Kara is a Maryland State Licensed and Board Certified Massage Therapist providing seated massage for employees of UMB through the Launch Your Life initiative. Practicing since 1999 and licensed since 2002, she offers restorative massage & therapeutic bodywork for stress management, pain management, recovery from injury, emotional balance, and general wellness. Over the course of her massage career she has worked in a variety of settings with diverse clientele integrating bodywork methods including Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point Therapy, Myofascial Release, Reflexology, Reiki, Muscle Release Technique, Stretching, Acupressure, Hot Stones, Aromatherapy, Prenatal Massage, and Medical Massage. Kara’s interest in holistic healing brought her to India in 2008 where she earned a yoga teacher certification and experienced Ayurvedic Medicine. Kara completed bachelor degrees in Social Work and Spanish in 2012 and has a special interest in integrative therapies for mental and behavioral health.

Michelle Peralta, BS

Michelle is the Wellness Coordinator at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Wellness Hub. As the former Education Coordinator at the Center for Integrative Medicine, she organized and coordinated the Health and Wellness Conferences in 2015 & 2016, Yoga Teacher training program, medical school elective and other educational programs. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from Temple University in 2010. In 2015, Michelle attended the Center for Integrative Medicine’s 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. Additionally, she is a trained Reiki Master.  She has presented Yoga as Medicine to the University of Maryland medical students, taught high school students at Mission Thrive about fitness, health and yoga this past summer, and teaches yoga for UMB Launch and Learn Series.

In 2013, Michelle started Baltimore Foxette, a blog and community engagement for the city of Baltimore on healthy city living. She teaches monthly pop-yoga around Baltimore City. To find out more, visit Baltimore Foxette on Facebook or www.baltimorefoxette.com.  Prior to her position as Education Coordinator, Michelle worked as various non-profits in Philadelphia providing education on health, fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle changes. 

Sean Vasaitis, PhD, MS EHS

Dr. Vasaitis completed his doctoral work in Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2007.  He holds a Master’s degree in Exercise and Health Science from Miami University, Ohio and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

Dr. Vasaitis’ research goals follow the overarching concept of integrating Western approaches to medicine and pharmacological therapy with evidence-based complementary medicine to further a holistic approach to disease treatment.  In addition to his research in novel drug development and metabolic function, he has taught taijiquan (tai chi) to patients with stroke, cancer, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes as part of studies with Johns Hopkins Prohealth, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and within his own business practice.

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Launch Your Life Partners

Be sure to visit other UMB internal partners that can provide a wealth of resources to help you live a better life. Events and programs sponsored by UMB departments are typically held on campus.


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