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Cherie SkagerCherie Skager, MA, MNPL
Executive Director

Cherie Skager joined the Hope Heart Institute in 2010 as the Vice President of Outreach and Education and was promoted to Vice President in 2011.    Prior to joining The Hope, Cherie led programs at the Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the YWCA of Seattle King County and Snohomish County and Federal Occupational Health.

Cherie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and Master of Arts degree in Health Education from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University.  Cherie is passionate about community well-being and volunteers for several local non-profits.  She lives in Kirkland with her husband and two sons.

Chainani, Karishma 2

Karishma Chainani, MS, CHES
School Programs and Evaluation Manager

Karishma Chainani joined the Hope in the fall of 2015. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington, and completed her Master of Science degree in Health and Human Performance, specializing in Community Health, from the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. She also holds a Certificate of Public Health and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Prior to working at the Hope, Karishma worked as a Licensed Massage Practitioner for 7 years, working with people of different backgrounds to bring wellness into their lives through the power of touch.

Karishma enjoys working within communities to foster peoples’ sense of empowerment for changing their lifestyles, including encouraging them to make healthy choices. Prevention of disease is something she believes is important, as heart disease has affected her family in a profound way.

Karishma’s hobbies include kickboxing, traveling and spending time with her family, fiancé, and black lab, Buddy.

Jaclyn NgJaclyn Ng
Heart Restart & Volunteer Programs Manager

Jaclyn was born and raised in West Seattle. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Medical Anthropology and Global Health. Throughout college, she worked at Virginia Mason Medical Center as a nutrition assistant and enjoyed learning a lot about nutrition and health.

She has a diverse service background serving across the nation as an AmeriCorps member. She served as a FEMA Corps member and assisted individuals and families affected by a disaster; particularly, with Superstorm Sandy relief. Furthermore, she continued her service with United Way of King County with their Million Meals Campaign and the American Red Cross in Seattle as a Volunteer Recruit and Intake Coordinator.

Aside from work, she enjoys the outdoors such as hiking, snowboarding, kayaking, and river rafting. If you don’t see her out and about, you would most likely find her at home cooking or watching movies.

Steven PalazzoSteven J. Palazzo, PhD, MN, RN
Teen Take Heart Program Manager

Steven J. Palazzo is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Seattle University with a part-time assignment with The Hope Heart Institute as Program Manager for Teen Take Heart. Prior to joining The Hope, Steven worked as a medical/cardiac critical care nurse at Harborview Medical Center and taught nursing in the Seattle Community College system.

Steven has a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, a Master’s Degree in Nursing (Nurse Educator Specialist Training), and a PhD in Nursing Science (Diagnostic Utility of sTREM-1 in Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia). He was the recipient of an NIH/NRSA Fellowship in Research and was an ARCS (Achievement Reward for College Scientists) Fellow.

Steven is interested in educational outreach in underserved communities in Washington State. He lives in Renton and enjoys running, tennis, and gardening. He shares his home with his partner of 19 years and their two beagles.


Kerryn RedingKerryn Reding - PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, University of Washington School of Nursing; and Women Take Heart Fellow

As the Women Take Heart Fellow, Kerryn will implement a community-based, culturally-relevant lifestyle intervention focused on improving diet and exercise habits that will lead to weight loss and sustained healthy weight.

Kerryn’s research Interests have been focuses on reducing cancer incidence and recurrence, with particular interests in lifestyle interventions and biomarkers of risk, as well as reducing racial disparities in breast cancer.

Kerryn has a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Washington, a Masters in Public Health (MPH), Epidemiology from University of Michigan, and a BS, Zoology from Arizona State University.