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Dr. Jennifer Coomes (DCN)

Executive Director/CEO/Finance Manager

Click here for bio

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Cassidy Schukar

Board Member

Cassidy has had a passion for holistic health and wellness for the past decade that continues to grow and evolve. Cassidy was born and raised in Seattle, WA and is currently completing her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science as well as a Nutrition Consultant certification. She hopes to bring her passion into her career and help empower others to be the best versions of themselves as well. She believes prevention is key to living a prosperous life and many issues can improve by simply adjusting our diet an lifestyle. Medicine is abundant in the form of quality food, sunlight, water, sleep, plants, and people. Cassidy believes that health is a dynamic process that requires effort and personal responsibility. We are given one body in this life, and it is our job to protect it, nourish it, love it, and appreciate it each and every day because it is the only permanent home we will have.

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Courtney Baird

Board Member

Born and raised in the state of Utah, Courtney has always had an appreciation for the great diversity of this planet. From the Rocky Mountains and the desert to the rainforest in the Pacific Northwest, she enjoys going hiking, snowboarding, and doing anything that reconnects her with nature. Courtney has a passion for human nutrition and health. Courtney believes that health is not a destination, and is not a one-size-fits-all mold. Health goes beyond one’s vital signs and blood tests. Health encompasses many factors that constitute an individual. She believes that health should be actively pursued and promoted rather than something that should only be considered in its absence. She believes that the well-being of humans is synergistically related to the well-being of the environment we inhabit. She loves science and learning new things. Courtney strongly believes in the philosophy of Food as Medicine.

VISION AND MISSION--Discover, Transform, Educate.


Essence Health and Research Foundation (Trade Name:  EH&R, Essence Health & Research, Project Thrive) is a 501c3 nonprofit that helps to bring innovative services in clinical nutrition and nutrigenomics, health research, public health education and guidance, emergency nutrition/crisis relief, yoga instruction, restorative yoga, and yoga teacher training programs to the community of Sammamish, WA and beyond. 

Being managed by a woman, this nonprofit inspires more women to be at the table of influence in STEM, healthcare, medical research, and healthcare innovation.   The model of direction and teaching promotes mentorship, collaboration, respect, stability, ability, security, thriving, purpose, positive health outcomes, and results.


You can't achieve it all on your own, and neither can EH&R, but there is something special about being the catalyst to beneficial change that inspires us all to be better and work in stable ways  to meet our personal best.  Why "personal best"?   Transformation is personal and commitment is hard work. Excellence is special when you can call yourself balanced at the end of the day and love the work you've accomplished. 


  • Help to create regular clinical research studies in nutrition and yoga to assess benefits in specific medical inflammatory or autoimmune conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, Osteoporosis, PTSD, and more to help inform standard of care of the benefits of these therapies.

  • Help to increase accessibility of functional medicine/nutrition (root cause) and precision medicine/nutrition (genetic application) approaches for the general population to improve healthcare innovation.

  • To improve emergency/crisis care services in nutrition for those in need to include more accommodations for medical conditions, critical food sensitivities, important bioavailable vitamins/minerals, and nutritional care for mental health.

  • To improve public health education in understanding blood labs from doctors, how to make changes in personal nutrition to change health outcomes, and what to look for in supplementation for specific medical conditions and genetic dysfunctions..

  • To increase community fundraising/donations and involvement in improving healthcare approaches and clinical research funding. 

Giving Back
Coming soon!
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