Kendra Neilsen Myles, CHES, BCPA, RYT 200, RES-CPT – Executive Director & Founder, EDS Wellness, Inc. & Principal & Owner of KNeilsen, LLC & Sisters Media, LLC
Kendra graduated with a degree in Public Health/Health Education from the University of Maryland in December 2000. While in college, she worked in triage, serving as a patient liaison for the Women’s Health Clinic, and she interned as a therapeutic exercise and movement rehabilitation program assistant at Fitness for Health (also known as Bethesda PhysioFitness). During her senior year, Kendra worked full-time to fulfill her internship requirement through a paid marketing assistant and health education specialist position with Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington, D.C. Throughout her 6-month internship, Kendra developed and implemented health education programs for underserved populations, participated in healthcare lobbying efforts, and assisted in the planning and coordination of Columbia Hospital for Women’s Annual Breast Cancer Awards Gala. After college, she started her professional career as a territory manager for Ortho-McNeil – the women’s health division of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals. Determined to pave her own career path that helped support her family, Kendra founded a medical sales and marketing support company after the birth of her first son in 2005 and subsequent diagnosis of Classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (cEDS) – affording her both the opportunity to be more available for her son and the flexibility needed to take care of herself.
For almost 14 years, Kendra has been active in the broader Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) and related conditions communities, guest speaking for several organizations, coordinating fundraisers to promote awareness and support EDS non-profits, and working closely with community specialists on various patient-focused projects and events. She eventually launched Strength/Flexibility/Health/EDS – a digital wellness magazine for those striving for “strength, flexibility, and health” while living with EDS. Kendra has extensive knowledge on lifestyle management strategies and the complexities of living with chronic medical conditions, and she has worked tirelessly to uncover an effective solutions-focused approach to helping facilitate much-needed change. She has advocated for and raised awareness on the importance of proper diagnosis, developed and implemented patient-focused health education and wellness programs, and helped foster collaborative patient/provider relationships. Kendra has also held several continuing medical education activities for healthcare providers and facilitated professional collaborations to improve patient care and outcomes. It was through Kendra’s life and professional experiences, combined with her daily journey to live well, that she founded EDS Wellness, Inc. – the first EDS/HSD/Hypermobility 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on integrative and research-based solutions as well as mind-body-spirit care for individuals with ALL hypermobility related disorders. EDS Wellness’ work includes Wellapalooza Integrative Wellness Conferences(and Retreats!), professional education & CME activities for health care providers (see 2017 Physicians Learning Conference), professional collaborations, creating the first Integrative Healing for EDS Brochure, and regularly holding virtual and in-person webinars, workshops, and classes. For example, one such collaboration with Clair Francomano, M.D and Deborah Norris, Ph.D. resulted in the development and implementation of the ‘Mind-Body Strategies for Hypermobility with Chronic Pain’ program – first launched in November 2016 at The Mindfulness Center. EDS Wellness’ passion is developing, implementing, and sharing integrative solutions to help restore function and living well. Additionally, EDS Wellness is incredibly proud to co-host and co-develop the inaugural event for the new LEAD EDS program – an on-going collaboration with EDS Awareness, providing education and training for all EDS Support Group leaders.
Kendra’s love for reading and writing stems from a childhood surrounded by books, spending much of her life in her mother’s bookstores. The granddaughter of a former House and Garden magazine publisher, she combined her passion for serving the EDS community with her strength in medical writing and interest in publishing to co-author the first Ehlers-Danlos syndromes anthology, ‘Our Stories of Strength – Living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.’ Subsequently, Kendra founded Sisters Media, LLC – a media company focused on the publishing of digital and print materials in fields of health, medicine, and wellness. On March 15th, 2016, Sisters Media, LLC published ‘Never Bet Against Occam: Mast Cell Activation Disease and The Modern Epidemics of Chronic Illness and Medical Complexity’– written by Lawrence B. Afrin, M.D. Dr. Afrin’s introductory book to mast cell activation disease currently has 187 five-star reviews and has remained one of the top most influential medical and health books published in the last 3 years.
Currently, Kendra runs two small businesses – a strategic healthcare consulting, professional advocacy, and solutions-driven wellness company and Sisters Media, LLC (mentioned above), in addition to serving as the Executive Director of EDS Wellness, Inc. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA), 200hr Certified Yoga Instructor (RYT 200) and recently completed a 2+ year Restorative Exercise Specialist Certification program (RES-CPT) under Katy Bowman of Nutritious Movement. Kendra has learned to utilize her unique combination of personal and professional experiences with small business entrepreneurship and nonprofit development to provide a streamlined focus on strategic solutions for health-focused individuals, professionals, and organizations.
Kendra moved from Bethesda, MD to Ijamsville, MD last summer with her husband of 16+ years, her 3 babies (Johann – 14yo, Seamus – 10yo and Hallen – 8yo), and 2 pups – Mush and Else.
- Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)
- Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA)
- 200hr Certified Yoga Instructor (RYT 200)
- Certified Restorative Exercise Specialist (RES-CPT)
- http://KendraNeilsenMyles.com or http://kneilsen.com