Our Team

Our Management Team

Elina Viitaniemi
Director
Nicola Bowers
Volunteer Coordinator
Alana Dunsmore
Communications & Awareness Manager
Carine Karnouk
Counselling & Support Services Manager / Head Psychologist
Anne-Liis Lääne-Sáez
Centre & Operations Coordinator

Our Counsellors

Carine Karnouk
Counselling & Support Services Manager / Head Psychologist

Carine has 10+ years of experience working as a counselling psychologist and providing a wide range of culturally sensitive individual and group-based mental healthcare services and diagnostic assessments to clients who are struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, migration, refugee mental health, addiction, personality disorders, identity issues, illness, and crisis management in several clinical, hospital and university settings. She has published several papers in international journals. Carine holds a PhD in Psychology with a focus on Global Mental Health from the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany) and a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from the American University in Cairo (Egypt).

In terms of her therapeutic orientation, Carine considers herself a relational integrative therapist and merges various approaches depending on the client’s needs, including person-centred therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy. She believes in the importance of supporting individuals with an accepting attitude towards their cultural background, personal freedom of choice and respect that each and every person has their own independent way of fulfilling their needs and achieving their goals.

She is a member of the Fédération Suisse des Psychologues (FSP) and the Association Genevoise des Psychologues (AGPsy).

Raynelle Arcaini
Counsellor

At Cancer Support Switzerland, Raynelle provides individual and group therapy consultations to clients and family members. Along with her personal experience with cancer, she has a master’s degree in counselling, certification in the treatment of developmental trauma, and training in Applied Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy to provide individual and group counselling.

She has interned and counselled at Associazione Tumori Toscana (ATT), a hospice association, and currently trains and supervises the Cancer Support Switzerland peer support team. She is a member of the Swiss Association for Counselling (SGfB), and the American Psychological Association.

Catherine Butterly
Counsellor

Catherine offers counselling support to individuals, families and couples in her practice in Mies and online. She has trained in integrative, psychodynamic and family & couples therapy in Canada, U.K and Zimbabwe. Also trained as a trauma specialist and trainer, she works with a range of body-based interventions. Catherine is registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, the European Association of Psychotherapy and a clinical supervisor with the Swiss Counselling Association.

Antonia Calame
Counsellor

Antonia serves as first contact for those seeking support. She has a Master of Science degree in Organizational Behaviour from Birkbeck College, University of London and a Master of Arts degree in Counselling. Prior to moving to Geneva, Antonia worked in London and New York where she spent many years volunteering with children with special needs, as well as with the elderly.

In 2014 she became involved with Cancer Support Switzerland, firstly as a volunteer and peer supporter, before joining the counselling team in 2016.

She is a member of the Swiss Association for Counselling (SGfB), the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a registered member MBACP of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Rosemarie Chopard
Counsellor

Rosemarie is an Accredited Playtherapist and Grief Counsellor.  She helps children and young people face the challenges of life in Cantons Vaud and Geneva.  Rosemarie comes to the work with children and young people having experienced cancer within her own family.  She works to create a safe space for young people to fully express themselves and to connect to the resources they need to cope and manage their lives.  She uses play and creative arts as these are powerful mediums that allow this process to occur.

Rosemarie has experience in various settings: with hospitalised children and their families, unaccompanied minors and kids in foster care, children and teens experiencing grief owing to family illnesses or parental separation.

She holds qualifications in Play Therapy and in Grief Counselling, a Diploma in Relaxation for children and teenagers, a Masters degree in Education and a Diploma in Theology.   

Milena Claudius
Counsellor

Milena supports clients and their families impacted by cancer in her private practice in Lausanne.  She holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Boston College and completed post-doctoral training in health psychology/behavioral medicine. Prior to moving to Switzerland, she primarily worked in hospital settings with clients facing a variety of medical, emotional, and mental health challenges.

She aims to help her clients feel empowered and to maintain the best quality of life during difficult times. Her theoretical orientation is integrative, and mind-body centered. She is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Federation of Swiss Psychologists (FSP).

Christina Grivea
Counsellor

Christina is a Counsellor and Trauma Therapist for Cancer Support Switzerland and also facilitates the Online Support Group. She helps support both adults and children that have been diagnosed with cancer and the challenges that diagnosis brings into their lives. She qualified as a Forensic Psychologist in the UK where she lived and worked in a variety of difficult and challenging settings both in the public and charitable sectors.

Along with her personal and family experience with cancer, Christina also has a master’s degree in Counselling, is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP), a NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM) Therapist, has a PGDip in Therapeutic Play Skills from Play Therapy UK and is a registered member of the Swiss Association for Counselling (SGfB), SE©, NARM, BPS, BACP and PTI.

Carey Kirk
Counsellor

Carey has a private practice in Lausanne and, through Cancer Support Switzerland, provides counselling to adults diagnosed with cancer and their family members in the Canton Vaud. Carey has a Master’s degree in counselling from the USA and is trained in grief counselling and cognitive behavioral therapies such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT),  acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and compassion focused therapy (CFT).

Prior to joining the Cancer Support Switzerland team, Carey worked in private practice in Dubai and ran the Raymee Grief Center. Carey is a member of the American Counselling Association (ACA) and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS).

A photo of Patricia Matthews
Patricia Matthews
Counsellor

Tricia is an integrative counsellor with a private practice in Geneva. She has a Master’s degree in Counselling, and extensive training and experience in working with neurodiversity and attachment trauma.  Her approach is holistic, helping individuals make sense of their situation and address the challenges they are facing.  Tricia facilitates bereavement groups for those who have lost loved ones to cancer. She also gives workshops on neurodiversity, giftedness, and twice-exceptionality. A peer supporter since 2011, Tricia has first-hand experience of cancer in her family as well as undergoing treatment for skin cancer in 2014. After joining the counselling team in 2016, she trained in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Cancer. Tricia is a Certified Autism Clinical Specialist and a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), and the Swiss Association for Counselling (SGfB).

Catharine Viveash-Beard
Counsellor

Catharine works with a collaborative and integrative approach to counselling, placing a strong focus on nurturing safety and security within the therapeutic relationship. Every relationship is unique, and every journey together is unique. Catharine has a private practice in the Zürich region, with locations in Enge and Wädenswil, reaching those of different ages and in different life stages. She integrates in her work the beautifully compassionate Internal Family Systems approach, and facilitates an attachment-based parenting programme for parents of young children. As well as travelling her own journey of cancer within her family, Catharine has training in grief and bereavement and holds a master’s in counselling. She is a registered member of the Swiss Association for Counselling and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Our Coaches

Luana Eckhard
Work and Cancer Coach

I am a certified coach and an HR professional with more than 14 years of experience. I have lived firsthand with what it means to face and fight cancer, and how to live through this transition and find my way back to a professional life and successful career.

I am looking forward to meeting you as a coach and mentor; to accompany you and help you find your answers and share my HR experience whenever the time is right for you.

Geoff Matthews
Work and Cancer Coach

I’m an accredited executive coach and HR consultant with 40 years’ professional experience.  I have been living in Switzerland since 1993 and have long been involved with Cancer Support Switzerland both as a volunteer and as a former board member.  Cancer has affected several of my family members, as well as a close work colleague, so I understand the challenges involved.  I’m ready to support you in dealing with the job and career issues that can result from a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Sunita Sehmi
Work and Cancer Coach

I am an organisational consultant and leadership advisor. I have worked with cancer patients in palliative care and, on a personal note, supported my mother when she had terminal cancer.

I train and advise organisations on managing cancer in the workplace, and I am so proud to be part of a skilled and supportive team. We want to ensure every organisation has the right tools, knowledge, and guidance. Together, we are stronger.

Caroline Shaw
Work and Cancer Coach

I have been a coach for over a decade, with several certifications under my belt. Prior to my coaching career, I was in banking and recruitment. I have faced many challenges in life, and I understand what it means to face adversity and to overcome it. I was fortunate to have the right support system, which is why I chose this career path, to help people through the difficulties of their own journey.

As a coach, I look forward to working with you. Together, we will work on finding the tools you need to move forward, in your personal, social or professional life.

Our Support Services Team

Smita Singh
Support Services Coordinator
Dani Glover
Peer Supporter Coordinator
Ramona Azarnia
Garden Group Facilitator
Frances Bolton
Drop-in Facilitator
Maria De Wolf-van der Wey
Bosom Pals Facilitator
Sari Galapo
Yoga Instructor
Juliette Gray
Yoga Instructor
Karen Jones
Garden Group Facilitator
Manali Kulkarni
Pilates Instructor
Gisèle Laliberté
Librarian
Sandra Oakley
Librarian
Annabel Pulcrano
Lausanne Support Group and Walk’nTalk facilitator
Dominika Schütze
Yoga Instructor
Chris Swan
Geneva Walk'nTalk Facilitator
Eileen Wiley
Art Therapist

Our Board of Directors

Ramona Azarnia
President

Ramona Azarnia brings more than 30 years of experience in technology operations with Hewlett-Packard to her position on the Cancer Support Switzerland Board. During her tenure at HP, she held director-level positions in information technology, process engineering, and strategy and planning, working in the US, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Ramona became a volunteer for the Paddle for CancerSupport Dragon Boat Festival as Team Coordinator in 2018, in support of close friends and family who have been affected by cancer. While bringing her organizational and management skills to her position on the Board, while continuing as a dedicated volunteer.

Ramona was born in Iran and spent her early childhood there before moving to the US. She received her undergraduate degree in Indiana and her graduate degree in Arizona before moving to California to begin her career with HP. She lived in the UK and Singapore before settling in Geneva in 2004.

Bill Laneville
Board Secretary

Bill joined the ranks of Geneva’s blissfully retired in June 2020.

Up until then, he was the Controller for the Vitol Group of Companies, responsible for the Group’s external reporting, internal controlling and analysis, and statutory financial reporting.

Prior to joining Vitol, Bill spent 18 years with KPMG, finishing as the managing partner of KPMG’s Geneva office. While at KPMG he audited many not-for-profits and foundations including the International Federation of the Red Cross, the Medicines for Malaria Venture, the World YWCA and many Global Fund national programs.

Bill has a BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA in Accounting from the University of Minnesota. He is also a non-practicing US Certified Public Accountant.

In addition to his professional activities, he’s been Treasurer of St John XXIII Parish in Geneva and Treasurer of the Tennis Club Troinex.

Now that he has retired, he has begun to focus his time on travel, his family, and becoming more actively involved in benevolent activities.

Dave Mason
Treasurer

Dave is a qualified UK Chartered Accountant and a retired partner from PwC Switzerland. Following his graduation from the University of Bristol, UK in Psychology and 2 years working in Meribel, France, Dave joined Coopers & Lybrand in London.

After qualification, he moved to Geneva in 1989 and was promoted to audit partner in 1995. During his career at PwC, Dave has provided audit and accounting services to many of the well-known corporations, NGO’s and UN Agencies which are the backbone of the Geneva economic landscape.

Since his retirement from PwC, he has started working as a teacher, preparing mature students for Swiss Federal qualifications and provides pro bono support to a number of organisations including WWF International and Sentinelles.

Dave has both UK and Swiss nationality and uses his free time fruitlessly trying to reduce his golf handicap.

Janet Voûte
Vice President

Janet Voûte joined the Cancer Support Switzerland board in hopes of sharing her board, business and NGO management experience. She has recently stepped down from her position as a non-executive director at Bupa, a UK headquartered global health insurance and health care company. Currently she Chairs the Nestle Creating Shared Council, an expert advisory council focused on environment, social and governance issues.

From 2010 to 2016, she served as Vice President and Global Head of Public Affairs and was a member of the Nestlé-in-Society Board. Prior to joining Nestlé, Ms Voûte was Partnership Adviser at the World Health Organization focused on non-communicable diseases.  From 2000 to 2008, she held the position of CEO of the World Heart Federation, helping to grow the funding and staff of the organization substantially. She began her career in strategy consulting holding the position of Vice President/Managing Partner Switzerland at Bain & Company.

In addition, she has served as President of the American International Club from 2003-2004, was a member of the American Swiss Chamber of Commerce Geneva chapter, was a member of the board of Project Hope Suisse, a board member at Bamboo Finance and an advisory board member at Al Rajhi Holdings.

Ms Voûte is an honors graduate of Smith College and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She is both Swiss and American, residing in Geneva since 1990. She is the proud mother of three daughters.

Korin Avigdor
Board Member

Korin has been a member, volunteer and peer supporter at Cancer Support Switzerland for several years. She is a frequent presenter on behalf of the association.

Her background is in education and she taught commercial subjects to young adults and trained unemployed persons for 35 years at a private, professional school in Geneva until 2013.

Korin is also a grandmother of five, with wide social contacts in Geneva and speaks English, French, Spanish and Turkish. She has travelled extensively.

Thea McFarlane
Board Member

Thea McFarlane worked as a nursing sister after completing General Nursing. She got her MA in psychology from the University of Cape Town, with an internship in Health Psychology. She was involved in setting up a Cancer Care centre and helped set up and direct an NGO for people living with HIV/AIDS in Cape Town, South Africa. She has over 30 years of experience working with cancer patients after studying with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

Thea has been a counsellor with Cancer Support Switzerland since 2003. Besides teaching at Webster University for 14 years, she has studied sophrology and various Mindfulness Based Interventions. In 2017 Thea moved to the UK and now shares her time working as a Clinical Supervisor in the Oncology Department at the Churchill Hospital, where she runs training programmes for volunteers for the Emergency Department at the John Radcliffe Hospital and an MBCT-Ca course at the Maggie’s Centre in Oxford.

Jessica Silberman Dunant
Board Member

Jessica holds a Degree in Business Administration from the University of Geneva. She spent her entire professional career working in the field of Human Resources in Switzerland and the USA, predominantly for multinational companies but also the ICRC and most recently as CHRO of Geneva Airport.

Pre-retired, Jessica is currently providing HR advice to various not-for-profit organisations. She has been involved with Cancer Support Switzerland, as a volunteer, dragon boat paddler and beneficiary over the past 12 years.

Originally from the USA, she has lived in both the French and German parts of Switzerland, totalling over 40 years. Jessica is the mother of three adult boys and married to a paragliding enthusiast. She keeps her feet firmly on the ground but can be found swimming in the lake if conditions are perfect!

Dr. Conny Vrieling
Board Member

Dr Conny Vrieling has been working in oncology for over 20 years. She started her research with a special focus on breast cancer in the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in Amsterdam, resulting in a PhD. After her training as a radiation oncologist in the NKI, she continued working there with a specialization in breast and prostate cancer.

In 2006, she moved to Geneva where she works as a radiation oncologist at Clinique des Grangettes. Her current research focuses on the cosmetic results after breast-conserving therapy and the long-term outcome of patients with early breast cancer. Being a non-native French speaker herself, she fully understands the importance of the work of Cancer Support Switzerland and is honored to serve on the board.

Stephen Wann
Board Member

Stephen grew up in Dublin, Ireland and his career has taken him to Amsterdam, London, and Geneva where he is now living with his family. He has 20+ years experience in the US, Europe and Asia holding senior positions with General Electric, LBG and HSBC and most recently advising early stage Healthcare companies in Europe. Stephen graduated from Trinity College in Business & Economics, is a Chartered Accountant (KPMG) and has attended Harvard Business School and Säid Business School (Oxford) on Management Programs.

In his spare time he enjoys travelling, skiing, tennis, running and golf. Long since given up on any hope of his own success on the sports field, you will usually find him with one of his three sons on the tennis court or football field or on the slopes.

Dr. Gregory Wirth
Board Member

Dr Gregory Wirth is a urologist specializing in cancer surgery. Trained in Geneva, Vienna and Boston, he practices at the Centre d’Urologie Générale-Beaulieu. He is a regular moderator at the annual Swiss urology conference and an auditor for prostate cancer centers at the German Cancer Society (DKG).

He grew up in an international environment in Strasbourg, France, studied in Freiburg, Germany and has been working in Geneva since 2004.

When he is done with work, he swaps his scrubs for his skiing outfit, bathing suit or hiking gear.