Christine Lyss, R.N.
When Christine’s mother died of breast cancer, she vowed to dedicate her life to working toward a cure. By anyone’s count, she’s kept that promise. She has been an oncology nurse. A volunteer. An advocate. And she’s been an integral part of Gateway to Hope since its founding, growing the program, recruiting medical professionals, and helping to establish partnerships with hospitals and ambulatory care facilities. “My job doesn’t end when I leave here. It will never end until breast cancer ends.” Christine’s experience as an oncology nurse makes her the perfect person to help navigate patients through their treatment and recovery. She goes beyond the job description, communicating with patients as people, not case files. “I believe you should get involved in their background and stories. You really come to understand what their hardships are – their emotional and physical needs. Then you can create a plan, together, that addresses those needs.” Seeing women go from despair to hope inspires Christine every day – the resilience, their willingness to give back. It’s the most rewarding part of her work. Even when Christine leaves the office, she is never off the clock. She has been a longstanding member and leader in the St. Louis Breast Cancer Coalition. Christine sets an example for women everywhere, staying healthy and sharing the Gateway to Hope message.
Jane Roodman Weiss, R.N., B.S.N.
Jane has had over 30 plus years of experience in the field medical oncology and clinical oncology education. She has been working at Gateway to Hope since the inception in 2005. Jane initially assisted in creating the infrastructure of the GTH program, building the foundation for GTH today. Since that time, she has offered her expertise in helping patients navigate through the treatment process as well as providing emotional support and financial assistance through the GTH program and services. Jane also focuses on outreach efforts, raising awareness of GTH. Jane received the 2016 Gateway to Hope Visionary Award for her dedication and contribution.
Prior to joining GTH, Jane provided breast health education for high school and college students across the St. Louis region through the Check It Out program, touching over 3000 individuals. She was honored for this effort, receiving the Hadassah Leadership Award. Previously, Jane worked at The Jewish Hospital of St. Louis for several years, as the coordinator of the outpatient lymphoma service. Prior to that, she worked in the outpatient medical oncology division as a clinical oncology nurse, where she participated in management of clinical trials, administered chemotherapy, and offered cancer treatment education for patients. Jane also worked in the outpatient Bone and Mineral Metabolism Division, coordinating clinical trials as well as the cardiac step-down unit at Jewish Hospital.
Jane received her RN diploma at the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing and her bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University. Jane has certification in chemotherapy administration and critical care nursing. She formerly served on the advisory board of the St. Louis University School of Nursing.
Keri Koehler, LMSW
When Keri graduated from Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work she knew her passion would be to pursue a career in medical social work. Embarking on this path was the optimal way for her to ensure that individuals have access to high quality health care. Keri firmly believes that an individual with a chronic illness is so much more than a diagnosis. “I believe each individual deserves all the support needed to successfully navigate the complicated health care system.” Keri is well prepared to take on the challenges of the newly launched Insurance Premium Program at Gateway to Hope. She vigorously works to assist individuals diagnosed with breast cancer or at high risk for developing the disease, with the cost of their health insurance premiums and with their basic household expenses to ease financial hardship. It is evident from Keri’s experience interning at BJC Hospice Center, the Saint Louis University Cancer Center and serving as the Program Coordinator for the Young Women’s Breast Cancer Program that she has a strong passion and deep commitment for working with oncology patients. She brings a high level of knowledge to each and every individual she helps. “My goal as a Program Social Worker at Gateway to Hope is to combine my interests and passions to help an even greater number of individuals that need medical, emotional and financial assistance. I am very grateful for the opportunity to guide so many deserving individuals with breast cancer through their treatment journey.”
A seasoned executive with corporate, government and nonprofit experience, Katie Manga joined Gateway to Hope in 2018. Most recently she served as senior vice president of Advancement and External Affairs at the Wyman Center, Inc., where she was responsible for the design, implementation and overall leadership of strategic initiatives to secure operating and growth capital to serve youth in need. Prior to that, she worked for several years at The Boeing Company, where she held local and national leadership roles with teams engaging in strategic community investment, grassroots outreach and government affairs. She has also held policy and outreach roles in her native of state of Florida, serving as a staff member at the state legislative level and for a U.S. Senator. Always committed to the health and well-being of girls and women, she has served on several nonprofit boards, including her current service on the Girls on the Run St. Louis Advisory Council following six years of board service there.
Manga received her Master of Science in Political Science from Florida State University, and Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from University of Central Florida. She is currently pursuing the Executive Leadership Certificate At Harvard University’s Kennedy School Executive Education Program. She is a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders.
Tracy became involved with Gateway to Hope in 2009 as a member of the Young Friends Committee, and has served as the Executive Assistant and Development Coordinator for the organization since 2012. She is actively involved in the St. Louis community as a member of the Angels’ Arms Guardian Angel Board and as a class chair for the Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School (MICDS) annual fund campaign.
As a multi-talented professional, Monique Parasram brings years of unique experience to the Gateway to Hope team. As an attorney, she has worked as in-house counsel for both start-ups and established small businesses. Her expertise in organizational operations, insurance policies, and vendor management are just a few of the qualities that made her a great fit for the organization. Monique is an innovative thinker and leader who offers a fresh perspective that will position Gateway to Hope for future growth and help serve more patients. Monique received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida, and J.D. from St. Thomas University School of Law.