We promote preventative health care and holistic wellbeing.
Our organization aims to increase awareness of preventable diseases that impact community health. We focus on preventing these avoidable diseases through motivating the community to make healthy choices, promoting cancer screenings, and raising awareness for various health concerns.
Meet Our Steering Committee
Aparna Mele, M.D.
Aparna Mele, M.D. is a board certified gastroenterologist with Digestive Disease Associates since 2007. She came to the field of medicine with extensive experience in international relief work overseas and is actively involved in local philanthropic work directed towards patient education and promotion of societal health.
She started My Gut Instinct, her nonprofit organization, to educate the community about self-empowerment towards better health through better dietary choices, regular exercise, and preventative care. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, doing crossfit, playing the piano, gourmet cooking, and travelling around the world.
Alicia is a Regional Media Sales Executive with Hoffmann Publishing Group and manages the media sales and account service activities for many of their regional clients through their niche market magazines. She is native to Berks County and has an active lifestyle which includes walking, dancing and yoga. She enjoys buying fresh produce at local farmers markets and juicing. Alicia is a passionate community volunteer who enjoys making new connections to partner within building the community. She has volunteered with the United Way of Berks County, Helping Harvest, West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation, Salvation Army, and Belle of the Ball to name a few. Alicia is also passionate about the environment and has implemented small changes in her lifestyle to be more eco-friendly. In her spare time Alicia enjoys traveling to eclectic shops, restaurants, community events and unique destination experiences.
Erica was born in Philadelphia, but has spent most of her life in Berks County. Since 2008 she has been working in banking and has enjoyed helping people to reach their financial goals, and is currently with Sun Federal Credit Union doing business development. In her spare time you can find her kayaking, skiing, or spending time with her dog and husband in Bern township. "Serving and volunteering has always been my passion, and I love the mission of My Gut Instinct and am very excited to meet members of the community at our events, while increasing awareness about health and wellness in Berks County"
Derek is a Behavior Specialist with the Redco Group in Temple, PA and has supported adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health diagnoses for over 13 years. He enjoys being active at St. Peter’s UCC heading the stewardship team on the consistory board. Derek serves the wider church as the treasurer of the UCC Covenant Association of churches in and near Berks County. He leads an active lifestyle volunteering, sports and recreation, and visiting restaurants, shops and farmer’s markets in different cities. Derek likes to brew beer, ferment foods such as kombucha and cook new recipes for fun. He was introduced to My Gut Instinct through volunteering and immediately felt inspired by the team and connected to the mission.
Haley is a Berks County native who cares about her community’s well-being. Having been diagnosed with Chrohn’s Disease at a young age, the My Gut Instinct cause is near and dear to her heart. She currently works full-time at Penske Truck Leasing and is an Alvernia University alumni; where she received her undergraduate degree in Business Management. She is working on earning her graduate degree in Human Resource Development from Villanova University. In her free time, Haley enjoys running, rock climbing, obstacle course racing, and yoga.
Laural is a passionate professional who has experience in leadership, training and development, operations and is a Professional Certified Coach. She is a native to Reading, Pa and loves this city. She is passionate about whole - life wellness and focuses on the concept of holistic living with her coaching clients. She currently works full-time as a VP of Employee Development with a local non-profit and runs her coaching business part-time. She is an Alvernia Alumni where she received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in business. In her free time you can find her hiking, kayaking, indulging in many different healthcare practices such as acupuncture, salt room therapy, visiting farmer's markets and attending mindfulness classes. She is very excited to serve on MGI board and give back to her community.
Web & Graphics
Maria is the founder and creative director of her graphic and web development studio, MariaVida Creative. She is also a former podcast host, a CrossFit-L1 trainer, a Certified Pre-&Postnatal Coach and mom of 2 daughters. After over 10 years in the creative field in both agency and education settings, she left the corporate world to pursue her own business right before she the birth of her first daughter. Maria now run a thriving design business and has merged her passion for teaching, health and fitness through coaching.