Instructors & Medical Directors


Carmen Recupero, BS, LPTA, CMT, CLT, is a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant and Certified Massage Therapist, with a specialty certification in lymphatic therapy. She has over 25 years of experience in leadership roles with hospitals/health systems, long-term care, healthcare start-ups, and a principal in a continuing-education and consulting business. In 2010, Carmen created Monarch Continuing Education, one of only seven nationwide training programs for allied health certifications and has taught hundreds of students in her lymphatic certification courses. She has been a presenter for Cross Country/ Vyne Education since 2008, lecturing on various topics in healthcare management and in leadership.

Carmen is an MBA graduate at UVA/Darden School of Business. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management from California College of Health Sciences, National City, California and an Associate of Science in Physical Therapy (Magna Cum Laude) from Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Roanoke, Virginia. She completed a 140-hour certification course in Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Complex Decongestive Physiotherapy through the Upledger Institute. Carmen is also a WCC certified wound care specialist through the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy.

Continuing to further her education annually by attending national and international seminars, Carmen stays in touch with the latest research findings on lymphedema. She studied at the Vodder School in Austria during July of 2014 to advance her skills. Her training program was recognized by the National Lymphedema Network in 2010, and she looks forward to the continued development of her programs to educate and train medical professionals in order that they might better help people with lymphatic disorders. Carmen currently lives in Virginia with her husband and 2 children. She enjoys traveling, hiking with her dogs and outdoor activities.



Heather Gragg, MPT, CLT-LANA is a 2002 graduate from West Virginia University where she obtained a Master of Physical Therapy degree. She has a specialty certification in lymphatic therapy and provided lymphatic therapy for patients with a variety of diagnoses in outpatient and inpatient settings for 13 years. Heather developed and implemented a comprehensive Outpatient Lymphedema Clinic where patients travel up to 3 hours to receive treatment. She currently treats patients with a variety of diagnoses, including lymphedema, in an Outpatient Orthopedic Clinic. She lectures regionally about lymphedema and lymphatic therapy. Heather resides in West Virginia with her husband, who practices Veterinary Medicine, and their two young sons.




Susan Isaac, PTA,CLT-LANA, is a 1998 graduate of Midway College. In 2002 Susan took her initial lymphedema training and has since amassed additional hours of speciality training in lymphedema therapy.
Susan has focused on patient treatment and educating the medical community on lymphatic disorders and patient treatment throughout her career. Currently practicing in a hospital-based outpatient lymphedema and wound clinic, she is developing the oncology rehabilitation program with a focus on lymphedema.  Susan joined Monarch Continuing Education as an instructor in 2017.  Her professional memberships include:  APTA 1998 to present; Oncology Section APTA to present; National Lymphedema Network; and PTA Special Interest Group KPT.




Ellen Van Haasteren, OTR/L; CLT-LANA earned her Masters Degree in Athletic Training from University of Virginia in 1985 and Masters in Occupational Therapy from University of Southern Maine in 2003.  She has worked in a variety of clinical settings as an occupational therapist, including school based programs, acute care, neurorehabilitation, and outpatient lymphedema clinics.   She presently works as lymphedema specialist for a home health agency in southern Maine.  Ellen became a certified lymphedema therapist through Monarch Continuing Education in 2013 and has been an assistant instructor and instructor for the certification program since 2014.  She has had advanced training in axillary web syndrome, head and neck lymphedema, and advanced lymphedema techniques. Ellen enjoyes teaching the lymphedema therapy course through Monarch Continuing Education's philosophy of simplifying techniques to improve patien

ts' compliance with self-management.




Karen Ashforth, MS, OTR, CLT-LANA, recieved her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Washington in 1981 and her Master of Science in Energy Medicine from Greenwich (now Holos) University in 2002. With numerous certifications in lympheodema and MLD therapies, Karen has also extensively studied ALS and Alzheimers and published several books on the topics. Privately teaching and consulting on the topic of lympheodema, Karen further works as an occupational therapist at St. Joseph's Medical Center in California. She serves in the doctoral physical therapy program at the University of the Pacific.




Tara Riddle, MOT, CLT, OTR/L, graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and in 2009 received a post-graduate certificate in Rural Health from East Tennessee State University.  She was part of the inaugural Master of Occupational Therapy class at Radford University and Graduated in 2011. She is married to her husband, William Riddle, and they have a one-year-old daughter, Claire.  Tara enjoys reading and music, especially the band Phish.






Dr. Harry McCoy was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He received a B.A. in psychology at the University of Virginia and attended the University of Virginia Medical School, where he obtained his M.D. Dr. McCoy did his internship, residency, and then four-year fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Florida. He is board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, internal medicine and hospice, and palliative care.

Dr. McCoy has multiple scientific publications. With a broad interest in hematology, oncology, and in palliative care, he has been a hospice director for many years.

Dr. McCoy is married and has two children. He and his family enjoy living in the New River Valley.






Dr. Peter Recupero, DO is an internal medicine specialist in Blacksburg, VA and has been practicing for 20 years. He graduated from Kansas City University of Osteopathic Medicine in 1999 and is dually boarded in Nephrology and Internal Medicine. He is the Director of Medical Education at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery and Discipline Chair Internal Medicine at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine(VCOM).