Our Team

Dr. Karen Wonders

Founder and CEO

Karen Wonders, Ph.D. is the Founder and Director of Maple Tree Cancer Alliance®. She first became interested in Cancer Exercise Rehabilitation in 2003, while earning her doctoral degree in Exercise Physiology at the University of Northern Colorado. There, she became certified as a Cancer Exercise Specialist and worked at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute as a cancer exercise trainer. It was through this work experience that she was able to witness first-hand the positive effect that supervised exercise and proper nutrition can have on the life of an individual being treated with cancer.

In 2006, Dr. Wonders moved with her family to Dayton, Ohio. Currently, Dr. Wonders works as a Professor of Exercise Science at Wright State University, and serves as the Director of the Sports Science program. Dr. Wonders remains an active researcher in the area of exercise and cancer treatment-related pain and neuropathy and has given over 100 presentations on the national, state, and local levels as well as authored several professional manuscripts, books, and book chapters on this topic.

Finally, Dr. Wonders also holds a Master’s degree in Ministry from Cedarville University. With this degree, she hopes to provide Christ-centered encouragement to those who are battling cancer.

Dr. Jay K Harness

Chief Medical Officer

Jay K. Harness, MD, FACS is a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California- Irvine and a breast surgeon at both St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA and Northern Inyo Hospital in Bishop, CA. Dr. Harness received both his MD degree and training in general surgery at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. He then remained on the faculty at the University of Michigan and developed one of the first United States academic multidisciplinary breast centers in 1985. Dr. Harness left the University of Michigan in 1989 and spent two years at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston where he also established a multidisciplinary breast center at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Subsequently, he came to Oakland, California in 1991 to join the University of California-East Bay Department of Surgery where he was a Professor and Chief of Surgical Oncology at Highland General Hospital.  The opportunity to direct his third multidisciplinary breast program at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA came in the summer of 2003. He started his fourth breast surgery program at Northern Inyo Hospital in Bishop, CA in 2016. 

Over the years, Dr. Harness has been known for his work in the fields of endocrine and breast surgery, as well as the use of ultrasound in surgical practice. He is a member of several national and international surgical societies and associations.  He is a Past-President of:  Breast Surgery International (BSI), The American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) and the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES).  He has authored over 100 scientific articles and book chapters and has been the lead editor of 3 textbooks. His most recent books, The Breast Cancer Answers Book and Operative Approaches to Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy: Indications, Techniques, & Outcomes were published in 2016. He is a co-founder and Medical Director of Breast Cancer Answers (www.breastcanceranswers.com) which is a Social Media video site for breast cancer patients, family members and friends.

Kathryn H. Schmitz

Chief Science Officer

Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, FACSM, is a Professor of Public Health Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine. She is clinical trialist who has led many exercise trials.  Dr. Schmitz has also translated her work into clinical practice.  She has also served as president of the American College of Sports Medicine.  Dr Schmitz chairs the Global Exercise Is Medicine Governing Committee and she is the founder of the Moving Through Cancer Initiative of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Dr. Schmitz has published over 260 peer reviewed scientific papers (h-index 62) and has had $25 million dollars in funding for her research since 2001.  She was the lead author of the first ACSM Roundtable on Exercise for Cancer Survivors.  In March 2018 Dr. Schmitz co-chaired an International Multidisciplinary ACSM Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer Prevention and Control.  The physicians, outpatient rehabilitation specialists, researchers, and exercise professionals in the room broadly agreed it is time for exercise oncology to go prime time.  The question is how.  Dr. Schmitz’ professional mission is to answer that question.


Laura Miller, Business Operations and Marketing

Andrew Wonders, Finance

Amy Jo Sutterly, Director of Education

Dr. Jessica Brown, Certification

SF Leadership Team

Sara Rice: sara.rice@mapletreecanceralliance.org

Ben Kutz: ben.kutz@mapletreecanceralliance.org



At Maple Tree, each Exercise Oncology Instructor holds a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, as well as our nationally recognized, NASM-accredited Exercise Oncology Instructor certification.


Jill Reese, MS, RN, AGCNS-BC, OCN
Dayton Physicians Network
Board President

Stephen Updegraff
UAI Accounting and Tax Services

Kelly McCluskey-Erskine, MD
Far Hills OBGYN

Josh Francis
University of Dayton

Jeffrey Gammell
Attorney at Law

Ken Winter
Heritage Fellowship Church