Dr. Abaci is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate education at UC San Diego, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and attended medical school at the University of Southern California. During his last year of residency, he served as Chief Resident and participated in a senior elective in pain management. That experience sparked an interest that led him to UC San Francisco, where he completed his fellowship training in Pain Management. In private practice since 1996, he serves as the Medical Director of the nationally recognized Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center, located in Los Gatos, California, which he co-founded with Dr. John Massey. A widely respected expert on chronic pain management and a highly successful chronic pain sufferer, he is the author of 'Take Charge of Your Chronic Pain: The Latest Research, Cutting-Edge Tools, and Alternative Treatments for Feeling Better'.
Dr. Abaci began his quest to radically change conventional chronic pain thinking and treatment after dealing with the agony of his second anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. There is help for conquering chronic pain, without a life addicted to drugs, and hope for healing and long-term health. Commonly prescribed pain-killing medications—Vicodin, Demerol, Oxycontin, and other narcotics—can result in a heightened sensitivity to pain, along with addiction. This has lead Dr. Abaci to focus on developing alternative solutions to treating chronic pain. Drawing on neuroscience research, evidence-based medicine, ancient Eastern spiritual traditions, stress management techniques, nutrition principles, exercise programs, art therapy, and real-life lessons, Dr. Abaci focuses on creating an integrative pain-fighting regimen for his patients.
I received my bachelor's degree in Nursing at San Jose State University and later completed my Master's degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner at San Jose State University in 2020. I am board certified from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, I worked for several years as a Nurse in a Step down/progressive care unit taking care of neuro, telemetry and trauma patients. I enjoy educating my patients and empowering them to advocate for themselves and become an active player in their health plan. Outside of work I love spending time with my family.
Kayla Ormandy, AMFT, ATR-P is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Provisional Art Therapist. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Antioch Los Angeles in 2017, and Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University in 2020. Prior to studying psychology, Kayla studied the healing of the body. She graduated in 2007 from Colorado Institute of Massage Therapy where she studied Neuromuscular Therapy, Joint Movement and Sports Massage. In 2011 she completed a 200-hour Yoga Teaching Certification from Root Education and Apprenticeship which deepened her understanding of the effect of mindfulness and breath work on restoring balance to the central nervous system. This background provided Kayla with unique insights into how interwoven the mind and the body are when it comes to the healing process. In clinical practice, Kayla brings these experiences to her psychotherapeutic clients by incorporating art-making, breathing practices, and mindfulness. Her professional experience includes treating anxiety and stress, grief, self-esteem issues, substance use, adjustment difficulties, neurological disorders, and trauma. Kayla approaches pain management through DBT, redefining values, and reconstructing identity. She feels honored to assist clients in developing a more positive relationship with themselves and their bodies at both Los Gatos and Capitola Bay Area Pain & Wellness Centers.
Kelly was inspired to become a nurse because she cares about the well-being of people. As a nurse, she enjoys providing comprehensive, holistic, compassionate health care. She is enthusiastic, encouraging, and collaborative in her approach to patient care. She wants her patients to feel they are a partner in the treatment of their pain and their journey toward wellness. Kelly is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center since 2006. She has been providing excellent care for our chronic pain patients since 2015. She achieved her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from UC Davis in 2003 and her Master’s Degree in Nursing from Vanderbilt University in 2006. She is a member of the SafeRX group of pain medicine prescribers in Santa Cruz County. Kelly is an advocate for the multidisciplinary team approach to treating chronic pain and strives to help her patients have access to this type of care to help them be well.
Leah Johnson is a Licensed Physical Therapy Assistant, Certified Pilates Instructor through Polestar Pilates, and Certified Massage Therapist. While working as a physical therapy assistant for the past nine years, her main focus has been outpatient orthopedics and chronic pain where she combines her manual therapy and Pilates skills to achieve optimal outcomes. Her experience ranges from pediatrics to geriatric populations and includes rehabilitation from post-operative injuries, orthopedic injuries, incontinence, and chronic disorders such as low back and neck pain. Leah obtained her Associate in Science Degree in Physical Therapy Assisting (PTA) at Loma Linda University in 2009. She obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree with an emphasis in Exercise Science through the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science at Sacramento State University in 2006. She currently provides physical therapy at Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center in Capitola.
Mark Johnson graduated from California State University Hayward (East Bay) with his Master of Science Degree in Counseling Psychology. He received his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Clinical Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine at the University of North Texas where he served as Assistant Clinical Coordinator in the UNT Neurotherapy Lab and developed strong interests in clinical applications of QEEG (brainmapping), neurofeedback, biofeedback, electromedicine, and other cutting edge technologies. He went on to complete his doctoral residency in the Medical Psychology track at Duke University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, with primary rotations in chronic pain/biofeedback and sleep. He is currently a Licensed Psychologist specializing in multi-modal interventions for chronic pain and co-occurring disorders such as sleep, addiction, trauma, and mood disorders. Mark’s research publications focus on clinical topics in neurofeedback/biofeedback. Mark’s experience with ameliorating his own chronic pain inspired him to pursue his doctorate in health psychology to better understand the facets of his own rehabilitation, and to better understand how to assist others. Mark’s core training included an interdisciplinary understanding of biopsychosocial factors relevant to health and illness and the applications of this knowledge to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation; emphasis of the integration of biological and behavioral science approaches to the promotion of health, the prevention and treatment of illness, and the identification of etiological and diagnostic correlates of illness and health; and mind/body interaction based on knowledge of the physiological antecedents of illness and health. Mark utilizes evidence-based (as well as evidence-informed) approaches that are supported by the scientist-practitioner model.
Michelle graduated from Saint Cloud State University in 2002 with a Bachelor's of Science in Social Work and Minor in Human Relations. With an interest in natural health and fitness and a passion for helping others enhance their lives holistically, she became a Certified Personal and Group trainer. While working with a variety of age groups and physical levels she taught fitness and meditation classes and mentored clients one on one in a medical sports facility. She moved with her family to the Bay Area in 2016 and began working at Bay Area Pain and Wellness as a Personal Trainer and Wellness Instructor and has since also taken on the role of Functional Restoration Program Coordinator. With her background in human and physical science and various certifications in mindfulness practices, she finds a deeper understanding of people as a whole. When Michelle is not at work she is applying what she teaches others to her own life, striving to maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, running, strength training, yoga, cooking, singing in a band and enjoying the abundance of beauty in the Santa Cruz area.
Shamay Singian is a Family Nurse Practitioner who graduated from Samuel Merritt University. She has experience with primary care with a focus on cardiology. She is also well-versed in wound care, acute and long-term care, and case management. With over ten years of work in the healthcare industry, she brings a broad set of skills and experiences to the practice.
With Shamay as your provider, not only will you receive up-to-date and evidence-based care, but you will also experience an individualized holistic approach to your Health accompanied with compassion, empathy, and a positive outlook.
In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, movies, and reading novels.
Stephanie Soto, LMFT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and with a certification in Art Therapy. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, in the Health and Development Track and Studio Art at Stanford University. She completed her Master of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy at Notre Dame de Namur University. She has specialized in trauma and grief counseling for over 10 years and is passionate about guiding others to find their unique path towards healing. Stephanie joined the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center in 2017. She provides psychoeducation in a group setting to those with chronic pain in the Functional Restoration Program. Trained in Focusing meditation, she also provides mindfulness and relaxation techniques to attend to the body-mind-spirit connection.