Biographies | Meet the NDC Team

Document created by NDC.Treatment.Team on Apr 24, 2018Last modified by NDC.Treatment.Team on May 1, 2018
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NDC GroupBack (L to R): Barbara L. Dallavalle, Michael V. Burke, Dr. Ebbert, Dr. J. Taylor Hays, Heather Kraling-Coons and Virginia Fitch-Braun
Front (L to R): Therese Shumaker and Laura McConahey. Not Pictured: Jennifer Burden and Kathleen K. Zarling
Jennifer Burden, PhD.

Jennifer Burden, Ph.D.

I received a Doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies, and Master’s Degrees in both Marriage and Family Therapy and Community Psychology, from Michigan State University. As a counselor-educator, I have championed healthy human functioning by working in the positions of: marriage and family therapist; parenting, adolescent chronic illness management, and substance abuse prevention - researcher, program developer, and educator; and psychology college instructor. As a new counselor at the NDC, I am excited about the opportunity to empower tobacco dependent patients to live healthy lifestyles.

Michael V. Burke, EdDMichael V. Burke, EdD

I have a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Rutgers University, a Master Degree in Human Service from Lincoln University and a current appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Mayo College of Medicine.  I have a keen interest in helping people stop smoking. During the past 20 years, as a Quit center coordinator in New Jersey, and Program Director at Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center I have provided support and treatment to more than 2500 people who struggle with tobacco addition


I’ve served as President of the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence and chaired the committee that developed practice standards for Tobacco Treatment Specialists. My research interests include integration of treatment into clinical care and behavioral treatment for addiction treatment.

Barbara L. Dallavalle, MA, LP, CTTSBarbara L. Dallavalle, MA, LP, CTTS

I am a master’s level licensed psychologist with experience in a wide variety of therapeutic venues including in-home therapy, day treatment, groups for school-age children, as well as outpatient clinic settings.  I have worked with children, adolescents, as well as adults, covering such issues as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.


Since 1998, I have worked as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist at the Nicotine Dependence Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN providing tobacco cessation counseling in the outpatient, hospital, and residential treatment settings.


I am also a Certified Wellness Coach, and have served as an instructor for the Mayo Wellness Coach Training program.

Virginia Fitch-Braun, MS, CTTSVirginia Fitch-Braun, MS, CTTS

I have a Master’s Degree from the UW-Stout in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with concentrations in Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Child and Adolescent Counseling. Previously, I have worked as an Intern at a college counseling center and at as a therapist in a residential treatment facility working with young adults.  I have had experience in working with individuals with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, grief and trauma, domestic violence, and substance use disorders. In my current role as a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist, I find interest in tobacco use and the neurobiology of substances. The joy of my job comes from learning from the client’s personal experience to then work together and develop an individualized treatment plan. One of the many things I enjoy about the Nicotine Dependence Center at Mayo Clinic, is the variety of work settings where people in all walks of life can be seen whether it is in a hospital, outpatient, or residential setting.


I have a passion for holistic health/ mental health and wellbeing and I am working towards becoming a certified wellness coach.

Heather Kraling-Coons, MA, CTTSHeather Kraling-Coons, MA, CTTS

 I received my Master’s Degree in Counseling and Psychological services from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.  I began my career as an in-home therapist working with children and their families.  I have experience treating individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, domestic violence, and families involved with child protection.  As a tobacco treatment specialist, at Mayo Clinic, I enjoy working with individuals in the inpatient, outpatient, and residential settings to assist with tobacco cessation.  It is rewarding to help individuals develop their quit plan and create strategies to address anticipated triggers and challenges so they can continue their goal of being tobacco free.

Laura McConahey, MS , CTTSLaura McConahey, MS , CTTS

I received my Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Winona State University. During graduate school, I interned at Empower focusing on Drug, Alcohol and Domestic Violence Counseling. I also interned at Compassion Counseling and has experience with Therapeutic Horseback Riding with children and adults with physical and mental disabilities. Previously, I was a Program Manager and Lead Counselor at a group home with Adults with Autism. As a Tobacco Treatment Specialist, I enjoy working with individuals regarding tobacco cessation in the inpatient, outpatient and residential settings.

Therese Shumaker, MA, RDN, CTTS, NBC-HWCTherese Shumaker, MA, RDN, CTTS, NBC-HWC

I have worked in the field of Nutrition and Wellness for over 25 years. I am a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, having received academic appointment from the Mayo Clinic as Instructor in Nutrition in 2014. I have obtained my Master’s degrees in both exercise science and counseling.  I currently work in the Nicotine Dependence Center as the Program Director for Mayo Clinic’s Tobacco Treatment Specialist training program. I am a nationally board certified health and wellness coach and serve as faculty in the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coaching Training Program. I am an adjunct faculty member at Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota, teaching courses on motivational interviewing and counseling skills.

Kathleen K. Zarling, MS, APRN, NC-BC, CTTSKathleen K. Zarling, MS, APRN, NC-BC, CTTS

I received my Dual Master’s Degree in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing and Nursing Education, from the University of Minnesota. Additionally, I obtained a Post-Master’s Certificate as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health, from Winona State University, and have spent my nursing career in Cardiology, here at Mayo Clinic. Recently, I have joined the Nicotine Dependence Center, as a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist, where I consult with patients, in inpatient, outpatient, and residential settings. My passion is to offer patients support and information so that they may make the best health choices for themselves.