Meet The Team

Caitlin Bernhard

Caitlin Bernhard - Director of Operations

Caitlin Bernhard, MSN, FNP, is a Cannabis Clinician, Herbalist, Integrative Health Coach, and Cannabis Educator with a background in Family Medicine, Reiki and Bodywork, and Hatha Yoga. She resides in Western Massachusetts.

Caitlin is the owner/founder of Azalla Wellness and Azalla Education and she is the Chairperson of the American Cannabis Nurses Association Conference Planning Committee. Caitlin has worked with cannabis medicine since 2017, providing education, consultations, and certifications for cannabis patients in MA and NY. She has created and presented material at informational events and workshops throughout New England and spoken at several national conferences.

Caitlin joyfully came to work with cannabis to escape the brutal reality of modern health care: a broken system driven by pharmaceutical and insurance interests, overpriced services, and fear of litigation—a healthcare system that profits from illness and ignorance of preventative health and wellness. One of the many reasons she loves working with cannabis medicine is that the very process of learning to medicate with this plant is empowering. Working with cannabis and other entheogens allows people to take their health into their own hands and opens the doors to connection with plant medicine and optimal wellness.

Julie Battel - Director of Community Outreach

Julie Battel CNM, MPH is a compassionate and seasoned healthcare professional. Since 2017, Julie has been practicing cannabis medicine as an Advanced Practice Nurse focusing on the unique background and needs of each patient. She is dedicated to educating patients on the various benefits of plant-based medicine.
Julie has expertise in women’s health and neurological conditions. Her interests and goals include incorporating the endocannabinoid system into nursing and medical education, collecting and analyzing data to optimize patient outcomes. She is passionate about working towards racial and economic justice in the cannabis space.

Julie is a member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association, the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine. She has appeared on a number of cannabis podcasts and has presented at multiple educational events throughout Massachusetts.

After graduating from Brown University, Julie earned a Masters degree in both Public Health and Midwifery from Boston University. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer for Project Recovery on the Pine Ridge Reservation and was instrumental in the creation of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Julie practiced as a certified Nurse Midwife at Massachusetts General Hospital for 12 years. She is a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and has held various positions at Planned Parenthood over the years. She’s excited about what the future holds for plant medicine.

Julie Battel
Marissa Fraton

Marissa Fratoni - Director of Communications

Marissa Fratoni is an experienced integrative nurse specializing in women’s/maternal health and behavioral health. She is Azalla Education’s mindfulness leader and resident yoga teacher. For over 20 years, she has practiced in the healing arts realm with a deep  focus on somatic and massage therapy modalities.

Since 2016, Marissa has been involved in the cannabis industry in various roles including manager for a medical cannabis dispensary and telehealth nurse in a certifying healthcare provider’s office. She participates in the advancement of cannabis nursing practice through education and advocacy as a former Director of the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA). Marissa is also an experienced writer in the cannabis space with publications in several cannabis magazines, and she is a contributing author for the first cannabis care nursing textbook – Clark’s Cannabis: A Handbook for Nurses, published in 2021. Through her experiences, Marissa has witnessed improved quality of life for many of her patients with guided implementation of cannabis as a complement to other therapies. Marissa firmly believes in the healing power of mindfulness and entheogenic medicine. She loves to share her knowledge and coach people to be well in mind and body. 


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