Our Board of Directors

President, David D. Clarke MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology Emeritus and Assistant Director at the Center for Ethics at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). He is board-certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine and practiced Gastroenterology in Portland, Oregon from 1984 to 2009.  During that time he diagnosed and treated over 7000 PPD patients.  His book for patients with PPD, They Can’t Find Anything Wrong!, was praised as "truly remarkable" by a past president of the American Psychosomatic Society.  (All royalties are donated to the PPDA.)  He has received numerous awards for patient care and is a member of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, the American Psychosomatic Society and the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association.  He has been a Visiting Professor at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia and at Oxford University in England.  He was also the Ethics Director for his medical group from 2005-2008.  Dr. Clarke lectures on PPD frequently throughout the U.S. and internationally and he has appeared on over 100 TV and radio broadcasts.
His website is


Vice-President, Forest S., MA (economics), MS (mathematics) is an Instructor of Economics at Boston University where he is a PhD candidate.  He specializes in Health Economics and decision-making.  He has created the largest source of information for the public about PPD at  His undergraduate concentration in computer science and experience as a trainer, consultant and integrator in the computer industry, enables him to bring technical expertise to our website.


Frances Sommer Anderson, PhD is a psychoanalyst and psychologist in New York City.  She has worked in the field of physical rehabilitation medicine since 1974 at Rusk Institute at New York University Medical Center on the Psychology Department staff.  She has done groundbreaking research on sexuality and neuromuscular disease and provided diagnostic and clinical services to children and adults with muscular dystrophy.  In 1979, she began treating adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain, a form of PPD, who were under the medical care of John Sarno, MD, Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Rusk Institute.  On leaving Rusk Institute for private practice in 1987, she continued to specialize in treating chronic pain in collaboration with Dr. Sarno.  She is known internationally for her teaching and publications about the body in psychoanalysis and her approach to treating chronic pain.   She was a member of the teaching faculty in the Department of Psychiatry–NYU Medical School from 1989 to 2010.  She is currently on the teaching faculty at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies–Training Institute.  Her websites are and


Alan Gordon, LCSW is a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, CA, specializing in the treatment of chronic pain. Alan is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Southern California, has authored publications on the treatment of chronic pain, and has presented on the topic of pain treatment at hospitals, mental health facilities, and pain centers throughout California. He served as the chair for the Mind-Body Conference at UCLA in 2010.  His website is


Howard Schubiner, MD is board-certified in pediatrics, adolescent medicine, and internal medicine. He was a Professor at Wayne State University for 18 years and now works in the Internal Medicine department at Providence Hospital in Southfield, MI, where he directs the Mind Body Medicine program.  Dr. Schubiner is an active educator, clinician and researcher and has authored over 60 publications in scientific journals and books.  He has been granted several million dollars by the National Institutes of Health to conduct research studies of an emotional expression intervention for individuals with fibromyalgia, which is a form of PPD. 
His web site is


Eric G. Sherman, PsyD is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has been treating patients with PPD since 1983.  Based in New York City, he also provides supervision and training to mental health professionals working with PPD patients.  He is currently co-authoring Pathways to Pain Relief with Frances Sommer Anderson, PhD, a book of case studies about treating patients with PPD pain. 
His website is


Peter P. Zafirides, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Department of Psychiatry and is President & Co-Founder of Central Ohio Behavioral Medicine Inc(COBM) located in Columbus, Ohio. Established in 1997, COBM is a 16-clinician, multidisciplinary private behavioral health care facility. Additionally, Dr. Zafirides is Medical Director of the Homeless Team at Southeast, Inc – the largest community mental health facility in Columbus. Dr. Zafirides has published articles and lectured internationally on the psychiatric treatment of chronic pain.  Dr Zafirides has also spoken nationally on multiple aspects of psychiatry including Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Substance Abuse and Community Mental Health.   He has a weekly radio show called “The Healthy Mind” which focuses on individual empowerment, the mind-body connection and a variety of health & wellness issues. 
His website is

Treasurer, Derek Sapico, MFT is a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, CA who has specialized in the treatment of PPD at the California Headache and Pain Center since 2007.  In a previous position he supervised a team of 8 clinicians performing evidence-based, in-home family therapy. In that position he also monitored billing accuracy and maintained a billing database.


Secretary, Jeff Wentzel, PhD is a clinical psychologist currently practicing in Brooklyn, New York and specializing in treating patients suffering from chronic physical pain as well as other psychophysiological conditions. He also worked extensively with patients suffering from interacting symptoms of physical and emotional distress while serving as a clinical psychology extern for several years at Bellevue Hospital's Pain Management Center. 

PPDA Advisory Board

Neal K. May, PsyD is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City.  Dr. May was a clinical psychology intern in 1979 at Rusk Institute--New York University--Langone Medical Center where she first worked with John E. Sarno, MD in treating patients with PPD.  She completed her psychoanalytic training at the William Alanson White Institute in New York City, where she is a Supervisor of Psychotherapy.  She has treated people with PPD since 1983.