Presenting the Team!
At the Health & Wellness Center, it is our goal to make sure you feel your best and stay that way. You can count on
our many years of experience, our highly trained team of wellness professionals, and exquisite professional service.
Read below to learn more about our team.
Irina Pruteanu, MA & Practice Manager
Irina is the practice manager at THWC. She manages the allergy program, corresponds daily with our billing team and has an active interest in the company's well-being. She is an MA that has been in the healthcare industry for 9 years (even though she’s been practicing since she was 5) with her previous position being in healthcare administration. Her passion for patient care is what drives her to succeed. Her interpersonal skills and respect for individual differences help her maintain the delicate balance of work and family life. Irina plans on achieving many more goals in her life, but her greatest accomplishment will always be her role as a mother.
Taron Blount, Business Practice Administrator
My name is Taron Blount, B.S., MBA and I am the Business/Practice Manager. I was born and raised in St. Louis, Mo. During middle school, I decided that I wanted to be an Electrical Engineer. I thought it would be cool to make the parts that make electricity. This changed during my senior year in high school. After a talk with my My Uncle Ronald, who I have looked up to for many years, I decided that getting my MBA was a better choice. Since that time, I have accomplished that goal. Now I can proudly say that I am working side-by-side with my amazing sister and a great team. I am married and I have two handsome and smart sons.
My goal is to help anyone get their life filled with happiness, healthiness, wellness and fulfillment. I can only help those that want my help. I can say with the help of my sister, I am not only the Manager, but also a patient. I love my sister, I love this center, and I love what we stand for with the health and wellness of the community. I am on a mission to help as many people as I can to live a strong and healthy life.
Shasta Demecs, Registered Nurse
My name is Shasta Demecs. I currently live in St. Louis with my 6-year-old son Tristin and our dog Tonka. I found that my place in this world is anywhere that I can help educate and care for people in trying to achieve their highest level of health, using my skills as a Registered Nurse.
My journey began at a small nursing home in Cape Girardeau, MO. This is where I became a certified nursing assistant. I cared for the elderly and specialized in an ambulatory Alzheimer’s unit. It is where I began to see the reward I felt when I could bring joy, peace and quality care to the people I was responsible for. In 2000, I graduated from Applied Technologies Licensed Practice Nurse Program which is where I met Secil for the first time. I stayed in Orthopedics for about another year. From there I did Agency Nursing. I worked as a home health nurse, in nursing homes, and at a couple of local hospitals. I saw in myself that I could do more, but was limited as a Practice Nurse. I went to Lutheran School of Nursing where I graduated in 2004, second in my class.
Immediately after graduation, I started working at Des Peres Hospital in the Intensive Care Unit that specialized in Cardiac Care. I worked at Des Peres for a total of 10 years. After 3 years of ICU, I joined the float pool team. I worked in all areas of the hospital including Endoscopy, Cardiac Cath Lab, Orthopedics, Acute Care for the Elderly, Cardiac Telemetry, General Medical-Surgical, Cardiac Care Unit, and Outpatient Surgery. The Administration Team then offered a position to become a part of that team as a House Supervisor. This opportunity showed me a whole other side to working in the medical field. Still a member of the Float Pool team, I was then "floated" to the cardiology practice, Advanced Heart and Vascular. I once again was introduced to an entirely different aspect of nursing as an office nurse. After a year there, I was offered an opportunity to work in a larger cardiology practice.
I have also been fortunate to have developed relationships with so many caring, competent, and successful people. The one relationship I am most thankful for in my journey is the one I have with my best friend, Secil. We have come a long way in our nursing careers and we both have taken different paths. I believe that our method is going to play a huge role in making our community healthier and happier, one patient at a time.
Sophai Tach, FNP-C, DNP
My name is Sophai Tach and I am a certified family nurse practitioner. I started my career in nursing in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Saint Louis University. I completed my Doctorate in Nursing Practice at the University of Missouri- St. Louis in 2019. I have worked in community health for the past five years and have spent three years in obesity management research. What these experiences taught me was the enormous impact of the environment on health and behavior. Each individual’s environment, behavior, and genetic makeup are unique warranting personalized health treatment plans.
Outside of the clinic, you can find me working out, playing sand volleyball, learning healthy recipes, and hanging out at coffee shops. I look forward to learning about you and providing care for you.
Derek Christopher, Nurse Practitioner
My name is Derek Christopher and I am a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, born and raised here in Saint Louis, Missouri. I started my career as a Registered Nurse 9 years ago in an acute care setting on the Kidney/Liver Transplant floor at Barnes Jewish Hospital. While Transplant was my home, I also worked many different areas of the hospital from time to time, even including a small stent in the Emergency Room. Having gained that overall experience, I began to realize that while I loved helping people get better, I more so wanted to help prevent people from getting sick which is what led me to become passionate about getting involved in health promotion and prevention. I wanted more than to help treat a short hospital stay, I wanted to help treat a full lifespan.
That being said, I jumped back into school and in 2016, graduated with my Nurse Practitioner degree from Maryville University. I soon thereafter embarked on a journey across country to Nevada to begin my new career working Family Medicine in a rural clinic. While there I became introduced into the world of Aesthetics and later obtained certification in both Botox and Dermal Fillers. Now, back in this great ole city of Saint Louis, my mission.....should you choose, isn’t for YOU to be the person I think you should be, but to help you be the person YOU want YOU to be.
Antionette Collins, Medical Assistant
My name is Antionette Collins, I am a Medical Assistant at The Health and Wellness Center. I have been in the healthcare industry for 15 years. My goals with the company is to provide the best patient care and satisfy all requirements the best I can.
In my free time I like to travel. I’ve been to Belize, Mexico, Bahamas and Key West; those are some of my favorites. My dream trip is to finally go to Paris, France. I look forward to meeting each of you!
Sarah Mujdzic, Medical Assistant
My name is Sarah Mujdzic, I am a former Paramedic and currently attend a University for a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies. Once that is complete, I will further my education with a Doctorate in Physician Assistant studies. My ultimate goal is to help the people of my community and provide a smooth healthcare experience.
Outside of the clinic, you can find me relaxing at home with my dogs and cat or taking spontaneous last-minute trips.
I’m big on nature and mountains, so a lot of my trips take place in scenic areas. Also, I am a foodie so on your next visit I’d appreciate any restaurant recommendations.