Management Team

Alex%20Howard%20-19Founder and Chairman – Alex Howard BSc(Hons)

Alex Howard is Founder and CEO of the clinic. Alex suffered from M.E. for seven years, and spent two years virtually bed-bound. After reaching the point of total desperation, Alex made the commitment of doing everything he could to turn around his own situation and help others in similar situations. Soon after his recovery Alex had published his first book“WHY ME? My Journey from M.E. to Health and Happiness,” and has continued to work tirelessly and with great dedication to help those affected by M.E.

In addition to his work with OHC, Alex is also founder of an online platform exploring how we can live a more conscious life.  Alex lives in North London with his wife Tania, and their two young daughters Marli and Ariella.

CEO – Kirsty Cullen, BA (Hons), DipBCNH, mBANT, CNHC

Kirsty worked within the executive recruitment industry for 10 years, operating at senior management level. Her interest in nutrition began as a consequence of health issues experienced by her own daughter. Having investigated ways in which to support her daughter’s health, Kirsty was inspired by the improvement in her daughter’s condition following the application of nutritional therapy principles and dietary change. This proved to be a turning point both personally and professionally, and Kirsty made the decision to pursue a career in nutrition, later graduating from BCNH – UK College of Nutrition with Distinction.

Following graduation Kirsty embraced a number of different and exciting career opportunities through the establishment of her own nutrition clinic, which encompassed working within the corporate wellness sector and also undertaking a number of nutrition roles within the professional sports arena. This included working as a Nutritional Therapist at St George’s Park National Football Centre and also for the League Managers Association, assessing and advising football managers and elite athletes on health and nutrition. Kirsty also worked as Lead Nutritional Therapist at Derby County Football Club, establishing an umbrella nutrition strategy for the club, in addition to providing one-to-one nutrition and health advice for all players from the first team through to academy players.

Kirsty joined the team at the Optimum Health Clinic in 2011 working within the nutrition support team initially, followed by a role within the practitioner team and then subsequently as Director of Nutrition for the clinic. Having experienced her own mother’s struggles with M.E/CFS, Kirsty has always had a particularly personal interest in the specialist focus and overarching aims of OHC. She strongly believes in equipping clients with an improved understanding of both their own biochemistry and the positive health impacts that integrative and functional medicine based approaches can achieve.

Director of Psychology – Jess Thompson  BSc(Hons) Psychology, Dip counselling, PGCE, Dip.Clin.Hyp.NLP.Coach.EFT

Jess fell ill with ME as a teacher and mother of two young boys and the illness had a major effect on all aspects of her life. After getting her life back through coming to OHC as a patient, and through her own journey of healing, Jess made the decision to embark on a counselling career. Having worked as a counsellor in both a hospice setting and as an independent practitioner, working with a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, phobias, bereavement and stress, Jess also went on to train on the OHC practitioner training course. In addition to her professional qualifications, Jess brings a wealth of experience from her own healing journey, and immensely enjoys supporting others in finding their own answers and assisting them on their journey to a better life.

Director of Nutrition – Sara Jackson, Dip CNM Nat, Dip CNM Nut, mBANT, rCNHC

Having worked in senior management roles in the fashion industry most of her career, a cancer diagnosis caused Sara to explore the life changing benefits of nutrition and integrative medicine to assist her recovery and stay well.

The power of natural medicine resonated so much with her that she retrained as a nutritional therapist and naturopath at CNM, London as soon as she was well enough, and she has been forging a successful career in integrative medicine ever since. Sara built up a successful private practice, running wellness events, nutrition writing as well as being regularly called on as an expert to speak on various panels before joining the team at The Optimum health Clinic.

Sara offers her clients the knowledge that comes from being an experienced practitioner of functional medicine, plus the empathy and understanding gained from her own personal experience with and recovery from complex and serious illness. Sara has a special interest in complex case management and a breadth of knowledge and experience across many diseases and health conditions. Sara is a passionate, calm and caring clinician with acute sensitivity to her clients’ needs. Sara has a proven track record, supporting her client’s recovery journeys with evidence-based nutritional guidance that has transformed the health and life of hundreds of individuals.

Director of Finance and Operations – Glynn Gratrix

Glynn is responsible for the financial management of OHC along with playing an important role managing the processes and systems that make OHC’s groundbreaking work possible. Glynn has enjoyed a diverse and exciting business life, starting at IBM in various senior administrative roles in the UK and as a worldwide process and systems manager for four years based in the European HQ in Paris. Glynn went on to run a training company delivering time management, leadership and sales training for a Canadian based franchise, before taking over the management of their UK operation. Glynn greatly enjoys working in the exciting and dynamic environment of OHC, and using his experience and knowledge to make the clinic’s vision of an ethically based social enterprise financially sustainable and viable.