Advocating Safety in Healthcare E-Sisters
Angie Firmalino holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing from Syracuse University, an Associate’s in Psychology from Syracuse University, and an Associate’s in Jewelry Design from FIT. She also studied abroad in Florence, Italy. She then worked as a bench jeweler in New York City, a goldsmith for Steven Kretchmer, and then became a freelance wax model maker after her first child was born in 1998. Due to continuing health problems caused by the medical device Essure, she no longer is able to work as a jeweler.
After being harmed by Essure, Mrs. Firmalino founded a support and advocacy group in 2011, called Essure Problems. She continues to run Essure Problems along with a strong team of women, and founded ASHES nonprofit in 2015. She and her family live in the Catskill Mountains of New York.
As President of ASHES, Angie serves as the face of the organization and runs and oversees it's functions. Often the organizer and facilitator of the group, she has strong leadership skills. Angie often attends most ASHES functions and has spoken or presented at many events.
Lisa Saenz is a wife and mother of three daughters in NYC. She became an advocate for women’s reproductive safety when she suffered and became a victim of a failed medical device. Recognizing the need for activism and advocacy, she joined a team of women to work on medical device safety. Her desire is to ensure her daughters and all women for generations to come, do not have to experience what she and many other women have. Her goal is to provide women the tools needed to advocate and remain empowered.
Lisa is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), in the state of New York. She graduated from Yeshiva University, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, with her graduate degree in Social Work and her undergraduate degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Lisa has always had a desire and passion to help those who suffer with severe chronic mental illness, homelessness and addictions. After obtaining her graduate degree, she went onto a supervisory position, which led to her building a care coordination program in NYC.
During this time, she volunteered and served on two parent committees. She served as President on one board and was secretary on the other, in two high schools in the Bronx. In an effort to help parents and advocate for adolescents who are suffering with mental illnesses, within the NYC public school system. She continues this work in hopes of closing the gap on failed student outcomes.
Currently, Lisa works in an opioid addictions program, empowering and helping those addicted to opioids through their recovery. During these times of the current opioid epidemic, it is her desire to bring continued hope and motivation to those in need.
Amanda Rusmisell is a wife and mother of two boys in Charlotte, North Carolina. She holds her Bachelors of Science from Appalachian State University and her Masters of Counseling from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Currently, she works with a Charlotte area nonprofit.
Amanda has always been an active volunteer and advocate in her community. After being harmed from a medical device and having major surgery, she joined the Essure Problems Group. She was shocked to see the harm caused to so many women and was compelled to help. Amanda is the Legislative Liaison for the Essure Problems Group. She has spoken before the FDA, organized and participated in numerous advocacy meetings in Washington DC and collaborated with other nonprofits to bring awareness to the issues surrounding Essure and medical devices.
Sarah K. Carlin holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Forensic Accounting from Franklin University. After many years of tax preparation she completed the educational and testing required to hold an Enrolled Agent designation. She’s currently enrolled at Franklin University working towards her Master’s in Business Administration and Accounting to complete the Certified Public Accountant educational requirements.
After being personally injured by the Essure medical device, Sarah joined Essure Problems where she found invaluable information that led to her being able to overcome some of her health struggles and return to work after many years. Paying it forward, Sarah joined the sisterhood of E-Sisters to continue to raise awareness and advocate for safer, more effective and transparent regulations for medical devices. She resides in Columbus, Ohio.
Public Relations and Communications Director
Julie Prayter began her photography career at age fifteen under the mentorship of photography master, Don Accomando. Julie has won multiple photography awards, including being the only two-time consecutive winner of the Department of Justice’s annual photography competition. She has shown her fine art work at a number of galleries in the Sacramento area. She is a recipient of the National Language Arts Olympiad medal, and has also won writing competitions. Her photography career was sidelined following complications as a result of receiving the Essure device. She attributes the Essure Problems group with saving her life, and is proud to serve on the ASHES board to help prevent what happened to her from happening to others. Julie is currently completing coursework to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Business with a focus on internet commerce and marketing. Julie is also a video and magazine editor, and volunteers for the Lupus Foundation of Northern California.
Assistant Communications Director
Starting at a very early age, Angela Lynch-Desa has exemplified herself by demonstrating an overwhelming sense of love and compassion for humanity. She volunteered her time taking care of the mentally disabled and visiting the elderly without family on a regular basis. That compassion lead to employment as a community representative, followed by customer service, and now materials management at her community hospital. Her skills also include database management, social media, public relations, and some business. Angela is a single mother of 3, and resides near Sacramento, CA.
Holly Kelly Ennis
Holly Kelly Ennis has been practicing law since 1987. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida and graduated from the University of Florida School of Law and earned her JD degree in 1986. While pursing her Law Degree she was on the Moot Court Team, won Best Brief Award and was the attorney general for the University of Florida Honor Court for the Academic year 1985-86. She received her Undergraduate Degree from the University of Florida School of Journalism in 1982.
Since 2000 Holly has been representing Plaintiffs who have been victims against Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Product Manufacturers. Holly focuses her practice on representing Females nationwide who have been the victims of many of the Mass Tort Cases in the Country. She is currently focusing her practice on the fight to assist Essure Victims in their fight to have The Medical Device Safety Act enacted into law and getting E-Sisters the compensation they deserve. Holly has been assisting the E-Sisters Lobbying in Congress and the FDA. She has written extensively on the subject on her quest to prevent women in the future being harmed by Essure. As a member at large, she assists the officers and other board members in a variety of capacities to further the goals and mission statement of ASHES.
Science Communication Officer
Tess Schulman became a patient activist after experiencing severe adverse reactions to the medical device Essure, requiring major surgery to remove the devices and regain her health.
As a member of the Essure Problems group, she volunteered as a grassroots lobbyist in Washington DC and her home state of North Carolina, fighting for medical device safety with an emphasis on the need for rigorous science in clinical trials, improved post-market surveillance, more manufacturer accountability, and better communication between physicians and patients regarding informed consent about the risks versus rewards of devices like Essure.
She joined ASHES to help lead Medical Device Problems and expand this mission to all medical devices, not just Essure.
Tess obtained her B.S. in Chemistry & Physics from Berry College and her Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from Oklahoma State University. She currently works as a research consultant and freelance paralegal for private corporations, individuals, and law firms in RTP, North Carolina.