Key People

Soula Mantalvanos

PainTrain MHS Founder

Before Soula’s accident, Soula and Theo ran their own creative communications company, Origin of Image (ooi). As creative director, her first-hand knowledge of creativity, communication and chronic pain provides a progressive approach to the current chronic pain world.


Theo Mantalvanos

PainTrain MHS Director and Manager

Theo’s previous role of communication manager provides the structure for PainTrain’s business affairs. His compassion and understanding of quality of life (when living with chronic illness) has been key, not only to PainTrain’s development but to Soula and Theo’s lives.

Christopher Balmford

PainTrain MHS Director & Advisor

A former lawyer, Christopher founded Words and Beyond Pty Ltd and online business, Cleardocs Pty Ltd. Christopher has been an advocate for plain-language and is a past president of the international organisation Clarity.

Nick-Christelis-PSA-6360 (1)

Nick Christelis Australian Pain Specialists MBBCH, FRCA, FFPMRCA, FANZCA, FFPMANZCA
PainTrain MHS Advisor

Dr Christelis is trained and practices 100% in all aspects of pain medicine. He is a compassionate, professional and highly experienced. He aspires to helping people live healthy and inspired lives, working daily to relieve pain and get his patients back to doing the things they love to do

Amy Eicher

Amy Eicher

PainTrain MHS Affiliate & Advisor

Amy is an author, educator and pain coach.

‘And I’ve been there, just like you – in a swirling mess of pain and tears and frustration not knowing how to keep going, but knowing I couldn’t stop looking for a solution to my pain.

Amy helps people in persisting pain learn to restore their life through movement, self-discovery, and education so they can live life on their terms.

Read more about Amy at

Dr Susie Gronski

Dr Susie Gronski DPT, PRPC

PainTrain MHS Affiliate & Advisor

Dr Susie is a licensed doctor of physical therapy and certified pelvic rehabilitation practitioner. Dr Susie trains men and women on how to be their own expert in treating whatever’s going on ‘down there.’

Read more about Dr Susie at

Mandy Mercuri

PainTrain MHS Subscriber & Strategic Advisor

Mandy Mercuri has a PhD in science and professional experience spanning academia, grant writing, strategic planning and stakeholder engagement in the community health and not-for-profit sector. Mandy lives with chronic back pain resulting from corrective scoliosis surgeries in her teens approaching every day with mindful compassion and an understanding of the things that are within her control.

Last year, Mandy pursued a lifelong dream and wrote a draft of her first novel. Mandy also intermittently blogs about self-managing chronic pain (Take Hold of Pain blog) and being mindful (Just Be – the mindfulness in daily life blog).

Dr John Quintner

John Quintner – Retired independent medical specialist and pain researcher
PainTrain MHS Advisor

John is a retired independent medical specialist and pain researcher tirelessly exploring the definitions of pain. He has been a great support to Soula in her advocacy for chronic pain and Australian injured workers.

Deb Thompson

Deb Thompson

PainTrain MHS Subscriber & Advisor

Deb is a mother, a daughter, a grand-mother, a teacher and a partner, living with persistent pain. She’s always striving to balance those roles with managing her condition, and to live to her values. Advocating for pain patients is a new role, one she knows is an important and valuable ‘string to the bow’.