Our Founder

In February, 2007, because of their collective desire to give back to veterans in need, Ellen Gayle Sovinee and Deborah Nixon-Karistinos, alternative healthcare practitioners, created Helios Warriors, an organization which offers complementary and alternative therapies.

Ellen Gayle’s passion to help veterans started back when she was a child, but it wasn’t until after she joined a team of volunteer healthcare practitioners at Ft. Lemoore, California, offering cranialsacral therapy to returning veterans with PTSD, that the desire to give back really set in.

Since 1989 Ellen Gayle has been a holistic health practitioner and has helped those in chronic pain, with traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Gayle knew how beneficial cranialsacral and other therapies have been for our veterans, so when the Asheville facility closed she knew how important it was to take it upon herself to get Helios Warriors back up and running as soon as possible. Through her own time and resources, she took Helios Warriors from a fledgling organization to a full nonprofit. Ellen Gayle was the executive director, sole administrator and, if a volunteer health care practitioner was not available to offer services, Ellen Gayle would also fill that need.

Ellen Gayle served as Executive Director from 2009 until June 2012. Helios Warriors is her legacy and it is her hope that Helios Warriors continues to succeed and that her vision and purpose for creating the organization will not be forgotten.

Ellen Gayle resides in Asheville, and she continues to volunteer and serve as an advocate for veterans and those in need.

Helios Warriors and the veterans we serve are grateful to Ella Gayle for her passion and vision.