2023 Conference Faculty

Learn from the leading experts and researchers about the preventive and healing power of plant-based nutrition.

We are currently building our faculty and can assure you we will have an amazingly informative faculty just like we have for the last 10 years!

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Scott Stoll, MD, FABPMR

Dr. Stoll is board certified physician specializing in sports and regenerative musculoskeletal medicine and is a recognized as an international leader in lifestyle medicine and whole food plant-based nutrition. He is the co-founder of the Plantrician Project, the International Plant Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference, the International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention, and the Regenerative Health Institute, a unique collaborative project with the Rodale Institute that integrates a regenerative vision of human health, agriculture, and the environment. He was a member of the 1994 Olympic Bobsled team and served as a team physician for the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Team and Lehigh University. Dr. Stoll served as a member of the Whole Foods scientific and medical advisory board and consults with healthcare organizations globally to integrate lifestyle medicine solutions.

Every year Dr. Stoll hosts the very popular one-week total health immersions in Florida and helps attendees recover lost health, overcome addictions, and restore emotional balance. In addition to authoring numerous books, scientific articles and speaking internationally, Dr. Stoll has appeared on a wide variety of national shows including the Dr. Oz show, hosting a 2018 PBS special Food As Medicine, and numerous documentaries including The Game Changers, Eating You Alive, Disease Reversal Hope, Plantwise and upcoming TV series based health immersions.

Dr. Stoll and his family live in Franklin, TN.

Alive!: A Physician's Biblical and Scientific Guide to Nutrition Kristen's Healthy Kitchen Recipes Disease Reversal Hope
Columbus Batiste, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Dr. Columbus D. Batiste is board certified in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology. Since 2008, Dr. Batiste has served as Chief of Cardiology at the Kaiser Permanente Riverside and Moreno Valley Medical Centers. He also has shaped the careers of future physicians as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University Of California Riverside School Of Medicine.

Over the years Dr. Batiste has been recognized for his work by multiple organizations ranging from Oakwood University as Alumnus of the Year 2009, Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center as Internal Medicine Physician of the Year (2010), the Inland Empire Magazine Heart Hero (2010), the Kaiser Permanente Promise Award (2011), the Eagle Award for Excellence in Medicine (2013), and the Derrell Thomas Foundation Community Service Award recipient (2013).

During the course of his practice, Dr. Batiste has performed over 2000 coronary interventions and hundreds of pacemaker implantations. Despite his procedural success, he noticed that he was doing nothing more than facilitating the mundane process of moving patients through a revolving turnstile that leads to increased medication and recurrent procedures. Hence; he sought to break this cycle and promote a long-term solution for his patients through nutrition, stress reduction, and exercise.

Dr. Batiste has reviewed the medical literature that has revealed the undeniable benefits of a predominant plant-based nutrition. Patients adhering to a whole food plant-based diet coupled with exercise and stress reduction have advanced toward a path of developing a healthy heart. As a result of this and other influences, in 2011, Dr. Batiste led out in establishing the Integrative Cardiovascular Disease Program (based at Kaiser Permanente). The objective of this program is to prevent the re-occurrence of major adverse cardiac events in patients who have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease by focusing on lifestyle modification and providing education regarding pharmacologic and procedural therapies. It is through this vehicle that Dr. Batiste performs monthly lectures educating patients and families on the benefits of nutrition.

Dr. Batiste’s mission is to share information so that “each one can teach one” about the benefits of plant based nutrition, daily exercise, and stress reduction and therefore; provide everyone with the opportunity to take control of their health. This mission has led to the formation of his alias, Healthy Heart Doc, which he uses when lecturing in the community and to blog on social media platforms. As a result of his passion, Dr. Batiste has lectured in multiple local and abroad venues including the Inland Empire Go Red For Women American Heart Association Conference, the Inaugural Jamaican Health Summit in Kingston Jamaica, as well as in multiple community settings encouraging people to Change the Game through nutrition.

Andy Bellatti, MS, RD

Andy Bellatti, MS, RD is a Las Vegas-based dietitian and nutrition consultant. His plant-centric and whole-food approach to nutrition has helped hundreds of individuals improve their health. His writing on nutrition, food politics, deceptive food marketing, and food justice has been published in Grist, The Huffington Post, Today’s Dietitian, Food Safety News, Healthline.com, Berkeley Wellness, and Civil Eats, among others. He is frequently quoted in national media, providing commentary on current nutrition issues and headlines.

Andy was the co-founder and strategic director of Dietitians for Professional Integrity, a group that advocated for sponsorship reform within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and helped raise national awareness about the food industry’s influence on the nation’s largest dietitian organization.

Romit Bhattacharya, MD

Dr. Romit Bhattacharya is a general and preventive cardiologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, an affiliated researcher at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and the Associate Director of the Cardiac Lifestyle Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed his internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and fellowship in healthcare delivery innovation and implementation research at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Bhattacharya’s clinical focus is the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular events with a focus on the development of premature cardiovascular disease, and a special interest in the disproportionate rates of disease in South Asian populations. His research investigates the combined effect of genetic and lifestyle factors that lead to the development of cardiovascular disease – spanning germline genetics, acquired somatic mutations, and novel digital health tools to characterize lifestyle behaviors and to help patients manage disease and health promoting behaviors at home. He also serves as the medical director of the OurHealth Study – a first of its kind fully digital and remote study to study South Asian genetics and cardiometabolic disease, which will launch in Summer 2023.

General and Preventive Cardiologist, Assistant in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Director, Cardiac Lifestyle Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Director, OurHealth Study
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Affiliated Researcher, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

T. Colin Campbell, PhD

For decades T. Colin Campbell, PhD has been at the forefront of nutrition education and research. Dr. Campbell’s expertise and scientific interests encompass relationships between diet and diseases, particularly the causation of cancer. His legacy, the China Project, is one of the most comprehensive studies of health and nutrition ever conducted. The New York Times has recognized the study as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology”.

Dr. Campbell is the coauthor of the bestselling book The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health. He is also the author of The Future of Nutrition, The Low-Carb Fraud and the New York Times bestseller Whole. He is the founder of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and the online Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate in partnership with eCornell.

Dr. Campbell has conducted original research both in laboratory experiments and in large-scale human studies; received over 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding (mostly with NIH), served on grant review panels of multiple funding agencies, actively participated in the development of national and international nutrition policy, authored over 300 research papers and given hundreds of lectures around the world.

He was trained at Cornell University (M.S., Ph.D.) and MIT (Research Associate) in nutrition, biochemistry and toxicology. Dr. Campbell spent 10 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition before returning to Cornell in 1975 where he presently holds his Endowed Chair as the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.

The China Study Whole The Low-Carb Fraud The Future of Nutrition
Chef AJ

Chef AJ has been devoted to a plant-exclusive diet for over 45 years. She was the host of the television series Healthy Living with CHEF AJ which aired on Foody TV. A chef, culinary instructor and professional speaker, she is the author of three bestselling books, The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss: A Revolutionary Approach to Conquer Cravings, Overcome Food Addiction and Lose Weight Without Going Hungry, Own Your Health and The 10th Anniversary Edition of Unprocessed, all which have received glowing endorsement by many luminaries in the plant based movement.

Chef AJ was the Executive Pastry Chef at Santé Restaurant in Los Angeles where she was famous for her vegan, sugar, oil, salt and gluten free desserts which use the fruit, the whole fruit and nothing but the whole fruit. She broadcasts CHEF AJ LIVE! on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter daily. She is the creator of the Ultimate Weight Loss Program, which has helped hundreds of people achieve the health and the body that they deserve and is proud to say that her IQ is higher than her cholesterol. In 2018 she was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame.

Deepa Deshmukh MPH, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM

Deepa Deshmukh MPH,RDN,CDCES,BC-ADM is a co-founder of Dupage Dietitians LLC,

Deepa’s overarching goal is to help undeserved communities to have access to nutrition – focused care and help achieve health equality.

Over the last 18 years, Deepa has helped hundreds of people from various ethnic backgrounds lose weight, reverse and manage their diabetes, and reduce their cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Deepa specializes in providing culturally adopted nutrition – focused practical and tactical strategies to those who have chosen a path to change lifestyle to feel better.

In 2020, Deepa was recognized as one of the Top 10 Dietitians in the country by Today’s Dietitian Publication for her innovative approach to health and wellness.

Alan Desmond MB, BCh, BMedSc, FRCP

Alan Desmond MB, BCh, BMedSc, FRCP

Doctor Alan Desmond is a Consultant Gastroenterologist who is dedicated to educating the public on the health benefits of a whole-food plant-based diet. His best-selling book, ‘The Plant-Based Diet Revolution: 28 days to a happier gut and a healthier you’, is available wherever books are sold.

Doctor Alan has made evidence-based dietary advice an essential part of his practice as a doctor specializing in gut health problems. He has presented at numerous international medical conferences on the benefits of this approach to food. He is an Ambassador for Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, a not-for-profit group which educates members of the public, health professionals, and policy makers on the incredible health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Certified in both Gastroenterology and General Internal Medicine, Doctor Alan completed his medical training in Ireland and Oxford. He has a specialist interest in the role of diet in the prevention and treatment of Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. A fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, he has published several influential research papers in the field of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and is a dedicated advocate for the gut health benefits, and overall health benefits, of a whole-food plant-based approach to nutrition.

He lives in South Devon, UK with his wife and three children.

Doctor Alan shares the latest research on gut health and nutrition on www.instagram.com/dr.alandesmond.

Wayne Dysinger, MD, MPH

Dr. Dysinger is a lifestyle, preventive and family medicine physician who currently serves two main roles. First he is a physician and founder of Lifestyle Medical, a new model group of primary care clinics built around Lifestyle Medicine principles based in Southern California. Second, he is the Chief Medical Officer for Healthly, a developing collaboration of primary care practices in California that are committed to transforming health care delivery using the Lifestyle Medicine clinical model and the Value Based Care economic model. Additionally, he is the Chair of the Advisory Board for the Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance. Dr. Dysinger is an active faculty at Loma Linda University and consults, teaches and participates in research on Lifestyle Medicine issues around the world.

Dr. Dysinger is a past President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and Founding and Past Chair of both the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine. He has previously worked in various capacities with the American Medical Association, the American College of Preventive Medicine and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. Prior to his current position, Dr. Dysinger was Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Loma Linda University, and faculty/co-founder of both the Family and the Preventive Medicine residencies at Dartmouth. He has also worked in faculty, patient care and service capacities in Atlanta and Guam.

Dr. Dysinger earned his M.D. degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine (1986), and his MPH from Loma Linda University School of Public Health (1990). He is a Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, the American College of Preventive Medicine, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Andrew M. Freeman, MD

Andrew M. Freeman MD, FACC, FACP joined National Jewish Health in Denver, CO after completing his training in Philadelphia at Temple University. Prior to that, he completed his internal medicine training at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He completed medical school at SUNY Buffalo with research honors after graduating summe cum laude from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. At National Jewish, he serves as the director of clinical cardiology and the director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness, and is an Associate Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Freeman also hosts a monthly Walk with a Doc program (Denver.WalkWithADoc.Org) in the Denver area where he volunteers his time to walk with patients on Saturday mornings to teach key health concepts, but also to explore using exercise as medicine for the greater good of the public.

Finally, Dr. Freeman holds some key leadership positions in the American College of Cardiology as well as at the national level, including co-chair of the Lifestyle and Nutrition Workgroup and sits on the steering committee for the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention council and numerous other committees.
At National Jewish Health he started and oversees the Ornish Intensive Cardiac Rehab.

He has published scholarly manuscripts on plant-based nutrition. An avid teacher and educator, Dr. Freeman teaches medical, physician assistant and pharmacy students regularly, and has hosted many community lectures and CME programs.

He is a regular feature at VegFest Colorado and continues to expand his teaching and messages of prevention and wellness all over Colorado.

Michael Greger, MD

A founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition.

His science-based nonprofit, NutritionFacts.org, offers a free online portal hosting more than 2,000 videos and articles on myriad health topics. Dr. Greger is a sought-after lecturer and has presented at the Conference on World Affairs and the World Bank, testified before Congress, and was invited as an expert witness in Oprah Winfrey’s defense in the infamous “meat defamation” trial.

A graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Greger is also an acclaimed author. How Not to Die, The How Not to Die Cookbook, and How Not to Diet became instant New York Times Best Sellers. More than a million copies of How Not to Die have been sold.

All proceeds Dr. Greger receives from the sales of his books and speaking honoraria are donated directly to charity.

How Not To Die How Not to Diet
Michael Klaper, MD

Dr. Klaper, is a gifted clinician, internationally recognized teacher, and sought-after speaker on diet and health. He has practiced medicine for more than 40 years and is a leading educator in applied plant-based nutrition and integrative medicine.

Dr. Klaper graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago (1972), served a medical internship at Vancouver General Hospital in British Columbia, Canada with additional training in internal medicine, surgery, anesthesiology, and orthopedics at the University of British Columbia Hospitals in Vancouver and in obstetrics at the University of California Hospitals in San Francisco. He practiced acute care medicine in New Zealand for three years and served for eight years on the staff of the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, a nutrition-based medical clinic specializing in therapeutic fasting and health improvement through a whole-food, plant-based diet.

Dr. Michael Klaper teaches that, “Health comes from healthy living” and over his medical career, Dr. Klaper has seen a whole-food, plant-based diet and lifestyle improvement reverse clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, adult onset diabetes, and even some forms of arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune disease.
He is also the author of a successful book on cholesterol-free nutrition, as well as numerous DVDs and Videos on Demand and a series of “Healthy YOU Webinars,” available through his website.

Dr. Klaper served as an advisor to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) project on nutrition for long-term space colonists on the moon and Mars. He was also a member of the Nutrition Task Force of the American Medical Student Association and served as the Director of the non-profit Institute of Nutrition Education and Research.

A source of inspiration advocating plant-based diets and the end of animal cruelty worldwide, Dr. Klaper contributed to the making of two PBS television programs Food for Thought and the award-winning Diet for a New America movie based on the book of the same name. He feels the most important work of his career is unfolding now in the Moving Medicine Forward Initiative wherein he travels to the nation’s medical schools and educates the students on using plant-predominant nutrition and positive lifestyle changes to truly heal their patients. www.DoctorKlaper.com/Moving-Medicine-Forward
He currently lives with his wife, Alese, in south Florida.

Matthew Lederman, MD

Touted as doctors of the future by Dean Ornish, MD and with their work supported by many experts including Sanjay Gupta, MD, Dr Alona Pulde and Dr. Matthew Lederman combined conventional Western medicine, Chinese medicine, Lifestyle medicine, Nonviolent Communication, Polyvagal Theory, and Trauma-Informed, Somatic Principles & Pain Reprocessing to create their groundbreaking health paradigm. They have been successful corporate leaders, starred in the life-changing documentary Forks over Knives, lectured for eCornell, served as adjunct medical school professors and corporate medical advisors, and are NY Times bestselling authors.

Together they have co-authored six books, including The New York Times Bestseller Forks Over Knives Plan, Forks Over Knives Family, and Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole. They co-authored The Whole Foods Diet and The Whole Foods Cookbook with John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market. Most recently they co-authored, “Wellness to Wonderful,” interweaving medical science, psychology, spirituality, and life wisdom to help people achieve lasting health, vibrancy, peace, and joy. They consult for companies such as Whole Foods Market and serve on advisory boards for various organizations.

Dr. Matthew Lederman is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician & CNVC Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication. He is particularly passionate about integrating mind-body health treatment and providing second medical opinions for patients with persistent chronic disease.

William Li, MD

William W. Li, MD, is an internationally renowned physician, scientist and author of the New York Times bestseller “Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself.”

His groundbreaking research has led to the development of more than 30 new medical treatments that impact care for more than 70 diseases including diabetes, blindness, heart disease and obesity. His TED Talk, “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?” has garnered more than 11 million views. Dr. Li has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, CNBC, Rachael Ray and Live with Kelly & Ryan, and he has been featured in USA Today, Time Magazine, The Atlantic and O Magazine.

He is President and Medical Director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, and he is leading global initiatives on food as medicine. His newest book, the NY Times bestseller, “Eat to Beat Your Diet: Burn Fat, Heal Your Metabolism, and Live Longer” was released March 21, 2023.

John McDougall, MD

A physician and nutrition expert who teaches better health through proper nutrition, John A. McDougall, MD has been studying, writing, and speaking out about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 50 years and his national recognition as a nutrition expert earned him a position in the Great Nutrition Debate 2000 presented by the USDA. Dr. John McDougall believes that people should look and feel great for a lifetime.

Dr. McDougall is the founder and director of the nationally renowned McDougall Program: a ten-day residential program that he and Mary McDougall host at a luxury resort in Santa Rosa, CA where medical miracles occur through diet and lifestyle changes. Dr. McDougall has cared for thousands of patients for five decades. His program not only promotes a broad range of dramatic and lasting health benefits but, most importantly, can also reverse serious illnesses including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and others, all without the use of drugs.

A graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, Dr. McDougall performed his internship at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and his medical residency at the University of Hawaii. He is certified as an internist by the Board of Internal Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners. He is also the author of 13 national best-selling books.

Dean Ornish, MD

Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF. He received his medical training from the Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He earned a B.A. in Humanities summa cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin, where he gave the baccalaureate address.

For over 40 years, he has directed clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease and also early-stage prostate cancer. Medicare created a new benefit category to cover his program. His research showed that comprehensive lifestyle changes “turn on” disease-preventing genes and “turn off” genes that promote cancer and heart disease, as well as the first controlled study showing that these lifestyle changes may begin to reverse cellular aging by lengthening telomeres. He is currently directing the first randomized controlled trial to determine if these lifestyle changes may reverse the progression of early Alzheimer’s disease.

He is the author of seven books, all national bestsellers, including UnDo It! (co-authored with Anne Ornish). His three main-stage TED.com talks have been viewed by over six million people. His work has been featured in cover stories in Newsweek, TIME, and U.S. News & World Report.

He was appointed by President Clinton and by President Obama to White House Advisory Commissions and by Governor Newsom to the Governor’s Brain Trust on Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention and Preparedness.

The “Ornish diet” has been rated “#1 for Heart Health” by a panel of experts at U.S. News & World Report for ten years from 2011-2021. He co-chaired the Google Health Advisory Council with Marissa Mayer 2007-9.

He was recognized as “one of the 125 most extraordinary University of Texas alumni in the past 125 years;” a “National Public Health Hero” award from the University of California, Berkeley; by TIME magazine as a “TIME 100 Innovator;” by LIFE magazine as “one of the fifty most influential members of his generation;” by People magazine as “one of the most interesting people of the year;” and by Forbes magazine as “one of the world’s seven most powerful teachers.”

Wendie Pett, ND

Wendie Pett, ND is a nationally recognized name in the health and fitness industry and is passionate about motivating and encouraging people to make fitness and whole-food plant-based nutrition part of their daily lifestyle routine.

She enthusiastically teaches the care of mind, body and spirit, assisting others to learn the importance of reaching their full potential through her Visibly Fit™ program – a total wellness and body weight resistance exercise program. Wendie has helped countless of people reach their health and fitness goals – without ever compromising their joint health, tendons, or ligaments – by teaching simple and easy to do exercises that use your body as your gym.

Wendie has a Doctor of Naturopathy and has worked as a fitness/wellness coach with individual patients and groups across the country for 20 years. She has a nationally syndicated television program, two award-winning podcasts, and is the author of a variety of books and DVDs that coincide with her coaching.

Those seeking a natural way to release unhealthy weight, gain strength and energy, diminish chronic pain, get off medications and reverse disease, grow in their mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, and love their life again have found Visibly Fit™ to be a proven solution. To learn more, visit www.wendiepett.com.

Jeffrey M. Pierce, MD

Dr. Pierce was born and raised in South Texas. After graduating from the University of Texas – Pan American for college and Baylor College of Medicine for medical school, he traveled north to Santa Rosa, CA, for training in family medicine. Since graduating in 2007 from the Santa Rosa Family Medicine residency, he has had the privilege of teaching residents and caring for patients in outpatient clinics, hospital wards, and emergency rooms in northern California. He also had the honor to care for families affected by HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and malnutrition in the countries of Lesotho, Malawi, South Sudan, and Kenya. He completed a global health fellowship and currently practice high risk and surgical obstetrics in Martinez, CA, where he had the pleasure to teach outstanding doctors in training at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center.

During his time at CCRMC, he was introduced to and became a firm believer in the power of plant-based medicine. He learned that with the right information and motivation, people could get to the root cause of their illnesses and cure themselves. In 2020, he started his sole-provider practice in lifestyle medicine, using the power of a whole food, plant based diet along with exercise and other lifestyle techniques to prevent, treat, and reverse chronic disease. He has been a vegetarian since 2000, initially motivated by the mistreatment of animals in our food system. Since then he has learned much more about how a plant-based diet can help heal ourselves as well as the planet.

Helen Powell-Stoddart, MD, MS, FAAPMR

At her state-of-the-art clinic, Pain to Wellness Healthcare, in Madison, Alabama, Helen Powell-Stoddart (affectionately known as Dr. Helen) uses her extensive medical knowledge and experience to help men and women find freedom from pain and live in abundant health.

After earning her Medical Doctorate and Master of Science in Anatomy degrees at Howard University, her passion to learn about health and longevity lead her to a prestigious position as one of only two students in a dual residency program at The Johns Hopkins/Sinai Hospital Program. She completed both residency programs in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Internal Medicine in five years. With more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Helen combines conventional and lifestyle medicine to help her patients achieve optimal health.

Dr. Helen lost her mother to complications of the diet-exacerbated illness —type 2 diabetes. Eleven years later, she lost her father to metastatic cancer. These devastating losses prompted her to excavate the literature on disease and the effect of lifestyle changes on disease reversal. She purposed to understand everything she could about disease processes and the body’s innate ability to heal itself in the right conditions.

Armed with her research and the amazing kitchen skills she learned from her mother, she pioneered a 3-month intensive program to provide the blueprint for reversing type 2 diabetes. She is the author of the book “Reverse it! How to Reverse type 2 Diabetes along with its companion Success Journal and Workbook available on Amazon.

In addition, Dr. Helen hosted a 12-episode series on the 3ABN network premiering her incredible plant-based recipes for the reversal of type 2 diabetes. She has hosted the Reverse it! Accelerated Healing and Detox Summit and Program and has also developed a 7-module course called Secretes to Reversing Type 2 Diabetes where she recently released her first ebook. This ebook is companion to her popular series on Youtube called Creative Cooking (also found on her YouTube channel at Dr. Helen PS. She is presently in the process of completing her much awaited 4th book called the Genesis Plan—a complete cookbook to reverse type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Helen uses her extensive knowledge from her years of practicing medicine and her even longer history of her own plant-based existence to fine tune her comprehensive program for the health and well-being of type 2 diabetics.

Alona Pulde, MD

Touted as doctors of the future by Dean Ornish, MD and with their work supported by many experts including Sanjay Gupta, MD, Dr Alona Pulde and Dr. Matthew Lederman combined conventional Western medicine, Chinese medicine, Lifestyle medicine, Nonviolent Communication, Polyvagal Theory, and Trauma-Informed, Somatic Principles & Pain Reprocessing to create their groundbreaking health paradigm. They have been successful corporate leaders, starred in the life-changing documentary Forks over Knives, lectured for eCornell, served as adjunct medical school professors and corporate medical advisors, and are NY Times bestselling authors.

Together they have co-authored six books, including The New York Times Bestseller Forks Over Knives Plan, Forks Over Knives Family, and Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole. They co-authored The Whole Foods Diet and The Whole Foods Cookbook with John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market. Most recently they co-authored, “Wellness to Wonderful,” interweaving medical science, psychology, spirituality, and life wisdom to help people achieve lasting health, vibrancy, peace, and joy. They consult for companies such as Whole Foods Market and serve on advisory boards for various organizations.

Alona Pulde, MD is a board-certified practitioner of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine & Family Medicine Physician. She is particularly passionate about supporting clients with nutrition and women’s health.

Vanita Rahman, MD

Vanita Rahman, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine physician, certified nutritionist, and personal trainer. She is a native of the Washington, D.C., area and earned her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Virginia. She completed her internal medicine residency at the Washington Hospital Center and has authored several books on plant-based nutrition.

Prior to joining the Barnard Medical Center, Dr. Rahman spent more than 15 years practicing internal medicine with Kaiser Permanente, where she launched a very popular and successful plant-based weight loss program. While medications and surgical procedures can be necessary and lifesaving, Dr. Rahman firmly believes that nutrition and lifestyle play a crucial role in the prevention and management of most common diseases. She maintains that it is important to treat all aspects of a patient’s health, including diet, exercise, sleep habits, and stress management.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, exercising, and experimenting with plant-based recipes.

Koushik R. Reddy, MD

Dr. Reddy is the Director of Interventional Cardiology at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center. He completed his cardiology and interventional cardiology training from Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY in 2007.

For the past eleven years, Dr. Reddy has worked at the VA hospital in Tampa, FL and has been affiliated with the University of South Florida. He is the director of the CCU and the cardiac cath lab. He served as the Assistant Program Director for General Cardiology fellowship and has won many teaching awards.

Dr.Reddy was on on the executive board for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine as the national treasurer.

Dr. Reddy is a plant based physician who believes in lifestyle intervention and disease prevention. He has established programs at the hospital that focuses on disease prevention.

Dexter W. Shurney, MD, MBA, MPH, FACLM

Dr. Dexter Shurney is President of the Blue Zones Wellbeing Institute, a 501c3 subsidiary of Adventist Health, that focuses on applied population health research including social determinants, payment reform, in addition to helping advise health care executives on value-based strategy and operations.

Dr. Shurney’s unique business expertise comes from varied roles he has performed over his career as a senior healthcare executive. Most recently he served as the Chief Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer for Adventist Health, a multi-state hospital system that operates in CA, OR, WA, and HI.

Other former roles have included Vice President, Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of Globlal Employee Benefits at Cummins, Inc. CMI, Chief Medical Director, Employee Health Plan at Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer at Healthways HWAY, and Senior Advisor Managed Care Strategy at Amgen AMGN. During his tenure at Vanderbilt, he held dual faculty appointments at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the Owens Graduate School of Business.

He is the Vice-Chair of the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) board representing 100+ large employer group members, and is a Past-President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM). Under his leadership, ACLM launched a new provider education program for Blue Shield of California; led national conversations on provider payment reform and quality metrics; and spearheaded groundbreaking health disparity and equity efforts. He also serves as an independent director on several other boards including the Bon Secour Mercy Health Foundation, National Association of Managed Care Physicians (NAMCP), Population Health Alliance (PHA), and the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative (TKC).

Dr. Shurney is a highly regarded national authority on the health care industry with significant expertise in health insurance, employee health and well-being. He is also a well-regarded speaker at industry conferences and corporate events, and has appeared on NBC Today, in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, The Detroit Free Press, and numerous trade publications.

He is co-author of the book Integrating Wellness into Your Disease Management Programs a “how-to” strategic guide for employers that wish to innovate their approach to chronic condition management.

Dr. Shurney received his BS from Loma Linda University and his MD from Howard University College of Medicine. He also has an MBA and MPH from the University of Detroit/Mercy and the Medical College of Wisconsin, respectively. A licensed physician, he is board certified in both preventive medicine and in lifestyle medicine, and is a Fellow in the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

Integrating Wellness into Your Disease Management Programs
Michelle Tollefson, MD, FACOG, DipABLM, FACLM

Michelle Tollefson is a board-certified lifestyle medicine expert and obstetrician-gynecologist in Denver, Colorado. She is seen as a pioneer in women’s health and lifestyle medicine. She is a Professor in the Health Professions Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver where she created and oversees the Lifestyle Medicine Program.

She is currently on the executive boards of the non-profit organizations, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and PAVING the Path to Wellness. She is the editor-in-chief of the textbook Improving Women’s Health Across the Lifespan, and co-author of PAVING the Path to Wellness with Drs. Frates and Comander, as well as her new book, PAVING a Woman’s Path through Menopause and Beyond.

Dr. Tollefson was one of the first physicians ever trained as a wellness coach. She is an international speaker, women’s health consultant, mother to three busy kids, and a breast cancer survivor/thriver.

Shayla Toombs-Withers, D.O. , FAAFP

Dr. Shayla Toombs-Withers grew up in Atlanta, GA. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN in 2003 where she earned a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Dr. Toombs-Withers earned a Doctorate Degree in Osteopathic Medicine from the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine located on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA in 2007. After completing her formal medical education, Dr. Toombs-Withers continued her medical training at the University of Cincinnati, The Christ Hospital. She is double board certified in Family Medicine and Obesity Medicine.

Over the years, Dr. Toombs-Withers has served as Adjunct Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine with the University of Cincinnati Family Medicine Residency Program and she worked as a Family Physician for a federally qualified health center caring for underserved populations in the Cincinnati area. In 2013 Dr. Toombs-Withers was named as the Medical Director for the All Care Health Center in Council Bluffs, IA where she continued to practice family medicine and supervised a staff of physicians and nurse practitioners.
Dr. Toombs-Withers moved to Chattanooga, TN in 2015 and became a Family Medicine Physician in the UT/Erlanger Primary Care Medical Group at the Pineville Road office. She earned a certification in Plant Based Nutrition in 2016 and the was board certified in Obesity Medicine in 2018.

Dr. Toombs- Withers has practiced a plant based diet for over 15 years and over the past 5 years she has moved to a vegan diet. She has trained as an endurance athlete and she has completed the New York City Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Ironman Chattanooga 70.3, Ironman Augusta 70.3, Ironman Texas and a host of other endurance races.
Dr. Toombs-Withers founded the Essence of Health Wellness Clinic in Chattanooga, TN in 2019 so that she could combine her deep knowledge of medicine, plant based nutrition, and athletic training to provide comprehensive primary care to her patients using a Direct Primary Care Model. Outside of work, Dr. Toombs-Withers is a mom for her three sons, wife, and dog wrangler. She loves Chattanooga and all of the outdoor experiences it has to offer. She enjoys cycling, hiking, camping, swimming, triathlons and trail running.