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.

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 is a co-founder of Dupage Dietitians LLC and of Sunev Health Inc, a nutrition-focused digital program that helps people reduce their blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight.

Over the last 17 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 practical and tactical strategies to those who have chosen a path to follow a plant based lifestyle to feel better.

Deepa’s overarching goal is to help her patients to be more productive at work and at home, to have energy to enjoy life, to eat foods without feeling guilty and sick, and to no longer depend solely on medications to manage their health.

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, MD

Dr. Alan Desmond leads a Gastroenterology clinic in Torbay, South Devon. He actively promotes a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet and advises dietary treatment for many chronic digestive disorders. Dr Desmond was an invited speaker at the UK’s first medical conference on the benefits of a whole-food plant-based diet, delivering a talk on the dietary treatment of Crohn’s disease to a sold-out audience at King’s College Hospital, London.

Dr Desmond and his team take a patient-centred approach to diagnosing and treating a wide range of gastrointestinal problems including acid reflux, indigestion, Barrett’s oesophagus, stomach ulcers, Coeliac disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticular disease, lactose intolerance, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Wayne Dysinger, MD, MPH

Wayne is an Inland Empire native, having been born and raised in Loma Linda and Yucaipa. He completed medical school at Loma Linda University, followed by a Family Medicine Residency at Florida Hospital, and a Preventive Medicine Residency back at Loma Linda. He has worked in Guam, Atlanta and New Hampshire prior to returning to Loma Linda University as Chair of the Preventive Medicine Department in 2003. Wayne has an international reputation as a leader in the field of Lifestyle Medicine, having served as President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and as an international consultant in the area. He is also the Medical Director of the Lifestyle Medicine Institute, and a Professor at Loma Linda University. He is passionate about treating what is really causing health problems, not just putting Band-Aids on superficial issues.

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 of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Greger is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, and was invited as an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the infamous “meat defamation” trial.

He is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the director of public health and animal agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at NutritionFacts.org.

NutritionFacts.org is a non-commercial, nonprofit, science-based public service provided by Dr. Greger, providing free daily updates on the latest in nutrition research via bite-sized videos. He has hundreds of videos on more than a thousand topics, and new videos and articles are uploaded every day.

How Not To Die How Not to Diet
Ken Kaufman, DC

Dr. Ken Kaufman is a 1993 graduate of Life University School of Chiropractic and has been in private practice in Sarasota since 1994. He is the founder of Sarasota Sports Medicine. Dr. Kaufman is the spring training Team Chiropractor for both the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburg Pirates. In addition to his active practice, Dr. Kaufman also is a member of the Professional Baseball Chiropractic Society and the Florida Chiropractic Association. He has also served as a board member of the Sarasota Area Sports Alliance and a former advisory board member for Keiser University Sports Medicine and Fitness Technology Program. He is also an approved continuing education provider for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

As an avid athlete growing up in Michigan, he competed in baseball and water skiing. Following High School graduation, he excelled in weight training, running, biking and swimming and competed in multiple marathons and triathlons up to 1/2 Ironman distance. Side-lined himself with assorted injuries over the years, the worst being multiple herniated disks and spinal stress fractures, Dr. Kaufman has a unique perspective when working with his athletes and what you want – To Get Back To Your Sports!

As a result of his extensive experience running a successful private practice and working inside the training room of a top professional sports team, he has gained tremendous knowledge that can never be learned in a class room. Seeing the services and level of care professional athletes receive has given him a unique perspective to create a practice environment that includes the same services and programs the top pro’s enjoy.

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.

William Li, MD

Dr. Li is president, medical director, and co-founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation. He trained in the lab of Dr. Judah Folkman, pioneer of the angiogenesis field, and has been actively engaged in angiogenesis research and clinical development for 22 years.

Under Dr. Li’s leadership, the Foundation has developed a unique social enterprise model based on national and international collaborations with leading medical academic centers around the world, biopharmaceutical innovators, the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and medical associations. The Foundation’s work has led to the realization of 27 new treatments for diseases ranging from cancer to blindness to diabetic complications. Having testified and presented before congressional and other government panels on the impact of angiogenesis in healthcare, Dr. Li lectures widely on angiogenesis-related topics in front of clinical, government, and industrial audiences. He is involved in global efforts to advance the application of angiogenesis to health and wellness, and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, has designed programs featured at the World Economic Forum, and launched the Eat to Beat Cancer, and Do iT Yourself Health campaigns to bring science- and evidence-based health recommendations to the public. Dr. Li has been published in Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and other leading peer-reviewed medical journals.

Receiving his AB with honors from Harvard College and his MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dr. Li completed his internship, residency, and fellowship training in General Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He has held appointments on the clinical faculties of Harvard Medical School, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. Dr. Li is an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Wound Care Specialists and has served as advisor and consultant to leading global public and private companies.

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.

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 Shurney, MD, MBA, MPH

Dr. Dexter Shurney, MD, MBA, MPH was recently appointed by Adventist Health to be the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Community Well-Being and the Blue Zones Institute. In joining Adventist Health, Dr. Shurney assumes a broad set of leadership responsibilities for strategy and solutions within the Well-Being Division to empower individuals, organizations and communities. Additionally, he leads the work of the Blue Zones Institute as a “Living Lab” to create and codify best practice that can be replicated across regions as well as capitalizing on and enhancing the strength of the Blue Zones portfolio to serve communities of greatest need.

Prior to that, Dr. Shurney was the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs for Zipongo​, the San Francisco-based based digital health and wellness company that focuses on enabling healthy eating -“Healthy Eating, Made Simple”.

Dr. Shurney is the former Chief Medical Director / Executive Director for Global Health Benefits and Corporate Wellness for Cummins​, Inc. He has an extensive background in health care management and policy. He has distinguished himself as a recognized leader in his profession in numerous ways.

Prior to Cummins, Dr. Shurney was the Chief Medical Director of the Employee Health Plan for Vanderbilt University and Medical Center​. During his tenure at Vanderbilt he also held joint faculty appointments as Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Internal Medicine and Public Health, and Adjunct Faculty, Owens Graduate School of Management.

Other positions that Dr. Shurney has held include Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Healthways​, Senior Health Policy Strategist in the Division of Government Affairs for the biotechnology company Amgen​ Inc., Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of medical affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan​, and Editor of the Journal of Managed Care Physicians.

Dr. Shurney serves on numerous boards including: The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) where he is President-elect, the Global Business Group on Health, and the National Association of Managed Care Physicians. From 2007-2009, he served as the Chair of the Tennessee Diabetes Prevention and Health Improvement Board, appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen. He was also the most recent Chair of the Business Strategies Committee for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). For 12 years he served as the American College of Medical Quality’s (ACMQ) elected delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA).

Dr. Shurney is co-author of the book “Integrating Wellness into Your Disease Management Programs” which is a “how- to” strategic guide for employers that wish to innovate their approach to chronic condition management. Dr. Shurney is board-certified in general preventive medicine and public health. He is a fellow in the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

Integrating Wellness into Your Disease Management Programs
Helen Powell-Stoddart, MD

At her state-of-the-art clinic, Pain to Wellness Healthcare. in Madison, Alabama, Helen Powell-Stoddart, MD, uses her extensive medical knowledge and experience to help men and women find freedom from pain and live in abundant health. With the death of her mother at a young age and her father’s terminal diagnosis, Dr. Helen purposed to understand everything she could about disease processes and the body’s innate ability to heal itself in the right conditions. 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 alternative medicine to help her patients achieve optimal health. Over the years, she has pioneered and fine-tuned a comprehensive diet and nutrition program to make it easy for men and women to thrive.

Michelle Tollefson, MD

Dr. Michelle Tollefson is honored to serve as ACLM’s Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors. She is an ACLM Fellow and board certified in lifestyle medicine as well as obstetrics and gynecology. She is on ACLM’s Education and Membership Committees and was the founding co-chair of both the Women’s Health Member Interest Group as well as the Pre-Professional Lifestyle Medicine Education Member Interest Group. For over a decade she has been active in the lifestyle medicine and wellness coaching movements, as one of the first physicians certified in Wellness Coaching. Dr. Tollefson was previously the Medical Director of Women’s Wellness Education for a Colorado health system and in full time clinical practice and now volunteers at a non-profit clinic. As an associate professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, she developed and oversees the bachelor’s level Lifestyle Medicine major and minor which is the first in the country. Dr. Tollefson has published multiple articles in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (AJLM), served as the guest editor of AJLM’s conference edition, and is currently the editor-in-chief of the Women’s Health Lifestyle Medicine book that will be released as part of Dr. Rippe’s Lifestyle Medicine book series. She is a breast cancer survivor, inspirational speaker, and advocates for the power of lifestyle medicine in being a component of breast cancer treatment plans. She is on the ACLM Speaker’s Bureau, lectures nationwide on a variety of topics related to lifestyle medicine and women’s health and is passionate about optimizing women’s health across the lifespan.

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.