2019 Conference Faculty

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

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While we are still confirming topics and faculty for the 2019 PBNHC, we are confident that we will bring you the best and most relevant topics and faculty, just as we have done for our previous six conferences. Please come back to this page often as we updated the agenda and faculty.

Scott Stoll, MD

Dr. Stoll 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 health with agricultural and environmental regeneration. He is a member of the Google FoodLab think tank, serves on the advisory board at Whole Foods for their healthcare clinics and served as a member of the Whole Foods Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. Dr.Stoll is the Chairman of the Board for the Plantrician Project and Chief Medical Director for the Rouxbe Cooking School.

Every year Dr. Stoll hosts the very popular one week health immersion, Dr. Stoll’s Immersion in Naples, Florida and helps attendees recover lost health, overcome addictions, and restore emotional balance. In addition to authoring several books and scientific articles, hosting his own daily TV and radio programs, Dr. Stoll has appeared on numerous national shows including the Dr. Oz Show, hosting a 2018 PBS special Food As Medicine, and numerous documentaries including Eating You Alive, Wait Till It’s Free, and The Game Changers. As well as being a published author and member of the 1994 Olympic Bobsled Team, he is a highly sought-after international speaker. Dr. Stoll and his family live in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Alive!: A Physician's Biblical and Scientific Guide to Nutrition Kristen's Healthy Kitchen Recipes
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Larry Altiere

Larry’s role is to coordinate the work of the management team for the 7-hospital system network, the 4th largest health system in the US – Lee Memorial Health System. Larry manages a $21 million dollar budget with 15 direct reports, 300 employees, 9 subcontractors, 25 retail venues, 8 patient care programs and medical nutrition therapy teams. His primary responsibility is to ensure operational metrics are in line with strategic short and long term goals. Some of Larry’s personal and program accomplishments are:

A 2004 Spotlight Award winner – American Healthcare Foodservice

2005 NACHRI Award winner – pediatric menus

2006 Industry Allstar – Food Equipment Association

2005 National Best Practice, Emergency Management Programs

2005 – 2010 Founder and Chairman – LMHS Employee Crisis Program

2006 – 2008 Chairman Mythbusters, Management Transition Program LMHS

2010 – present Founder Culinary Solutions by LeeSar – Healthcare Private Label Manufacturer

2014 Healthcare Innovator of The Year – Food Management Magazine, Principle Investigator – LMHS Nutrition Intervention Study

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Nicole Avena, PhD

Dr. Nicole Avena is a research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction. She is a pioneer in the field of food addiction, and it was her seminal research work that jump started this exciting new field of exploration in medicine and nutrition. She is also an expert in diet during pregnancy, and childhood nutrition.

Dr. Avena received a Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2006. She then completed her postdoctoral fellowship in 2010 at the prestigious Rockefeller University in New York City, an all-research institution that lays claim to having had 24 Nobel Prize winners on its staff over the years.

Dr. Avena presently is Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and a Visiting Professor in Health Psychology at Princeton University. She has published over 90 scholarly journal articles on topics related to diet, nutrition and overeating, and she frequently presents her research findings at scientific conferences and University symposia. Her research achievements have been honored by awards from several groups including the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She has received research funding from prestigious sources, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Eating Disorders Association.
Dr. Avena’s book, Why Diets Fail (2014, Ten Speed Press) reviews the research on food addiction and provides a way in which people can remove added sugars and carbohydrates from their diet. She has another best-selling book, What to Eat When You’re Pregnant (2015, Ten Speed Press) that provides mom’s-to-be with nutritional advice on what to eat to ensure they and their baby are healthy. Her new book, What to Feed Your Baby and Toddler (May 2018), covers nutrition for babies who are just beginning to eat, and offers science-based advice and practical tips on how to get your baby to eat healthy foods, like vegetables.

Dr. Avena is a sought-after speaker, and she has been lauded by her colleagues and the public for her ability to explain complex scientific principles and research findings to a lay audience. Dr. Avena regularly makes public speaking appearances to discuss her research and discoveries throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. She is regularly asked to speak to special-interest groups, industry groups, and schools. She regularly appears on the Dr. Oz Show, and she has also appeared on The Doctors, Good Day NY, The Couch, Home and Family, The Better Show, as well as many local news programs including FOX5 San Diego, KTLA, WGN, and the local NY stations. She has also been a guest on several radio programs and podcasts and has been filmed for several documentaries on the obesity epidemic. Her work has been featured on the cover of National Geographic (Sept ’17), as well as in Time Magazine, Bloomberg Business Week, The New York Times, Shape, Men’s Health, Details, and many other periodicals. Dr. Avena is a member of the Random House Speakers Bureau. She has a TED-ED talk, How Sugar Affects Your Brain, was ranked #2 most watched (over 7 million views). Her video has been praised by educators and public health groups.

Why Diets Fail What to Feed Your Baby and Toddler What to Eat When You are Pregnant
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Neal D. Barnard, MD, FACC

Neal D. Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., is a physician, clinical researcher, author, and an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

In 1985, Dr. Barnard established the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to promote preventive medicine, conduct clinical research, and advocate for higher ethical standards in research. The Physicians Committee also provides direct medical care through its subsidiary, Barnard Medical Center. Dr. Barnard works with patients with diabetes, obesity, and other chronic conditions in clinical research studies aiming to improve the prevention and treatment of these health problems.

Dr. Barnard’s articles have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the American Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Scientific American, the American Journal of Cardiology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Lancet Oncology, Preventive Medicine, and in many other scientific and medical journals. He is the editor-in-chief of the Nutrition Guide for Clinicians and the author of 18 books for lay audiences.

In 2015, Dr. Barnard was named a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, and he received the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s Trailblazer Award in 2016. He is an active member of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, the American Medical Association, and other organizations working to improve health and medical care.

Growing up in Fargo, N.D., his extended family includes both doctors and cattle ranchers, two groups that are increasingly butting heads over America’s health policies. Dr. Barnard’s scientific approach aims to shed new light on these important issues.

The Cheese Trap Power Foods for the Brain Reversing Diabetes Cookbook
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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.

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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.

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Jackie Busse, MD

Dr. Jackie Busse is a board certified pediatrician and a national expert in plant-based nutrition for kids and families.

Dr. Busse grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She went on to do a pediatric residency and chief residency at Rush University in Chicago. Shortly after moving to California in 2011, she was introduced to The China Study and it changed her life and practice. She has been living and teaching a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle ever since.

As a founding member of the pediatric working group of the Plantrician Project, she was lead author and editor of their Pediatric Quick Start Guide published in 2018. As an expert lecturer for the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies, she recently rebuilt the pediatric and family lecture modules for the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate program offered through eCornell. In addition to her full time pediatric practice, Dr. Busse teaches an ongoing whole-food, plant-based nutrition series to patients, has organized and spoken at several physician education events and regularly speaks to local interest groups and schools. She is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Most importantly, Dr. Busse is Mom to two feisty plant-eaters, now 2 and 4 years old. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge, insights and personal experience with the plant-based lifestyle.

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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, and author of the New York Times bestseller Whole, and The Low-Carb Fraud. 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
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Jimmy H. Conway, MD

Jimmy H. Conway, MD graduated from the University of Oklahoma Medical School in 1983. In 1984 he moved to San Antonio, Texas where he began his residency in orthopedic surgery. Upon completion he returned to Oklahoma in 1989 to pursue his career in orthopaedics.

Dr. Conway joined Oklahoma Sports Science and Orthopedics in September of 1996 where he specializes in the surgical management of patients with shoulder and athletic injuries. Dr. Conway is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He has served as an orthopedic surgeon for numerous high school and college teams. Dr. Conway has a passion for treating athletes, particularly those with throwing injuries.

In the early 1990’s Dr. Conway was 1 of 30 clinical investigators worldwide for the DePuy Global Total Shoulder System. He currently serves as a paid consultant for the Lima Corporation teaching other physicians total shoulder replacement techniques.

For personal reasons in 2009 Dr. Conway developed an interest in plant-based nutrition. He subsequently took an online course from eCornell University on Plant Based Nutrition. Currently he and his wife hold free twice monthly seminars as well has host a monthly radio show speaking about plant-based nutrition.

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Garth Davis, MD

As a leader in the field of bariatric medicine, Dr. Garth Davis was again recently recognized as a Texas Monthly Super Doc and stars with his father, Dr. Robert Davis, on the hit show docu-reality medical series, BIG MEDICINE. His recently published bestseller, The Expert’s Guide to Weight Loss Surgery is available in bookstores nationwide.

Dr. Davis graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas in Austin where he was the Student Government President. He was also recognized as the most outstanding student at UT. Dr. Davis went on to attend medical school at Baylor College of Medicine and graduated in the top 10 percent of his class. In addition, he was inducted to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Dr. Davis completed his surgical residency at the prestigious University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he was elected to the position of Chief Administrative Resident. While in Michigan, Dr. Davis underwent extensive training in general surgical disciplines, specializing in laparoscopic procedures.

He is certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Davis is a recognized expert in initial bariatric procedures as well as revisional bariatric surgery, and is frequently asked to give lectures to both patient and physician audiences alike.

Proteinaholic
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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.

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Ann Crile Esselstyn

Ann Crile Esselstyn is a relentlessly energetic and creative advocate for the plant-based, whole-food way of life. She has devoted herself to inventing recipes to prevent and reverse heart disease in support of the research of her husband, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. Ann never stops looking for ways to bring that important agenda to delicious life, devising ever more practical and powerful ways to shop, cook, and engage even the most reluctant eaters in the plant-perfect diet.

Ann is the author of the recipe section of Dr. Esselstyn’s bestselling book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook with her daughter, Jane Esselstyn. She is a graduate of Smith College and holds a Masters in Education from Wheelock College. Ann taught English and History for 27 years at Laurel School in Cleveland, Ohio, where she received the Hostatler Award for Outstanding Teaching. At the same time, she juggled the raising of four children. When not in the kitchen, Ann counsels patients, lectures around the world on how to prepare and eat plant-based foods, and spends time with her ten plant-based grandchildren.

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Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD

Dr. Esselstyn received his BA from Yale University and his MD from Case Western Reserve University. In 1956, pulling the No. 6 oar as a member of the victorious United States rowing team, he was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Games. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. In 1968, as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

During his association with the Cleveland Clinic, which began in1968, Dr. Esselstyn served as president of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic’s Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery.

In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn served as president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, That same year he organized the first National Conference on the Elimination of Coronary Artery Disease. In 1997, he chaired a follow-up conference, the Summit on Cholesterol and Coronary Disease, which brought together more than 500 physicians and health-care workers. In April, 2005, Dr. Esselstyn became the first recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Association in 2009. In September 2010, he received the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Award. Dr. Esselstyn received the 2013 Deerfield Academy Alumni Association Heritage Award In Recognition of Outstanding Achievement & Service, and the 2013 Yale University GEORGE H.W. BUSH ’48 LIFETIME OF LEADERSHIP AWARD.

His scientific publications number over 150, “The Best Doctors in America” 1994-1995 published by Woodward and White cites Dr. Esselstyn’s surgical expertise in the categories of endocrine and breast disease. In 1995, he published his bench mark long-term nutritional research arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients. That same study was updated at 12 years and reviewed beyond twenty years in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, making it one of the longest longitudinal studies of its type. Dr. Esselstyn and his wife, Ann Crile Esselstyn, have followed a plant-based diet for more than 26 years. Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute and serves on the Board of Directors of The Plantrician Project. The Esselstyns have four children and nine (soon to be 10) grandchildren.

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Joel Fuhrman, MD

Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board-certified family physician, six-time New York Times best-selling author and internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods. He is the President of the Nutritional Research Foundation and on the faculty of Northern Arizona University, Health Sciences division. Dr. Fuhrman coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe a nutrient-dense eating style, designed to prevent cancer, slow aging, and extend lifespan.

For over 25 years, Dr. Fuhrman has shown that it is possible to achieve sustainable weight loss and reverse heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses using smart nutrition. In his medical practice, and through his books and television specials, he continues to bring this life-saving message to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

Dr. Fuhrman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Pearlman) School of Medicine (1988) and has received the St. Joseph’s Family Practice Resident’s Teaching Award for his contribution to the education of residents.

A native of Yonkers, N.Y., Dr. Fuhrman is a former world-class figure skater, who placed second in the United States National Pairs Championships in 1973 and third in the 1976 World Professional Pairs Skating Championship in Jaca, Spain. Along with his nutritional expertise, Dr. Fuhrman has been involved professionally with sports medical committees, advised professional and Olympic athletes, and has lectured to athletic trainers and world-class athletes about maximizing performance and preventing injury.

In his hundreds of radio and television appearances, including The Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, Live with Kelly, and Good Morning America, Dr. Fuhrman has educated millions of people on the long-range benefits of healthy eating. His four hugely successful PBS specials, which have raised over $35 million for public television, bring essential nutritional knowledge to homes all across America.

Dr. Fuhrman is the author of six New York Times bestsellers: Eat to Live (Little Brown, 2003); Super Immunity (HarperOne, 2012); The End of Diabetes (HarperOne, 2013); The Eat to Live Cookbook (HarperOne, 2013); The End of Dieting (HarperOne, 2014) and The End of Heart Disease (HarperOne, 2016).

In addition to his New York Times best sellers, Dr. Fuhrman has written several other popular books on nutritional science which include: Dr. Fuhrman’s Transformation 20 Blood Pressure and Cholesterol (Gift of Health Press); Dr. Fuhrman’s Transformation 20 Diabetes (Gift of Health Press); 10 in 20: Dr. Fuhrman’s Lose 10 Pounds in 20 Days Detox Program (Gift of Health Press); Eat for Health (Gift of Health Press), Disease Proof Your Child (St. Martin’s Griffin), Fasting and Eating for Health (St. Martin’s Griffin) and the Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Handbook and ANDI Food Scoring Guide (Gift of Health Press).

Dr. Fuhrman’s latest books include Fast Food Genocide and Eat to Live Quick & Easy Cookbook.

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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
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Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.

Dr. Kahleova is director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. She has conducted several clinical trials, using a plant-based diet in the treatment of obesity, diabetes and metabolic disease. Her research showed that a plant-based diet leads to a greater weight loss and improvement in metabolism, and reduces muscle fat more than a conventional hypocaloric diet in people with type 2 diabetes. This reduction in muscle fat was also associated with improvements in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

Her research proved that eating a large breakfast and lunch is more beneficial than eating six smaller meals a day for patients with type 2 diabetes. She completed her postdoctoral research fellowship at Loma Linda University in California, analyzing data from more than 50,000 people, who were followed up for more than 7 years, on meal frequency and timing in relationship to body weight regulation. The study showed that eating less frequently, no snacking, consuming breakfast, and eating the largest meal in the morning may be effective methods for preventing long-term weight gain. Eating breakfast and lunch 5–6 h apart and making the overnight fast last 18–19 h may be a useful practical strategy for body weight management.

As a member of the American Diabetes Association and as a board member of the Diabetes and Nutrition Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Dr. Kahleova is directly involved in the process of updating the nutritional recommendations for patients with diabetes.

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Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Dr. Khambatta is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine.

Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.

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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.

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.”

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.

Dr. Michael Klaper teaches that “Health Comes From Healthy Living” and is dedicated to the healing and flourishing of all living beings and our planet.

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 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.

As Dr. Klaper’s medical career progressed, he began to realize (true to what science is bearing out today) that many of the diseases his patients presented – clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, adult onset diabetes, and even some forms of arthritis, asthma, and other significant illnesses – were made worse or actually caused by the high sugar, high fat, high salt, overly processed Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).

Dr. Klaper resolutely believes that proper nutrition (through a whole food, plant-based diet) and a balanced lifestyle are essential for health and, in many cases, can make the difference between healing an illness or merely treating its symptoms.

In addition to his clinical practice and private consultations with patients, Dr. Klaper is a passionate and devoted educator of physicians and other healthcare professionals about the importance of nutrition in clinical practice.

Dr. Michael Klaper served as the Director of the non-profit Institute of Nutrition Education and Research from 1992 through 2015, during which time he conducted a study focusing on people who ate a completely plant-based (vegan) diet.

Dr. Klaper was also a member of the Nutrition Task Force of the American Medical Student Association, and 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.

For over ten years, Dr. Klaper hosted a popular medical information radio program Sounds of Healing on WPFW in Washington, DC and KAOI 1110 AM on Maui, Hawaii.

Dr. Michael Klaper 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 nutritionally-based medical clinic specializing in therapeutic fasting and health improvement through a whole-food, plant-based diet. He currently lives with his wife, Alese, in Southern California.

He also serves on the Advisory Board for Naked Food Magazine.

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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.

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Marcy Madrid

Marcy Madrid started her career in Public Relations at Midland Memorial Hospital in 2006, becoming the Director of Marketing and Public Relations in 2009. In 2014, Marcy began her role as Vice President of Planning and Marketing for Midland Health, a system of healthcare partners in Midland Texas, including Midland Memorial Hospital. In her current role, Marcy oversees strategic planning, community health outreach, marketing and public relations, sales as well as employee engagement and patient experience.

Before coming to MMH, Marcy was a morning show anchor and reporter for the local NBC affiliate, where she was recognized and awarded for her writing and storytelling skills by the Texas Association of Broadcasters. Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Marcy moved to Tennessee in the late 90s where she graduated with honors from Middle Tennessee State University, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and a double minor in Spanish and Political Science. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Marcy is very involved in the community and is the president of Healthy City nonprofit as well as a member of Pink the Basin, both of which she was a founding board member. She also volunteers in a leadership role at Mid-Cities Community Church.

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Laurie Marbas, MD, MBA

Laurie Marbas, MD, MBA is double board certified family medicine and lifestyle medicine physician utilizing a whole-foods, plant-based diet for the past 5 years in rural Colorado. She worked with Dr. Joel Fuhrman creating a new medical model combining the power of nutrient-dense foods and intensive clinical psychological therapy to treat not only food addiction but chronic disease. She currently is the Managing Editor for the Plantrician Project’s International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention and works closely with the journal’s Editor in Chief, Dr. Kim Williams. The journal is focused on plant-based research and bringing this important work to the forefront of modern medicine and the general public.

In Colorado, she convinced a large hospital to create a lifestyle medicine program centered around a whole-foods, plant-based diet and showed resounding success. At another hospital, she conducted a one-month study of 26 employees on a plant-based diet. All employees were fed from the hospital’s kitchen and each individual had improvement in their health. She has spoken at the Golden VegFest in Colorado, the International Plant-based Nutrition Healthcare Conference, and other venues teaching about the value of the WFPB diet.

She wrote seven books while in medical school, six of which were in a series called “Visual Mnemonics”. These books used cartoons to help memorize vast amounts of information, which helped her when she was a mom attending medical school. She is a USAF veteran having served in the Middle East and South America. She is a wife, mom of three grown children, and an avid runner.

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Margaret Moore, MBA

Margaret Moore, MBA (aka Coach Meg) is a 17-year veteran of the biotechnology industry in the US, UK, Canada, France. She served in executive roles at three companies which later joined Sanofi, and served as CEO and COO of two biotech companies. In 2000, Margaret shifted from high tech medicine to coaching in healthcare and wellness, and founded Wellcoaches Corporation – strategic partner of the American College of Sports Medicine, now a standard-bearer for professional coaches in healthcare and wellness. The Wellcoaches School of Coaching has trained more than 10,000 health professionals as coaches in 45 countries.

Margaret is co-founder and co-director of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and a course director of the annual Coaching in Leadership & Healthcare conference organized by the Institute of Coaching and delivered by Harvard Medical School. She is a faculty member of Harvard University Extension School, teaching the Science of Coaching Psychology. She is a co-founder and executive board member of the National Consortium for Credentialing Health & Wellness Coaches and led the formation of a strategic partnership with the National Board of Medical Examiners to deliver national standards and certification of health and wellness coaches.

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Dean Ornish, MD

Biographical Sketch

Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He received his M.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine, was a clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School, and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at 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 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, without drugs or surgery. Medicare created a new benefit category, “intensive cardiac rehabilitation,” to provide coverage for this program. He directed the first randomized controlled trial demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes may slow, stop or reverse the progression of early-stage prostate cancer. His research showed that comprehensive lifestyle changes affect gene expression, “turning on” disease-preventing genes and “turning 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, the ends of our chromosomes which regulate aging (in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine & Physiology). He is currently directing the first randomized controlled trial to determine if comprehensive lifestyle changes can reverse the progression of early Alzheimer’s disease.

He is the author of seven books, all national bestsellers. UnDo It! (co-authored with Anne Ornish) was published by Random House as their lead nonfiction title in January 2019. His three main-stage TED.com talks have been viewed by over 5.5 million people. www.ornish.com

The research that he and his colleagues conducted has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Circulation, The New England Journal of Medicine, the American Journal of Cardiology, The Lancet Oncology, and elsewhere. A one-hour documentary of their work was broadcast on NOVA, the PBS science series, and was featured on Bill Moyers’ PBS series, Healing & The Mind. Their work has been featured in all major media, including cover stories in Newsweek, TIME, and U.S. News & World Report. He has written a monthly column for TIME, Newsweek and Reader’s Digest magazines, is a LinkedIn Influencer, and was Medical Editor of The Huffington Post 2010-2016.

He was appointed by President Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and by President Obama to the White House Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. He is also a member of The Lancet Oncology “Moonshot Commission.” He has been a member of the boards of directors of the San Francisco Food Bank and the J. Craig Venter Institute. Dr. Ornish and colleagues established a lifestyle medicine clinic at the St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Shelter in San Francisco where over 30,000 homeless people were treated.

The “Ornish diet” has been rated “#1 for Heart Health” by a panel of experts at U.S. News & World Report for eight years from 2011-2019. He co-chaired the Google Health Advisory Council with Marissa Mayer 2007-9.

He received the 1994 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from the University of Texas, Austin; the University of California, Berkeley, “National Public Health Hero” award; the Jan J. Kellermann Memorial Award for distinguished contribution in the field of cardiovascular disease prevention from the International Academy of Cardiology; a U.S. Surgeon General Citation; a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association; the inaugural “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine; the Beckmann Medal from the German Society for Prevention and Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Diseases; the “Pioneer in Integrative Medicine” award from California Pacific Medical Center; the Stanley Wallach Award from the American College of Nutrition; the Glenn Foundation Award for Research; the Bravewell Collaborative Pioneer of Integrative Medicine award; the Sheila Kar Health Foundation Humanitarian Award from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Plantrician Project Luminary Award; and others. Dr. Ornish has been a physician consultant to President Clinton since 1993 and consulted with the chefs at The White House, Camp David, and Air Force One to cook more healthfully (1993-2000).

Dr. Ornish was recognized as “one of the 125 most extraordinary University of Texas alumni in the past 125 years;” 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.”

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Angie Sadeghi, MD

When it comes to the human wellness experience, Dr. Angie says, “My passion is to provide healing through an integrative approach to keep patients healthy and youthful. Most people spend the latter years of life dealing with chronic disease. My mission is to bring healing and improve the quality of life for those individuals looking to stay fit and healthy, through use of nutrition, fitness, and bio-identical hormone therapy.”

Dr. Angie’s own personal journey fueled her desire to help patients. Five years ago, she switched to a plant-based lifestyle and adopted regular fitness into her life. She had previously suffered from health problems such as severe eczema, elevated cholesterol, fatigue, and was overweight. She started eating a whole food, plant-based diet, and transformed her health and body amazingly. This allowed her to completely restore her health and even compete and place in a fitness competition. “It was crazy to look at myself in the mirror and look like a fitness model, rather than a typical overweight physician. For this reason, I decided to share my success method with my patients.”

Dr. Angie understands that no single approach is right for every individual, so she offers a complete range of services to help individuals with gut problems, obesity, anti-aging, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, and overall disease prevention. Combining evidence-based medicine, her expertise in the digestive system, and her passion for physical fitness and plant-based nutrition, Dr. Angie has developed a comprehensive approach to helping patients recover from illness and live a healthy life. Additionally, she is part of a new movement called “The Plantrician Project,” empowering individuals with the knowledge and benefits of a whole food plant-based nutrition.

Dr. Angie Sadeghi is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a diplomate of the American Board of Gastroenterology. She has extensive training from the prestigious University of Southern California (USC), and demonstrates exceptional commitment to excellence in treating diseases of digestive tract.

Dr. Angie is featured in three documentaries as a leader in the field of plant-based fitness for health and weight loss. Other upcoming projects include a book, Trifecta of Rejuvenation and Health. She was recently published on the cover of Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine, where she shared a health-related article on making nutrition and fitness fun!

In closing Dr. Angie would say, “I want to leave a legacy of a doctor who prevented disease in her patients using the mastery of combing integrative medicine, western and eastern medicine, rather than simply using pharmaceuticals.”

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Gretchen Schisla

Gretchen Schisla is the founder and principal of Enrich, a branding and marketing team dedicated to serving organizations and individuals who help others improve their health with plant-based food and lifestyle.

Gretchen fosters strong relationships with clients and identifies the key solutions that will build their practice or business and increase connection with their audience. As a brand strategist, writer and advisor, she brings over 35 years of insight, expertise and industry perspective to help clients make the best decisions for their product or service.

With the rise of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, Gretchen appreciates having the opportunity to collaborate with clients who are making a difference. She believes: “Design matters. It’s a critical tool to communicate a purpose, to educate, to bring awareness to a problem, to inspire individuals and unite communities – and to act as an agent for change.”

Gretchen is the recipient of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Design Fellow and the AIGA Local Legend awards. Enrich has been recognized as a Top 20 Small Business Company by St. Louis Small Business Monthly. Her work has been recognized by AIGA, New York Art Director’s Club, PRINT Annual, CLIO, International Association of Business Communicators, American Alliance of Museums and HOW Magazine.

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Ayesha Sherzai, MD

Ayesha Sherzai, MD is the Co-Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center. She is a vascular neurologist, who completed a preventive medicine and neurology residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center. She then went on to complete a in vascular neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. Dr. Sherzai is currently working on her PhD in Epidemiology at Loma Linda University. She has been actively involved in extensive research in lifestyle, particularly diet and nutrition and its effect on brain health, and published extensively. In 2015, Dr. Sherzai was the recipient of the Trudy Bush Fellowship Award for Cardiovascular Disease Research in Women’s Health, for her research on diet and stroke prevention in women. Her passion to prevent diseases of the brain led to She is also a culinary artist, with a focus on healthy plant-based cooking. At Loma Linda, she is currently in charge of the Lifestyle Intervention Program for patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment, where together with her husband, Dr. Dean Sherzai, work with their patients to modify their lifestyle, in areas such as nutrition, exercise, meditation, restful sleep, and cognitive activity.

The Alzheimer's Solution
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Dean Sherzai, MD, PhD

Dean Sherzai, MD is the Co-Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center. His research focuses on early diagnosis and intervention in Alzheimer’s disease. As such, he is introducing novel imaging and biomarker tools into the realm of diagnosis at earlier stages of the disease. He is also introducing novel interventions both with regard to pharmaceuticals and comprehensive lifestyle changes that appear to be very effective in altering the course of the disease. Dr. Sherzai received his PhD from Eastern Virginia Medical School, completed his Residency at Georgetown University Hospital, Fellowships at National Institutes of Health and University of California, San Diego Medical Center, and Doctorate at Loma Linda University.

Dr. Ayesha Sherzai and Dr. Dean Sherzai are a dynamic husband and wife duo, co-running the research program focusing on brain health and dementia prevention using innovative techniques, comprehensive imaging and neuropsychological testing, and most importantly, passion and a drive to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer's Solution
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Jeff Tkach

Jeff Tkach serves as the Chief Impact Officer for the Rodale Institute. Jeff is responsible for expanding Rodale Institute’s global influence in healing people and the planet by unlocking the full, transformational power of regenerative organic agriculture.

Tkach served on the Rodale Institute’s Board of Directors in 2016, where he was instrumental in galvanizing relationships between the organization and business leaders in the organic food industry. With the commencement of his role as Chief Growth Officer, Tkach will resign from his position as a Board member.

From 2015 – 2016, Tkach served as Managing Director, Vice President for Rodale’s Organic Life and Prevention Magazines, where he oversaw business objectives and day to day operations for both brands, leading efforts across print and digital advertising, sales and marketing functions, digital, live events, and e-tailing components to maximize growth opportunities.

Previously, Tkach served as vice president of sales and marketing at Life Time Fitness. He also served as group publisher at Active Interest Media (AIM) from 2013-2015, overseeing Yoga Journal and Vegetarian Times. He was responsible for leading Yoga Journal’s relaunch in 2014, which led to record-breaking 40th year of publication for the brand.

A Pennsylvania native, Tkach earned a degree in business marketing from Kutztown University and a post graduate “Authentic Leadership Certificate” from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. He regularly speaks at various industry organizations on behalf of Rodale Institute, in an effort to help people come alive to the power of regenerative organic agriculture and its ability to heal the world.

Inspired by his work at Naropa, Jeff is an advocate for bringing mindful leadership to corporations to help people reach their greatest potential.

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Brie Turner-McGrievy, PhD, MS, RD

Dr. Brie Turner-McGrievy received her Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Registered Dietitian credentials from the University of Alabama in 2000. She went on to work in the area of clinical research for four years before pursuing her doctoral degree. Dr. Turner-McGrievy completed her doctoral degree in nutrition and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health. Currently, she is an associate professor at the University of South Carolina in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior and is Deputy Director of the Technology Center to Promote Healthy Lifestyles. .

Dr. Turner-McGrievy’s research focuses on behavioral interventions for weight loss and the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Dr. Turner-McGrievy has over 100 publications and has secured more than $3.5 million in grant funding. She has published research on the use of emerging technologies for weight loss and health promotion. In particular, her research has focused on the use of podcasting and social media to deliver behavioral weight loss interventions. Her research has combined these delivery methods with other mobile enhancements, including the use of diet monitoring apps for smartphones. Dr. Turner-McGrievy’s work has also focused on plant-based dietary approaches for chronic disease prevention and treatment among adults. She has completed three randomized trials examining various plant-based eating styles, one among women with polycystic ovary syndrome, one among overweight and obese adults, and one among adults at risk of having chronic inflammation. Currently, Dr. Turner-McGrievy is the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health R01 randomized trial that partners with local vegan soul food restaurants and chefs to help deliver a two-year intervention targeting reduction of cardiovascular disease risk among African Americans.

She has received several awards during her nutrition career, including the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year award in 2004, the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Early Career Investigator Award for 2016, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Excellence in Weight Management Outcomes Research Award for 2017. In 2018, she was inducted as Fellow to the Obesity Society.

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