Annual Integrative Medicine Conference 2018

2018 Featured Speakers


Picture of Donald Abrams

Donald Abrams, MD

Professor of Clinical Medicine
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, California

Integrating Cannabis into Clinical Care

Medical cannabis is now available in 29 states, but information for health care providers on how to use it is lacking. This presentation will explore the system of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids and the roles they play in physiology and pharmacology. The strongest available evidence on the beneficial health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids will be reviewed to assist practitioners in integrative cannabis into clinical care.

Donald I. Abrams, MD, is chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital and Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He has an Integrative Oncology practice at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He was one of the original clinician/investigators to recognize and define many early AIDS-related conditions. He has long been interested in clinical trials of complementary and alternative medicine interventions for HIV/AIDS and cancer, including evaluations of medical marijuana. He co-authored the chapter on “Cannabinoids and Cancer” in the Oxford University Press Integrative Oncology text, co-edited with Andrew Weil, MD. He was a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s committee that published The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research in January 2017.  


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David Blyweiss, MD, IFMCP

Voluntary Faculty
University of Miami
Miami, Florida

Putting It All Together

This presentation will discuss the application of key factors of prevention and treatment strategies for optimal aging, cardiovascular disease, fertility, and the development of a healthy microbiome in a clinical setting.

Dr. Blyweiss was a clinical pharmacist and presently is a certified Functional Medicine physician. These dual backgrounds allow him to appreciate the relevance of conventional pharmaceutical/surgical based treatments in acute medical conditions, but also recognize where they fall short in managing patients who suffer from the chronic degenerative diseases with a “western civilization origin”. Dr. Blyweiss is the Medical Director for the Clinical Nutrition program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and is currently in private practice with Maximum Wellness Centers in South Florida.  


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Monique Class, MS, APRN, BC

Family Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist
The Center for Functional Medicine
Stamford, Connecticut

Meditation for You and Your Practice

Meditation has roots in the contemplative practices of nearly every major religion as a way to cultivate basic human qualities such as love, compassion, and connection. In recent years there has been a growing compendium of research suggestion that meditation may be effective in increasing neuroplasticity, decreasing depression and chronic pain, and cultivating a sense of overall well-being. In this process oriented session, we will explore the science behind mediation, experience different meditative techniques, and outline steps for setting up an at-home and in office meditation practices.

Monique Class, MS, APRN, BC is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist in Holistic Health at the Center for Functional Medicine in Stamford, CT. Recognized as a leader in the fields of Integrative and Holistic Nursing, Monique is a senior faculty member for the Institute for Functional Medicine, a clinical Instructor for Yale Graduate School Nursing, a senior faculty member of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, DC, and a faculty member for the Integrative Nurse Coach Certification Program.  


Picture of Robert Hedaya

Robert Hedaya, MD, DLFAPA

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
Georgetown University
Washington, DC

Precision Medicine Meets Psychiatry

Despite significant advances in the last 60 years, traditional psychiatry leaves many patients ill, overmedicated and with dangerous co-morbidities. As an example, 30-50% of patients with mood disorders will develop MCI and Alzheimer’s Disease. Using clinical cases, Dr. Hedaya will show the audience how to combine a thoughtful clinical assessment with work at the deepest levels of the metabolome and genome to identify the precise sources of risk and the consequent personalized approaches to treatment and prevention.

Robert Hedaya, MD, has been at the cutting edge of medical practice, psychiatry, and psychopharmacology since 1979, and as been practicing Functional Medicine since 1996. He is also a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center, where he was awarded the Teacher of the Year award on three occasions while teaching courses on Affective Disorders, Cognitive Therapy, and PNIE. He is a faculty member at the Institute for Functional Medicine and author of three books, including Understanding Biological Psychiatry, The Antidepressant Survival Guide, and Depression: Advancing the Treatment Paradigm.  


Picture of Andrew Heyman

Andrew Heyman, MD, MHSA

Director, Integrative Medicine Program
The George Washington University
Washington, DC

Environmental Exposures and Clinical Systems Biology

In this talk, Dr. Andrew Heyman will review the genetically mediated neuroinflammatory response in biotoxin sensitive patients. Impairments in cardiopulmonary function, innate immune activity, and gastrointestinal manifestations will be highlighted. Additionally, treatment options are identified to resolve this complex patient presentation.

Andrew Heyman, MD, is an internationally recognized expert in Integrative Medicine. He is currently the Program Director of Integrative and Metabolic Medicine at the George Washington University. Prior to assuming this role, he spent sixteen years at the University of Michigan, serving to build one of the largest most successful academic-based integrative medicine program in the United States.  


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Mark Houston, MD, MS, MSc

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee

Revolutionary Concepts in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypertension: An Integrative Approach

In this lecture, Dr. Mark Houston will discuss the mechanisms and finite causes of hypertension: inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune vascular dysfunction. The role of vascular biology and endothelial function and dysfunction, membrane physiology, pattern recognition receptors, nitric oxide, cytokines, chemokines, and other mediators will be reviewed in regard to the pathogenesis of hypertension. All scientific treatments for hypertension and related cardiovascular target organ damage using an integrative model of nutrition, lifestyle changes, exercise, weight management, and nutritional supplements.

Dr. Mark Houston is Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Clincal Instructor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Health Care Sciences at the George Washington University (GWU), Adjunct Professor in Metabolic Medicine at the University of South Florida Medical School, Director of the Hypertension Institute, and Vascular Biology and Medical Director of the Division of Human Nutrition at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, TN. Dr. Houston has presented over 10,000 lectures, nationally and internationally, and has published over 250 medical articles, scientific abstracts in peer reviewed medical journals, books, and book chapters. He is an author, teacher, clinician, and researcher.  


Picture of Mikhail Kogan

Mikhail Kogan, MD

Medical Director, GW Center for Integrative Medicine
The George Washington University
Washington, DC

Integrative Geriatrics: The Solution for Baby Boomers Growing Need to Maintain Optimal Health and Longevity

Integrative Geriatrics is a new field of medicine that advocates for whole-person, patient-centered, primarily non-pharmacological approaches to medical care of the elderly. The practice of integrative geriatrics is rooted in lifestyle interventions such as nutrition, movement therapies, and mind-body and spirituality approaches, that allow patients to have different a different path to their healthcare – one that utilizes pharmaceuticals and invasive procedures only when safer integrative approaches are not available or ineffective. In this presentation, Dr. Mikhail Kogan will provide a detailed introduction to the field of Integrative Geriatrics and discuss practical approaches to high yield integrative geriatrics topics based on case presentations.

Mikhail Kogan, MD is the world leader in the newly established field of integrative geriatrics. He is editor of the fields definitive textbook, Integrative Geriatric Medicine, published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Kogan currently serves as Medical Director of the GW Center for Integrative Medicine, Associate Director of Geriatrics and Integrative Medicine Fellowships, and Director of the Integrative Medicine Track Program at George Washington University School of Medicine. In addition to a number of academic roles at GW University, Dr. Kogan served as founding board member of the American Board of Integrative Medicine. He is founder and the chair of the board of AIM Health Institute, a non-profit organization in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area that provides integrative medicine services to low-income and terminally ill patients.  


Picture of Todd LePine

Todd Lepine, MD

Staff Physician
The UltraWellness Center
Lenox, Massachusetts

Mitochondria: The Hub of Health & Metabolism

Mitochondria are vital organelles found in essentially every cell of the body, which are completely overlooked in diagnostics and therapeutics by mainstream medicine. This lecture will review the origin, function, and bioenergetics of mitochondria. Dr. LePine will cover a variety of condition where mitochondrial dysfunctional plays a role. Mitochondrial dysfunction involves a vicious cycle of excessive oxidative stress, cellular damage, and subsequent inflammation from an unchecked immune response leading to a feed forward cycle ultimately resulting a variety of chronic diseases.

Dr. Todd LePine is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, specializing in Integrative Functional Medicine. Additionally, he has advanced training through the Institute for Functional Medicine. Dr. LePine is a staff physician with Dr. Mark Hyman at the UltraWellness Center located in Lenox, MA. Prior to joining the UltraWellness Center, Dr. LePine worked as a staff physician at Canyon Ranch Health Spa in Lenox, MA. He is a faculty of the American Academy of Anti-Aging. In addition, he teaches clinical seminars to physicians on the application of advanced nutritional and biochemical laboratory testing.  


Picture of Jay Lombard

Jay Lombard, DO

Co-Founder & Medical Director
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Brain Health: Resilience Through Epigenetics

There is an increased appreciation of how both biological and psychological factors are involved in brain wellness and common brain disorders including depression, PTSD and dementia. These factors include genetic influences that involve domains of systems biology of metabolism, inflammation and the blood brain barrier. By identifying these biological factors, we can broaden both our understanding of the relationship of mind-body so that treatments are personalized and prevention oriented.

Dr. Jay Lombard is an internationally acclaimed neurologist, author, and keynote speaker who creates solutiosn for brain health and intractable neurological disorders. Dr. Lombard integrative biological, psychological, and existential components in his holistic treatment approach. He is the co-founder, chief scientific officer, and medical director of Genomind, a medicine company utilizing genetic testing to improve the lives of patients with psychiatric and neurological conditions. Dr. Lombard has been published extensively in medical textbooks, peer-reviewed papers, and medical journals. He has authored several popular nonfiction works related to the effects of nutrition on the brain including The Brain Wellness Plan. His newest book, The Mind of God, explores the relationship between neuroscience and faith.  


Picture of Vicgtoria Maizes

Victoria Maizes, MD

Professor of Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine & Public Health
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona

Defy the Odds: Strategies to Conceive Healthy Children in a Toxic World

The fetal origins hypothesis points out the critical impact of the intra-uterine environment on lifelong health and challenges us to help our patients be optimally healthy before they conceive. Most aspiring parents are highly motivated at this life stage. Health professionals serve them fully by counseling how to prepare for a healthy pregnancy, to increase fertility, and to enhance the health of their children. In her presentation, Dr. Maizes will review the evidence for dietary patterns, macronutrients, and micronutrients, reducing exposure to environmental chemicals, using mind body therapies, acupuncture, and spiritual practices that can improve fertility as well as the likelihood of conceiving a healthy child.

Dr. Victoria Maizes is the Executive Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, and Professor of Medicine, Family Medicine, and Public Health at the University of Arizona. She is internationally recognized as a leader in integrative medicine, having stewarded the growth of the Program in Integrative Medicine from a small program educating four residential fellows per year, to a Center of Excellence, training over 1,000 fellows and residents annually. She has pioneered multiple educational innovations including the Integrative Medicine in Residency program and Integrative Health and Lifestyle Program, and Integrative Health Coaching.  


Picture of Emeran Mayer

Emeran Mayer, MD

Professor of Medicine & Physiology
Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences

University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California

Brain Gut Microbiome Interactions

The bidirectional communications within the brain gut microbiome axis can influence brain and behavior, gut microbial composition and function, as well as other organs. Alterations in this communication has been implicated in a wide range of medical and psychiatric disorders. Growing evidence from both mouse and some human studies suggest that this communication can be modulated by diet, probiotics, exercise and by mind targeted therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Emeran A. Mayer is a Gastroenterologist, Neuroscientist and Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is the Executive Director of the G Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress & Resilience and the co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at UCLA. As one of the pioneers and leading researchers in the role of mind-brain-gut interactions in health and chronic disease, he has made major scientific contributions to the area of basic and translational enteric neurobiology with wide-ranging applications in clinical GI diseases and disorders. He has published more than 300 scientific papers (h-factor 101), and co-edited 3 books. He is the recipient of the 2016 Paul D McLean award from the American Psychosomatic Society. His most recent work in the area of brain gut interactions has focused on the role of the gut microbiota in influencing different aspects of the brain gut axis, including food addiction in obesity, and gastrointestinal symptoms in functional and inflammatory bowel disorders.  


Picture of Denise Pickett-Bernard

Denise Pickett-Bernard, PhD, RDN, LDN

Assistant Dean of Nutrition
LIFE University
Marietta, Georgia

Advanced Culinary Nutrition

Food can, and should be optimally nourishing and delicious. Clients make food choices based upon complex interacting factors not the least of which are availability and cost. This session explores food from the standpoint of flavor, synergy of components and multi-cultural preparations while examining new ingredients to add to the clients’ pantry arsenal. Evidence will be provided that supports research showing individual food components are more likely powerful when consumed with a varied diet.

Clinician, educator and chef, Denise Pickett-Bernard, PhD, created the Bachelor of Science curriculum in Culinary Nutrition for Life University in Marietta, GA, where she provides thought leadership as the Assistant Dean of Nutrition. This past year, Denise has worked to develop Life’s MS in Clinical Nutrition into an Integrative and Functional degree program which will include advanced coursework in food science, culinary nutrition, and functional diagnosis. Denise is a registered and licensed dietitian in both Florida and Georgia and an Integrative and Functional Certified Practitioner (IFNCP). She is working on the AFMCP certification with the Institute of Functional Medicine. Denise is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and holds a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, BS in Food Service Management; and an MS in Food Science and Human Nutrition. She earned a PhD from Barry University studying spiritual factors which affect weight control maintenance.