NUTRITION IN HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE

2019 PRESENTER BIOGRAPHIES

Dr Neal Barnard MD (USA)

Dr Neal Barnard is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Dr Barnard has led numerous research studies investigating the effects of diet on diabetes, body weight, and chronic pain, including a groundbreaking study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr Barnard has authored more than 80 scientific publications and 20 books for medical and lay readers.
 

As president of the Physicians Committee, Dr Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research. He has hosted four PBS television programs on nutrition and health, and is the editor in chief of the Nutrition Guide for Clinicians, a textbook made available to all US medical students. His research contributed to the acceptance of plant-based diets in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In 2015, he was named a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. In 2016, he founded the Barnard Medical Center in Washington, DC, as a model for making nutrition a routine part of all medical care.

Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Dr Barnard received his MD degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the same institution. He practised at St Vincent’s Hospital in New York before returning to Washington to found the Physicians Committee.

 

Dr Scott Stoll MD (USA)

Dr Scott Stoll received his medical degree from the University of Colorado. He is board certified by the American Board of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. For 15 years he chaired the Physical Medicine and Rehab/Spine department at Coordinated Health and served as a team Physician and Lehigh University. Prior to receiving his MD, he was a member of the 1994 Olympic Bobsled team and currently serves as a physician for the US Bobsled and Skeleton team. 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. He 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. He currently serves as the Chairman of the board for the Plantrician Project and chief medical director for the Rouxbe cooking school.


Dr Stoll hosts a very popular one week health immersion several times annually in Florida. In addition to authoring several books, hosting his own daily TV and radio programs, Dr Stoll has appeared on numerous national shows including the Dr Oz show, PBS and documentaries including Eating You Alive, Wait til it's Free, and The Game Changers. Dr Stoll resides with his wife and six children in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Dr Luke Wilson MD (NZ)

Dr Luke Wilson is from Wellington, New Zealand, and is Board Certified by the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine. In his final year of medical school, he studied and worked in Santa Rosa, California, as an intern for Dr John McDougall at the McDougall Health and Medical Center and also alongside Dr Michael Klaper and Dr Alan Goldhamer at the True North Health Center.

 

After graduation, he worked at Gisborne Hospital, NZ and subsequently was co-lead researcher and creator of the BROAD Study, a community-based lifestyle intervention using whole food plant-based nutrition.

 

Dr Wilson founded Two Zesty Bananas with colleague Dr Matthew Hobbs in 2014. Since then he has co-authored The 21st Century Food Course, completed the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition, worked part-time as a general practitioner, and spoken at events in New Zealand and Australia. He has experience helping hundreds of people transform their lives by adopting a whole food plant-based lifestyle, particularly through his work on the BROAD Study. 

 
 

Dr Alan Desmond (IRE / UK)

Dr Alan Desmond graduated from the School of Medicine at University College Cork in 2001 and went on to complete his specialist training in Ireland and Oxford. Alan is currently lead clinician at a gastroenterology practice in Devon specialising in a wide range of issues such as acid reflux, indigestion, stomach ulcers, Coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and lactose intolerance.

 

Dr Desmond has been involved with clinical research and has published several influential papers on medical imaging in chronic gastro-intestinal disorders. He has presented at numerous UK healthcare conferences and, through speaking appearances and social media, regularly shares his passion for helping to educate people on the role of nutrition in avoiding and treating diseases of the digestive system. Alan is a Member of the British Society of Gastroenterology and Associate Member of the Royal College of Physicians of London.

 

Dr Heleen Roex-Haitjema MD (AU)

Dr Heleen Roex-Haitjema is a paediatrician (non practising), educated in the Netherlands. Heleen holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through eCornell University and has qualified as a Food For Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington DC. She conducts community courses in her hometown of Adelaide in this capacity. Dr Roex-Haitjema has co-organised, presented at and attended numerous Australian, North American and European plant-based nutrition conferences, symposia, grand rounds and community events. 

 

Dr Roex-Haitjema is Co-Founder, Chair & Managing Director of Doctors For Nutrition.

 
 

Dr Renae Thomas (AU / USA)

Dr Renae Thomas (B-BMed, MBBS hons) first became interested in the power of lifestyle choices before she even started school, while observing her father incorporate health-promoting changes shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer. She continues to have a passion for nutrition, physical activity, social connections and stress reduction and how these influence disease prevention, recovery, and ongoing maintenance of health. Renae recently migrated from Australia to Loma Linda, California – one of the world's Bluezones.
 
Dr Thomas is currently a senior resident in Loma Linda University Medical Center’s Family and Preventive Medicine residency combined program, which includes a Lifestyle Medicine track, and a masters in Public Health. She completed an internship at True North Health Centre in 2016, is a board member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Professionals in Training division, a PCRM spokesperson, McDougall Starch Solution and Dietary Therapy graduate and a qualified yoga teacher
.

 

Dr Andrew Davies MD (AU)

Dr Andrew Davies is an intensive care physician from Melbourne. Andrew’s research has been widely published in leading medical journals, and he regularly presents at conferences locally, interstate and internationally. An episode of burnout in 2012 saw Dr Davies leave his coveted position at a leading public hospital and take a year’s break from clinical medicine and research. During this time, he and his family adopted a plant-based approach to nutrition, and embraced regular exercise and mindfulness practices. Dr Davies, and his wife -– nurse, Claire Davies – advocate for a balanced approach to health and wellness via their lifestyle events platform and podcast: the New Normal Project. Dr Davies also founded the Mastering Intensive Care podcast. Through these avenues, the wisdom and experience of leaders in healthcare are explored in greater depth and can be shared throughout the medical and wider community.

Dr Davies is on the Advisory Council for Doctors For Nutrition, as 'Ambassadoc' for Victoria.

 
Dr Malcolm Mackay MD (AU)

Dr Malcolm Mackay gained his medical degree from Flinders University in South Australia and completed a Graduate Diploma in Human Nutrition at Deakin University, Victoria. He currently works as a general practitioner in Melbourne and also provides Skype consultations to remote patients within Australia.

 

Malcolm’s personal and professional interest in whole food plant-based nutrition began in medical school over 35 years ago. After graduating, he was actively involved with the Pritikin Health Association in Adelaide.

 

Dr Mackay recently gained the Plant Based Nutrition Certificate from eCornell University, went through the Complete Health Improvement Project (CHIP) Facilitator training and became Board Certified by the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine. He is also a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Malcolm is the General Practitioner Resources Advisor for Doctors For Nutrition.

Emma Strutt APD (AU)

Emma is a registered dietitian and nutritionist, earning her Bachelors of Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of the Sunshine Coast. Initially working within the Sunshine Coast Hospital system, Emma now runs a private practice, Greenstuff Nutrition, and also works as a Research Assistant at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. Emma holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through eCornell University and is a qualified yoga teacher. Having followed a plant- based diet for over a decade, Emma passionately advocates the benefits of plant-based nutrition through her private practice work. She has also developed a wellbeing and education program for her local community. Emma is a member of the Dietitians Association of Australia and the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine. Emma is the Lead Dietitian for Queensland on the Doctors For Nutrition Advisory Council.

 
Peter Johnston PhD (AU)

Peter holds bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Zoology, a master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics, and a PhD in Human Genetics. Originally from Dunedin, New Zealand, he became exclusively plant-based in 1991 after reading John Robbins’ book Diet for a New America while employed in Montreal, Canada as a post-doctoral research fellow.

 

Peter has developed and runs a workplace-based program known as The Wholefood Solution where staff receive intensive support to go whole food plant-based for three weeks – a first for Australia! He also runs a nutrition private practice: Perfect Human Food Consulting, offering individual consultations, workplace training, residential reboot programs and public speaking. Peter has spent the last fifteen years working in health promotion and community development in local government settings. Peter is the Lead Dietitian for Victoria on the Doctors For Nutrition Advisory Council.

 
Jenny Cameron Grad Cert Hum Nut (AU)

Jenny has completed a Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition at Deakin University, a Level 2 Certificate in Wellness Coaching through Wellness Coaching Australia, a Graduate Diploma in Information Services at RMIT University, a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education through Victoria University and the Plant Based Nutrition Certificate from eCornell. She currently works as a nutritionist, librarian consultant and trainer.

 

Together with her partner Dr Malcolm Mackay, Jenny has created numerous nutritional health related resources for the community such as the website Whole Foods Plant Based Health, the Facebook page Plant Based Health Australia and the Facebook group Whole Food Plant Based Aussies. Together, they run seminars and six-day immersion programs in Victoria and interstate and work collaboratively with other plant-based nutrition practitioners. Jenny is the Lead Research Advisor for Doctors For Nutrition.

 
Dr Juliette Roex MD (AU)

Juliette studied a Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery and Bachelor of Medical Science (Hons) at the University of Adelaide. Inspired by her parents, Dr Heleen and Dr Alphonse Roex, Juliette transitioned to a whole food plant-based diet eight years ago. In 2017, Juliette concluded her six-year medical degree and went on to becoming a fully registered doctor following her internship at Flinders Medical Center in Adelaide last year.

 

Juliette has completed a rotation at the True North Health Centre in California and attended numerous Plant Based Nutrition Healthcare conferences in the USA. She dreams of building a career around educating patients, healthcare students and colleagues on the often-overlooked benefits of nutrition.

 

Juliette is the Lead Student Advisor for Doctors For Nutrition.

Steven Cuzmenco RN (USA)

Steve studied nursing at Carolinas College of Health Sciences and Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. He works as a Cardiac Intensive Care Registered Nurse in one of North Carolina’s largest level 1 trauma hospitals. Most of the patients he sees are hospitalised for heart failure and heart attacks – both predominantly lifestyle-related conditions. When appropriate, Steve enjoys taking the opportunity to provide nutrition education to his patients. He has also started a social media group for his fellow hospital employees to join and learn about plant-based nutrition. Steve is currently working on obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Eventually, he wishes to obtain his Master of Science in Nursing Education to help positively influence the way new nurses in the USA are taught. Steve regularly pursues further professional development opportunities in nutrition and lifestyle medicine by attending events such as the annual Nutrition in Medicine Conference by PCRM and the Plant Based Prevention of Disease Conference.

 
 
 

Tom Dunnam (USA)

Tom Dunnam holds a BA in Management from St. Leo University and concluded his graduate studies with an MBA from the John F. Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart University. Tom is based in New Canaan, Connecticut where he spends much of his free time coaching youth sports. He is also an active volunteer with the American Diabetes Association and the Fairfield County Sports Commission.

 
Tom has successfully married his business management expertise with his passion for health promotion in his role as President of Total Health Immersions. Tom thrives on positively influencing individual clients' goals as well as helping corporate clients to improve the quality of life for employees at some of North America’s most admired companies. Tom is also a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of The Plantrician Project and the International Plant Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference where he works closely alongside Dr Scott Stoll. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Plantrician Project and the Advisory Council of the Plant Based World Conference and Expo
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Joel Craddock APD (AU)

Joel obtained his Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics after completing a Bachelor of Science in Medical Biotechnology, and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Wollongong. He also holds a Certificate IV in Fitness and a Bachelor of Education. During his biomedical degree, Joel was awarded a scholarship to work at the Children's Medical Research Institute with a focus on researching a protein responsible for endocytosis, which has relevance to stopping cancerous cells spreading.

 

After his master's, Joel worked as a clinical dietitian in an range of hospitals across the Illawarra region of New South Wales before enrolling in his PhD, where he is exploring vegetarian diets and their relationships with immune function and the inflammatory response. In 2018, Joel started his own private dietetic practice, Purely Plants, which exclusively advocates an evidence-based approach to eating. Joel is the Lead Dietitian for New South Wales on the Doctors For Nutrition Advisory Council.

Dr Isobelle Woodruff MD (AU)

Isobelle completed her medical degree at the University of Notre Dame and is currently in her internship year. In 2018, she facilitated national workshops on nutritional advocacy for future health professionals in collaboration with Doctors For Nutrition as part of the Australian Medical Student Association (AMSA) Global Health Conference. Isobelle has recently attended the Commission on the Status of Women with the United Nations in New York, focusing on health equity and health access for rural women. In addition to living a plant- based diet for health reasons, Isobelle is particularly interested in the environmental co-benefits. This led her to being the Code Green National Project Coordinator with AMSA in 2017 as well as facilitating the Australasian launch of The Countdown, a landmark publication from The Lancet in partnership with the Royal Australian College of Physicians. Isobelle has also co-authored the Climate Health e-Short Course (CHeSC) and contributed to national nutrition policy via AMSA.

 
 

Patient case study: Shukul Kachwalla (NZ)

Shukul Kachwalla first came across the benefits of a whole food plant-based diet when he witnessed his brother Shamiz recover from ulcerative colitis, a disease said to have no medical cure, via a change in diet.

 

Shukul has himself used dietary and lifestyle approaches to recover from severe hayfever, acne and chronic migraines, and is dedicated to advocating a whole food plant-based diet to people who want to improve their quality of life and experience optimal health.

 

Shukul will present on the Saturday of the NIHC2019 along with Shamiz and one of their clients who has been helped through their services at High Carb Health.

Patient case study: Shamiz Kachwalla (NZ / AU)

Shamiz Kachwalla has had first-hand experience of how to overcome disease through lifestyle approaches, in particular the adoption of a plant based diet, and will share his story in one of the conference's case study sessions.

 

Shamiz was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in May 2012 and spent 6 weeks in hospital in Japan. He discovered that a whole food plant-based diet plays a vital role in the recovery of such a disease and, since his adoption of comprehensive diet change over six years ago, is in excellent health. 

 

Shamiz runs the consultancy High Carb Health with his brother Shukul. They will be joined in their presentation by one of their clients, Tishani Grioli.

 
 
 

Patient case study: Rebecca Stonor (AU)

Rebecca is a Healthy Safety and Wellbeing Officer at a the University of Adelaide. After experiencing the direct personal health benefits of changing her diet, Rebecca has become a plant-based nutrition advocate. She is successfully using a low fat, whole food plant-based diet to recover from the autoimmune conditions Multiple Sclerosis and Hashimotos Thyroiditis.

 

Keen to introduce others to the science behind this approach to eating, Rebecca conducts workshops, cooking demonstrations and talks in South Australia. She also shares her health recovery story, culinary creations and support online via Just Eat Plants and Plant Powered Adelaide. Rebecca is passionate about helping others overcome chronic illness through sustainable lifestyle change.

Meditation facilitator: Maia Bedson (AU)

Maia is a counsellor, meditation teacher and a practitioner of various forms of natural therapies and has been involved in the wellness industry for over twenty years. She has a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Nutrition as well as formal qualifications in counselling, psychotherapy, and plant-based nutrition. Completing the Plant Based eCornell Certificate further enhanced Maia’s decades of study and practice in the area of diet for health and wellbeing. Maia has worked at The Gawler Cancer Foundation since 2000, where she uses her various skills and the experience gained from her own healing to inspire and support others on their path to wellness.

Food For Life assistant: Simon Hill (AU)

Simon is a qualified health professional having completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Honours in 2008, and is currently studying a Masters in Nutrition. With his experience of understanding the human body from the inside out and having worked closely with professional athletes, in recent years Simon extended his interest in health to the field of nutrition. Through extensively researching how to optimally fuel himself, Simon became convinced that a whole food plant-based diet held the solution to the root cause of many of Western culture’s ailments and diseases. Through his online presence with his brand Plant Proof, Simon now devotes much of his time to helping provide others with information and inspiration to explore and adopt a plant-based diet.

 
 

Clint Paddison (AU)

Clint Paddison is a professional MC and comedian, however these days spends most of his time coaching people to get well from autoimmune diseases. In 2006, Clint was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and within two years could barely walk, with pain crippling 80% of his body. After surgery and medications failed him, Clint went back to his science roots, which in 2000 saw him gain 1st Class honours, The Macquarie Foundation Science Prize, Australian Institute of Physics prize (NSW Branch) and Semi-Finalist for Young Australian of the Year. With determination, persistence and scientific experimentation Clint turned his health around and now leads a life drug free and pain free.

After recovering from RA, Clint has told his story on US television, given a TEDx talk, written for Arthritis Matters magazine, featured in other print media, and appeared as a keynote speaker at most of the biggest natural health conferences in Australia. Clint is author of the bestselling Program ‘The Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis’ which has sold in 60 countries and has dramatically improved the lives of thousands of people with inflammatory arthritic conditions.