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2015 Healthy People in Healthy Communities Daily Schedule
2015 Healthy People in Healthy Communities Symposium Topics
2015 Healthy People in Healthy Communities Research Posters
2015 Healthy People in Healthy Communities Speaker Abstracts


Chidi NgwabaChidi Ngwaba, MD
Founder and Director, The Lifestyle Medicine Practice

 “Lifestyle Diseases are the biggest killers Globally, and they are no longer confined to the developed world.”

As a senior medical advisor to the Lagos state government in Nigeria, Dr Ngwaba, a graduate of University College London and the Royal Free Hospital, London, is currently developing a 'Hospital of the Future' in Lagos, in partnership with the Florida Hospital Group. His book on reversing, improving and preventing chronic diseases is due for publication later in 2015. He was Olympic Lead Doctor at the Olympic Park Polyclinic for the duration of the London Olympic Games in 2012.

Dr. Chidi is trained in surgery, general practice, and Lifestyle Medicine, and is Director of the European Society of Lifestyle Medicine. He has additional degrees in Physiology and Pharmacology. 

Founder and Director of two-award-winning restaurants in Soho, London, Dr. Ngwaba currently also works as the Founder and Director of The Lifestyle Medicine Practice, Harley Street, London, and is Director of Men's Ministries for the South England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He runs 5 km six days a week and is in the gym four days a week. 


SallisRobert Sallis, MD, ABFP, FAAFP, FAC SM
Kaiser Permanente, Fontana, California

“Exercise Is Medicine; Merging Fitness with Healthcare”  |  ABSTRACT

Dr. Sallis is a family physician at Kaiser Permanente Fontana (Calif.) Medical Center and the national spokesperson for the campaign, Every Body Walk. Dr. Sallis received his Bachelor of Science from the US Air Force Academy and his Medical Degree from Texas A&M University. He completed his residency at Kaiser Permanente Fontana in 1990, where he served as chief resident. He has been the team physician at Pomona College since 1988 and holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine. He lectures and publishes extensively in the area of sports medicine, and has earned the Irving S. Rasgon, MD Award for Excellence in Family Medicine Research. Dr. Sallis serves as director of research and coordinator for medical student clerkships. He is married and has three children. In his spare time, he is active in men’s basketball (having played in college for 4 years), golf, and skiing.  He is Vice president of the American College of Sports Medicine and associate editor of their journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. He is also editor in Chief of Current Sports Medicine Reports. Dr. Sallis believes that walking is a prescription for health and often prescribes walking instead of medication for his patients.


Nick BuettnerNick Buettner
Blue Zones

"Psychologically Healthy Workplaces"  |  ABSTRACT

Nick Buettner is the Community and Corporate Program Director at Blue Zones, LLC. Nick is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the Blue Zones Project in all of the Blue Zones communities and corporate sites. In the last 20 years, Nick has lead 17 expeditions over 6 continents around the world, three of which to the Blue Zones sites. Nick has received his BA in International Business with a minor in Economics from Augsburg College. In his free time, Nick enjoys playing hockey, gardening, and going on adventures!


Presenters titlebar


Karyn Buxman

Karyn Buxman, RN, MS, CSP, CPAE

“Achieving Success, Significance and Happiness: Lead with Laughter!”  |  ABSTRACT

Karyn Buxman lives and breathes humor for resilience, communication and engagement. She delivers inspiring life lessons in a fun, laugh-out-loud kind of way that is powerful, practical and memorable

Karyn is in the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame, and is a proud recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. She serves on the advisory boards of the Invisible Disabilities Association and the American Happiness Association. Karyn is also the co-founder of the World Laughter Tour. 

 Penelope Duerksen-HughesPenelope Duerksen-Hughes, PhD 
School of Medicine, Loma Linda University

"The Effect of Physical Activity on telomeres and Longevity"  |  ABSTRACT

Dr. Penelope Duerksen-Hughes is Associate Dean for Basic Science and Translational Research, Chair of Department of Basic Sciences, and Professor of Biochemistry for Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Her research interests are in HPV and cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer for women worldwide, with a mortality rate of approximately 50 percent. This disease is almost always caused by high-risk strains of the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted agent, and disproportionately affects minority populations. HPV codes for E6 and E7, two oncogenes that work together to transform cells and cause cancer. Funded by an R01 award from the NIH, the Duerksen-Hughes laboratory has discovered that one of the ways in which E6 contributes to HPV oncogenicity is by helping the virus to evade the host immune response. Her research team is also exploring the possibility that differences in the proportions of the different HPV types that infect individuals of various ethnicities could contribute to the health disparity seen in this disease, as our laboratory is also associated with the Center for Health Disparities & Molecular Medicine at Loma Linda University Health.

Sara FoltaSara Folta, PhD
Director, Strong Women - Strong Hearts, Assistant Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tuffs University

“StrongWomen-HealthyHearts”  |  ABSTRACT

Dr. Folta is an Assistant Professor Research Manager, at the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Prevention at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, where she teaches “Strong Women - Healthy Hearts.”  Dr. Folta has a research interest in intervention strategies to promote positive behavior change in the areas of physical activity and nutrition and has expertise in the use of psychological theory to create behavior change in individuals. She has conducted behavioral research with both children and older adults and is an active member of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, the Society for Behavioral Medicine, the American Society for Nutrition, and the Society for Nutrition Education.  Dr. Folta received a B.A. in biology from Middlebury College; an M.S. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Vermont; and a Ph.D. in nutrition from Tufts University.

Doug Goldstein

"Innovate Now, Smarter & Wiser"  |  ABSTRACT


Douglas Goldstein is a widely recognized entrepreneur, author and innovator focused on fitness, health and health care. As a leading eFuturist and keynote speaker Doug focuses on how mobile, big data, social media, behavioral economics and emerging technology is revolutionizing our lives.  He has delivered hundreds of empowering keynotes & workshops to associations, corporations, health systems and life science organizations. He has served as an innovation advisor to Ascension Health, Merck, HealthGrades, PatientPoint, Diversinet (acquired by IMS Health) and many other organizations.  He was the founder and CEO of Health Online, Inc., a venture-backed eHealth company and the co-founder and Vice President of 1-800-DOCTORS, a consumer-directed health information services company. He is the author of 10 widely regarded books on eHealth, healthcare management and medical informatics. He is an advisor to the DreamDog Foundation, a 501c3, dedicated to improving the literacy of disadvantaged children. Doug is Six Sigma Black Belt (candidate) and graduated from the University of Michigan with honors.


DP Harris

David Harris, PhD
Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California

"Directions of Future Research"  |  ABSTRACT

Dr. Harris is the Vice President of Information Systems and an Associate Professor for the School of Public Health. He came to Loma Linda after a long career in managing technology in higher education.  Dr. Harris graduated from La Sierra University (then Loma Linda University) in 1987 with a degree in computer science. He went on to receive his MS and PhD in Management of Technology from Claremont Graduate University. There he focused his research on management of technology in higher education.  In 1995 he published, “People Helping People: Technical Horizons in Education.  He serves as an active member on Loma Linda University’s Presidents and Officers Committees, and is involved in various community outreach opportunities. As a leader in the field of technology, Dr. Harris is an Advisory Board member for the Loma Linda Connected Community Program. This program includes the deployment of an advanced city-wide fiber optic network, as well as modifications to building regulations to ensure that development will be designed to meet the needs of future communication technologies.

Harold Koenig

Harold G. Koenig, M.D
Director, Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health
Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Associate Professor of Medicine 
Duke University Medical Center

"Faith & Health"

 Dr. Koenig completed his undergraduate education at Stanford University, nursing school at San Joaquin Delta College, medical school training at the University of California at San Francisco, and geriatric medicine, psychiatry, and biostatistics training at Duke University Medical Center. He is currently board certified in general psychiatry, and formerly boarded in family medicine, geriatric medicine, and geriatric psychiatry, and is on the faculty at Duke as Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Associate Professor of Medicine. He is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine at King Abdul-Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and in the School of Public Health at Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan, and the People’s Republic of China. Dr. Koenig is Director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University Medical Center, and has published extensively in the fields of mental health, geriatrics, and religion, with over 450 scientific peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and more than 40 books. His research on religion, health and ethical issues in medicine has been featured on dozens of national and international TV news programs (including ABC’s World News Tonight, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Dr. Oz Show, and NBC Nightly News), over a hundred national or international radio programs, and hundreds of newspapers and magazines (including Reader's Digest, Parade Magazine, Newsweek, Time, and Guidepost). Dr. Koenig has given testimony before the U.S. Senate (1998) and U.S. House of Representatives (2008) concerning the benefits of religion and spirituality on public health, and travels widely to give seminars and workshops on this topic. He is the recipient of the 2012 Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association and the 2013 Gary Collins Award from the American Association of Christian Counselors. His latest book is Health and Well-being in Islamic Societies (2014, Springer International).

Dominique WakefieldDominique Wakefield, M.A., CPT, CWP
Assistant Professor for Health & Exercise Science, La Sierra University

"The Active Advantage for Women" |  ABSTRACT

Dominique Wakefield is Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at La Sierra University. She is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and a Certified Wellness Practitioner through the National Wellness Institute (NWI). In addition to teaching at Andrews University; California State University, Chico; University of Tennessee, Chattanooga and Southern Adventist University she has worked as a Fitness & Programs Manager, Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Wellness Coach at fitness centers, in the clinical wellness setting and in the cooperate wellness setting since 2001. She is a PhD candidate in Health through the University of Bath, England. Her studies and research centers on physical activity, motivation for exercise and behavior change strategies. Dominique is a passionate, energetic and innovative health and fitness enthusiast and regularly contributes to ‘Life and Health Network’ (http://www.lifeandhealth.org) by writing articles on issues relating to physical fitness.  In October 2011, Dominique Wakefield was awarded ‘Top 11 Personal Trainers to Watch in the U.S.’ by Life Fitness and the American Council on Exercise.  


Ernie MedinaErnie Medina, DrPH
Executive Director, Ctr for Nutrition, Lifestyle, & Disease Prevention, School of Public Health

"Sitting: the New Smoking and How to Protect Yourself"  |  ABSTRACT


After earning a BS in Health Science from Andrews University (MI), Ernie Medina, Jr., earned a masters (Health Promotion) and doctorate (Preventive Care) in public health from Loma Linda University School of Public Health (LLUSPH) in 1993. From 1993 to 2014, he’s specialized in lifestyle medicine (weight loss, stress management, smoking cessation) at Beaver Medical Group, in Redlands while maintaining a clinical professor position at LLUSPH. Starting in January 2014, Dr. Medina joined the faculty of LLUSPH as an assistant professor and the Executive Director of the newly formed Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle, and Disease Prevention. He’s been nicknamed the “Physical Activity Evangelist” for his constant promotion of various physical activity events for almost 30 years. He’s always on the lookout for unique forms of physical activity, which includes digital health interventions such as “active videogaming” and mobile health game applications. His most recent interest is in eradicating “sitting disease” (aka hypokinetic disease) with “active sitting”, especially since joining academia where sitting disease is epidemic. He, along with his wife, Keri (LLUSN assoc. prof.), 17 year-old daughter, Summer, and their two dogs—Roxy and Davy—practice what they preach on a daily basis.

Julie PriceJulie Price
Social & Mobile Games for Health Creator

"Motivation by Gamification"  |  ABSTRACT

Julie Price is a seasoned UX & product management professional who loves to combine her background in technology with her passions for gaming, fitness, and wellness to build mobile social products and games for exercise and health. She is focused on new product development & marketing strategy from pre-product through website or app launches. She has co-founded & consulted for start-ups, and is also a running coach and marathon runner. Her true passions lie in game design, behavioral economics, and positive psychology. She earned her MBA from Wharton Business School.

Samuel SoretSamuel Soret

Samuel Soret

"Healthography: Public Health of the Future"  |  ABSTRACT

I have a broad background in public health and over 20 years of experience as a medical geographer and a spatial analyst. I was a postdoctoral fellow at UCR, where I developed innovative GIS-based methodologies for public health applications. After joining LLU, my research has focused on the application of geospatial technologies and methods for enhancing public health science and policy. I possess ample research experience as a co-investigator of the longstanding NIH-funded Adventist Health and Smog (AHSMOG) Study as well of the School’s CDC-funded Center for Public Health Preparedness. I have also conducted research on the geographic disparities in access to renal transplantation in the United States. I am currently Principal Investigator of the Environmental Railyard Research Impacting Community Health (ENRRICH) Study, which focuses on the assessment of health effects associated with residential proximity to goods movement facilities in an environmental justice community of inland Southern California. I am also pursing research on the potential enhanced susceptibility of kidney transplant recipients to community air pollution. I have recently concluded my participation as a research core team member in a national study funded by HRSA aimed at characterizing the deceased donor potential in the United States. In my previous position as Associate Dean for Public Practice I established an Applied and Translational Research Division with the Office of Public Health Practice with the goal of exploring linkages between primary health care and public health. Through my participation on university- and externally funded grants, I laid the groundwork for the proposed research by developing effective, relevant geospatial methods. In addition, as Department Chair and Associate Dean, and as a researcher, I have successfully administered projects (e.g. staffing, research protections, budget), collaborated with other researchers as a team member, and produced peer-reviewed publications.

Dan WilsonDan Wilson, DPT
Dan Wilson

"Optimizing Neurological Function Through Exercise"  |  ABSTRACT

Dan Wilson earned three physical therapy degrees from Loma Linda University; Associates (1995), Masters (2003) and Doctorate (2014). He specializes in treatment of individuals post-stroke in the acute rehabilitation phase at Loma Linda University Medical Center’s East Campus. Specialized certifications were earned in Neuro-IFRAH (Registered Trademark) from 2006 to 2008, and in ‘LSVT Big and Loud’ in 2006. In 2010 Dan became a certified CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) facilitator,and since 2009 has given weekly presentations to patients and family members regarding lifestyle behaviors that reduce risk of stroke recurrence, a topic that has become a motivating passion. Dan is committed to the service of God, and is blessed with his wife Christi and two daughters – Jenna (9) and Julia(6). Enjoyments include family, photography and music.

Wes YoungbergWes Youngberg 
American College of Lifestyle Medicine

"Chronobiology of Exercise for Men: Timing of physical activity for optimal therapeutic outcome"  |  ABSTRACT

Dr. Wes Youngberg is a practicing lifestyle medicine specialist and clinical nutritionist in Southern California. He was trained at Loma Linda University where he received a Master’s in Nutrition and a Doctorate of Public Health in Preventive Care. He is an assistant clinical professor for the Departments of Preventive Medicine at the School of Medicine and the Health Promotion program at the School of Public Health. He spent 14 years on the island of Guam as Director of the Guam SDA Clinic Wellness Center and now operates the Youngberg Lifestyle and Nutritional Medicine Clinic in Temecula, CA. He regularly participates in public health education, media events and professional trainings for diabetes prevention and care throughout the Pacific, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Dr. Youngberg has over 25 years of experience using integrative lifestyle therapies for diabetes control, depression recovery, cardiovascular disease reversal, optimizing digestive health and effective management of many chronic health conditions. He is a founding director and fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. His book, Goodbye Diabetes, is dedicated to all who are willing to do what it takes to reverse disease. A new online educational video series “Diabetes Undone” will be available in March, 2015.



Connie J. Rogers, PhD, MPH
Pennsylvania State University

“Compassion as a Path to Health and Happiness: Brain and Body”  |  ABSTRACT

Dr. Connie Rogers is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State University, and is the recipient of the Broadhurst Career Development Professorship in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State. Her Ph.D. training is in Cell Biology & Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh where she was trained as an immunologist. She did a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology & Medical Genetics, at Ohio State University, College of Medicine & Public Health. She did an additional fellowship in the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute, during which time she obtained a Master of Public Health Degree, focusing in Epidemiology, from the University of Pittsburgh.  Following her fellowship in the Cancer Prevention Program, she worked as a Senior Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology & Biology at NCI during which time she had the opportunity to participate in both bench and population-based research examining the role of exercise on immune function, vaccine responses and tumor growth. Her laboratory at Penn State examines the role of physical activity on metabolic and inflammatory mediators, anti-tumor immune mechanisms, and the downstream consequences of exercise-induced changes in immune processes on breast cancer incidence, development and metastasis.  She is a member of the Nutrition; Immunology and Infectious Disease; and Physiology Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs at Penn State.  She has serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several NIH Special Emphasis grant review panels, and for the NIFA program within the USDA. She is the former chair of the Diet & Cancer Research Interest Section within the American Society for Nutrition.  Dr. Rogers has research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Dairy Research Institute. 



Huma Shah, DrPH
Loma Linda University

“Compassion in the Workplace”  |  ABSTRACT

Huma Shah, DrPH, MPH has over 15 years of health care administration experience spanning marketing, strategic planning, community and business development. She is passionate about reducing the stigma of mental illness and addiction and is active in the community forging partnerships with key constituents who share her interests in the field. As the Director of Research for Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center, Dr. Shah leads out on research and clinical outcomes by forging collaborations across the LLUH campus. She is an integral part of the leadership team and is actively involved in strategic initiatives across the hospital while establishing a strong organizational culture using a value based approach. She has served as a faculty member in the School of Public Health since 2012 and is a member of the Center for Leadership and Health Systems. She teaches or has previously taught in the following areas related to her practice experience: Organizational Behavior, Human Resources Management, Strategic Planning, Health Policy Communications. A former recipient of the Dysinger Excellence in Teaching Award, Dr. Shah loves the art of teaching and connecting with her students to help them achieve their purpose in life. Her research interests include organizational culture, clinical outcomes, and spirituality in the workplace.