Cecilia Lanier, M.Ed., NBC-HWC
Cecilia Lanier is a national board-certified health and wellness coach (NBC-HWC), coaching in private practice and serving as a facilitator in the coach training program at her alma mater, Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA).
Cecilia earned her master's degree in educational leadership/administration at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, as well as National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification. She has 25 years of experience as an educator— ranging from kindergarten through higher education— and found her deepest passion in coaching fellow teachers during the final eight years of her teaching career.
Her deep dive into motivational interviewing (MI) began as a student at FMCA and has continued ever since. With the invitation and mentorship from Dr. Bill Miller (co-founder of Motivational Interviewing), Cecilia is currently serving as senior author for the Coaching with Motivational Interviewing book, scheduled to be published in 2024.
In being given a second chance in life after healing from years of ill health, Cecilia's personal journey has enabled her to become laser-focused, intentional and clear about her calling, which is to help people change. Motivational interviewing is ultimately what allows her to infuse her humanity, unique personality, and love into coaching others.
Leigh-Ann Webster, NBC-HWC, CPT
Leigh-Ann Webster is the Executive Director for the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). She has over 20 years of experience in marketing and communications and is also a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC), a certified personal trainer (CPT), and is currently pursuing her master's degree in health & wellness coaching. Leigh-Ann is also an active board member for the Mission Valley YMCA, and a volunteer for the Civil Air Patrol. Leigh-Ann holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). In her spare time, Leigh-Ann enjoys spending time with her family, trail running & hiking, triathlons, healthy cooking, and travel. She firmly believes all people should have opportunities to live a healthy and energetic life.
Karen Lawson, MD, ABIHM, NBC-HWC
Dr. Karen Lawson is the founder and CEO of IHWC Productions, a consulting company that works with programs and individuals to advance and expand training in Integrative Health Coaching and Holistic Healthcare. She served as the founder and Director of Integrative Health Coaching at the University of Minnesota from 2005-2022. A physician—board-certified in Integrative and Holistic Medicine—she is also a founding Diplomat of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine as well as Past-President (2004-2005) of the American Holistic Medical Association. Dr. Karen is a founding board member of the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBC-HWC) and continues to serve the organization. A published author and researcher, she speaks nationally to diverse audiences on the power of holistic health care practices and integrative health coaching. A dancer at heart, Karen has had a 30-year yoga practice and has completed a 230-hour yoga teacher training.
Bettina M. Beech, DrPH, MPH
Dr. Bettina M. Beech is the Chief Population Health Officer at the University of Houston and Secretary of the Board of Directors for the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). She has a unique interdisciplinary background that integrates public health, population health, minority health, and health disparities research with an emphasis on chronic disease self-management across the life course. Her research studies have included randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that involved health coaching delivered by nurses, dental hygienists, psychologists, and physical activity trainers. This work has been funded by multiple institutes at the National Institutes of Health and has been recognized by leading scientific organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Beech is also committed to the development of the next generation of scholars and her secondary line of research focuses on the science of mentoring. She is currently a Multiple Investigator of NHLBI-funded research training and mentoring program for early career faculty from underrepresented backgrounds.
Dr. Beech is a native of Los Angeles, California, Dr. Beech holds a B.A. from Temple University, Master of Public Health from Temple University, and a Dr.P.H. in Community Health from University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral science at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, was 2011-2012 Fellow in the Hedwig van Amerigen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women, and a 2016-2017 fellow in the prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows program.
Ruth Q. Wolever, Ph.D., NBC-HWC
Ruth Q. Wolever, PhD, NBC-HWC is the Director of Vanderbilt Health Coaching and a Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She holds adjunct appointments in the Vanderbilt School of Nursing and Meharry Medical College. Ruth is a founding Director and was the inaugural President of the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching. She has also served as Chair of the Certification Commission since its inception. A clinical health psychologist and nationally-board certified health and wellness coach (NBC-HWC), Ruth has over 28 years of experience training and mentoring medical and allied health professionals in behavioral medicine, emotional health and coaching. Her expertise includes designing, implementing, and evaluating mind-body interventions for medical patients and those at risk for chronic disease. Internationally recognized for her expertise on health coaching and mindfulness, Ruth studies health coaching, mindfulness-based approaches to self-regulation and lifestyle change. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NCCIH, Office of Women's Health, NHLBI, NIDCD, and NIDDK), United States Air Force, Coalition for Better Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, industry, and philanthropy. She has co-authored over 85 papers and academic chapters as well as 340 peer-reviewed presentations. Ruth is particularly interested in the intersection of mindfulness, patient empowerment, and inter-professional training in serving patients with chronic conditions.
Steven Hickman, Psy.D.
Steven Hickman, Psy.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a retired Associate Clinical Professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine. In his previous role as Executive Director of the nonprofit Center for Mindful Self Compassion (CMSC) he provided oversight, vision, direction and focus for the development and expansion of CMSC around the world. Steve's passion is the training of teachers of mindfulness and self-compassion, and he co-developed the teacher training program for the Mindful Self-Compassion course. Dr. Hickman is the Founding Director of the world-renowned UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, which is administratively housed within the UCSD Centers for Integrative Health. Steve has taught mindfulness and compassion for 22 years and has trained thousands of teachers of MSC, MBSR and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) worldwide over the years. Currently semi-retired, Steve is also the author of "Self-Compassion for Dummies" a light-hearted approach to learning self-compassion.
More information: https://www.drstevenhickman.com/
Mark D. Faries, PhD
Mark D. Faries, PhDis an Associate Professor and Extension Health Specialist in Behavioral Medicine at Texas A&M Extension Service (Family & Community Health), and Adjunct Faculty with the Texas A&M School of Medicine and School of Public Health. His research has explored why and how people initiate and maintain healthy behaviors, with focus on theoretical, religious, and self-regulatory aspects of healthy lifestyles and chronic disease prevention (e.g., physical activity, healthy eating, weight control). He is Director of the Well Church Initiative at Texas A&M, is co-editor with Dr. Beth Frates for the upcoming Empowering Behavior Change in Lifestyle Medicine textbook, and has served on the Board of Director of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM).
Sabrina Falquier, MD, CCMS, DipABLM
Dr. Sabrina Falquier (Fall-Key-Ay) is a board certified internal medicine (MD), culinary medicine (CCMS) and lifestyle medicine physician (DipABLM). She is bilingual and multicultural, born and raised in Mexico City to Swiss and American parents. This unique multilingual and multicultural perspective has shaped her work tremendously, as she has seen and experienced that our unique backgrounds, culture, taste, cultural experiences and historic expectations shape our health tremendously. Dr. Falquier worked as a primary care doctor for a prestigious multi-specialty group in San Diego, California, for over 15 years, in 2020 founded Sensations Salud which focuses on awakening the senses around ingredient acquisition and food preparation while empowering people to better health through nutritional knowledge and culinary literacy through culinary medicine education and consulting. She is the host of the Doctors+ Premium episodes on Apple Podcasts, is the vice chair of the board of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center and the chair of the Culinary Medicine Specialist Board. She is also clinical professor at UC San Diego Health Sciences and adjunct professor at Bastyr University. Dr. Falquier promotes culinary medicine throughout San Diego and internationally in a variety of ways and to varied age groups and audiences. Her work can be seen through the powerful documentary, The Kitchenistas. She has been interviewed regarding food and health by media outlets including the Washington Post, The Union Tribune, Edible San Diego, San Diego Magazine, CBS news, and TeleMundo. Additionally, she is a member of both the Mexico and the San Diego chapters of Les Dames d'Escoffier International, and was recognized yearly, from 2009-2020, as one of San Diego's Top Doctors.
More information: www.sensationssalud.com
Stephanie Wolfe, NBC-HWC
Stephanie Wolfe is a national board certified health and wellness coach (NBC-HWC) and holds a master certification in health and nutrition from Dr. Sears Wellness Institute where she served on the staff as a mentor coach, content writer, and exam prep facilitator for those studying for national board certification. She offers National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) approved continuing education courses around the world through her TheCoach2coach.com programs which offer coaches turn-key resources and consulting for coaches of all certifications.
Stephanie is a small business owner in private practice in Gwinnett County— the second largest
county in Georgia—where she has won the "Best of Gwinnett" award the past 5 years for her work through her company, The WholeFood Health Coach, LLC, now in its 9th year of business. Her advanced training, professional education, and personal experience has made her a trusted leader in her field. She is a creator of a variety of curriculum that is making it possible for individuals to reach their health and wellness goals in record numbers and she also speaks, trains and provides coaching for major companies, law firms and government entities in the Atlanta area. Additionally she is the creator and host of a weekly podcast, Work Well with Stephanie Wolfe.
Stephanie is a 2-time cancer-survivor, health fanatic, lover of lake time fun, Harley-rider, and even holds a commercial driver's license. She and her husband Jack were high-school sweethearts and have been happily married for 49 years! She has two grown sons and two daughters-in-law, and is "Nana" to their 3 amazing grandchildren.
More information: https://wholefoodhealthcoach.com/
Marino A. Bruce, Ph.D., M.S.R.C., M.Div.
Dr. Marino A. Bruce is associate dean for research at the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine and is responsible for maintaining and expanding the research infrastructure of the college. In addition, he is a clinical professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health Sciences. He will be contributing to the education and research missions of the college as a faculty member and research investigator respectively.
A sociologist with an interdisciplinary background, Dr. Bruce examines the full range of determinants as they relate to the onset and progression of chronic diseases among African American males over the life course and across generations. This work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) predoctoral, postdoctoral and early career research awards and related publications can be found in leading nephrology, public health, and men's health journals.
Dr. Bruce is also active in several professional societies. He co-leads the Community and Faith-based Research Subcommittee for the Network of Minority Research Investigators for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and is serving a three-year appointment on the Publications Committee of the American Public Health Association. He was recently elected to a three-year term on the board of directors for the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science.
He is a former editor of Research on Race and Ethnic Relations, current associate editor of Ethnicity and Disease and Behavioral Medicine, and co-editor of two recent books, Men's Health Equity and Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional.
Dr. Bruce earned his bachelor's degree in economics from Davidson College and master's degrees in rural sociology, divinity, and rehabilitation counseling from North Carolina State University, Piedmont Theological Seminary, and Winston Salem State University, respectively. He earned his doctorate in sociology from North Carolina State University and received postdoctoral training in family medicine from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in biobehavioral health from Duke University.
He is also an ordained Baptist minister and is committed to leveraging his professional, educational, and clerical experiences to improve health among marginalized populations. His current work – to develop and evaluate comprehensive biopsychosocial models that specify how faith can "get under the skin" to slow declines in physical and cognitive functioning among African American men during middle and late life – has been featured by numerous global media outlets, including USA Today, The Today Show, and Time Magazine.
Anthony Masiello, NBC-HWC
Anthony Masiello is a national board certified health and wellness coach (NBC-HWC) and the co-founder and CEO of Love.Life Telehealth—a national lifestyle telemedicine service focused on the prevention and reversal of disease, and optimizing and wellness through lifestyle medicine.
Anthony has been working in healthcare for more than 25 years. His career started in the 1990s at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) doing bioinformatics work on the Human Genome Project. He later shifted into Research and Development at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, where he was excited to contribute to the development of new disease therapies. While working at Novartis, he transformed his own health and learned of a better way. He shifted his career once again and is now 100% focused on providing access to medical services centered on the prevention and reversal of disease utilizing lifestyle medicine and whole food plant-based nutrition.
Anthony came to a plant-based lifestyle himself after being denied a 20-year term life insurance policy at age 33. He was diagnosed with obesity, weighing more than 360 pounds, medicated for high blood pressure, and suffering from psoriasis, eczema, migraine headaches, and sleep apnea. With his transition to a whole food plant-based diet and healthy lifestyle, Anthony lost 160 pounds and reversed all these conditions. He has maintained that weight loss and an incredible quality of life for more than 16 years, and counting.
He co-founded what is now Love.Life Telehealth in 2019 to make lifestyle medicine available to everyone. He's proud to enable patients to find the medical care they need to implement lifestyle changes that will truly improve their health, wellness, and quality of life, no matter where they live. Anthony's personal transformation has been featured on the Megyn Kelly Today show, on PBS, in The Huffington Post, in the bestselling book Eat to Live, and by Forks Over Knives, Runners World, and numerous magazines, web sites, radio shows, podcasts, and articles.
More information: https://love.life/telehealth
Justin Charles, MD
Justin Charles is a Yale-trained Internal Medicine physician, now pursuing additional Preventive and Lifestyle Medicine training at UC San Diego as a member of the inaugural Lifestyle Track in which he will complete a Lifestyle Medicine Specialists pathway to become both board certified and a Lifestyle Medicine Intensivist. Dr. Charles serves as President of the ACLM Trainees Executive board, through which he has created a formal lifestyle medicine mentorship system across clinical, education, research, advocacy, leadership and career development domains. He is a published author on plant-based nutrition and has received plant-based nutrition certifications through eCornell and Dr. McDougall's Health and Medical Center. He also serves as a medical consultant for ActualFood, a technology-based startup that addresses systemic barriers to healthy eating to make plant-based diets the default to help treat and reverse chronic disease. Dr. Charles' professional goal is to move lifestyle medicine and plant-based nutrition forward at a systems level by partnering with clinicians, health systems, academic institutions and industry— creating effective programming with the highest impact for patients.
Gia Merlo, MD, MBA, MEd, DipABLM, FACLM
Dr. Gia Merlo is a clinical professor of nursing and Senior Advisor on Wellness, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and a fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Dr. Merlo recently published a textbook Lifestyle Nursing (Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, August 2022) that expands Lifestyle Medicine (an evidence-based approach in preventing, treating, and oftentimes, reversing chronic diseases) to Nursing. Her first book, Principles of Medical Professionalism (Oxford University Press, 2021), stresses the importance of physician wellness, the need to address the social determinants of health, as well as the need to address chronic diseases with prevention. Dr. Merlo is the Associate Editor of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. She is a contributing author of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) curriculum Lifestyle Medicine 101 and of the board review course, Foundations to Lifestyle Medicine.
Dr. Merlo's current book projects include Medical Professionalism: Theory, Education, and Practice (Oxford University Press, expected 2023), and Lifestyle Psychiatry: Through the Lens of Behavioral Medicine (Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, expected 2023). Dr. Merlo is a part of the Psychiatry Faculty Group Practice at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and sees patients at NYULangone Health Psychiatry, 1 Park Avenue, New York, NY. She completed her Master of Education in Health Professions at Johns Hopkins University School of Education in August 2022 and is currently an Adjunct Faculty at Johns Hopkins helping students in the program complete their capstone projects.
Dr. Merlo has served on the board of directors of many nonprofits over the years and is currently on the board of directors of Plant-Powered Metro of New York (PPMNY) and the advisory board of the Global Positive Health Institute (GPHI). She is chair of the Mental and Behavioral Health Member Interest Group of the ACLM. She has been involved in clinician care and medical education for nearly 30 years in professional development and mental health, particularly for healthcare professionals.
Before joining NYU, Dr. Merlo was an associate dean of health professions at Rice University. She also taught medical students, residents, and fellows at Baylor College of Medicine, where she was a 2017-19 Master Teacher Fellow. She has served on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, Texas Children's Hospital, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Cherie Kroh, Ed.D., FACSM, NBC-HWC, EP-C, PAPHS, EIM
Dr. Cherie Kroh is the Integrative Health and Wellbeing Health Coaching Programs Director at the University of Minnesota Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing. She is also the Owner and CEO of Wellness Coaching Elevated—a company dedicated to upskilling health and wellness coaches— as well a The School of Inclusion Health Coaching, where individuals can learn the art and science of how to health coach through a justice, equity, diversity, & inclusion lens to better connect while honoring everyone's unique story.
Dr. Kroh was a Senior Manager of Design and Development at Western Governors University Academy, a start-up in education that uses health coaching methodology and emotional intelligence interventions to help students manage the stressors of college life. She is a former Concentration Track Director, Associate Professor and Adjunct Instructor in the Ph.D. in Health Science program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. There she taught courses in wellness coaching and currently serves as a mentor for Ph.D. students whose dissertations are related to wellness coaching effectiveness and efficacy. She is a Fellow (FACSM) of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and serves on the Exercise is Medicine (EIM) Credential Committee. Additionally, she authored the Behavior Change Module of the new EIM certification exam and has served as an EIM Emerging Leader, speaking frequently on the topic of exercise and health coaching in healthcare. A contributing author in the American Council on Exercise (ACE) textbook, The Professional's Guide to Health & Wellness Coaching, and a national board certified health and wellness coach (NBC-HWC) through the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), Dr. Kroh has worked in various capacities in health and wellness fields, to include federal grants, health departments, health insurance companies, and healthcare systems in addition to education.
More information: www.wellnesscoachingelevated.com
Tasnim El Mezain, MS, RDN, NBC-HWC, CNSC
Tasnim El Mezain is a registered dietitian (RDN) and national board certified health and wellness coach (NBC-HWC) through the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). She received her bachelors degree in Foods and Nutrition at San Diego State University, completed her dietetic program at the University of California- San Diego (UC San Diego) Medical Center, and obtained her masters in Integrative Wellness at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) where she served as founding president of the PLNU Lifestyle Medicine Society— a nationally recognized lifestyle medicine interest group (LMIG).
After working as a clinical dietitian for over 5 years at Sharp HealthCare, Tasnim presently serves as a dedicated clinical health and wellness coach at UC San Diego Health, specifically serving in the Centers for Integrative Health for the last three years. In 2023, Tasnim was honored with the Health Equity Achieved Through Lifestyle Medicine (HEAL) Initiative Scholarship from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM)— a national scholarship awarded to support lifestyle medicine leaders who are working to reduce health disparities in historically underserved communities across the United States as well as to support a diverse health care workforce by awarding underrepresented in medicine (UIM) clinicians with need-based scholarships that cover the costs associated with attaining education and certification in lifestyle medicine.
When Tasnim isn't working or volunteering, she loves spending time in nature and being around her family.
Camila X. Romero M.D., M.P.H., DipABLM
Dr. Camila Romero is Associate Clinical Professor at University of California San Diego (UCSD) in the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health & Human Longevity Science where she precepts residents in primary care and lifestyle medicine and co-facilitates the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum (LMRC) for the Preventive Medicine residents. Dr. Romero is a primary care physician at a community health center (CHC) in the Linda Vista neighborhood of San Diego where she has an active practice, managing chronic diseases and incorporating behavioral health counseling through supervised virtual visits with Preventive Medicine residents. She is a board certified in lifestyle medicine (DipABLM) and is a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. She has had varied projects and research endeavors including asylum shelter health at the US-Mexico border in San Diego, diabetes prevention program in CHCs. and socio-economic cardiovascular health research in Chile. Currently, she is interested in implementing and researching lifestyle medicine in underserved communities.