SMHP Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is responsible for governing and setting SMHP policies and it's future direction. They are all leaders in the lifestyle medicine field, selected for their passion about, and knowledge of, metabolic health and lifestyle interventions.

Doug Reynolds

Doug Reynolds, MHP

President

Doug Reynolds is the Founder and CEO of LowCarbUSA®.  The original organization was founded in the beginning of 2016 with the initial  intention of providing  a platform, through an annual conference, for internationally renowned scientists and medical practitioners to present the ever-increasing body of evidence on the benefits of reducing carbohydrates in the diet (and adding in healthy fats).  He felt that education about the power of the low carb/ketogenic diet for the individual who may not get the information from their medical team or from mainstream nutrition advice, and for practitioners who may then be able to prescribe it in their practice was critical.

However, his mission quickly evolved when he realized how important this was to the medical professional community.  Valuable tools are needed, not only to provide hope to their patients to reverse and prevent disease, but restore hope to that very practitioner. This is why they went to medical school and got professional training, to help people heal and not just put Band-Aids on and never address the root cause of the problem.  Too many practitioners are being taught that the many chronic diseases our communities are facing are just chronic and processive.  With effective tools and supportive information, complications can be stopped in their tracks and further complications reduced and the disease process may even be reversed.

The tools and resources Low Carb USA has been providing,  not only includes the live conferences, but also  includes a huge library of educational videos, a growing database of practitioners, and nutritionists and sports trainers who are open to  the carb restriction conversation as well as a searchable database for papers and articles covering the research into the evidence supporting this lifestyle.

Most importantly, though, he has coordinated the establishment of a panel of advisors to oversee the creation and maintenance of a set of 'Clinical Guidelines for Therapeutic Carbohydrate Restriction' which was first published in May, 2019.

He has worked tirelessly over this period during the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown to now establish this nonprofit, the Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners, and this organization will now house most of the above body of work as education and training of Metabolic Health Practitioners and the entire community interested in making a difference in worldwide metabolic health.  The aim is to stall and reverse the increasing prevalence of noncommunicable, lifestyle related diseases, influenced by metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance.  Accreditation pathways have even been established for practitioners within this society to introduce credibility to the practice of therapeutic carbohydrate restriction and to help establish alternative Standard of Care for those whose metabolisms are different because they don’t eat excessive carbohydrates.

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Heather Pickett DO, FAAFP, FAAMA, Col (Ret), USAF

Secretary

Heather is a retired Air Force family physician who graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1988 and the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1992. She completed a General Surgery internship at Wright State University in 1993 and then a Family Medicine residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2001. Dr. Pickett started out in rural medicine for a year, as the lone doctor on a 2X4 mile island in the middle of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. She was then sent to Edwards Air Force Base in California as a flight surgeon where she worked with the US Air Force Test Pilot School flying in numerous aircraft and was the Commander of the Space Shuttle Medical Recovery Team. Her progressive program in occupational medicine at Edwards AFB, won her the prestigious “Air Force Flight Surgeon of the Year” award in 1998. She also received the “NASA Space Flight Awareness Dept. of Defense Honoree” award. After her family medicine residency, she moved to Germany where she practiced full scope family medicine and aviation medicine. The last 10 years of her career were spent teaching as full-time faculty for the St. Louis University/Scott AFB Family Medicine Residency and the Nellis Air Force Base Family Medicine Residency in Las Vegas. She has been an Assistant Professor with the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, St. Louis University School of Medicine, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Las Vegas, and the University of Nevada School of Medicine. She completed a Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2008.

As an osteopathic physician who has been using her manual medicine skills throughout her career, she was one of the first Air Force Physicians in 2005 trained in Medical Acupuncture through the renown Helms Medical Institute Physician Acupuncture Program affiliated with UCLA and Stanford University. She has taught acupuncture techniques across the US, UK, and as part of the first Department of Defense/VA ‘Battlefield Acupuncture’ program. She is Board Certified and a Fellow of both the American Academy of Family Physicians and American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. She has had numerous publications, presentations and research related to family and integrative medicine. After AF retirement in 2013 she worked in the Pain Management clinic through the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Veterans Affairs Southern Nevada Medical Center. There she performed medical acupuncture and osteopathic manipulative medicine to a wide range of patients with pain and mental health issues. In July 2018 she became the Medical Director for the Prime Meridian Health Flagship clinic in Pleasant Grove, Utah where she practices full scope Integrated Family Medicine for the DoTERRA International employees, their families and the community. Spanish is her 2nd language and she has participated in medical missions to Mexico, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Ecuador, Russia, South Africa, the Middle East and Guatemala. For the last 2.5 years she has been utilizing the low carbohydrate lifestyle with herself and her patients with tremendous success.

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Mark Cucuzzella, MD, FAAFP

Treasurer

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, Air Force Reserve Lieutenant Colonel (ret), practices Family Medicine in Ranson and Martinsburg, West Virginia. He is a Professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine and conducts Continuing Medical Education courses on health, fitness, and running through HealthFitU and developed the US Air Force Efficient Running Program. Mark has run competitively for four decades, with more than one hundred marathon and ultramarathon finishes, and he continues to compete as a national-level masters runner with thirty straight years under a 3-hour marathon. Mark owns the first minimalist running and walking shoe store, Two Rivers Treads. He has also been named a Distinguished Mountaineer by the Governor of West Virginia, a Blue Ridge Outdoors Pioneer, Air Force Athlete of the Year, Colorado Academy of Family Physicians’ Teacher of the Year, is inducted into the Marine Corps Marathon Hall of Fame (2018), and has received the President’s Award from the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine.

WVU’s Jefferson Medical Center, where Mark practices, has developed and adopted a protocol for using a low-carb diet for patients with obesity, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Practicing what they preach, the hospital has eliminated all sugar-sweetened beverages from the hospital. Mark was instrumental in bringing MEDCHEFS to the WVU School of Medicine in 2014 with a focus on understanding insulin resistance.  An advocate for evidence based policy and education, Mark is a founding member of The Nutrition Coalition, the Low Carb Action Network, and The Hypoglycemia Foundation and is a scientific advisor for Diet Doctor.

He lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. His book “Run For Your Life” summarizes the science and the soul of running, nutrition, and physical activity to help you maintain a vigorous life. Visit Mark's site at www.DrMarksdesk.com

Mark Cucuzzella MD FAAFP
Professor West Virginia University School of Medicine

WVU Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Health

304-596-5038

DrMarksDesk.com

store/race HQ 304-885-8843
mobile 304-268-8813
afrundoc@gmail.com

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Miriam Kalamian, EdM, MS, CNS

Miriam Kalamian is a nutrition consultant, educator, speaker and author specializing in the implementation of ketogenic therapies. She earned her master of education (EdM) from Smith College and her master of human nutrition (MS) from Eastern Michigan University. She is board certified in nutrition (CNS) by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists.

Inspired by the work of Thomas N. Seyfried, PhD, Miriam draws on a decade of experience to provide comprehensive guidelines that specifically address the many diet and lifestyle challenges associated with a cancer diagnosis.

Her passion for helping others implement this diet comes directly from her personal experience. Her son Raffi was diagnosed with a brain tumor in December 2004. Standard of care therapies failed to stop the relentless progression of his disease, and it became painfully clear that she needed to switch gears quickly. That is what originally led her to Dr. Thomas Seyfried's research supporting the use of the ketogenic diet for cancer. 

Later on she authored her own book,, ‘Keto for Cancer - Ketogenic Metabolic Therapy as a Targeted Nutritional Strategy.  Although evidence supporting the benefits of ketogenic diet therapies continues to mount, she felt there was little to guide those who wish to adopt this diet as a metabolic therapy for cancer. Keto for Cancer fills this need to lay out comprehensive guidelines that specifically address the many challenges associated with cancer, and particularly the deep nutritional overhaul involved with the ketogenic diet. 

Miriam is a leading voice in the keto movement. She is dedicated to meeting the growing demand for specialized tools and knowledge that will help tailor the ketogenic diet to meet the needs of individuals. To that end, she welcomes multidisciplinary collaborations that will help refine this dietary approach to cancer and other metabolic diseases.

Therefore, beyond cancer Miriam integrates nutritional strategies with metabolic therapies and lifestyle modifications to develop personalized treatments that address a broad spectrum of conditions that are currently considered intractable, including age-related, neurodegenerative, and bariatric diseases.

Miriam lives in Montana with her husband Peter. Learn more about their personal journey and Raffi's Story Watch her 2016 interview.

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Robert Cywes, MD, PhD

Dr. Cywes is Dual Board Certified in General Surgery and in Pediatric Surgery. He specializes in Pediatric and Adult obesity, diabetes and metabolic management including bariatric surgery. His focus is on helping people understand and treat the true cause of obesity and diabetes. He has been doing bariatric surgery for 19 years and has performed around 7000 surgeries. Despite this, Dr Cywes firmly believes that obesity and diabetes are not treated by surgery, however, surgery may be a invaluable tool along the journey of becoming carbohydrate-free.

His medical training began in Cape Town, South Africa where he received his medical degree from The University of Cape Town training with Prof Tim Noakes amongst others. In 1989, Dr. Cywes moved to North America and completed a year-long residency in pediatric surgery at Ohio State University's Columbus Children's Hospital before moving to Canada where he completed his general surgery residency and specialized in minimally invasive surgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Cywes also earned a PhD in liver transplant immunology and the effect of glucose metabolism on vascular endothelium injury, working with Dr David Jenkins, the father of the Glycemic Index.

After completing his pediatric surgery fellowship at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, Dr. Cywes was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Pediatric and Fetal Surgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee where he did hepatic stem cell research. During this time, Dr. Cywes became increasingly interested in adolescent obesity and the impact of carbohydrates on the liver and metabolic syndrome in young patients. Dr. Cywes’ research led to a comprehensive understanding of the toxicity of chronic excessive carbohydrate consumption as the primary cause of obesity and so-called obesity-related co-morbidities. In the late 1990s Dr Cywes understood that the prevailing treatment of obesity using a Calories in, Calories out (CICO) model was erroneous, and he developed the Carbohydrate Insulin Model of Obesity and Diabetes (CIMOD). Using this model in combination with his understanding of the psychology of addiction, he developed a clinical program to treat obese adolescents using this approach. Dr. Cywes relocated to Jacksonville, Florida where he joined the Department of Pediatric Surgery at the Nemours Children's Clinic and Wolfson Children's Hospital. This led to a national meeting in Jacksonville where guidelines for adolescent obesity surgery were established.

In 2004, Dr. Cywes established Jacksonville Surgical Associates to continue his work in both adolescent and adult obesity treatment and surgery, and in 2013 opened a practice in West Palm Beach, Florida. He now works with a highly experienced team of professionals from a variety of medical sub-specialties to better care for obese patients. He has developed the practice into a nationally recognized Center of Excellence for obesity surgery. The practice uses a cognitive behavioral therapy approach that addresses carbohydrate addiction, along with bariatric surgery, to help patients manage the cause of their obesity long term. Based on his extensive clinical research and observations, Dr. Cywes lectures internationally regarding the physiological impact of carbohydrate consumption as the primary cause of the current Chronic Non-Communicable Disease (CNCDs) epidemic.  He also lectures on the behavioral aspects of carbohydrate addiction as the cause of obesity and obesity-related co-morbidities and the use of substance abuse methodology, rather than a diet and exercise approach, to the effective long term treatment of obesity.

Dr. Cywes is a member of ASMBS (American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery) and is a member of the ASMBS Childhood Obesity Committee. He is also a member of APSA (American Pediatric Surgery Association). He has earned a Centers of Excellence designation by the Surgical Review Corporation. Dr. Cywes trains other surgeons to perform bariatric surgery as well as developing an aftercare model to help patients maintain weight loss.

Dr. Cywes and his team are active in obesity research, including an ongoing Adolescent Bariatric Surgery trial. He has become one of the foremost authorities in the treatment and management of obesity in adolescents. He recently co-authored a book, Diabetes Unpacked outlining an effective approach to understanding and treating diabetes into remission. Dr. Cywes' vast experience in pediatric and general surgery serves him well in using bariatric surgery to treat obesity in both adults and children.

Dr Cywes maintains an active clinical practice in Palm Beach Gardens and in Jacksonville as well as being active on conveying the CIMOD message on social media and through his websites – Obesityunderstood.com and diabetesunderstood.com.

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Tro Kalayjian, DO

Dr. Tro Kalayjian, is a board-certified physician in both Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine.  He lost 150lbs to reclaim his health for himself and his family.  He did it by ignoring much of the conventional medical advice he had been told.  His life's goal is to get his patients healthy, prevent disease, and get them OFF their medications.  He completed medical school at TouroCOM in New York.  He completed his internal medicine residency and chief residency within the Yale system at Greenwich Hospital.  He has been practicing medicine for 8 years, the last 3 in private practice.  His practice focuses on tracking patients seamlessly and remotely with smart-devices, including scales, blood pressure cuffs, wearable technology and continuous glucose monitors.  His practice focuses on de-prescribing medications and using lifestyle, diet and exercise to improve the course of disease.

His personal weight loss story begins at childhood.  He grew up obese, in an obese family.  He has personally dealt with the deep emotions and feelings involved with being overweight for most of his life.  He has dealt with the same issues that many of his patients face, which affords him the capacity to empathize with them and guide them in a special way.  This connection is why his patients are successful in their wellness journey, because he is not preaching from some Ivory Tower.  He lived through what his patients live through, and he has experienced what they are experiencing.  In order to heal himself, he studied for countless hours through medical literature, researched thousands of papers, read hundreds of books in order to find the answer, for himself, to the ever important question: Why are we fat?

And what he found during his journey and research was in such stark contrast to what we have all been told.  Eating multiple small meals DOES NOT speed up your metabolism.  Fruit Juices ARE NOT healthy.  Red Meat, Fish & Full-Fat Yogurt ARE healthy.  If most physicians and nutritionists can't get it right, why do we expect anything different from our patients?  Are we surprised that obesity epidemic has exploded?  What patients may not realize is that most physicians DO NOT have sufficient training in nutrition and can't help you lose weight or reverse disease.  Furthermore the food industry and special interests have made it so hard to understand what a healthy lifestyle really is.

Ultimately, he finds he is best able to serve his patients because he understands what it is like, He has been through it, and he helps his patients every step of the way.  He succeeds when they succeed.

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Eric C. Westman, MD, MHS

Dr. Eric C. Westman is an associate professor of medicine at Duke University Health System and director of the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic. He combines clinical research and clinical care to deliver lifestyle treatments for obesity, diabetes, and tobacco dependence. He is an internationally known researcher specializing in low-carbohydrate nutrition.

Dr. Westman is currently the vice president of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and a fellow of the Obesity Society and the Society of General Internal Medicine and

Past President of the Obesity Medicine Association and a Fellow. In 2010, He was named the Obesity Medicine Association’s “Bariatrician of the Year'' for his work in advancing the field of obesity medicine as well as the Society.

He is also a recipient of the Society’s Steelman-Seim Educator Award for advancing the cause of health care through education and teaching. He graduated from Stanford University (A.B.), University of Wisconsin (M.D.), University of Kentucky and Duke University (M.H.S.) is board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine and has a Master’s Degree in clinical research, with over 90 peer-reviewed publications to his name. Including this study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, entitled "A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet To Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia."

He has dedicated his life to helping people with various medical conditions such as Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity, Hypertension, and many others through diet and lifestyle choices. He believes that using standard medical protocols often treat the symptom and not the cause. He has spent the past 20+ years doing clinical research and providing care to his patients, with an extremely high success rate, through theoretical and practical experience.

Over 170 million Americans suffer from obesity, pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Yet, the clinical research he has conducted at Duke University shows that this American Medical Association-recognized disease can be put into remission – without medications – through a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet alone.

Dr Westman’s experience is vast, and the results have been astounding… 26,000 pounds lost, 98% of patients affected by Type 2 Diabetes off insulin, 4,000 patients, 28,000 clinical visits

Dr. Westman has co-authored the books Cholesterol Clarity, Keto Clarity and The New Atkins For A New You.