Your 2020 ACLM Trainees Executive Board

medical education courses, events, and information on how Lifestyle Medicine treats and reverses chronic disease
President
Renae Thomas


Executive Vice President
Ryan Herring


Executive Vice President
Alexandra Kees


Secretary
Joshika Money


VP of Education
Erica Veazey


VP of Education
Andrew Mock


VP of Education
Rianna Goetting Capelj


VP of Development
Tatiana Znayenko-Miller


VP of Development
Zach Burns


VP of Communication
Taylor Collignon


VP of Communication
Megan Alexander


VP of Communication
Stephanie Looi


VP of Research
Albert Barrera

Greetings from the ACLM-Trainees Executive Board!

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Contact trainees@lifestylemedicine.org with any questions

Board Bios

President, Renae Thomas

Dr. Renae Thomas, MD/MBBS (honors), B-BMed (Nutrition and Exercise Physiology), is an Australian-born, Family and Preventive Medicine Resident, currently living in Blue Zone Loma Linda, California. Renae is completing a masters in Public Health (Population Medicine), and the ACLM Specialist Certification, and has completed an internship at True North Health Centre, yoga teacher training in India, and the McDougall Starch Solution and Dietary Therapy courses. She is a published co-author on vegetarianism and cancer, a WIC-collaborated guide to healthy eating for less than $4 per day, and numerous online print and audio content collaborations. Renae is currently researching the outcomes of a Lifestyle Medicine Curriculum in medical education, and is in the final stages of leading a two year nutritional medicine and culinary curriculum, with involvement in multiple LMRC modules. She has also presented at numerous conferences on evidence-based and clinically-relevant nutrition and health, both in the USA and internationally. Renae first entered ACLM Trainees serving as a VP of communications, then executive vice-president, and this year is honored to take the lead as president. She is also involved with numerous other lifestyle medicine focused organizations including the American College of Preventive Medicine, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine as a spokesperson, and 

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Executive Vice President, Ryan Herring 

Ryan Herring, MD is a Preventive Medicine resident physician at Loma Linda University Health in Southern California where he is also pursuing a Master of Public Health in Population Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria and undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ryan held an ACLM Trainees position as a VP of Communications this past year and is now thrilled to assume the position of Executive Vice President. He joined the ACLM three years ago when he was awarded a travel grant to attend the annual conference and bring Lifestyle Medicine to his medical school. He helped create and deliver the Trainees’ first oral presentation at the annual conference this past year on tackling Trainee burnout through practicing the six pillars of Lifestyle Medicine. Soon, he will enter his final year of residency and maintain the Lifestyle Medicine Champion leadership position for his program. Throughout residency he has been closely involved in integrating the official Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum through creating presentations, scheduling didactics, and developing a longitudinal culinary medicine curriculum. His passion stems from a devotion to practicing daily whole person care and educating the public about the healing power of Lifestyle Medicine. His professional interests include inpatient and outpatient Lifestyle Medicine visits, primary care, athletic performance, digital health, and wellness.

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Executive Vice President, Alexandra Kees

Alexandra Kees is currently a Master of Public Health Epidemiology student within the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Integrative Healthcare at Metropolitan State University of Denver. During her time at MSU Denver, she served as the founding president of the MSU Denver LMIG; helped to develop lifestyle medicine service learning, volunteering, and research opportunities for students; and assisted with curriculum development for the first Bachelor’s of Science Lifestyle Medicine program offered in the country. Through these efforts, she received an ACLM Trainee registration grant in 2018. In 2019, prior to her current role as Executive Vice President on the ACLM Trainees executive board, she served as a Vice President of Development. Her initial passion for what she would later learn to be lifestyle medicine emerged five years ago while working in an inpatient oncology unit which saw a severely medically undeserved community characterized by a high density of largely preventable chronic disease. Alexandra now looks forward to a career which both promotes and scientifically supports the implementation of lifestyle medicine as the foundation of health at local, state, and national levels.

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Secretary, Joshika Money, MPH

Joshika Money is a medical student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, in Rochester, Michigan. She earned her Masters of Public Health and bachelor’s degree at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. Joshika served as president of the Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group at her medical school. She looks forward to pursuing a career in community medicine and primary care, centering advocacy for environmental, socioeconomic, and political change in order to make lifestyle-based health widely accessible. She enjoys making food, eating food, hiking, going for walks, and acquiring new plants.

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Vice President of Education, Erica Veazey

Erica Veazey is a 3rd year student at Brown Medical School with a passion for Lifestyle Medicine. Her passion for Lifestyle Medicine began in Alaska, where she grew up on a ski hill spending lots of time outdoors playing soccer, running, skiing, and hiking. Erica moved to Maine for college where she studied Neuroscience and Education, after which she traveled for one year on a Watson Fellowship investigating perceptions of happiness across cultures. During medical school, Erica started a Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group at Brown and helped start Providence's first Walk with a Doc chapter. She hopes to continue learning about the field and is excited to serve on the Trainee Executive Board this year.

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Vice President of Education, Andrew Mock

Andrew Mock, MD is currently a Family and Preventive Medicine resident physician at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California. He attended Medical College of Georgia for his undergraduate medical education. Growing up in rural Southwest Georgia gave Andrew a unique perspective on the importance of lifestyle medicine in the prevention, treatment, and reversal of chronic disease, especially in underserved populations. Andrew has participated in strength sports for the past 17 years. He is an international level competitor in the sport of strongman. He is currently California’s Strongest Man, former Georgia’s Strongest Man, and most recently took 6th place at World’s Strongest Man under 231 pounds. Andrew’s goal in medicine it to utilize his personal passion for lifestyle medicine and resistance training in his clinical practice to help his patients meet their health goals and to help his colleagues to better understand the importance of physical activity and be more comfortable writing exercise prescriptions.

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Vice President of Education, Rianna Goetting Capelj

Rianna Goetting Capelj is a fourth year pre-medical student at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, MI. She is a NASM certified personal trainer who works with clients both online and in-person, and is very active in her community. Some of her favorite community projects include volunteering for Plant-based Nutrition Support Group, mentoring inner-city students on nutrition and wellness topics, hosting Lifestyle Medicine meetups, and partaking in Lifestyle Medicine-related research at William Beaumont Hospital. In her free-time, Rianna loves being surrounded by nature, physical activity, traveling, yoga, art, learning, and developing new relationships. This year, her Trainees role is Executive V.P. of Education. Her goal for the term is for the Education Department to create at least ten visual graphics that bring value and clarity to residents, LMIGS, and other trainees. Her favorite memory from being on the Trainees board last year was meeting so many new and familiar faces at the annual ACLM conference.

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Vice President of Development, Tatiana Znayenko-Miller

Tatiana Znayenko-Miller, MS, began her career in health care as an employee of a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program at a Federally Qualified Health Center. It was here that she became aware of the critical importance of making self-care practices available and accessible to health care providers. Her experience as a student of integrative medicine and in navigating the cancer diagnosis of a family member empowered her to become an advocate of lifestyle medicine. In 2018, she co-founded the North Carolina Lifestyle Medicine Collaborative, an organization with a mission to create access to lifestyle medicine education and professionals for underserved populations throughout North Carolina. Tatiana is a current employee at The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, where she assists Dr. James Gordon, founder and executive director. She will be matriculating into medical school in the Fall of 2020.

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Vice President of Development, Zach Burns

Zach Burns is a 3rd-year DO/MPH student at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.  A plant-based nutrition advocate, he attends medical school to help improve the lives of human and non-human beings. Zach founded the local organization Plant-based Healthcare to engage classmates in clinical nutrition. His reach extends nationally through Moving Medicine Forward, a non-profit dedicated to building a generation of nutritionally literate physicians who are prepared to tackle our chronic disease burden. On the national board for Medical Students for a Sustainable Future, Zach serves as Plant-based Health Liaison to help peers connect the dots between diet and climate change. Having worked for three years in political organizing and community health, Zach is committed to universal healthcare and founded Nova Southeastern’s branch of Students for a National Health Program. Zach is now enthusiastically joining the ACLM Trainee board to help cultivate lifestyle medicine interest groups. 

 

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Vice President of Communication, Taylor Collignon

Taylor Collignon is a third-year pre-medical student at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida. She became fascinated with nutrition and disease prevention after several years of modeling where she first discovered the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. As an undergraduate, Taylor has been heavily involved in research and plans to continue this in her future medical career. She has conducted cardiovascular research at the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida, and is currently working on a project at her undergraduate institution investigating the cancer protective effects of green tea. She serves as Vice President of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology chapter at the University of Tampa and is a member of the Plant-Based Lifestyle Movement of Tampa Bay, which holds local events to encourage healthy living in the community. She published an article, "A New Approach to Medicine: Prevention with Nutrition," in the In-Training Online Medical Journal in an effort to educate aspiring physicians on the importance of disease prevention, and encourages her pre-med peers to be informed on the topic. Taylor actively promotes lifestyle medicine on her social media platforms where she shares healthy recipes, research articles, and fitness tips. In her free time, Taylor enjoys spending time outdoors, cooking, weight lifting, reading, and relaxing with friends. She plans to intertwine her love for nutrition and disease prevention with medicine in her future career as a physician.

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Vice President of Communication, Megan Alexander

Megan Alexander is a 4th year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine. Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, she completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford University and then earned a Masters in Community Health and Prevention Research at the Stanford School of Medicine. Her passion for lifestyle medicine began in high school, when she became aware that her processed, fast-food heavy diet wasn’t properly fueling her Cross Country running goals. The decision to help herself blossomed into a mission to support others as she learned about the current state of chronic disease in the U.S. and other Westernized countries. Over the years, she has spearheaded three plant-forward nutrition student groups, during which she has led dozens of budget-friendly and culturally-tailored cooking workshops. She has also partnered with Meals on Wheels to develop an evidence-based exercise program for homebound older adults. She’s thrilled to join a team of Lifestyle Medicine advocates who share her energy for promoting increased healthspan and addressing the root causes of common chronic diseases. Things she always makes time for--getting outside, attending group exercise classes, and wandering the aisles of the grocery store.

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Vice President of Communication, Stephanie Looi

Stephanie Looi, MD is currently a Family Medicine-Preventive Medicine resident physician at Loma Linda University Health in Loma Linda, California. She received her medical degree from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Having grown up in Malaysia before arriving in the United States for college, Stephanie’s interest in lifestyle medicine began at a young age where having a whole food plant-based diet and regular exercise were part of her upbringing. During residency, she continues to have great interests in educating her patients on the benefits of lifestyle change, especially in plant-based nutrition, exercise, and emotional/spiritual well-being. Stephanie will be entering her third year of residency this fall, where she will be serving as Wellness co-chief and Lifestyle Medicine co-champion in her residency program as well as VP of Communications for ACLM. Her personal interests include spending time with family and friends, experimenting in the kitchen, traveling, road biking, hiking, and playing the piano, violin, viola, and flute.

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Vice President of Research, Albert Barrera 

Albert Barrera was born and raised in South Florida. His interest in health started around 13 years of age when he decided to reverse his morbid obesity. In 2013, Albert continued into a pre-med curriculum at the University of Florida with the idea of becoming a primary care physician focused on prevention of disease and maintenance of wellness. Albert first got involved with ACLM in 2016 when he won the trainee award, and has followed the American College of Lifestyle Medicine ever since. Albert furthered his studies in public health when in 2018, he started a Masters program at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Subsequently, Albert gained employment at the National Institutes of Health to do research in a laboratory focused on cardiovascular health in underserved populations. He is happy to join the Trainees Executive board as Vice President of Research.

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