ACLM Trainees Executive Board

medical education courses, events, and information on how Lifestyle Medicine treats and reverses chronic disease
Paresh Jaini, MSIV

Executive Vice President
Renae Thomas

Executive Vice President
Richard Wolferz

Matthew Badgett

Joshika Money, MPH

VP of Education
Justin Charles

VP of Education
Kacie Amacher

VP of Education
Hunter Wright

VP of Development
Jenna Speltz

Vice President of Communication
Silvia Caswell

VP of Development
Alexandra Kees

VP of Communication
Ryan Herring

VP of Development
Alexander Buell

VP of Research
Anisha Daxini

VP of Communication
Rianna Goetting

Global Liaison
Alicja Baska

Greetings from the ACLM-Trainees Executive Board!  Please join the ACLM-Trainees to learn how you can get involved. Check out our Facebook page  for more information!

E-mail if you have questions.

Board Bios

President, Paresh Jaini, MSIV

Paresh is a second year Psychiatry resident at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. Born and raised in South Texas, he obtained his bachelor degrees in Psychology and Humanities at The University of Texas at Austin and his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He has had various research experiences in the areas of biochemistry, genetics, public health, psychology, medical education, and lifestyle medicine. In medical school, he served as Class President and founded the Preventive and Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group. He also was awarded the 2017 Donald A. Pegg Student Leadership Award by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. After residency, Paresh plans to pursue a lifestyle medicine fellowship and/or child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship with plans to work as a “lifestyle psychiatrist,” where he hopes to use lifestyle interventions as the prominent treatment modality for mental illness. His hobbies and interests include traveling, kickboxing, running, singing, learning languages, and interior design. After serving two years as Vice President of Development, Paresh now serves as President.


Executive Vice President, Renae Thomas

Dr Renae Thomas, MD, B-BMed (nutrition and exercise physiology), MBBS (honours), first became interested in the power of lifestyle choices and optimal health before she even started school, whilst watching 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, and often reversal, and ongoing maintenance of health. Renae recently migrated from Australia to Bluezone Loma Linda, California, and is currently a senior resident in their Family and Preventive medicine residency combined program, which includes a Lifestyle Medicine track, and a masters in Public Health (population medicine). Renae is a published co-author on vegetarianism and cancer, an international speaker on nutrition and health, is leading a culinary curriculum and nutritional prescription program, has completed an internship at True North Health Centre in 2016, is on the planning committee for the lifestyle track of the American College of Preventive Medicine, is a PCRM spokesperson, a McDougall Starch Solution and Dietary Therapy graduate, and a qualified yoga teacher. Renae’s greatest passion is empowering people to optimize their health through improving their lifestyle choices in an evidence-based fashion. After the role of VP of communications for ACLM PiT last year, she will serve this year as executive VP (external).


Executive Vice President, Richard Wolferz

Rich Wolferz Jr. is currently a fourth-year medical student at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and is applying to family medicine residency. He grew up in New Jersey and completed his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Connecticut. As an executive member of the lifestyle medicine interest group at NJMS, he organized service trips to Tennessee to teach culinary workshops in underserved communities, developed a lifestyle medicine after school workshop for high school students taught by Rutgers undergraduates and medical students, and is a founding member of the Newark Walk with a Doc chapter. He has particular interests in plant-based nutrition, exercise as medical treatment, and the study of behavior change. In his career, Rich looks to further his involvement in public health and preventive, community-oriented primary care through lifestyle medicine. His personal interests include marathon running, backpacking, and figuring out how to prepare unique produce he has never heard of from the farmer’s market.


Treasurer, Matthew Badgett

I am currently a third year med/peds resident at Case Western / MetroHealth in Cleveland, OH and after residency plan to practice a combination of primary care and lifestyle medicine. I graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and although we did not have an ACLM Interest Group, we had a Food is Medicine Club, Yoga and Meditation Club, and a Running and Swimming Club. I was heavily involved in the Food is Medicine Club and founded the latter two in my time at EVMS. However, in residency, I found lack of time and increased stress made many residents uninterested in pursuing lifestyle changes for themselves or their patients. However, I have worked to make improvements where possible including healthier resident lunches, a farm share for residents, the occasional resident yoga class, and some initiatives for the patients. However, after going to the ACLM conference last fall, I realized that even if my own residency program was not passionate about lifestyle medicine, I wanted to bring my drive and energy to ACLM PiT group nationally and will be treasurer last year. Outside residency my prime hobby is running, especially with my 2 year old puggle, Roxicodone. I am currently training for the Boston Marathon in 2 weeks. Beyond that, I do yoga, rock climb (primarily indoors), and am dabbling with some gardening.


Secretary, Joshika Money, MPH

Joshika Money, MPH 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. Joshika enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, cooking, reading, and spending time with farmed animals. She will enter her third year of medical school and begin clerkships this fall, and will be serving as ACLM Trainees' secretary.


Vice President of Education, Justin Charles

Justin is a PGY-1 in the Yale Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program He completed medical school at Stony Brook University School of Medicine after pursuing his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at Cornell University.

His career goal is to use the principles of Lifestyle Medicine, psychology and human behavior to understand and address the root cause of chronic disease in his patients. More specifically, he hopes to run a Wellness Center that utilizes health coaches, psychologists, nutritionists, chefs, physical therapists, personal trainers and more to promote overall wellness in his patients and community.

During medical school, he founded a Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group at Stony Brook. He has also conducted research examining empathy in the physician patient relationship among a population of general practitioners in Denmark. Outside of school, he enjoys kickboxing, meditating, performing rap music, traveling to learn about different parts of the world, playing (trumpet) and listening to music.


Vice President of Education, Kacie Amacher

Kacie Amacher is a fourth year medical student at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, CA. Kacie completed her undergraduate degree in Health and Humanities at USC, and is now in the dual degree MD/MPH program at USC. She is passionate about promoting evidence-based lifestyle medicine at her medical school, and started the USC Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group (LMIG) to help educate medical students on treating the underlying cause of disease with a healthy lifestyle. In particular, Kacie is passionate about a whole foods, plant-based diet for the prevention, treatment, and reversal of cardiovascular disease. Kacie also helped to start the USC chapter of Walk with a Doc, which is a collaboration among USC students and physicians hosting a monthly walking group to promote exercise in the local East Los Angeles community. Kacie also is involved in nutrition and cardiology research at USC, volunteers for, and will be applying into internal medicine for residency. Kacie is originally from Portland, OR, and in her spare time she enjoys being active outdoors, cooking plant-based meals, and spending time with family and her golden retriever.


Vice President of Education, Hunter Wright

Hunter Wright is a 3rd year medical student at Pacific Northwest University in Yakima, WA. She was born and raised in Washington and obtained her undergraduate degree in psychology at Hawaii Pacific University. She has always had an interest in promoting health through lifestyle changes and was ecstatic when she first found out about the field of lifestyle medicine. Last year, she served as the president of the Prevention and Lifestyle Medicine Club at her medical school, led a culinary medicine demonstration for her community, and was the treasurer for ACLM PiT. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, doing anything from kayaking to snowboarding.


Vice President of Development, Jenna Speltz

Jenna Speltz is a third year medical student at Pacific Northwest University in Yakima, WA. She studied Exercise Physiology at Marquette University and worked on multiple research projects involving exercise as preventative medicine in conditions such as chronic pain, osteoporosis, and childhood obesity. After seeing what amazing results exercise can have on health outcomes, she founded the Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group during her first year of medical school at PNWU. Jenna won the PNWU Dean’s Research Award for her work researching the efficacy of a Culinary Medicine program to train allied health professionals on the importance of well prepared nutritious food and diet. She is very passionate about implementing Lifestyle Medicine into her practice in both outpatient primary care and inpatient medicine in the future. Outside of medicine, Jenna is a lover of anything active including long distance running, high intensity interval training, skiing, and hiking. She is an avid hockey and college basketball fan and could not live without good coffee, sparkling water, and delicious food (plant based of course!)


Vice President of Development, Alexandra Kees

Alexandra Kees, B.S. graduated with her degree in Integrative Health Care from Metropolitan State University of Denver in late 2018. During her time at MSU Denver, Alexandra served as the founding president of the undergraduate MSU Denver LMIG, helped to develop community-based health service learning initiatives and opportunities for MSU Denver students, was awarded the ACLM PiT Grant allowing her to attend the 2018 ACLM conference, and played a fundamental role in the curriculum design and launch of the first B.S. Lifestyle Medicine major and minor offered in the country. Alexandra’s focused passion for Lifestyle Medicine took root while working clinical in-patient oncology in her home state of West Virginia where hands-on experience left her troubled by community-wide health disparities, the impact of these health disparities on vulnerable populations, and the health care system’s overall lack of resources and insufficiency to respond accordingly. She decided to move west to Colorado to pursue an education that would allow her to take the actionable steps required to influence the advancement, education, and implementation of health care intervention for modifiable and preventable lifestyle risk factors for the goal of improvement of population well-being and reduction in the current state of the global, community, and individual burdens of disease.

Alexandra will continue her personal and professional mission by pursuing a duel MPH Epidemiology and MPA in Fall 2019 with the intentional outcome of working in healthcare policy and epidemiologic research. In her free time, Alexandra enjoys: playing classical and folk violin, classical bassoon, and jazz saxophone; music composition; mindfulness practice; hiking and camping in the Colorado desert and mountains; reading up on the latest medical literature; and plant-based cooking. In addition to the executive board, Alexandra is student-faculty at MSU Denver’s Lifestyle Medicine Department and serves as the secretary and trainee member on the ACLM Pre-Professional Lifestyle Medicine Education working group. She is immensely honored to be a part of this inspiring and talented team and the opportunity to help progress the ACLM’s mission for Trainees to new heights.


Vice President of Education, Alexander Buell

Alexander Buell is currently a 4th year medical student at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Spanish language at the University of New Hampshire. During his first year of medical school, Alex cofounded the Netter Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group and has since been awarded a PiT Leadership Grant in 2017 and was a Donald A. Pegg award recipient in 2018. He is motivated by his fascination with the intersection of our biological, psychological, spiritual, and social framework. Honored to be part of the ACLM trainees executive board, Alex is eager to support LMIGs within the US and beyond in the role of VP of Development. Looking forward, Alex desires to bring lifestyle medicine principles to the field of psychiatry. His personal interests include yoga, meditation, guitar playing, and going to barcades.



Vice President of Communication, Rianna Goetting

Rianna Goetting Capelj is a pre-medical student at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan. She‘s been interested in Lifestyle Medicine since the age of 16, and was first introduced to ACLM by her grandfather, Dr. Mark Goetting, who is a practicing Lifestyle Medicine doctor. Rianna aspires to attend medical school after graduating, specializing in preventative and Lifestyle Medicine. This will be her first year serving on the Trainees Board, and she could not be more excited to share her passion and commitment to ACLM. Rianna actively promotes Lifestyle Medicine in her community through volunteering with Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG), and working with Forgotten Harvest to provide healthy meals to inner-city children, educating on the importance of exercise and plant-based nutrition. In addition, she act as a wellness mentor to the PAL Fitness and Mentoring Program and is a member of Nutrition Society at her Oakland University. She is a NASM certified personal trainer and a former Nationally Qualified Competitor in bodybuilding who advocates for athletes making the switch to a whole foods plant-based diet. Rianna not only educates and promotes Lifestyle Medicine, but she is also involved in research regarding this field at William Beaumont Hospital. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books and journals on clinical nutrition. Other hobbies of her include surrounding herself with nature, writing, networking, traveling, physical activities, expressing her creativity, and spending time with family and friends. Her biggest role model is Dr. Michael Greger.


Vice President of Communication, Silvia Caswell

Silvia Caswell will be starting her Family Medicine residency with an emphasis in Lifestyle Medicine at Florida State University/Lee Health in Ft. Myers, Florida in July 2019. She is graduating with her osteopathic medical degree from Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM) in North Carolina this spring. In addition, she has received her Associate of Science in General Studies degree from Salt Lake Community College, and has Bachelor of Arts in Medical Anthropology degree from the University of Utah. During her first year of medical school, she was the founding President of the Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group at CUSOM and for the past two years she has been involved with the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum development team through the ACLM, LMEd, and Loma Linda University. She has received two travel grants from the ACLM for conference attendance two years in a row based on her community outreach projects, and in the past she worked closely with the ACLM-PiT executive board in social media outreach and engagement. Her hobbies include working out, cooking whole-food plant based meals, playing board games, watching comedies, going to the beach, spending time with her three children and husband, and when possible, sleeping. As VP of Communications, she plans on expanding outreach of Lifestyle Medicine in medical training by growing social media accounts via education and engaging healthcare professionals in training around the country to emphasize prevention in the populations whom they serve.


Vice President of Communication, Ryan Herring

Ryan Herring, MD is a Preventive Medicine resident physician at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, California. 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 was thrilled to have the opportunity to move from Central Illinois to Southern California to begin his residency training among pioneers and leaders in the Lifestyle Medicine movement. He was involved in starting a Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group at his medical school and educating a local school district board about adopting plant-based school lunches to combat childhood obesity. He joined the ACLM two years ago and was awarded a travel grant to attend the annual Lifestyle Medicine conference. Ryan is very excited to join the Professionals in Training executive board and help grow their social media presence to reach other health professionals and trainees. His passion stems from a devotion to practicing daily self-care with wholesome nutrition, exercise, mindfulness meditation, and connecting with others. His professional interests include inpatient and outpatient Lifestyle Medicine visits, community health programs, epidemiology, digital health, and wellness. This fall, he will enter his second year of residency and assume the Lifestyle Medicine Champion leadership position for his program.


Vice President of Research, Anisha Daxini

Anisha Daxini is a 3rd year Internal Medicine Resident at Nazareth Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. She grew up in India where she completed her medical school. She subsequently served as a Regional Tuberculosis officer in Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program, the largest TB control program in the world, working primarily with medically underserved population with the vision of achieving “TB free India.” She is the former Global Alliance Liaison- USA for PiT and currently serves as the Vice President of Research for ACLM trainees. She plans to continue her focus on evidence-based research to support lifestyle medicine. Anisha has initiated interventions to increase the availability of healthy whole food-plant based meals in the hospital cafeteria and is actively promoting a culture of health through food. Her interests include yoga, meditation, culinary medicine, traveling and music.


Global Liaison, Alicja Baska

Alicja Baska - co-founder and Deputy Executive Director of the Polish Society of Lifestyle Medicine, co-founder and president of Medical University of Warsaw Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group – first LMIG based in Poland. Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance social media volunteer. Passionate about culinary medicine and advocacy for nutrition education of (future) physicians. Firm believer in power of networking and global collaboration.