ACLM Trainees Executive Board

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.

Melissa Mondala

Executive Vice President
Lucas Shanholtzer, PGY-2

Graphic Designer & Webmaster
Paiyuam “Pi” Asnaashari, PGY-2

Gina Henry

Hunter Wright

VP of Development
Paresh Jaini, MSIV

VP of Development
Richard Wolferz

Executive Liaison
Renae Thomas

VP of Communication
Saul Bautista

Global Alliance Europe
Alicja Baska

VP of Education
Kacie Amacher

Global Alliance Latin America
Lucas Freires

VP of Education
Justin Charles

Global Alliance USA
Anisha Daxini

VP of Education
Azeen Anjum

Board Bios

President, Melissa Mondala, MD, MHA, MBS

Dr. Melissa Mondala is currently a Family Medicine PGY-3 at Loma Linda University. She is originally from Los Angeles and completed her Psychology degree at University of California, Riverside. Afterwards, she obtained her Medical Degree and Masters of Health Administration at Chicago Medical School. Her major contributions are health care service to underserved populations in the Inland Empire and in international hospitals. Her primary areas of interest are whole person care, nutrition, and preventative and integrative medicine. She hopes to complete residency with a Lifestyle Medicine concentration. She desires to educate others regarding healthy lifestyles to prevent disease and promote quality of life. She strongly believes lifestyle medicine is where healing begins. She is honored to be part of a cohesive team of very passionate and motivated difference-makers. In her personal life, she enjoys photography, running, traveling, hiking, and any form of live music and arts.


Executive Vice President, Luke Shanholtzer

Dr. Lucas Shanholtzer is a 4th year Family and Preventive Medicine resident at Loma Linda University. He completed his Bachelors in Nutrition Science at UC Davis. His interest in nutrition and preventive medicine continued to grow as a medical student at UCSD School of Medicine where he established the Nutrition Specialty clinic at the Student Run Free Clinic and co-taught healthy cooking classes within the community. Motivated to keep his patients, family members, and friends healthy, he began attending the annual Lifestyle Medicine Conferences and became hooked on benefits of Lifestyle Medicine. During residency he has continued to strive to learn how to better promote healthy lifestyle changes among his patients and peers. He has been involved in PiT E- board for the past 2 years and played an integral role in the development of the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum project.


Graphic Designer and Webmaster, Paiyuam “Pi” Asnaashari, PGY-2

Paiyuam is currently an Family Medicine PGY-2 at UC Davis. He is originally from Sacramento, but completed his Human Biology Degree at UCSD. His primary areas of interest are nutrition, exercise, and patient engagement. He hopes to complete residencies in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine in order to focus on Lifestyle Medicine as a clinician. He believes in empowering the patient to shift the burden of many preventable diseases from society to the individual.


Secretary,Gina Henry

Dr. Gina Henry is currently a PGY-3 Resident in the Family Medicine Residency Program at Loma Linda University Health in 1 of the 5 recognized blue zones in the World. She is originally from the historic country of Egypt and is a medical graduate of The University of Birmingham Medical School in England. She completed an intern year at Good Hope Hospital in the UK before moving permanently to Los Angeles. Prior to starting residency, she was involved in a clinical research lab studying novel immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma at UCLA Health. She also served as a volunteer in various community settings, including The Twilight Brigade serving veterans at the West LA VA Hospital, St Maximilian Kolbe Homeless Breakfast in Ventura and The Midnight Mission in Downtown LA. During residency, she was engaged in promoting lifestyle medicine through her participation in the ACLM PiT Residency Curriculum Working Group and teaching co-residents in her special interest area of smoking cessation. She ultimately desires to join a primary care practice that places a distinct focus on wholeness, wellness and prevention of chronic disease on an individual and societal level. In her spare time, she loves to spend quality time admiring her 5-month-old baby boy, Jacob, as he grows and with her outstanding and supportive Broker husband, David. She also enjoys reading classics and best sellers, cooking inspired recipes, painting, traveling, engaging in yoga and meditation practices, horse riding, swimming, and hiking in magnificent nature trails by her home. She feels blessed and honored to join the ACLM PiT Executive Board team to propel the ACLM’s mission to take Lifestyle Medicine to ever-growing heights on a national and international level.


Treasurer,Hunter Wright

Hunter is a second year medical student at Pacific Northwest University. She is from Washington state and traveled to Hawaii Pacific University to complete her Bachelors degree in Psychology. She currently serves as the president of the Prevention and Lifestyle Interest Group on her medical school campus. Her interest in preventing disease through lifestyle factors grew as she attended culinary medicine classes and as she assisted teaching classes for diabetes prevention. She is excited to be a part of a board of like minded individuals dedicated to treating the cause of disease. During her free time she enjoys yoga, camping, snowboarding, and gardening.


Vice President of Development,Paresh Jaini

Paresh is a first 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 - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has had various research experiences in the areas of biochemistry, genetics, public health, psychology, and lifestyle medicine. At his 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. He plans to pursue a career in Psychiatry that has a strong focus on prevention and behavioral modification techniques. This will be Paresh’s second year serving as Vice President of Development. His hobbies and interests include traveling, kickboxing, running, singing, musical theatre, learning languages, and interior design.


Vice President of Development,Richard Wolferz

Rich Wolferz Jr. is currently a third-year medical student at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He has grown 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, co-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 power of positive psychology. 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 the culinary challenge that unique produce from the farmer’s market offers.


Vice President of Communication,Renae Thomas

After her father had cancer and changed his lifestyle to assist his recovery, Renae has had a strong interest in nutrition, physical activity, social connections, sober living, and stress reduction, and how these influence disease prevention, recovery and ongoing maintenance of health. Due to her strong passion for lifestyle medicine, Renae migrated from Australia all the way to Loma Linda, California, in order to learn from the best. She is currently a PGY-2 resident in Family and Preventive medicine combo program at Loma Linda University Health, and couldn’t be happier to be in an environment of so many likeminded individuals. Renae is deeply honored to now join the ACLM PiT board to help grow this movement of finding the root cause of illnesses, and how best to prevent, treat and manage them on both and individual and population scale. In addition to clinical care, Renae enjoys practicing what she preaches, through adopting the principles of lifestyle medicine and continued education, and then sharing this with others, through speaking events, writing articles, attending conferences, utilising social media platforms, and in conversations with other staff members. She is truly excited to be part of a movement to change health care as we know it.


Vice President of Communications, Saul Bautista

Saul Bautista is a fourth year MD/MPH student at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and military veteran. In the midst of two wars, he opted to forgo college and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2004. His experience working with wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a trauma center in the European theater, is what prompted him to pursue medicine. Upon his return from military service he went on to attain a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Rutgers-Newark. As a first-year medical student he founded the NJMS Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group, oversaw the implementation of numerous student fitness programs, community engaged lifestyle medicine initiatives, and became involved in “Code Blue: redefining the practice of medicine” a documentary film which presents the practice of Lifestyle Medicine in response to the state of our healthcare system. He plans to pursue a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and will integrate lifestyle medicine within his training. His research interests are in myokine physiology and the molecular transducers of physical exercise in humans to understand how exercise mitigates and reverses chronic disease processes. Saul is committed to transforming the practice of medicine, he believes that a focus on population health, health promotion and wellness will be the pillars that structure health care in the 21st century.


Vice President of Education, Kacie Amacher

Kacie Amacher is a third 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 continuing medical school and her MPH at USC as well. She is passionate about promoting evidence-based lifestyle medicine at her medical school, and started a 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. She volunteers for, and is currently researching plant-based diets to help better care for patients with heart failure. She also recently started a Walk with a Doc chapter at USC, and is working with physicians to lead a monthly walking group to promote exercise in her local community. Kacie is originally from Portland, OR, and in her spare time enjoys being active outdoors, cooking plant-based meals, practicing mindfulness self-compassion, and spending time with her golden retriever.


Vice President of Education, Justin Charles

Justin is a 4th year medical student at Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York. He grew up on Long Island and obtained a degree in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University. He was led to medical school by an interest in using a whole-person approach to help others improve their health and well-being by living a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle, and was thrilled to find out about the field of Lifestyle Medicine!

During medical school, he has served in several mentorship positions for underclassmen and as a student representative for the Curriculum Committee to help evaluate how Health Promotion and Preventive Health is included in Stony Brook’s curriculum. He also has been involved in the Family Medicine and Psychiatry interest groups, conducted research on the role of physician empathy among general practitioners, and helps run an organization called Music in Medicine that enables students to play music for both their peers, and for patients at their bedside. This Fall, he is planning to start a Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group.

Justin plans to pursue a residency in either Family Medicine or Internal Medicine and eventually be part of a primary care practice that incorporates lifestyle interventions and uses an understanding of psychology and human behavior to facilitate lifestyle changes. He also hopes to be able to mentor and teach the new generation of physicians about the importance of Lifestyle Medicine for their patients and for themselves. Outside of school, he enjoys kickboxing, playing trumpet, traveling, listening to music, and having good conversation with friends and new people.


Vice President of Education, Azeen Anjum

Azeen is a 4th year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine. She grew up in Austin, TX and received her bachelor degrees in Biology and Plan II Honors at The University of Texas at Austin. Azeen wants to help shift the focus of medical education and practice more towards prevention with lifestyle interventions. Throughout medical school Azeen served as an officer in ‘Choosing Healthy Eating Fresh’ (CHEF), a student organization at Baylor that promotes awareness of nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits. In this role she has organized healthy cooking and nutrition classes for medical students and children in the community. She is excited to serve as VP of Education this year and help expand the importance of lifestyle medicine in medical training nationally. She plans to pursue a residency in Internal Medicine and incorporate lifestyle medicine into a primary care practice. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, listening to audiobooks, yoga, running, spending time with her family, and re-watching “The Office.”


Global Alliance Europe,Alicja Baska

Alicja is a 6th year medical student at Medical University of Warsaw, Poland. She’s been running an LMIG at her university since 2016 - the first and so far the only LMIG in Poland. In 2017 awarded Donald A. Pegg Student Leadership Award that enabled her to participate in the ACLM Annual Conference and created a tremendous opportunity to get involved in lifestyle medicine movement globally. Together with her supervisor and other club members she worked on introducing a concept of lifestyle medicine to their academic settings by organizing meetings focusing on different LM pillars, educational campaigns on plant-based eating, several culinary medicine workshops as well as taking care of active social media presence to promote LM on a national scale. Eventually, Alicja held a position of a President of the first National LM Congress Organising Committee held in April 2018. She also participated in the works on the first Polish LM medicine book published in May 2018. Before LMIG foundation, she developed projects promoting healthy lifestyle among medical students (i.a. 3 editions of Food Medicine Conference) within International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations IFMSA-Poland – an organization she remains an active member of. Areas of Alicja’s greatest interest are: nutrition, patient motivation and culinary medicine – a field she dreams of contributing to in her professional future. She loves to cook and develop new recipes that she tries to keep a record of on her culinary blog. On a daily basis: trying to win a battle between having too many ideas and too little time! .”


Global Alliance Latin America, Lucas Freires

Lucas Freires is a 4th-year medical student at the University of Cuiabá in Brazil. With the belief that Medicine should be focused on prevention and maintenance of healthy status of a healthy individual, he has always been interested in nutrition for physicians, a specialty that by the date only existed in Brazil. In the middle of 2016 while reading the book How not to die by Dr. Michael

Greger, he discovered Lifestyle Medicine and fell in love with the field. In 2017, Lucas began volunteering as Assistant Director of International Relations for the Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance - LMGA and is today, Vice President of the National Academic League of Lifestyle Medicine in Brazil, through which they collaborate to expand access of lifestyle medicine curricula and resources to Brazilian Health Schools. He hopes to become a Primary Care Physician and to become board-certified in lifestyle medicine. He is also a language enthusiast and currently speaks 4 languages (Portuguese, English, French and Spanish), and in his personal life, he enjoys to reading, playing guitar, running and going to the gym.


Global Alliance USA, Anisha Daxini

Dr. Anisha Daxini is a PGY-2 Internal Medicine Resident at Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. She grew up in India where she completed her medical school. She then served as a Regional Tuberculosis (TB) officer at the district level in Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program, the largest TB control program in the world, working primarily with rural, medically underserved population with the vision of achieving “TB free India.” She played a key role in designing and developing a project to create awareness and prevention strategies while focusing on WHO-recommended DOTS strategy. Some notable contributions include participation in the “Family Health Awareness campaign”, “School AIDS educational program” and “Health education and community outreach”. Today, she continues to be actively involved in the community and attends various health promoter screening programs in Philadelphia at monasteries, homeless clinics, and Church. She hopes to use her experience to promote Lifestyle medicine across the globe and participate in international research projects. In the coming years, she sees herself as a successful Internist and a lifestyle coach dedicated to understanding and addressing the interplay between physical, emotional, and environmental influences affecting health, and providing a personalized healthcare plan to her patients. Dr. Daxini is joyful and savors life and all the opportunities that have come her way.