Miyoko speaks 1.1Our speakers program provides a valuable opportunity to hear the latest on health and nutrition from our medical doctors, and to ask questions.

The following local medical doctors all support the idea that a vegetarian diet is much better for your health than the standard meat-laden American diet. Most of these doctors gave talks at Vegfest 2017.  Other medical doctors and healthcare providers provided free health screenings throughout the event.

Doctors who spoke at Vegfest 2017:


Chan Hwang M.D.

Dr Chan Hwang M.D.

Dr. Chan Hwang obtained his medical degree at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1994 and completed a four-year residency program in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 1998 at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University Medical School. Dr. Hwang has been in practice in the Seattle area, focusing on the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders, since 1998. He works at MultiCare Health System in Tacoma focusing on rehabilitation of neurological problems such as stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and peripheral neuropathies. He has also been the pain clinic physician consultant for the Puyallup location of UBC, Inc. from May of 2001 through November 2014. His passion is to provide lifestyle and physical medicine as well as rehabilitation resources to the under-served, not only in Western Washington but internationally as well.



George Lee M.D.

Dr George Lee, M.D.

Dr. George Lee is a family physician based in Bellevue, whose approach to medicine is thoughtful and wellness-oriented. He treats each patient as a whole, focusing not only on physical health but on mental and emotional wellbeing. He completed medical school in 1996 at Loma Linda Medical School, CA, and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Although he is highly esteemed among his peers, Dr. Lee is most proud of the strong relationships he builds with his patients, and his reputation among them for close listening and unflagging compassion. His areas of medical focus include healthy weight loss, vein treatments, and other cosmetic procedures.



Uma Malhotra M.D.

Dr Uma Malhotra, M.D.

Dr. Malhotra is an Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine physician at Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) in Seattle. She received her medical degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India, receiving the President’s Silver Medal. After completing her infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Washington (UW) in 1998, she served on the faculty at the UW and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center before moving to VMMC in 2008. Besides her role as a clinician at VMMC, she conducts translational research in immunology at the Benaroya Research Institute.

Dr. Malhotra grew up as a vegetarian in India and now having lived in the US for over 25 years she has embraced vegetarian cuisines from many cultures. She will discuss the immense benefits of a whole unrefined plant-based diet and the joys of a healthful vegetarian cuisine.


Joseph Marquez (2)

Joseph Marquez M.D.

Dr Joseph Marquez M.D.

Dr. Marquez specializes in comprehensive care for urologic conditions and prostate care. He earned his medical degree from Northwestern University (1999) and completed his internship and residency in urology at the University of Minnesota (2004). He specializes in prostate cancer MRI guided biopsies and active surveillance, and all areas of Urology including stones, erectile dysfunction, and urinary symptoms. He became a vegetarian as a Freshman at UC Santa Cruz over 25 years ago, and routinely discusses diet in his urologic practice.




Esther Park-Hwang M.D.

Dr Esther Park-Hwang M.D.

Dr. Park-Hwang is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington, medical education at Loma Linda University, School of Medicine, and graduate training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has joined the Tacoma Family Medicine Residency program in 1998 as faculty, and has been actively involved in training the obstetrics and gynecology portion of resident training. Her special interests include managing commonly occurring women’s health problems through healthy lifestyle changes.




Ann Pittier M.D.

  Dr Ann Pittier M.D.

Dr. Pittier earned her bachelor’s degree at Occidental College before pursuing her medical degree at Trinity College and completing an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Washington. She furthered her training with an emphasis on cancer treatment, and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Radiation Oncology, and is a member of the American College of Radiation Oncology.

Her practice focuses on cancers of the breast and of gynecologic origin.  She promotes a plant based diet to reduce chances of recurrence in her patients and promote overall heath.



Ron Swensen

Ron Swensen M.D.

Dr Ron Swensen, M.D.

A native of the midwest, Dr. Swensen fell in love with the Pacific Northwest during a visit to Seattle while in college. He earned his medical degree from Loma Linda University and completed a Family Medicine Internship at the University of Wisconsin. He completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Stanford and a Gynecologic Oncology fellowship at Penn State (Hershey), before receiving Board Certification in 1998. Dr. Swensen subsequently joined Valley Medical Center as Medical Director for Oncology Services. His practice includes surgery, chemotherapy and long-term management of known or suspected cancer of the female reproductive tract. He is trained in robotic and laparoscopic surgical procedures.


In addition, the following doctor conducted health screenings:



Helmuth Fritz M.D.

Dr Helmuth Fritz M.D.

Dr. Fritz is board certified in Internal Medicine and is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Prior to his Loma Linda University appointment, he served as a staff physician and researcher at the NEWSTART Medical Clinic at Weimar Institute, a health and education organization that focuses on lifestyle to treat and prevent many common degenerative diseases. He has over 20 years experience practicing general internal medicine in Washington State.