Our speakers program provides a valuable opportunity to hear the latest on health and nutrition from our medical doctors, and to ask questions.
The following medical doctors all support the idea that a vegetarian diet is much better for your health than the standard meat-laden American diet. Most are local doctors who can support you in following a plant-based diet.
Here are the doctors who will present at Vegfest 2023.
The schedule of their presentations will be posted shortly.
Dr Diane Bai M.D.
Diane Bai, MD, is a board-certified gastroenterologist, who has been voted Top Doctor by her peers in the Seattle Magazine. She completed Medical School at UT Southwestern, Internal Medicine residency at Columbia University, and GI fellowship at Duke University, and was former Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Washington.
Dr Bai currently practices at Franciscan Digestive Care Associates, Tacoma, WA. She is passionate about patient education and enabling patients to become healthier through lifestyle changes. Dr. Bai works hard to provide compassionate, top-quality care to each of her patients.
Dr Bai will be presenting at the Vegfest Medical Seminar.
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 was also 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.
Dr John Kelly, M.D.
Dr. John, as he’s known, completed his undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Shepherd University, graduating Summa Cum Laude as a McMurran Scholar. He completed the Dual MD/MPH Degree Program at Loma Linda University in Epidemiology with honors. He is trained in Preventive and Lifestyle Medicine, and has done private and government-funded research in Lifestyle Medicine.
He was founding President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, co-authored ACLM’s Official Board Review Course in Lifestyle Medicine, co-chairs ACLM’s Expert Panel, and serves as adjunct faculty at Loma Linda University. He has published peer-reviewed papers on reversing type 2 diabetes with intensive LM treatment. He currently teaches Lifestyle Medicine using leading-edge intensive LM training programs in various locations, nationally and internationally.
Dr Uma Krishnan, M.D.
Dr. Krishnan trained at Thanjavur Medical College and Madras Medical School in India, before coming to the United States to complete her fellowship at Michigan State University. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and in Cardiology, and now specializes in cardiology for women. She practices at the Cardiac Study Center in Tacoma, WA and aims to improve cardiovascular health and quality of life in women, by preventing, detecting, and treating risk factors. She especially focuses on helping women develop healthy lifestyle practices.
Dr Krishnan will be presenting at the Vegfest Medical Seminar.
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.
Dr Aisha Nnoli M.D.
Aisha Nnoli, MD, MPH, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and works with her patients in the treatment of a wide range of conditions. She attended the University of California Medical School in Los Angeles and completed her residency at Jefferson University Hospitals. She currently works at Multicare Tacoma General Hospital.
In addition to low-risk and high-risk obstetrics, Dr. Nnoli has clinical interest in adolescent gynecology, abnormal uterine bleeding, colposcopy and cervical pathology, preventative care, minimal invasive surgery and gender spectrum health. She is committed to providing compassionate, individualized, evidence-based care that honors her patient’s goals.
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 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.
Dr Jyothi Rao M.D.
Dr Jyothi Rao, MD received her bachelor degree from Rutgers University and her MD from New Jersey Medical School. She completed her internship and residency from Tufts New England Medical Center. She achieved her acupuncture training from the Helms Institute of Acupuncture in UCLA in 2000. She completed her Functional Medicine training from the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine in 2013. She has been in clinical practice since 1997 and now is the medical director of Shakthi Health and Wellness Center in Maryland. She is an instructor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, George Washington School of Medicine and a Moderator at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
She is author, along with Dr Monica Aggarwal, of two books addressing chronic inflammation, Body on Fire – How Inflammation triggers chronic illness, and Body on Fire Anti-Inflammatory Cookbook. These books were written to help guide patients with lifestyle medicine. In addition, Jyothi works with large community and business organizations to help bring education on lifestyle changes to their communities through lectures, conferences, and podcasts.
Dr Margaret Towolawi M.D.
Dr. Towolawi is a double board certified physician and author. She completed her residency in family medicine with a focus on nutrition at the University of Washington. She is the founder and medical director of Nurture Well Center — a direct primary care practice with a lifestyle medicine focus based in Shoreline, Washington. She was inspired to write her book: “Ayomide and Seyi’s Kitchen: A kids’ guide to plant-based nutrition from A to Z” as a physician AND as a mom to young children. She realized that if we can get children to make healthier choices as kids — they are more likely to make better health choices around food as adults.
Dr Towolawi will be talking and giving book readings for children at Vegfest.
Dr Andrea Veach M.D.
Dr Veach is an Oncologist with Northwest Medical Specialties and practices at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, WA. She studied at the University of Minnesota, and completed her residency at the Mt Sinai Medical Center in New York. She earned her fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and the University of Washington. She is board certified in medical oncology, hematology, internal medicine, and hospice and palliative care. She has a special interest in lymphoma.
Dr Veach will be presenting at the Vegfest Medical Seminar.
In addition, we will have doctors participating in our Health Screening area:
Dr Helmuth Fritz M.D.
Helmuth 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.