Log in

Advisory Board


Connie Basch, MD, Board Certified in Family Medicine and in Integrative and Holistic Medicine, has been practicing integrative medicine since 2000, functional medicine since 2003(Certified in 2013!), and conducting group medical visits since 2005. She practices inpatient and outpatient family medicine. She worked in Community Clinics for 6 years after residency and believes the two-tiered system maintained by these subsidized ghettos is deeply flawed – she has been a member of Physicians for a National Health Plan since her first year out of residency. After leaving the clinic she formed a private practice and continued to care for many of her previous clinic patients for the next 9 years in a rural Northern California Community, struggling to work out the economics to make that sustainable. She left to teach in the family medicine residency at Family Medicine of Southwest Washington in Vancouver, WA from 2008 to 2013 and has now returned to Arcata, California where she again has a private practice.


Ben Brown MD double boarded in Family Medicine and Integrative Medicine. He has written and lectured extensively on reversing heart disease, physician wellbeing, and facilitating lifestyle change. He is an award-winning educator and writer and is the author of the book, “50 Simple Things to Save Your Life During Residency”. Ben has more than 20 years of caring for the underserved, has led more than 20 Global Service Missions in seven countries, is Medical Director of Ornish Lifestyle Medicine, and is co-director of the IM4Us Fellowship in Santa Rosa.


Dr. Fasih Hameed believes in an innovative approach to combat chronic disease and build a healthier community. A dynamic Family Physician, Dr. Hameed strives to provide patients with health information, self-management skills, and most importantly, the inspiration they need to make important changes.  Dr. Hameed helped spearhead the creation of the 4,000 sq. foot on-site vegetable and herb garden; a chronic pain management program; a diabetes prevention program; a mindful meditation program; integrative medicine consultations; and a low-cost acupuncture program.  He is now an associate medical director and oversees our Wellness and Integrative Medicine programs.  A graduate of Brown University and Tulane University School of Medicine, Dr. Hameed first came to Sonoma County as a resident in the University of California San Francisco Family Medicine Residency in Santa Rosa.  He and his wife Sarah liked the area and settled in Petaluma where they enjoy making music, surfing, gardening, and getting silly with their two young children.


Now retired, Rick McKinney was a faculty member at UCSF, teaching in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and practicing at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He came to that role after practicing privately for nearly twenty years, having experienced the full spectrum of family medicine in a wide range of settings. Practices have included both rural and frontier practices, small-town settings, and busy inner-city clinics. Rick lives on a houseboat in Sausalito with his wife Katharine, their pets, and a huge number of potted plants. He loves to laugh, to cook, to paint, spend time with family and friends, and to enjoy the many blessings of life.


Board President Emeritus

Jeffrey Geller practices family medicine, integrative medicine, and group visits and is the immediate past president of IM4US. He has served as the Director of Integrative Medicine for the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center in Lawrence Massachusetts since 1999. GLFHC is a federally qualified community health center in one of the poorest cities in New England. His practice integrates the most accessible of allopathic and alternative medicine including acupuncture, hypnosis, herbal medicine, mind-body, nutrition, functional medicine, and OMT. He serves as faculty for the Lawrence Family Medicine Residency and lectures frequently as a clinical professor to medical students at Tufts and the University of Massachusetts medical schools. He is now mainly identified as an innovator in the delivery of health care by creating and using an empowerment-based model for group medical visits including POEM-gmv.  These are a form of shared medical appointments. He created and is the director of the HIP Fellowship (Holistic, Integrative, and Pluristic), the first fellowship of its kind designed to train family physicians in integrative medicine skills specifically aimed at treating the underserved. He is one of the founding members of IM4US. Dr. Geller has a background in electrical engineering and math and was awarded the title ‘Most Outstanding Electrical Engineer’ at the University of Massachusetts in 1988. He went on to medical school at Tufts University in 1992. His work with groups started in 1996 in his residency years when he noticed that loneliness was a large factor in his patients well being. He started medical group visits for his own patients soon after and using his statistics background began doing award-winning research (AAFP research paper of the year 1999) showing the direct relationship of loneliness to the increased health center and hospital utilization. He has been involved in community participatory research through REACH 2010 (CDC funded) to treat loneliness and depression in diabetic patients. His research showed that not only did loneliness and depression improve, but biometric health indicators as well. This elevated group visits as a viable treatment model for chronic illness. He has contributed the ideas of the ‘linked medical visit’ ,’ open’ and ‘enclosed’ terminology, and the Group Visit Empowerment Model to the field. In 2008 GLFHC was visited by the U.S. Surgeon General and was awarded the Champion of Health Award for their innovation and leadership in these approaches. Particular emphasis was given to the POEM (Pediatric Obesity Empowerment Model) which is funded by The New Balance Foundation and he continues to receive support. More recently Dr. Geller received “The Power to Change Our World” award from the Family Medicine Educational Consortium for this work in October 2012. Today there are as many as 50 group medical visits weekly with over 8 medical providers and 2 HIP fellows. Dr. Geller’s current focus is on spreading these ideas and training others in the empowerment model. He has created several manuals to help those interested. These models are being replicated throughout the US providing efficient and effective healthcare in a financially sustainable way that eliminates barriers to health and provides services otherwise unavailable to many patients.


Maria T. Chao, DrPH, MPA, is a UCSF Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital and Associate Director of Research and the Associate Director for Health Equity and Diversity at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Chao’s overarching research goal is to investigate how complementary and integrative medicine can advance health equity. Her current program of research focuses on non-pharmacologic approaches to improve quality of life among diverse and underserved populations living with chronic conditions. Dr. Chao’s recent studies aim to: (1) rigorously test integrative approaches to address the undertreatment of pain in diverse patient populations; and (2) apply health services research and implementation frameworks to broaden access to evidence-based integrative medicine. This includes studies of group-based models of integrative medicine; acupuncture in conventional healthcare settings serving diverse patients; and collaborations with safety net providers at the San Francisco Department of Public Health to develop and evaluate various integrative pain management programs. She received research training in socio-medical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, New York, and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in integrative medicine at the University of California – San Francisco. Her work has received funding support through the NIH/National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, numerous foundations, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.


Dr. Gail C. Christopher is an award-winning social change agent and former Senior Advisor and Vice President of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), one of the world’s largest philanthropies. She is the visionary for and architect of the WKKF led Truth Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) effort for America. TRHT is an adaptation of the globally recognized Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) model. TRHT evolved from the decade long WKKF America Healing, racial equity, and racial healing initiative, designed and led by Dr. Christopher. Over the last ten years, she has had responsibility for several other areas of foundation programming. These include Food, Health and Well-Being, Leadership, Public Policy, Community Engagement, and place-based funding in New Orleans and New Mexico. In August of 2017, Dr. Christopher left her leadership position with WKKF to launch the Maryland based Ntianu Center for Healing and Nature; and to devote more time to writing and speaking on issues of health, racial healing, and the human capacity for caring. She is currently Chair of the Board of the Trust for America’s Health and a Fellow of The National Academy of Public Administration.


Dr. Kogan is a leader in the newly-established field of Integrative Geriatrics. He is the chief editor of the first definitive textbook of the field entitled “Integrative Geriatric Medicine ”, published by Oxford University Press as part of Andrew Weil Integrative Medicine Library series and is a frequent speaker at a variety of international conferences on the topics of Integrative Medicine and Geriatrics, healthy aging, and geriatrics, as well as neurodegenerative diseases, and use of medical cannabis. Additionally, he has published in both Integrative and Geriatric topics in leading US-based journals.

Dr. Kogan currently serves as medical director of the GW Center for Integrative Medicine and associate director of the Geriatrics Fellowship Program. He is the founder and director of the George Washington University Integrative Geriatrics Fellowship Track and the director of the Integrative Medicine Track program at the George Washington University School of Medicine, as well as serving as a part-time faculty member of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health, and the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities.

In addition to his academic roles at George Washington University, Dr. Kogan serves on a number of national boards and organizations including the American Board of Integrative Medicine within the American Board of Physician Subspecialists (ABPS), ProCure Art, PlantMed, and others. Dr. Kogan is also the founder and the chair of the board of AIM Health Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area that provides integrative medicine services to low-income and terminally ill patients regardless of their ability to pay.


Dr. Sharad Kohli has dedicated his career to working with the underserved and to advancing health justice. He received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma and completed a rural Family Medicine residency at Cascades East Family Practice in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He has spent over 15 years working with Federally Qualified Health Centers in both urban and rural settings in California and Texas. He works at People’s Community Clinic, an FQHC in Austin, Texas, strongly committed to looking upstream at factors that influence health. He is currently developing an interprofessional pain management program integrating numerous services including behavioral health, acupuncture, yoga therapy, massage, nutrition, medical-legal, and more. He serves as Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Population Health at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Kohli is the Vice-Chair of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC), a non-profit consisting of 28 organizations and institutions representing over 600,000 integrative health care professionals nationwide. IHPC imagines a world with no barriers to health and looks to influence federal and state policy to advance that vision. Dr. Kohli has been involved with IM4US since the early days. He co-created its annual conference, was a member of its founding Board of Directors, and created and chaired its Policy Committee. He received the UR4US Award in 2019, recognizing his contributions to the overall growth and development of the organization, and stays connected in a multitude of ways. Sharad is married to a naturopathic physician from whom he learns daily, has two wonderful daughters, and a large ornery dog. He enjoys live music and the outdoors, both in abundance in the Central Texas area.


Myles Spar, MD, MPH is board-certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Spar graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1993 and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Tulane University, followed by a fellowship in Health Services Research and Masters in Public Health at UCLA. He then completed his fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, under the guidance of his mentor, Andrew Weil, MD. Dr. Spar practices Integrative Medicine at his office in West Hollywood, California. In addition, Dr. Spar also directs the Integrative Medicine Program at Venice Family Clinic’s Simms-Mann Health and Wellness Center. This center is the only one of its kind in the country, serving the less fortunate in need. Dr. Spar also serves as the clinic’s Director of HIV Services. As a faculty member of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Dr. Spar teaches Integrative Medicine to medical students and residents. He also serves as a principal research investigator, on the care of patients using an integrative medicine approach. Dr. Spar has published and presented on subjects related to integrative medicine, ranging from men’s nutrition to the use of multi-disciplinary approaches, to patients with chronic pain. His commitment to the benefits of Integrative Medicine is also reflected in his role as the President of Integrative Medicine Access (IMA). This non-profit organization focuses on providing affordable integrative medicine services to low income and medically underserved Americans. In 2013 Dr. Oz presented Dr. Spar with the prestigious Bravewell Leadership Award for Dr. Spar’s work in Integrative Medicine.


Michelle Grace Steinberg is a nutritionist/herbalist and documentary filmmaker based in Oakland, CA. She has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Wesleyan University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport. She completed a 3-year clinical training program at the Ohlone Center for Herbal Studies and received mentorship from the Director of the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine. In 2009, she started Consultas Naturistas, a free Spanish bilingual holistic nutrition and herbal medicine clinic at Street Level Health Project ( The program serves low income, uninsured clients with consultations on holistic nutrition and wellness, and provides free herbal teas, tinctures, and supplements. Michelle received the American Herbalist Guild 2015 award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Her latest film, A PLACE TO BREATHE, explores immigrant and refugee experiences in the health care system, highlighting how communities use integrative practices to heal from trauma. (


Dr. Tippens is a research scientist and adjunct associate professor at the National University of Natural Medicine. She is a graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, where she received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine and a master’s degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. She completed a family practice residency in naturopathic medicine with an emphasis on community health. After residency, Dr. Tippens was awarded a National Institutes of Health-funded post-doctoral research fellowship, during which she received a Master of Public Health with emphasis on epidemiology and biostatistics from Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Tippens’ research has explored the role that integrative medicine can play in meeting the needs of uninsured and medically underserved communities. In addition to conducting research, Dr. Tippens has worked with medical students and faculty to incorporate coursework and training in public health and the delivery of culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare services. Dr. Tippens has also worked with state health officials to develop guidelines for continuing education in cultural competency for health professionals and to review evidence to inform Medicaid coverage decisions. She currently works in public health and remains a strong advocate for health equity and social justice.


Andrew Weil was born in Philadelphia in 1942, received an A.B. degree in biology (botany) from Harvard in 1964 and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1968. After completing a medical internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco, he worked a year with the National Institute of Mental Health, then wrote his first book, The Natural Mind.  From 1971-75, as a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, Dr. Weil traveled widely in North and South America and Africa collecting information on drug use in other cultures, medicinal plants, and alternative methods of treating disease.  From 1971-84 he was on the research staff of the Harvard Botanical Museum and conducted investigations of medicinal and psychoactive plants. Dr. Weil is the founder and Director of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, where he also holds the Lovell-Jones Endowed Chair in Integrative Rheumatology and is Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health. The Center is the leading effort in the world to develop a comprehensive curriculum in integrative medicine.  Graduates serve as directors of integrative medicine programs throughout the United States. Through its Fellowship and Integrative Medicine in Residency curricula, the Center is now training doctors and nurse practitioners around the world. Dr. Weil is the author of many scientific and popular articles and of 15 books including his most recent Mind Over Meds: When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better – and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own. Oxford University Press is currently producing the Weil Integrative Medicine Library, a series of volumes for clinicians in various medical specialties with Dr. Weil as the series editor; Integrative Sexual Health, and integrative Addiction and Recovery (2018)was most recently published, with more volumes planned. Dr. Weil is the editorial director of the popular website, Dr. (, and appears in video programs featured on PBS. Dr. Weil is the founder and Chairman of the Weil Foundation, and the founder and co-Chairman of Healthy Lifestyle Brands. He is also a founder and partner of the growing group of True Food Kitchen restaurants. Dr. Weil writes a monthly column for Prevention magazine and the popular Dr. Andrew Weil’s Self Healing monthly newsletter. A frequent lecturer and guest on talk shows, Dr. Weil is an internationally recognized expert on medicinal plants, alternative medicine, and the reform of medical education.  He lives in Tucson, Arizona, USA.


Tara DeMarco has a long-standing passion for integrative health and is dedicated to supporting the transformation of healthcare toward disease prevention, health promotion, and multi-disciplinary, whole-person care. She presently works as an integrative wellness consultant for individuals, families, businesses and communities. She has expertise in interprofessional collaborative care and a special interest in initiatives fostering the wellbeing of vulnerable populations. Tara began her career over 25 years ago as a mental health counselor in various human service settings, and as social worker advocating for at-risk youth in foster care. She later transitioned into healthcare, holding clinical operations positions at Marin Community Clinic, UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, and UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Tara holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Boston University, a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and a Doctorate in East-West Psychology with a concentration in Integrative Health from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her doctoral and post-doctoral research assesses the progressive landscape of interprofessional collaborative care within U.S. integrative healthcare centers and she lectures nationally on the topic. Tara serves on the Philanthropic Advisory Board of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine and is a Visiting Faculty at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine. She presently lives in Chicago with her husband Paul Heiselmann.


Director of Online Education, University of Arizona, Center for Integrative Medicine. Molly has been a part of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) since the inception of the online Fellowship in 2000. She has worn many hats that include instructional designer, project manager, and is currently the Director of Online Education for AzCIM. Early in her career she entered the healing arts as a licensed and certified massage therapist. With a bachelor’s in Media Arts/Photography, she dabbled in local television news as a videographer and editor before coming to the Center. In her spare time, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona. Now she focuses on educational strategies to support the Center’s mission and the success of the wide variety of students participating in the Center’s educational offerings. Balancing work and home life is a wonderful challenge she tries to manage gracefully. She enjoys spending free time with her wife and being with their two children.



Copyright © 2022. Integrative Medicine for the Underserved (IM4US). All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software