February 17-19, 2022 | New York Hilton, NY

Keynote & Plenaries

Keynote: The Evolution of Integrative Medicine

Andrew Weil, MD

February 18, 2022│8:45am – 10:00am
Modern scientific medicine has advanced rapidly, but those advances have not resulted in better health or health care. Ignoring the healing power of nature and the organism’s intrinsic mechanisms of healing have made us dependent on therapeutic interventions requiring technology that is very expensive. The future of medicine is integrative – that is, in the thoughtful combination of conventional and alternative ideas and practices. Integrative medicine takes advantage of natural healing, treats whole persons (bodies, minds, spirits), considers all aspects of lifestyle in matters of health and illness, honors and supports the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, and makes use of all appropriate therapies, using simpler, low-tech methods when possible.

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Plenary Panel: COVID-19 Long Haul Syndrome-Exploring the Controversies and Pathways Forward


February 17, 2022│8:45am – 10:00am
Post-COVID-19 Syndrome, often known as Long-Haul Syndrome, represents a complex multi-factorial phenomenon that is being observed clinically in a significant percentage of those individuals that have recovered from initial acute COVID-19, but have far from fully recovered. There are millions of people suffering from ongoing persistent fatigue and malaise, joint pain and body aches, tachycardia, headaches, brain-fog, strange neurological symptoms, and many more problems long after the initial illness associated with SARS-CoV2 has passed. They are being observed both in the developed and under-developed world. It is becoming very clear that Long-Haul Syndrome is a complex entity and may represent the result of a “perfect storm” of biological and environmental factors and that a systems-biology approach, utilizing a wider-lens perspective, will be required as these subjects are approached clinically. There exists considerable gaps between the focus of the initial research into this phenomenon and the current approach to these conditions in standard clinical medicine, with standard interventions based predominantly on symptom control. This expert panel with review the various hypotheses proposed to explain this emerging post-pandemic epidemic. Discussion elements will include an exploration of why some go on to suffer from long-term symptoms, and many do not. The role of the immune system and its complicated reaction and adaptations to SARS-CoV-2, post-viral vascular/endothelial/glycocalyx aberrations, alterations in the GI microbiota and microbial metabolites, molecular mimicry, and other aspects of pathogenesis will also be explored along with how these may serve as leverage points for new diagnostics and clinical interventions.

Plenary: Culinary Medicine – Cooking up Health: Anytime, Anyplace

Melinda Ring, MD, FACP, ABOIM

February 18, 2022│4:00pm – 5:00pm
There is growing recognition that solving the obesity epidemic and its downstream health consequences depends on preventative efforts at the individual, community and public health level. Health professionals are on the frontline of assessing and advising patients on nutrition and weight; however only 27% of medical schools teach the recommended 25 hours of nutrition, and fewer than 14% of practicing physicians believe they were adequately trained in nutritional counseling. Other integrative disciplines, such as naturopathic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, have a stronger focus on the healing power of food, but may be limited in patient behavior change when patients lack the confidence, skills or motivation to change their diet. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, surveys reveal that over 50% of respondents said they cook more than before the pandemic, and there is increased Interest in online cooking tutorials and food blogs. While it is likely people will maintain this accentuated focus on diet, they still need guidance from medical professionals to help them make the right choices for their long-term wellbeing. Furthermore, recent events have highlighted disparities in health and care access, and the need for interventions that can address root causes of health disparities such as practical, affordable and actionable nutrition changes.

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Plenary: Drop Acid – The Powerful Role of Uric Acid in Metabolic Disease

David Perlmutter, MD

February 19, 2022│9:00am – 10:00am
Metabolic dysfunction mechanistically underpins the array of chronic degenerative conditions that the World Health Organization now ranks as the leading causes of death worldwide. Exciting new research reveals that uric acid, previously considered clinically relevant only in the context of gout or kidney stones, actually plays a central role in regulating insulin sensitivity, metabolism, blood pressure and lipid balance. As such, understanding the factors that increase uric acid levels as well supported lifestyle interventions designed to normalize uric acid values presents a new and powerful adjunctive clinical tool for the prevention and treatment of the most pervasive of disease conditions.

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Plenary: The Long Haul of COVID Recovery: Immune Rejuvenation Versus Immune Support

Jeffrey Bland, PhD, FACN, FACB, CNS

February 19, 2022│3:45pm – 4:45pm
As of the March 2021 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated more than 114 million Americans had been infected with Covid-19, and this will result in more than 15 million cases of Long COVID Syndrome resulting from this pandemic (N Engl J Med; 385: 577-579). The Long COVID Syndrome is not isolated to those people who have had a serious infection but is also seen in individuals who has a mild to moderate infection. The clinical presentation of these Long COVID Syndrome patients is similar to that seen in other chronic immune syndromes including chronic fatigue, fibromylagia, Lyme infection, Epstein Barr, Desert Storm, and multiple chemical sensitivity.

This presentation will review the evidence of immune injury associated with Long COVID Syndrome and how it relates to the complex symptom profile of the condition. From this perspective a research-based approach for support of the rejuvenation of immune system function in Long COVID Syndrome patients will be provided.

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