February 23-25, 2023 | 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: IFM Presents: The Functional Medicine Approach to Acute and Chronic COVID-19: Successful Strategies for Clinicians

Joel Evans, MD

February 19, 2022│9:00am – 10:00am
This presentation, given by Joel M. Evans, MD, the Co-Director of Institute of Functional Medicine’s Course on COVID-19 and the leader of the project to create the IFM Clinical Guide to PASC (Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2), will share his insights about the most important information needed for clinicians. Starting with science-based recommendations to improve resistance to infection and improve resilience and recovery if infection does happen, Dr. Evans will share the latest strategies to help clinicians understand, prevent and treat the many symptoms of Chronic COVID.

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