Health Concerns: Combining Modern Research & Ancient Wisdom

Guest Speakers

Andrew Gaeddert, RH

President and Founder, Health Concerns

Andrew Gaeddert began his studies with master herbalists from both the United States and China. He is founder and president of Health Concerns, the first company in America to produce traditional Chinese formulas for professionals. In addition to being an internationally recognized authority on herbal medicine, Mr. Gaeddert is a lecturer and the author of numerous books.  He has contributed research and articles to publications such as Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Acupuncture Today, Oriental Medicine, ASNY Journal and Meridian Times.

Since 1992, Andrew has been involved in researching the effects of herbs on gastrointestinal and immune disorders.  He has worked with the University of California, the University of Zurich, and NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine). Mr. Gaeddert assisted in the development of a double-blind clinical trial with HIV patients, a study that marked the first time an herbal formula was thoroughly evaluated in the U.S.  He served on the protocol team of a study to investigate the effects of Chinese herbs on chronic diarrhea, as well as an anemia study sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH) Office of Alternative Medicine. He was also regional coordinator for Citizens for Health, which was instrumental in the passage of DSHEA and saving Chinese herbs from extinction in the United States. In his professional practice, he has helped thousands of practitioners help their patients through the Herbal Helpline®. The Herbal Helpline® is a resource for practitioners to present their questions about herbs and patient treatment.  

Eric Vasiliauskas, MD

Associate Clinical Director, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

Eric Vasiliauskas, MD is the Associate Clinical Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Cedars-Sinai and a member of the F. Widjaja Foundation Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute. Dr. Vasiliauskas has long recognized the existence of subgroups within Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and how these important subtleties influence disease expression, disease course, responses to traditional medical and surgical interventions, as well as to dietary and other alternative approaches. Frequently referred to as “Dr. V”, Dr. Vasiliauskas has been described as “a diet-friendly doctor” and is a strong advocate of living a healthy lifestyle. He recognizes the significant potential benefits of both traditional and nontraditional approaches to IBD care, while at the same time also acknowledging the shortcomings of each approach practiced in isolation.

Throughout his career, Dr. Vasiliauskas has been open to incorporating a broad spectrum of nontraditional options to help patients fine-tune their health to wellness. He is a firm believer that a complementary or integrative approach to IBD management optimizes desired outcomes, well-being and quality of life. Dr. Vasiliauskas serves as the principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous research studies at Cedars-Sinai. He has written numerous articles for such peer-reviewed publications as Gastroenterology, Gut, Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, American Journal of Gastroenterology, Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics and others. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Misha Ruth Cohen, OMD, L.Ac. 

Clinical Director, Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine

Misha Cohen, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Licensed Acupuncturist, is the Clinical Director of Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine, Executive Director of the MRCE Foundation, and Research Specialist of Integrative Medicine at the University of California Institute for Health and Aging, all in San Francisco. She is also an elected Fellow to the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She has been practicing traditional Asian medicine for the past 38 years. In Dr. Cohen’s years with Quan Yin Healing Arts Center, she has conducted herbal and acupuncture research. Her collaboration with Western physicians at San Francisco General Hospital in a double-blind placebo pilot clinical trial using Chinese herbal medicine for HIV+ persons led to the first peer-reviewed published study of Chinese herbal medicine for HIV (JAIDS, 1996).

Dr. Cohen was a co-investigator in five additional completed university studies: a peer-reviewed published study of herbal medicine for HIV-related symptoms at the Zürich University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland (JAIDS, 1999) and was co-investigator with Dr. Donald Abrams of the UCSF AIDS Community Consortium in two studies related to HIV chronic diarrhea (peer-reviewed and published in Integrative Medicine, 1999) and mild to moderate anemia collaborated with Dr. Sue Dibble in an controlled acupressure study for nausea in breast cancer related chemotherapy and was the co-investigator with Dr. Naomi Jay in a pilot study of prevention of anal cancer using Chinese herbs. Dr. Cohen also was principal investigator in a Quan Yin study of the use of acupuncture in co-infection with HIV/hepatitis viruses. Dr. Cohen was the co-investigator at UCSF for an in-vitro study of mechanisms for a Chinese herbal formula widely used for in endometriosis and dysmenorrhea. She is currently the leading investigator on a University of California research team for a Phase II study of a topical herbal cream in treatment of HPV-related anal neoplasia to prevent anal cancer. She is a leading investigator on an herbal and acupuncture research team with MDs at California Pacific Medical Center in complementary treatment for people with hepatitis C.

Michael McGuffin

President of AHPA

Michael McGuffin was honored in 2010 for over 20 years of dedicated service, having served as the President of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) since 1999 and a member of the Board of Trustee's for 10 years prior. He has been active in the herbal industry since 1974, having owned both retail and manufacturing businesses in this field. A leading expert on dietary supplement regulation, Mr. McGuffin has been published in scholarly and scientific journals, including the Food and Drug Law Journal and Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and also wrote the highly-lauded publication AHPA’s Annotated Final Rule on Dietary Supplement cGMP (2007). Additionally, Mr. McGuffin served as Managing Editor of AHPA's Botanical Safety Handbook (1997) and Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition (2000). He speaks frequently on dietary supplement regulation in the U.S. and abroad. 

Mr. McGuffin has represented the herbal industry at state and federal hearings on herbal regulatory issues. He has served as a member of FDA's Food Advisory Committee Working Group on Good Manufacturing Practices for Dietary Supplements (1998-1999), FDA's Food Advisory Committee's Dietary Supplements Subcommittee (2003-2005), California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Analysis Food Warning Workgroup (2008-2010), and the Advisory Board of the USC School of Pharmacy Regulatory Science Master's Degree Program. He also serves on the boards of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and United Plant Savers. McGuffin was awarded the Cliff Adler “Heart in Business” award in 1994 and the Nutrition Business Journal Award for Efforts on Behalf of Industry in 2004 and 2012. Mr. McGuffin has been quoted in a variety of news publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and Newsweek and has made appearances on ABC's Nightline, National Public Radio, and ABC Radio.

Mark Frost

Faculty Council President, ACTCM Board of Directors

Mark Frost has been a licensed acupuncturist in the state of California for nearly 25 years.  Beginning his undergraduate work in agriculture, engineering and biological sciences at UC Santa Barbara and California Polytechnic State University, he later went on to receive a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine where he now is a professor.  Mark has been published and has presented on a wide range of subjects and his career has taken special emphasis on areas such as TCM approaches to HIV and hepatitis, acupuncture treatment of emotional and psychological disorders, internal medicine using TCM, the treatment of digestive disorders and musculo-skeletal disorders of the back and extremities.

Mark is currently the Faculty Council President and Faculty Representative on the ACTCM Board of Directors where he has also serviced as the Chair of the Department of Complimentary and Energetic Medicine.  He has maintained a private practice in the bay area since 1990.  

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