Joel Sprechman, BS, CHHC, RYT, CC, CL – Founder and CEO
Joel, better known as the Gutsy Truth Seeker, is the host of the first ever Crohn’s And Colitis Summit which has helped over 10,000 humans from around the globe learn about innovative solutions to improve their happiness and quality of life. He is the founder of One Great Gut, a B-Corp committed to social impact. As a “Gut Health Engineer” living with IBS(Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD), specifically Ulcerative Colitis since being diagnosed in 2001 he knows what it means to live with chronic disease. He’s a bestselling author, been featured on Television, radio, is an internationally recognized public speaker including TEDx 2017, and has dedicated his life to provide meaningful solutions for the ever increasing global IBD and IBS community. After almost losing his colon, and life, to conventional medicine, and when alternative medicine didn’t have all the answers, he sought out his own. He uses his engineering skills to research solutions and cut through the noise so you don’t have to, saving you time and money. His passion is optimizing the microbiome using Integrative Medicine, food, lifestyle, and Biohacking to upgrade his biology to better health. His commitment is to empower and educate ten million humans with Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, IBD or IBS by the year 2025.
He’s a member of Qu Biologics’ IBD Community Advisory Panel. He’s taught Yoga specifically for IBD and volunteered as a camp counselor for children with IBD. He has a BS in Engineering from SUNY Buffalo, a certificate in Health Coaching from The Integrative Institute of Nutrition and is certifed as a Yoga and Meditation teacher.
Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee
This volunteer committee is comprised of some of the nation’s leading Integrative physicians and research scientists from prominent wellness clinic’s and research centers. The committee ensures scientific and medical integrity and ethics are met. The committee standards of scientific merit and research funding is properly allocated. The committee ensures proposals meet the highest standards of scientific merit and research funding is properly allocated. By focusing on brilliant investigators, the committee works toward accomplishing the goal of One Great Gut: Eradicating Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Some members see patients remotely to treat gut symptoms and restore health and happiness.
Dr. Connie Pennington, M.D. grew up south of Roanoke, VA. She attended Ferrum College and then Eastern Virginia Medical School. She completed General Surgery Residency at East Tennessee State University. She did her Colorectal Fellowship training at the University of Louisville. She returned to Johnson City in the fall of 2002 and started private practice. Dr. Pennington is triple boarded in General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery, and Integrative Medicine. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha National Honors Society. To further develop skill sets in complete health Dr. Pennington also chose a holistic course of study. Dr. Pennington began her holistic journey at Regent University in Virginia Beach by obtaining a Masters in Divinity. She has always felt that all healing is spiritual healing on some level. She then went on to the University of Arizona to complete a 2 year fellowship in Integrative Medicine. Currently she is participating in Functional Medicine training through the Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Pennington lives in South Johnson City on a hobby farm with her husband of 20 years. She raises free-range chickens and loves to garden. It is her desire to enjoy life and apply the healing modalities she has learned in her own life, as well as her medical practice. She is passionate about treating the root cause of illnesses and teaching lifestyle modification.
Dr. Philip Blair, M.D. is a family physician providing disease management for patients with chronic pain, PTSD, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diabetes, obesity, and kidney disease. He is also an expert on whole body vibration fitness training, low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets, and cannabidiol therapy. Patient empowerment and advocacy are his most important objectives. Colonel Blair, MD (ret USA) graduated from West Point and Univ. of Miami Medical School, served 24 years in the US Army, and has provided disease management services to patients and employer groups for 15 years. He has provided innovative disease management by telemedicine to patients in all 50 states and 16 countries. Dr. Blair has also researched and applied industrial hemp cannabidiol (CBD) to clinical care for patients, organizations and other health professionals across the USA and into Australia and UK. His services are internet-based and accessible for patient and provider consultations internationally. He is Senior Medical Director at Elixinol who is a global leader with high values and integrity in CBD and other hemp-based cannabinoids focused on human health. Appointments can be scheduled with Dr. Blair by emailing our assistant.
Dr. Jeff Harris ND – specializes in treating pain and chronic conditions as well as sports medicine. He trains and educates medical doctors worldwide in Neural Therapy and other advanced healing techniques. Former patients have included Hollywood Actors and Professional Football players that came for his innovative Integrative therapies.He graduated from Bastyr University Medical school in 1992, and has been practicing Naturopathic Medicine for the past 24 years. Additional training has come from Dr. Klinghardt from the Sophia Institute and he has studied healing techniques from around the world including India, South America and Europe. He loves spending quality time with his wife Pru, practicing Qi Gong, yoga, backpacking and skiing. His Great Grandfather was a doctor in Virginia and is mentioned on the TV show “The Waltons”. He has his office in Seattle and is available to travel to see patients in their home and give personal training to their Doctor.
Dr. Christine Tara Peterson PhD, AHP, RYT – Received her PhD in Immunology and Microbiology from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at the George Washington University School of Medicine where she studied the structure and function of the gut microbiome in sub-therapeutic antibiotic-induced obesity using metagenomics, metaproteomics, and metatranscriptomics methods. In addition to being a Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCSD, Christine is a Research Scientist at the Chopra Foundation and a Visiting Research Scientist at the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute. Dr. Peterson is studying the gut microbiome in the context of cardiovascular disease and risk factors such as obesity and in a variety of therapeutic approaches including dietary, probiotic, Yoga-based, and Ayurvedic interventions. Christine is also a Clinical Ayurvedic Practitioner. Christine combines these areas of study to help others learn how to self-heal, obtain radiant health, and realize their full potential. She has particular interest in gut illnesses and dietary interventions, and an ayurvedic herbal and botanical approach to Fecal Microbial Transplant protocol. Schedule a remote telemedicine appointment with Dr. Peterson by clicking here. She also sees patients in-person in San Diego.
- Nature Sept 2016: Identification of Altered Metabolomic Profiles Following a Panchakarma-based Ayurvedic Intervention in Healthy Subjects: The Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative (SBTI)
- The Journal Of Translational Immunology Oct 2014 Immune homeostasis, dysbiosis and therapeutic modulation of the gut microbiota
- The Structure And Function Of The Marine Gut Microbiome in Sub -Theraputic Antibotic-Induced Obesity
Dr. Heather Sandison ND – Dr. Sandison is a Naturopathic Doctor specializing in gastrointestinal conditions, autoimmune disorders and general family medicine. She also treats hormone balancing, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and women’s health. She is committed to finding the root cause and working with patients to create optimal health. In her spare time she teaches at Bastyr University, enjoys surfing, running, cooking, traveling and spending time with her friends and family. She’s a member of California Naturopathic Doctor’s Association and American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is the owner and medical director of North County Natural Medicine in Encinitas California.
Dane Johnson, C.N. – Dane is the owner and Founder of CrohnsColitisLifestyle. Dane’s passion for holistic nutrition began after he experienced a life threatening battle with Crohns Disease & Ulcerative Colitis. Natural medicine played a large role in his recovery and allowed him to discontinue the use of conventional drugs. Dane is a leading practitioner in the holistic community with over 10 years experience in the Health & Wellness industry. He received his Holistic Nutrition Degree from The Energetic Health Institute and has since helped others find natural solutions to their own personal battles with Crohns/Colitis. Dane has been featured in fitness magazines such as ‘Fitness for Men’ and known for his natural recovery from a life threatening battle with Crohns Disease/Ulcerative Colitis. Dane is the creator of the proprietary healing program – S.H.I.E.L.D; Co-founder of the non-profit Nutrition Heals foundation, and member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. Dane works with Gut suffers around the globe holistically healing their often debilitating symptoms.
Daniel Schmachtenberger – Senior Member – Neurohacker Collective – Evolutionary Philosopher, Systems Designer, Strategist
Daniel has a trans-disciplinary science background within a whole systems, complexity, and integral framework. He loves solving seemingly intractable problems by reassessing the foundational data and axioms of a field and then restructuring it from the ground up. He began seriously studying health and neurology when afflicted with neurological and autoimmune illnesses that had no known solutions in either allopathic or complementary medicine. The insights that led to his healing came from developing a new model for understanding physiology and pathology, which he then applied to helping many people address various forms of complex illness and optimize their capabilities beyond their previous healthy baselines. Daniel was the academic dean for a college of mind-body medicine and has consulted for many cutting edge integrative doctors and medical clinics to help find novel solutions for complex cases. He created and ran a cutting edge think tank developing complex systems solutions for environmental and social issues, and has directed a transdisciplinary group of scholars on a philosophy of mind project addressing core questions of mind/brain interface and developing an axiomatic reformulation for the epistemology of neuroscience. He has a significant background with and love for nootropics, meditation, depth psychology, and all effective tools for evolving states and stages of consciousness and evolving the human experience.
Dr. Duc Le MD
Graduated from University of VA with a Bachelor of Science in Field Biology. He studied acupuncture at the Nanjing University of TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine. He went on to obtain his medical degree from SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn NY. He initially worked as an urgent care and aeromedical evacuation MD in Vietnam. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and practiced hospital medicine for 10 years, most recently at Sharp Hospital in San Diego attending critically ill patients. Frustrated by the poor progress many patients have with just managing their chronic disease, he developed a passion for changing the paradigm of disease care. After studying Functional Medicine and Neuro Linguistic Programming he founded Optimal Change MD. Through root cause analysis, he creates permanent changes in people’s lives. He optimizes daily energy levels, focus all day, and how effortless days flow. In his spare time, he enjoys researching optimal states of human performance and living, running Tough Mudder Warrior Dash races, and fully embracing: “When I take responsibility for everything in my life, I have the power to change everything.” Schedule a remote telemedicine appointment with Dr. Le by clicking here.
Michele Rooney MS PT RYT – is a Founding Member and sits on the board of Physicians for Informed Consent, she is a pediatric physical therapist with over 17 years of experience assisting families and children with neurodevelopmental delay in two major metropolitan areas, New York and San Diego. Amongst her colleagues and clients she is affectionately known as the poop whisperer. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Sociology from New York University, and a Master’s of Science Degree in Physical therapy from Columbia University. She specializes in early Intervention, autism spectrum disorders and rare diseases, and has lectured on the integration of yoga in pediatric therapy practice. She is a La Leche League leader and has extensive experience in providing parent to parent support about various parenting and health topics, including vaccines, food safety, breastfeeding, child development and the spiritual journey of parenting. She is deeply involved in both legislation and public education and served as the San Diego Volunteer Coordinator for the SB277 Referendum in 2015. Her 11 year old daughter is her inspiration.
Dr. Nguyen Tran OD RYT – is a primary care Optometrist with 9 years of experience treating patients with vision problems and ocular diseases. She attended UC Davis and UC Berkeley for her undergrad and completed her Vision Science Degree at Pennsylvania college of optometry(now Salus University) . Dr. Tran completed her yoga teacher training with Hari Kaur Khalsa at Hari NYC. She is passionate about Integrating her vision science knowledge with natural treatments for the betterment of her patients. In her spare time she volunteers with vision rehabilitation with low vision patients at the San Diego Center For The Blind and enjoys cooking, yoga, meditation and hiking.
Vacancy: Fecal Transplant Expert
Vacancy: Integrative Gastroenterologist
Vacancy: Pediatric Integrative Gastroenterologist
Vacancy: Master’s in Public Health, MPH
Theo Hanson – A Relentless Researcher, Compelling Communicator, Inspired Author, and Health Luminary passionate about evolving western medicine. An accidental discovery during a cancer crisis in the family resulted in an epic journey of revelation, analysis, testing of conclusions, and having to confront a broken medical system. Oncology was unwilling to review or discuss the inarguable evidence. Instead the response was robotic, aggressive and insulting. Theo remained determined. He quickly widened his search to studies of the reversal of other diseases. He has attended nearly a 100 hours of certified Continuing Medical Education in 2015 alone and spent 100’s of hours scouring publications in search of better explaining the incredible stories of disease reversal. Each meeting, every presenter, held a key or a puzzle piece. Theo has personally, and successfully, worked with a surprising number of people to help them regain health, despite facing life threatening diseases. Theo and team will be shooting a groundbreaking documentary in the late spring of 2017 documenting the reversal of life threatening diseases and how non toxic methods can be far more effective and with zero side effects. The purpose of the documentary is to bring these modalities and systems into the current medical machine. Watch this short 3 minute video clip from The Truth About Cancer series and capture an insight on what sparked him to become part of a new solution.
Andrew Hewitt CEO GameChangers 500 – For Benefit Economy
Through his leadership in creating GameChangers 500, a ranking of the world’s top for-benefit businesses, Andrew Hewitt has become a sought-after expert on what differentiates high performing purpose-driven companies. His research has led him to be featured in major media such as BBC World News, Forbes and Fast Company, lecture at leading institutions such as the U.N. University for Peace and the Social Entrepreneurship World Forum, and work with both innovative companies like Zappos.com as well as century old corporations. As a member of the Fourth Sector Mapping Initiative Advisory Council, Andrew is supporting the U.S. government’s transition to a four sector economy where for-benefit corporate structures will join the traditional three sectors of for-profits, non-profits, and government organizations. When he’s not researching for-benefit companies he’s often supporting millennials in finding meaningful careers within this movement, or sitting on advisory boards of organizations like the Pachamama Alliance.
Noah Gilman – Gutsy Intern + Photographer of Possibilities at Noah Gilman Photography
Noah has an eye for photography, and a passion for angles and lighting, as well as capturing distinct fleeting moments. Noah had a complete Colectomy in 2013 removing his entire colon. He’s a junior at CSU San Marcos, majoring in Psychology, enjoys holistically healing his Crohn’s Disease and has a passion for helping people find their inner happiness.
Spiritual Board of Advisors
“Scientific and religious path are like two streams of the creative human mind. The scientific path tries to explain the nature of reality within rationality, whereas the religious or spiritual path does so within and beyond reason” – Dr. Singh
Laura Styler is an Energy Medicine Practitioner of Brennan Healing Science and a Certified Fertility Awareness Educator specializing in autoimmune disorders, reproductive health, and fertility. Laura often works with Empaths, helping them to develop healthy energetic boundaries in order to enhance their gifts, without taking on others’ feelings or physical pain. She is a graduate of the four-year, Bachelor of Science program at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, a licensed university for the study of the Human Energy Field, hands-on-healing, and Transpersonal Psychology. As a Brennan Healing Science Practitioner, Laura draws from over 85 specific techniques in working with the Human Energy-Consciousness System using light touch to clear energetic blocks and to enhance the body’s natural healing capabilities. She has also been trained in the Brofman Body-Mirror System, Sound Healing, and she is a graduate of the four-year program at The School for Non-Dual Healing and Awakening taught by modern Kabbalist Jason Shulman. Prior to opening her practice, Laura studied and traveled internationally as a fashion model for over a decade. Experiencing the exploitative behaviors of the Fashion Industry first hand spurred Laura’s passion for female self-empowerment. Her decade long study of female reproductive health, sexuality, and fertility cycles prompted her decision to become certified as a Fertility Awareness Educator. Laura teaches the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) in groups and one-on-one, as a tool for charting hormonal health, a natural form of contraception, and for ‘conscious conception’. One of Laura’s unique talents is releasing energetic blocks on the spiritual, and emotional levels to help women conceive. Laura and her husband Robert now live in San Diego. She travels to and from NYC to see clients in-person in both cities and maintains continuity of care via long distance phone and Skype sessions.
Regional Group Leaders
Group Leader : Todd Steinhardt – Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2015, Todd is a husband and father. He had total colectomy surgery and today sports an ileostomy. He’s passionate about diet to heal IBD, the healing power of the ocean and helping others. You’ll likely find Todd on a local beach recovering and writing. He is partnering with Dr. Gauree Konijeti to author a book about his IBD journey.