Udaya Thomas is a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner working in a Safety-Net Hospital System for the Underserved in Southeast Florida at Memorial Primary Care. She has conducted both individual and group visits (in English and Spanish) as part of her panel management. She integrates meditation, yoga, integrative nutrition and supplements into her practice with her patients. Udaya is also a SAMHSA Fellow working on her PhD in Nursing, Interdisciplinary Health track at Walden University. She is currently ABD and working on her dissertation project.
Udaya has been active in IM4US since 2015 and has been co-chair of the Policy committee since 2018, until transitioning into her role as President for IM4US January 2020. She has been working in Nursing for the past 20 years. Prior to Nursing, she worked in community development and was a licensed Social Worker. Her nursing career has been split between domestic clinical care and international public health programs. She has provided leadership and clinical technical assistance to international public health programs in Afghanistan, Belize, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and Sudan. Udaya is a Master Trainer and has created learning resource packages, curriculum and conducted strategic meetings, in-service and pre-service trainings for the aforementioned countries.
Udaya holds certifications in Yoga, Integrative Health Nurse Coaching and is Board Certified in Primary Care with experience in community and public health, hospice care, women’s health, nutrition and exercise counseling, yoga, meditation, geriatric health, HIV/AIDS and other STIs, prison health, emergency nursing, research, and quality assurance standards.
Udaya is excited about leading the Board of Directors and co-piloting IM4US with the ED and all of IM4US’s members into a future of greater access and care for the Underserved.
Dr. Deborah Gracia is the Chief Medical Officer at Borinquen Health Care Center, Inc.;a federally qualified health center facility that has 9 sites and 31 schools and serves the underserved communities all throughout Miami Dade County. Dr. Deborah Gracia has been a provider and educator of Internal Medicine for over 20 years, she earned her B.S. in Nutritional Sciences and Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine. As a CMO, she is responsible for the Clinical Deliveries of Services, Physicians as well as all Clinical Operations of all Borinquen’s sites. She briefly served as the Interim CEO for her organization. She is also the former Program Director for the Larkin Community Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program and worked as an associate professor for universities like FIU and NOVA.
Dr. Gracia is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and a current fellow at The University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center of Integrative Medicine. The Borinquen Health Care Center (BHCC) clinics comprise one of South Florida’s FQHC’s serving patients who have disparities in access to healthcare. Being fluent in English and Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole has allowed Dr. Gracia to better assess the needs of the patients and the community and mount appropriate responses to their needs. In the last few years, she has also participated in disseminating and implementing several new programs, which have resulted in significant improvements in Borinquen patient outcomes. Her dedication to Community Health began as a Board Member in this same clinic during her Internal Medicine residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Upon graduation, she also served as a clinician at another local community health center, Jessie Trice Community Health Center (JTCHC.) Dr. Gracia was named by Legacy Magazine as one of South Florida’s 25 Most Influential & Prominent Black Women in Business for 2011. She also recently got appointed to the Florida Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board.
Dr. Gracia seeks to gain knowledge and experience through various collaborations, fellowship opportunities, and conferences to implement innovative programs both for patients and staff at her clinic, putting the patient at the center of the equation and empowering providers, staff, and patients to optimize their emotional, spiritual and physical health.
Kimberly is a certified public accountant, a compassionate leader with more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurial business development and operations, consulting, Big Four external audit, accounting and advisory, and Fortune 100 senior management experience. Kimberly’s broad range of capabilities includes cross-cultural relationship management; strategic business and operations design, change management and organizational transformation; large-scale, multi-disciplinary project management development and execution; corporate governance, risk, and compliance; accounting, and financial reporting; vendor sourcing and outsourcing; and IT implementation management.
Driven by a series of healthcare challenges in her family that began more than a decade ago, Kimberly embarked on a journey to search for solutions. She immersed herself in deep research, utilized a multitude of natural, integrative health and medicine, functional medicine, and personal lifestyle wellness approaches and therapies, in collaboration with caring practitioners. Blessed with tremendous healing success, Kimberly founded KnoWEwell, as a Public Benefit Corporation to make it easier for others facing their own health crises, and to pay it back to the professional organizations and providers that helped her family heal. KnoWEwell is B Certified Pending, a 1% for the Planet Member and was honored with a ‘Top 50 Healthcare Companies Award’ in 2019 by the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare.
Kimberly’s ikigai is being in service to others, helping people and our planet heal and achieve WELLthier Living – happy, healthy, abundant, purpose-filled. She purposefully designed KnoWEwell and its 5 Pillars of Giving to take responsibility and make a positive impact on Underserved people, Underserved Regenerative Whole Health nonprofits, all people, and our planet. Kimberly was honored as a ‘10 Best CEO of 2020’ by Industry Era Magazine.
Kimberly is a loving mom to five sons, joyfully makes bone broth and hands out health books to those in need, volunteers her time in her local community, and with national nonprofit organizations. She is excited and honored to combine her professional background with the community she loves so much, as the Treasurer of the IM4US, collaborating with committee members and being in service to the Underserved.
Jude Bornstein-Chau is a wife, mother, advocate, and Board-Certified Internist who became a member of IM4US while attending the 8th annual conference in Washington, DC. She is incredibly honored to be on the Board during this exciting period in the organization’s development. Jude believes in Integrative Medicine as a powerful force for social change, and sees IM4US as the organization that can faithfully represent a multiplicity of voices, spurring the fight for social justice and healthier communities.
Jude enjoyed an eclectic undergraduate career that focused on geology and narrative non-fiction but included such diverse subjects as Medieval French and Welsh, and movement analysis. It was during her undergraduate years that she first became interested in the principles of mind-body medicine. Jude earned her Doctor of Medicine from the Penn State, Milton S. Hershey School of Medicine in 2005, and completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Temple University Hospital in 2008, serving some of Philadelphia’s poorest residents. One of her greatest honors so far has been receiving the Melody S. Duffalo Award for Humanism in Medicine, which was awarded to her by her fellow residents. After working in Hospital Medicine for nearly a decade, Jude decided to pursue Integrative Medicine in order to return to her interest in mind-body healing and the root causes of disease. She completed her fellowship through the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine in February 2019.
During her fellowship, Jude began to feel a deep call toward social justice work and left hospital medicine in order to pursue this mission. When she joined IM4US in 2018, she joined the Policy and Advocacy committee where she has been an active member, and for which she will be stepping into the co-chair role. In addition to her efforts with IM4US, Jude is active locally with Health Justice Philly, the social justice body associated with the chronic disease arm of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health. For the past two years, she has collaborated with the DPH members to organize the nascent Health Justice Summit in Philadelphia. Jude currently works as a primary care physician at Oak Street Health, which leverages data science and population health to drive primary care once more toward common-sense prevention in underserved populations. Of particular interest to her both personally and professionally are mind-body techniques for mental health and pain control, culinary medicine, Ayurveda, and palliative care.
Jude is deeply thankful to share her life with her husband Vinh and their son Kien, both of whom are daily reminders of presence and compassion. In addition to cooking, eating, reading, and Yoga, she enjoys driving a race car as fast as possible.
Steven Chen, MD, as the Chief Medical Officer of ALL IN Alameda County, brings an integrative health equity lens to ALL IN’s work on poverty. He is leading the scale and spread of a Food as Medicine model across Alameda County health clinics, health systems, and food systems. His areas of expertise include integrative medicine, health equity, and innovative models of care that address social determinants of health (SDOH) and improve health outcomes. He is interested in somatic approaches to healing social and historical traumas.
As the former Medical Director at Hayward Wellness, an FQHC clinic in the Alameda Health System, he and his team developed an innovative “Food as Medicine” model that is clinically integrated and bundles together a variety of interventions to improve health: a “food farmacy” and food prescriptions through a partnership with a local farm, a “social needs pharmacy” to connect patients to community resources, and a group medical visit “behavioral pharmacy” that combines movement, nutrition, stress reduction, and social support.
Dr. Chen’s commitments to a more just and inclusive world is informed by his experiences as a son of immigrants and a 2nd generation Taiwanese American. Dr. Chen recognizes the importance of language access, and he continues to develop more fluency in Taiwanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish to better serve our communities. He grew up watching his immigrant parents and extended family struggle to navigate life in this new setting.
A graduate of Stanford University and Stanford School of Medicine, Dr. Chen is a board-certified family medicine physician who completed his residency training at UCSF-San Francisco General Hospital. He received additional fellowship training in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, the California Health Care Foundation’s Leadership Program, acupuncture training through the UCLA-HMI Physicians’ Medical Acupuncture program, and advanced training in a form of osteopathic manipulative medicine called Strain-Counterstrain.
Nadine Ijaz, PhD is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy (Canada); and, a Visiting Research Fellow with the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Technology Sydney. Her policy research in the field of traditional, complementary, and integrative medicine (TCIM) draws on postcolonial theories and Indigenous research methods and addresses the cultural dimensions of traditional healing systems in the context of professional governance. The protection of Indigenous knowledge and the redress of cultural misappropriation in health care is a particular focus of her work. She also conducts research into ‘whole systems’ clinical research methods that accurately represent the paradigmatic features of TCIM interventions. As a long-standing herbalist, nutritionist, and shiatsu therapist, Dr. Ijaz previously worked in the field of integrative oncology; co-founded and led free and low-cost community clinics, and operated herbal apprenticeships. She is also an award-winning educator with two decades of post-secondary teaching experience in the fields of integrative health, nutrition, and food justice.
Dr. Rhonda Coleman, DAOM is a licensed acupuncturist and nationally certified herbalist. She specializes in holistic treatment for emotional and digestive health. Her holistic health journey began with personal training and group fitness instruction, then massage therapy before entering undergraduate studies in dietary nutrition at Kaplan University online. After completing the Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine at Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Coleman studied at AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine where she received the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) degree.
In addition to her medical practice, Dr. Coleman is active in community health and wellness. Rhonda’s long term goal is to help facilitate a return to ancestral healing practices through movement, nutrition, and academic forums that demonstrate our historic use of what are now considered “alternative” practices.
In her personal life, she is a dancer, capoeira arts master, wife, and mother. She volunteers her time as Chair of Senator James Coleman (Colorado District 33) Mental Health, Healthcare and Insurance Cabinet, and Vice-President of the Black Acupuncturist Association in addition to her service as a Board member for Integrative Medicine for the Underserved (IM4US).
Denise Cusack (she/her) is a clinical herbalist, certified aromatherapist, medicinal herb grower & conservationist, published writer, and artist. Denise serves as Executive Director of Herbalists Without Borders, where she has grown membership and fundraising by over 500% in 3 years. Denise works to support free holistic clinics supporting the underserved and unhomed throughout the US and the world, operates a US Seed Grant Program to get fresh food and medicinal plants to communities, and operates a US donation distribution network under HWB. Denise also serves as Clinical Herbalist with the Veterans Resiliency Holistic Clinic, a free clinic with 10 modalities serving veterans in the Richmond, VA area. She also serves as an officer on the Governing Council of the American Herbalists Guild, and as a Co-Facilitator on the AHG Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee.
Denise has many years of holistic wellness practitioner experience, and a background in marketing and advertising, including Fortune 100 marketing campaigns. She contributes regularly to online and print magazines, writing about organic gardening, sustainable living, herbalism, aromatherapy, permaculture, homesteading, holistic nutrition and more. Denise is a medicinal plant grower and conservationist, and her family farm, Lunar Hollow, is a Botanical Sanctuary in the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary Network. Denise works to use her privilege to support and empower health justice, food justice, and social justice programs and community actions around the world.
When she is not volunteering for health justice and herbal health access, Denise can be found spending time with her two homeschooled teenagers and her husband, baking, fermenting, canning, drawing, making music, playing with paint and clay, walking her dog, growing mushrooms, and making big plans for her farm.