Arti Prasad MD, FACP
Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, Chief, Section of Integrative Medicine, Founding Executive Director of UNM Center for Life, UNMHSC Albuquerque, New Mexico
Arti Prasad MD, FACP, the Division Chief of General Internal Medicine is also the UNM Center for Life's founding Executive Director. She was the founding Section Chief of Integrative Medicine at the University of New Mexico's Health Science Center (UNM HSC) prior to becoming the Division Chief. She is a Professor of Internal Medicine at UNM and was appointed as the Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine (GIM) at UNM in July 2013 after serving as the Interim Chief for two years before this time. Dr. Prasad was one of the first GIM faculty members recruited to start an off-site community based Internal Medicine practice in 2005 as part of the community outreach initiative of the UNM HSC. As of January 2015, Dr. Prasad will also be leading the Division of Geriatrics which is merging with General Internal Medicine.
Dr. Prasad additionally holds an adjunct clinical professorhsip at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona. She graduated in November 2003 from its Fellowship Program under the direction of Dr. Andrew Weil. Dr. Prasad has continually demonstrated excellent leadership skills at UNM SOM, which in part resulted in her being nominated and accepted into the prestigious Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women. She graduated from this program in April 2005. ELAM is the nation's only in-depth program focused on preparing senior women faculty at schools of medicine and denistry to move into positions of institutional leadership where they can effect positive change. Under her able leadership, UNM SOM is now a member of the national Consortium of the Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM). Recently, Dr. Prasad was nominated and selected as one of the founding board members to the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM) through ABPS.
Dr. Prasad has received high recognition by here peers during her medical career, including the Dean's Award of Distinction for Outstanding Faculty Performance; the Winner of the Clinical Vignette Competition at an Annual Meeting of the New Mexico Chapter of the ACP; and Certificates of Appreciation for services rendered during the Union Carbide Gas Leakage Tragedy in India. She has been listed among the top 100 doctors of Albuquerque, by the Albuquerque magazine for 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014. In November 2009, Dr. Prasad was honored by Albuquerque Journal's SAGE Magazine which chose to honor 20 women in New Mexico for their accomplishments within the past two decades. The SAGE 20 Women Making a Difference award is given to women who have truly made a difference in how New Mexicans live their lives. She was nominated and selected as one of the two winners under the Health category. In April 2010, she represented UNM as the selected national delegate for the annual convention of the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP). In May 2010, Dr. Prasad was selected as one of the 102 women from around the country (two from each state) to represent New Mexico for a national movement "Vision 2020 - Women in Leadership". There were only four women chosen nationally from the field of Health around the country. In June 2010, she was awarded the UNM's Paul Bartlett Re Peace Prize for which she was the 'winner alternate' in 2007.In recognition of her faculty excellence in teaching, she was selected by the UNM School of Medicine as the 2011 Apple for the Teacher recipient in the Excellence in Curricular Leadership Awards category. Dr. Prasad was selected for her enthusiasm in teaching, skill to facilitate learning, and ability to establish a positive Teacher-Learner relationship. In November 2014, Dr. Prasad was honored with UNM's Sarah Belle Brown Faculty award for outstanding community service.
Dr. Prasad is involved in faculty development, community outreach, CME at the UNM School of Medicine and teaches in different phases of medical education.She established the Integrative medicine Residency Track through funding from the Weil Foundation in 2010 and is a Teaching Faculty and Mentor for these residents. She gives lectures, seminars, invited talks, and Grand Rounds. She organizes and Chairs the Biennial Symposium of Integrative Medical Professionals in the Land of Enchantment (SIMPLE). She is the faculty sponsor of the HSC student inter-professional group - the IMEE (Integrative Medicine Education Exchange Group) which has about 40 students from various disciplines of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, PT and community groups. In 2012, Dr. Prasad was invited to present at TEDx Albuquerque. On September 8, 2012, she presented "9 Minutes" to a sold-out audience at the Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. The lecture can be viewed on YouTube.
Dr. Prasad is not only an excellent physician and educator, but she is also involved in participating in clinical trials, mentoring medical students in research projects related to primary care and integrative medicine, and writing research proposals. As a co-investigator, she completed a CDC-funded project investigating the use of CAM therapies in patients with chronic rheumatological disorders in NM. She is appointed as the Director of Integrative Cancer Programs at the Cancer Research and Treatment Center (CRTC) and received funding by the American Cancer Society to perform "Integrative Medicine Needs Assessment" at UNM Cancer Research & Treatment Center. She served as a member of the executive board of the Primary Care Research Collaborative (PCRC) at UNM from 2001 - 2003, and now is a member of RIOS (Research in Outpatient Setting) Net. She received a grant from PCRC to conduct a UNM SOM faculty survey regarding the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and personal use of CAM. She was the PI on the grant "Access to Health Care through the Door of Recovery" unded by the La Tierra Sagrada Society, UNM SOM in 2006-2007. In 2009, Dr. Prasad received a grant from PCRC for a Nia study entitled "AComparison of a Mind-Body Fitness Practice with a Group Walking Program on Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, Weight Circumference and Sustainability." Dr. Prasad has received grant support every year from 2010-2014 to develop and support an Integrative Medicine Track in the Internal Medicine Residency program at UNM. The track started in July 2010 and is the first program of its kind in the nation. There are currently 10 Internal Medicine residents and 7 faculty members who are enrolled in the track.
As part of Dr. Prasad's extensive community outreach and presence, she serves on the medical advisory board of the "Cancer Services of NM" and volunteers her time for the Family Cancer Retreat. She gives public service lectures to "People Living through Cancer", "Lymphoma and Leukemia Society,' and a variety of other non-profit organizations.She is a highly respected and sought out speaker for both private and public organizations.
She is an active member of many national societies including Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), Association of Chiefs and Leaders in General Internal Medicine (ACLGIM), American College of Physicians (ACP), International Society of Integrative Oncology (SIO), Consortium of Academic Health Centers of Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM), and recently as a founding board member of the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM).
The most important and fulfilling aspect of Dr. Prasad's career is to provide patient-centered and compassionate care to her patients, creating and expanding new programs, fund-raising, and mentoring and coaching her faculty, colleagues, staff, residents, and students.
Mark Lee, MD, MS, FACP Medical Director, UNM Center for Life, Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Resident Program, UNMHSC Albuquerque, New Mexico
Dr. Lee recently joined the University of New Mexico faculty in 2015 and currently serves as Medical Director for the UNM Center for Life and as Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program.
Prior to joining UNM, he spent over two decades of his career at the Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic is world famous for excellence in the three shields model of care and Dr. Lee embodied all the qualities cherished as a Mayo Clinic physician.
Dr. Lee was one of the founding members of the Mayo Clinic Program for Complementary and Integrative Medicine and is internationally recognized for expertise in integrative medicine and medical education. He served as the Director for Integrative Medicine Education and as Vice Chair of the acupuncture practice. As a clinician, he created and practiced in one of the first regional referral based consultative medicine practices at Mayo Clinic and he served as a personal physician for faculty, trainees and their families. Formally trained in medical acupuncture, he has taken a scholarly approach to integrating ancient healing methods with allopathic medicine. Dr. Lee’s clinical leadership at Mayo Clinic has been extensive, with over 35 institutional leadership and committee roles.
Dr. Lee is one of the most recognized educators at Mayo Clinic. He has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards and is one of very few Mayo Clinic faculty who have been inducted into the Teacher of the Year Hall of fame multiple times. Dr. Lee received formal training at Stanford University and currently serves as one of 175 facilitators for the Stanford Faculty Development Program in Clinical Teaching. He created and implemented the Mayo Clinic’s faculty development curriculum and he has personally mentored hundreds of Mayo Clinic faculty in the art of teaching. His education leadership at Mayo Clinic is especially noteworthy as he served as Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program and Founder of the GIM Section of Medical Education for over a decade. He is known internationally for his faculty development in clinical teaching curriculum.
Dr. Lee has been prolific in scholarship directly related to his career focus. He served as Associate Editor for the Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Board Review 10th edition and Section Editor for the Mayo Book of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Dr. Lee has served as content expert and author for Mayo Clinic’s AskMayoExpert as well as ACP’s PIER resource. He has been interviewed by national and international mass media for his expertise in Integrative Medicine and Education. He has over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles, abstracts, book chapters and authored curricula.
Dr. Lee graduated from the University of California, San Diego before matriculating to the University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School where he received his M.S. and M.D. Degrees. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency in 1998 at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and served as Chief Medical Resident before Joining the Mayo Clinic Faculty.
Julie Sonnenberg, MA, LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) is the UNM Center for Life's Practice Manager. Julie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Missouri - Kansas City in 1985, and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Webster University in 1995. Early in her career, she served as the Practice Manager at two holistic practices in Kansas City which offered physician consultation, acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy, chiropractic, massage, and movement therapy. Her UNM employment includes being the Director of Care Management at UNM Children's Psychiatric Hospital and Quality Consultant and Clinical Quality Manager at UNM Hospital. Her career has been devoted to ensuring patient access to quality care through planning and coordination with providers, staff, insurance companies, and providing patients with a "WOW" experience in their health care.
Michelle Hale, Communications Specialist, graduated from New Mexico State University Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science and has 10 years experience in Event Planning. She has been employed with the University of New Mexico since December 2003 and prior to joining the Center for Life team, she was an Event Planner for the Continuing Medical Education Department. As Communications Specialist for the Center, Michelle is responsible for outreach programs, scheduling educational workshops and lectures and coordinating fundraising events. She also assists with the Integrative Medicine in Residency program within the Department of Internal Medicine.
Surya Pierce, MD is an integrative family physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine at UNM School of Medicine who joined CFL in July 2015. After completing medical school and residency at the University of Wisconsin under the mentorship of Dr. Dave Rakel, Surya worked with University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine to help develop their integrative primary care practice and integrative medicine curriculum. He subsequently provided primary care at the rural Little Axe Clinic of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma (for whom he continues to serve as a health board member) and at a community practice for the Univerity of Oklahoma. He has authored numerous academic and community publications and presentations. Dr. Pierce is Certified through the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine.
Dr. Pierce's approach to medicine continues to be influenced by yoga therapy (yoga chikitsa), Ayurveda and Traditional Tibetan Medicine. He is a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher (RYT 200) and brings nearly 20 years of daily yoga and meditation practice to his patient encounters, and he has conducted successful community yoga classes before, during, and after his medical education. At CFL, Dr. Pierce sees patients 16 years and older.
Dr. Shank is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine. He is board certified in both family medicine and integrative medicine. He has over 24 years of experience serving as an attending at a community health center at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio and as an integrative medicine consultant at the Connor Integrative Health Network which is part of the University Hospitals of Cleveland Medical System. He has special interests in the use of herbal therapies, men’s health, cancer survivorship, and medical student and resident education.
Judith Pentz, MD is an integrative psychiatrist and Assistant Professor of Medicine at UNM who joined CFL in January 2016. Dr. Pentz has been a practicing psychiatrist for 25 years and specializing in integrative psychiatry for the past 12 years. She is board certified in child, adolescent, adult psychiatry. Her focus is on using holistic approaches that may include herbs, nutrients, dietary/nutritional changes, mind-body medicine options for the person with emotional/mental challenges, which can be part of the overall collaborative treatment.
Dr. Pentz has spoken nationally on the growing body of research for use of nutrients and nutrition for the treatment of mental health challenges and has written numerous articles on integrative psychiatry. She is board certified in integrative medicine by the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine.
Mary E. Smith, RN, CMnTPT, DOM, Diplac, DiplCH. Dr. Smith is the Director of Oriental Medical Services and the Observational Internship Program at UNM Center for Life. She has extensive experience in the Western medical field as an RN specializing in trauma/neurologic intensive care and administrative nursing. She is nationally board-certified in acupuncture and Chinese herbology, and New Mexico state board-licensed to practice as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Dr. Smith is also certified in myofascial trigger point therapy with special interests in treating myofascial pain and dysfunction.
Her career has been devoted to integrative medicine as well as education in the Eastern traditions. She enjoys teaching the basic concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine and trigger point therapy to allopathic medical students and residents in the clinical setting. Dr. Smith's specialties include the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, pain syndromes, cancer, and women's health.
Emilie Brough, DOM, Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, LMT, RMTI,combines her 12 years as a practitioner and teacher of massage and herbal medicine into her acupuncture practice. She uses Oriental medicine, massage, reflexology and hot rock therapy to focus on acute and chronic pain management, general health support, and cancer care. She is passionate about respecting each of her patients as unique individuals and committed to a collaborative approach with her team of healthcare providers. Emilie is an instructor at the Scherer Institute of Natural Healing, the Peregrine Insitute , and supervises a student clinic at the Cancer Care Center at Christus St. Vincent's Hospital.
Ingrid Reyna, DOM,LMT - began her career in the healing profession 13 years ago after attending and completing massage therapy and yoga teacher training program at the Soma Institute School of Clinical Massage Therapy and the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago. These experiences led to a comprehensive educational and clinical program in Oriental medicine at the Southwest Acupuncture College in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
With her combined years of experience as a provider to diverse clientele, Ingrid has developed a passion in Oriental medicine and bodywork modalities for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions associated with chronic disease, as well as psycho-emotional aspects associated with chronic illness. Ingrid is also Nationally Board Certified in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is board certified as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine by the State of New Mexico.
Laura Shelhav, DOM, Dipl.OM became a Doctor of Oriental Medicine in 2000 and is Nationally Board Certified in Oriental Medicine. Dr. Shelhav is also a New Mexico state examiner with the Board of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She has served as an instructor of Public Health and Epidemiology and as a clinic supervisor at the Southwest Acupuncture College. She specializes in natural pain and stress relief and has completed advanced study in the areas of infertility and gynecology.
George Simmons, DC, AP-C, After receiving a Bachelor degree from Grand Valley State College in Michigan, Dr. Simmons attended Life Chiropractic University in Marietta, GA, graduating in 1982. Dr. Simmons moved to Albuquerque, NM in 1983 and began a Chiropractic and Natural Medicine practice. He has received post graduate training and certifications in Chiropractic Orthopedics and Primary Care Integrated Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Association of Chiropractic Physicians, Diplomat of the College of Physicians of the American Association on Integrated Medicine and member of the American Academy of Pain Management.
He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and New Mexico Chiropractic Association. He is Advanced Practice - Certified by the New Mexico Board of Chiropractic Examiners. He is a certified practitioner of Graston Technique, a method instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization. He is a certified practitioner of Frequency Specific Microcurrent Therapy useful in treating soft tissue pain and injury. He also teaches yoga techniques and utilizes yoga postures when treating musculoskeletal problems. Dr. Simmons continues to actively pursue studies in orthopedics, structural integration, functional medicine, sports medicine, nutrition, herbology, and exercise therapies.
David Lang, MTPT, LMT, has been working as a therapist since 1992. After years of dance and movement training in New York City he realized that Massage and movement therapy was a natural progression in his life! David started his career at the office of Dr. Lyman Atchley and then moved into a position at Southwest Myotherapy where he learned the skills of a Myotherapist.
He started his own company Myofascial Associates in 1999. He has sat on the Workers Compensation Association board of New Mexico, has been the President of the AMTA of New Mexico and was appointed by Governor Gary Johnson to sit on the NM Massage Licensing Board. David has trained and practices Visceral/Neuro Manipulation, Active Isolated stretching and is well versed in many energy techniques. He has worked on research with Sandy Whistler, MD on the efforts of "Myotherapy with Children with Special Needs." David has great appreciation to be able to work with Dr. Arti Prasad and the staff at "The Center for Life."
Amy LaGrange, LMT - After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Amy worked in a variety of science positions including research and development and wildlife research before making her way to massage school. She graduated from the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in 2004 where she has been teaching Polarity Therapy, among other courses, for the last 6 years. Amy has also worked at the UNM Cancer Center and the University Hospital through the Art-in-Medicine program since 2005.
Wherever she practices bodywork, she strives to provide a safe space for her clients. She believes that it is in this safe space that relaxation can occur and the body is able to do the things it needs to do in order to revitalize and heal itself. Amy is excited to be part of the Center for Life and to work in collaboration with such an amazing and diverse group of practitioners.
Susan Garcia, LMT, received her massage education at Universal Therapeutic Massage Institute in Albuquerque, NM. She received her certification in Oncology Massage at the Peregrine Institute of Oncology Massage Training (PIOMT) and trained with Gayle MacDonald, author of " Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer and Massage for the Hospital Patient and Medically Frail Client" along with Dr. Sandy Canzone, co-founder of the Peregrine Institute of Oncology Massage. Susan is passionate about massage and comforting the body through touch.
Barbara Welcer, RN, BAS, HNC, CHTP/I, Barb has practiced nursing in a variety of healthcare settings including in-patient pediatrics, emergency medicine, community health education and holistic nursing. Her philosophy on health and healing is based on the concepts of wholeness, recognizing the interconnectedness of our body, mind, spirit, and emotion. She has received certification in Holistic Nursing from the American Holistic Nurses Association and integrates holistic concepts in her practice as a nurse. Barb is also certified through Healing Touch International as both a practitioner and instructor of Healing Touch (HT), an energy based therapy. Her prior research on HT in the hospitalized patient demonstrated statistically significant improvements in self reported levels of pain, stress, and anxiety. Barb is dedicated to promoting the merits of energy work and holistic principles through teaching, research, and practice. She specializes in Reiki, Healing Touch, and holistic nursing interventions, teaching classes on self care, stress management, imagery, and breath work.
Greg Franchini, MD, is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry at the UNM School of Medicine. In his nearly thirty years at UNM, his positions have included Director of Student Mental Health, Director of Student Education in Psychiatry and Consultant to the UNM Athletic Department. In addition to his work in clinical and academic psychiatry, he has developed and taught courses in relaxation and self care, stress reduction and mindfulness meditation. He is currently course co-facilitator, "Perspectives in Integrative Medicine."
Robin Meize-Grochowski, PhD, RN, Professor and PhD Program Director at the College of Nursing, has been involved in nursing education for over 30 years. During the past five years she has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in nursing research, gerontology, patient education, teaching in nursing, physiological concepts in health and illness, and nursing education (pedagogy and roles). She has also held a variety of positions in higher education administration during her tenure at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Meize-Grochowski earned her BSN from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and her MSN (Medical-Surgical Nursing & Nursing Education) and PhD (Adult Health Nursing) from The University of Texas at Austin. Her interests include holistic and complementary interventions, psychosocial aspects of illness, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and gerontology.
Patricia Ann Repar, DMA. Patricia Ann Repar is an Associate Professor in the departments of Music and Internal Medicine (section of Integrative Medicine) at UNM. She founded and currently directs Arts-in-Medicine: Healing and the Humanities. For further information please see http://artsinmedicine.unm.edu.
Julie K. Staples, Ph.D., received her doctorate in Cell and Molecular Biology at St. Louis University. She is the Research Director at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C. Her research focuses on the effectiveness of mind-body modalities with an emphasis on war-related posttraumatic stress. Dr. Staples is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University School of Medicine where she teaches a course in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine graduate program. She holds an adjunct faculty position at Saybrook University where she teaches a course in the Graduate College for Mind-Body Medicine. She has been a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher since 1996 and is the Board President of the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine and Humanology, a non-profit organization in Espanola, NM that provides health education and professional training on the use of yoga and meditation for people with chronic illness. Dr. Staples also conducts workshops and training for health professionals and yoga teachers.
Crystal Rael, Program Administrator-Clinic, is a medical assistant graduate from PIMA Institute. She has been employed with UNM Medical Group since February 2009. Prior to joining the CFL team, she worked for Presbyterian Financial Services. She has 15 years extensive knowledge and experience in healthcare supporting directors, providers, managers, staff and patients. As the Program Administrator, Crystal is responsible for AAAHC Accreditation, researching data, provider credentialing, and compliance, regulatory and quality improvement.
Kimberlee Leathers, Patient Services Coordinator-Lead, attended Pima Medical Institute and graduated in 2003. She was then employed by UNM Hospital. Kimberlee loves helping patients and working closely with providers and staff. She has 3 teenage boys that occupy most of her time when she is not working. She enjoys what she does and looks forward to her journey here at the Center for Life.
Nicole Bogue, Patient Services Coordinator, is a native New Mexican, a graduate from La Cueva High School and has a certificate as a Healthcare Technician from CNM Community College. Her hobbies include camping, cello, photography, and showing dogs. She is a former employee of UNM Hospitals where she worked for ten years in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Nicole has joined our team because she believes that integrative medicine provides patients with a balance between Western and Eastern medicine.
Marisela Flores, Medical Assistant, was raised in Deming, NM but has been in Albuquerque, NM since 2003. Her past medical experience has varied from hospitals in the ICU,ER, and Medical Surgical unit, to her primary experience from working in Deming's rural health center, and a cardiologist office. Her most recent experience is with Albuquerque's youth at UNM's school-based health centers and with the YMCA's teen outreach program. She recently joined the team at CFL in August of 2013. "Nothing satisfies me more than the smile and gratitude of a happy patient after receiving treatment here at the Center for Life. I love my job!"