USC Institute for Integrative Health Inaugural Conference on Integrative Health and Medicine

Yoga, meditation, integrative health and mindfulness workshops will inspire!
Armaity Austin, MD, welcomes guests
Marc Weigensberg, MD, introduces steering committee
Weigensberg calls on all to meet challenge- integrate mind-body medicine in mindful stewardship.
Keynote Speaker, Victoria Maizes, MD
 Dr. Maizes inspiring development of noninvasive research tools to measure health & well-being and impact of place on health.
Tobi Fishel, PhD- Keynote talk "Mindfulness Meditation and Music Experience"
USC Development Officer, Michael Horvat, Marisa Perdomo, PhD, Marc Weibensberg, MD
IGM Art Gallery's Chair of Public Policy with Michael Horvat
Steve Weingarten, Weingarten Communications, with Lisa Cain, Author, Humanitarian, Teacher/Lecturer
Dr. Murali Nair, School of Social Work, with PhD candidate from Columbia University
USC Fullbright Scholar with his father and Dr. Nair
Luncheon presentation by Chef Richard Petty, Okra Restaurant Group, Inc.
USC IGM Art Gallery Decumentary Committee interviewing conference participants
Qnintilia Avila,  Program Manager, exhausted but happy with conference outcomes!
Dr. Tobi Fishel leading conference participants in drum circle
The Drum Circle closes the event that has opened many new relationships and organizational partnerships
Dr. Armaity Austin, Chair of Conference Steering Committee
Dr. Murali Nair USC School of Social Work
Tobi Fishel, PhD, sacred activist, transpersonal psychologist, artist, IIH Conference Keynote Speaker
Victoria Maizes, MD, Executive Director U of Arizona Center of Integrative Health, IIH Conference Keynote Speaker
Marisa Perdomo, PhD, Yoga Workshop
Wei Chao, DDS Traditional Chinese Medicine Workshop
April 16, 2016 - 8:00am - 4:30pm
USC Health Sciences Campus Keith Administration Bldg, Mayer Auditorium

CLICK  for link to Institute for Integrative Health Web Site  CLICK for video of the event

Click top photo at right to open the photos and proceed through the captioned slide show

A steering committee under the leadership of Dr. Armaity Austin organized the USC Institute for Integrative Health's inaugural conference at the Mayer Auditorium ​on the USC Health Sciences Campus. The primary goal of the conference was to foster cross departmental, cross organizational sharing and leveraging of existing resources and manpower to promote integrative health across greater Los Angeles County.

The opening Keynote Speaker, Victoria Maizes, MD, is Executive Director of the University of Arizona Center of Integrative Health. Together with her team at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Dr. Maizes created and has sustained a national, scalable education model.  Their model teaches physicians lifestyle change.  They've also developed an innovative, integrative primary care clinical model and are carrying out a comparative effectiveness trial exploring clinical and cost outcomes.  Her team is developing noninvasive research tools to measure health and well-being as well as the impact of place on health. Editor of the Oxford University textbook Women's Integrative Health and author of Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child, in 2009, she was named one of the world's 25 intelligent optimists by ODE magazine.

Keynote Speaker, Tobi Fishel, PhD, sacred activist, transpersonal psychologist, artist,  served as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Pediatrics as a member of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty since 1998, before moving recently to Los Angeles. She was Director of Psychological Services for Vanderbilt’s Center for Integrative Health and directed an adult and pediatric behavioral medicine training program for therapists in the areas of diabetes
and integrative medicine. In addition, Dr. Fishel has  facilitated intensive courses for distressed physicians. 

 Break out Sessions were conducted by:

Murali Nair, PhD, "Traditional Healing Practices of LA Ethnic Enclaves"

Tobi Fishel, PhD, "Music as medicine: a mindfulness meditation & music experience"

Jim Adams, PhD, "California Medicinal Plants

Marc Weigensberg, MD, "Guided Imagery Council: Opening to the Power of Your Imagination"

Wei Chao, DDS, L.Ac, "Integrative Understanding of Acupuncture"

Marisa Perdomo, PT, DPT, "Yoga: Stress & Vitality: Releasing the energy within"

Jane Anderson, PhD, RD, LCSW, "Falun Gong & Tai Chi: An Ancient Chinese Meditation"
Jim Burklo & Allan Weiss, "Mindful Meditation"

Prior to the conference, Steve Weingarten, Weingarten Communications, interviewed Dr. Marc Weigensberg, one of the seminal founders of the USC Institute for Integrative Health on The Rise of Integrative Medicine.  That article, in full, is presented here.

California is often on the cutting edge of trends. Since the early 1990s, though, other states and many countries have taken the lead in adopting integrative medicine, an approach involving herbs, music, nutrition, relaxation and other non-Western healing techniques.

In 2012, USC joined a U.S. consortium of 60 major U.S. medical centers that includes Harvard, the University of Arizona and Stanford. On April 16, the USC Institute for Integrative Health will hold its first conference.

“Some of the things that people are calling alternative medicine have been around for thousands of years,” said Dr. Marc Weigensberg. “What’s new is how we are using scientific methods to assess the effectiveness of these treatments.”

Weigensberg teaches Clinical Pediatrics in the USC Keck School of Medicine and directs Pediatric Endocrinology at the L.A. County-USC Medical Center. He trained as a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, where he received his medical degree.

“I found that wasn’t enough,” he said. “Western methods are really only a percentage of what we need to effectively treat diabetes. The challenge isn't to learn how to administer insulin, but how to integrate mind-body medicine in our lives for good health.”

Weigensberg’s specialty is guided imagery, a process that includes meditation, breathing and relaxing thoughts to reduce stress.

“Thinking about relaxing on the beach has virtually the same relaxing effect as relaxing at the beach,” he said. “When you do this exercise, your stress hormone level is reduced by about 40 percent over 45 minutes to an hour.”

Weigensberg is also a clinical investigator in the USC Childhood Obesity Research Center, and is halfway through a 5-year National Institute of Health study into how exercise and other integrative health elements affect high school students’ wellness.

The April 16 conference will feature keynote speeches by Dr. Victoria Maizes and Tobi Fishel.

Maizes is Executive Director of the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine and teaches medicine, family medicine and public health at the school’s College of Medicine. She developed a primary care clinical model and research tools to measure health, wellbeing and how our surroundings affect our health.

Maizes also edits the Oxford University textbook “Women's Integrative Health” and is the author of “Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child.”

Fishel co-founded and led the Vanderbilt Medical School’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. She has worked for more than 25 years with distressed physicians, as well as children, teens, and adults suffering with chronic illness and pain, and other traumas.

Fishel directs a training program for therapists in the areas of adult and pediatric diabetes, and facilitates a 6-month intensive course for distressed physicians that incorporates creativity, compassion, meditation, music, art, narrative therapy, play, spirituality, and the healing aspects of nature.


USC staff, faculty and students, as well as the greater USC community and general public attended the inaugural conference from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.   Stay tuned to this web site and our Facebook page to see videos and more data on the Institute for Integrative Health Conference