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Press Release 2020


For Immediate Release (572 words)

National Conference Promotes Plant-based Nutrition to Prevent Disease

Recognized experts in medicine, nutrition and behavior change will gather online July 24 through 26, 2020 to share evidence on best practices to prevent chronic disease, at the 7th annual national nonprofit Plant-based Prevention Of Disease (P-POD) Conference, held through virtual transmission to avoid coronavirus risk to participants.  The P-POD nonprofit is committed to maintaining affordable registration costs, while never accepting any commercial funding, sponsorships or influence.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 90% of U.S. healthcare expenditures are attributed to chronic diseases, which account for 7 of the 10 leading causes of death.  60% of U.S. adults suffer from at least one of these chronic diseases, overall responsible for over 1,700,000 deaths in one recent year.  Yet, nearly all these Illnesses and their associated loss of life are preventable through dietary and lifestyle changes, which could save billions of dollars and improve quality of life immeasurably.  Plant-based whole foods have long been associated with improved biomarkers of health, and those following vegan or close-to-vegan diets show lower rates of nearly every chronic disease.

Healthcare providers can become the forefront of saving lives by promoting dietary changes, but many are unfamiliar with the substantial scientific data on disease prevention, and untrained in behavior change methods.  Nutrition has not usually even been part of U.S. medical school curricula.  The P-POD Conference brings together 36 distinguished speakers (shown at to discuss nutritional research and action against disease, via lectures and round tables.  The 20 continuing education credit hours available for most types of healthcare practitioners are described in detail at  The conference is also recognized as qualifying experience by the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine.  The public is welcome, and sizable student discounts are available.

The 4th annual Denis Burkitt Memorial Lectures will be 3 keynote presentations about “Resetting Paradigms of Medical Practice” by cardiologist Baxter Montgomery, MD FACC, American College of Lifestyle Medicine founding President John H. Kelly, Jr., MD MPH and lifestyle medicine visionary Saray Stancic, MD.  The annual Distinguished Researchers Series continues with Hana Kahleova, MD PhD, regarding diabetes reversal and beta cell regeneration, and with Stephen J. O'Keefe, MD(UK) MSc MRCS LRCP, regarding the gut microbiome and colon cancer prevention.  Clinical focus areas include chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia (with Dean Sherzai, MD PhD MPH and Ayesha Sherzai, MD MAS), and pediatrics.  As always, P-POD covers food justice and access issues, now with Milton Mills, MD, Lauren Ornelas, BA and Lisa Smith, MBA, and features 7 Registered Dietitian Nutritionists addressing professional ethics and avoidance of weight shaming/stigma, and detailing diets and meal plans that support disease prevention and mental health.  Several presentations explore healthcare practitioners' unique challenges of combating chronic diseases in this pandemic era.

Two special sessions jointly sponsored with the Michigan nonprofit Plant Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG), may be attended separately at modest cost:  Saturday afternoon headliners are Brenda Davis, RD, chef Nina Curtis, MBA, PBNSG’s own Paul Chatlin, and two of the keynoters.  Speakers for Friday’s optional opening All-Star Summit program include Kim A. Williams, Sr., MD MACC FASNC FAHA, American College of Cardiology Past President, both of the Distinguished Researchers, and longtime Veteran's Administration practitioner and patient-centered care innovator Denise Dysard, MSN RN.

Join in and hear why “the future of healthcare begins with nutrition”!  Details and online registration are always available at our website  For non-commercial email inquiries:

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