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Vanessa Méndez, MD DipABLM

Multiply board certified physician in Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine

Founder and President,
Planted Forward, Inc.

Gastroenterologist and inflammatory bowel diseases specialist, Parkview Hospital, Florida


Principal author or co-author of five articles published in peer-reviewed journals

Certificate in Plant-based Nutrition, T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell

Longtime activist and educator in raising community awareness about risks and prevention of gastrointestinal disorders

Vanessa Méndez, MD DipABLM earned a Summa Cum Laude Doctorate of Medicine at the ACGME and LCME accredited Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine in Puerto Rico, after completing a Pre-Medicine track Bachelor's degree at Harvard University and a Graduate Certificate in Epidemiology and Public Health at Florida International University School of Public Health.  She completed an Internal Medicine Residency at University of Miami / Jackson Memorial Hospital and a Gastroenterology Fellowship at Tulane University Medical Center, and through the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation was awarded a visiting fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, where she received special training in inflammatory bowel diseases.  She is a board certified Diplomate in Lifestyle Medicine and earned a Certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell.

Dr. Méndez currently provides services bilingually through Parkview Hospital in Florida as a gastroenterologist and inflammatory bowel diseases specialist, through V. Méndez Health as a telemedicine gastroenterologist and through Planted Forward, Inc., where she is President and Founder, as a personalized and integrative care provider.  Her approach to medical practice is evidence-based, holistic and comprehensive, advocating first for lifestyle changes to promote wellness and to get to the root causes of ailments, providing lasting relief and not just treating symptoms.  Her expertise spans the physiology of the gut microbiome, liver disease and numerous inflammatory disorders of the digestive system, related conditions such as obesity and constipation, and the crucial relationship of nutrition to all of these.  She speaks nationally and internationally on these subjects, and has been the principal author or co-author of five articles published in peer-reviewed journals, and has co-presented abstracts at ten national or regional meetings of the American College of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Méndez was the co-founding Director of the Tulane Medicine Gastroenterology Mentoring and Interest Group on behalf of residents and medical students, and has made substantial efforts in community service on many occasions throughout her career.  She was the founding Director of the UHealth / Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Crohn’s and Colitis Support Group on behalf of patients in South Florida, and has worked on large-scale social media campaigns about colon cancer awareness, screening and prevention.  She participated in numerous health fairs providing screenings and counseling to community members in Miami and Puerto Rico, helped lead multiple fund-raising walks in the Miami area to raise awareness about gastrointestinal disorders, and was awarded Physician Champion at the Takes Steps Walk 2019 for the Gastro Health Team.  She served as President of the PINK Women’s Organization for organizing community health fairs and advocating for women's issues while at Universidad Central del Caribe, and was named Women of the Year 2012 by the San Juan chapter of the American Association of University Women.