Friday, October 19, 2018
Oregon Convention Center

777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232
8:45 am to 5:00 pm

Professional Presentations for Health Care Providers and the Community

The Northwest Health and Nutrition Conference is a golden opportunity for you to learn the latest information on plant-based nutrition, the effects of diet on chronic disease prevention and control, and about designing an optimum plant-based diet for patients and clients in a clinical setting. Interest in plant-based diets is growing, and Portland, Oregon has become a hub for that developing interest. This conference is designed for healthcare professionals, offering up to 6.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ for many medical professionals (6.5 for dietitians), but others with strong interests in nutrition and health are welcome to attend.

Click here to register today!


  • $175 - Regular

  • $155 - Member of Supporting Organization

  • $85 - Student (proof of status required)

2018 FacultY


Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from Western Reserve University. In 1956, pulling the No. 6 oar as a member of the victorious United States rowing team, he was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Games. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George's Hospital in London. In 1968, as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

Dr. Esselstyn has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic since 1968. During that time, he has served as President of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic's Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery.

His scientific publications number over 150, "The Best Doctors in America" 1994-1995 published by Woodward and White cites Dr. Esselstyn's surgical expertise in the categories of endocrine and breast disease. In 1995 he published his bench mark long-term nutritional research arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients. That same study was updated at 12 years and reviewed beyond twenty years in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, making it one of the longest longitudinal studies of its type. It is most compelling, as no compliant patients have sustained disease progression. Today, beyond 20 years compliant patients continue to thrive.

Dr. Esselstyn and his wife, Ann Crile Esselstyn, have followed a plant-based diet for more than 26 years. Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

Presentation title: The Nutritional Reversal of Cardiovascular Disease: Fact or Fiction?


Brenda Davis, RD

Brenda Davis is an internationally acclaimed speaker and co-author of 10 books, including Becoming Vegan, The Kick Diabetes Cookbook (in press),  Becoming Raw, and The Raw Food Revolution Diet. She is a past chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Brenda is currently involved in a major diabetes intervention research project in the Marshall Islands, where diabetes is rampant. Sixty years ago, diabetes was virtually unheard of in the Marshall Islands, but now close to 50% of adults older than 35 have type 2 diabetes. .

Presentation Title: Deconstructing Paleo & Keto Diets


Dean Sherzai MD, PhD(c), MPH, MAS and Ayesha Sherzai MD

As Co-Directors of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center, the Sherzais, through research and their extensive collective medical backgrounds, work to demystify the steps to achieving long-term brain health and the prevention of devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Dean Sherzai, MD, PhD(c), MPH, MAS trained in Neurology at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and completed fellowships in neurodegenerative diseases and dementia at the National Institutes of Health and UC San Diego. He also holds a PhD in Healthcare Leadership with a focus on community health from Andrews University.
Ayesha Sherzai, MD  is a neurologist and co-director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University where she leads the Lifestyle Program for the Prevention of Neurological Diseases. She completed a dual training in Preventative Medicine and Neurology at Loma Linda University, and a fellowship in Vascular Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University. She is also a trained plant-based culinary artist.

Talk title: Prevent Alzheimer's and Achieve Optimal Brain Health


Vesanto Melina MS, RD

Vesanto Melina is the co-author of 13 books on vegan and vegetarian diets, including 8 with Brenda Davis RD.  She is also the lead author of the current position paper on vegetarian diets for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and has taught nutrition and the University of British Columbia and at Bastyr University in Seattle. Vesanto received her Master’s degree in Nutrition at the University of Toronto, and is the recipient of the prestigious Ryley Jeffs Award from Dietitians of Canada.

Talk title: Optimal Design of Plant-based Diets


DAniel Chong, ND

Dr. Daniel Chong is a licensed naturopathic physician, practicing in Portland, OR since 2000, where he focuses on healthy aging of the brain and body, as well as risk assessment, prevention and drug-free treatment strategies for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. He also maintains an active virtual practice via the internet for group and individual coaching in cardiovascular disease prevention. 

In addition to his degree in naturopathic medicine, Dr. Chong has completed certificate training in Cardio-Metabolic medicine with Drs. Mark Houston and Joel Kahn, at The Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. He is also a contributing editor in cardiology for the Natural Medicine Journal and a clinical consultant for Boston Heart Diagnostics Lab.

You can learn more about him at

 Talk title: Nutrition and the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease



Time                Presentation

7:45–8:45      Registration & Check-In
8:45–9:00      Opening Remarks
9:00–10:15    Vesanto Melina, MS RD
10:15–10:30  Break
10:30–11:45   Daniel Chong, ND
11:45–12:45   Lunch
12:45–2:00    Ayesha Sherzai, MD & Dean Sherzai, MD PhD
2:00–2:15      Break
2:15–3:30      Brenda Davis, RD
3:30–3:45      Break
3:45–5:00      Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., MD
5:00–5:05      Closing Remarks

Purpose and objectives

This conference is intended to provide health care practitioners in all fields with the latest research and information on nutrition and health as it relates to food and plant-based diets. What are the health effects of moving to a plant-based diet, what is needed to make that diet healthy and how can you implement these into your practice.

This conference will examine:

  • The links between diet, general health and chronic diseases such as cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes and obesity

  • Appropriate plant-based diets to aid in the prevention and treatment of disease

  • Up-to-date expertise & resources for health care professionals

  • How you can build, connect & network in the larger medical community

  • How you can implement this education into your practice

Continuing Education Credits (for the 2018 conference)

Note: The Northwest Plant-Based Health & Nutrition Conference is providing continuing education credits free of charge. There is no additional fee to receive these.

  • MD, DO, RN, PA: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the essential areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of Adventist Medical Center and Northwest VEG. Adventist Medical Center is accredited by the Oregon Medical Association to provide continuing medical education to physicians. Adventist Medical Center designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

  • RD, DTR: The Commission on Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has approved 6.5 CPEU hours for dietitians for this conference (Activity 143300).

  • ND: The Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine has approved 6.25 general CEUs for Naturopathic Doctors. See approval 18-416.

  • DC: The Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners will allow 6.25 hours of continuing education credit for Oregon DCs for nutrition instruction.

  • Other Health Professionals: Many credentialing bodies accept the AMA PRA Category 1 Credit for continuing education credit if the topic is appropriate to the profession or discipline. Check with your certifying or governing body to see if they will apply.

Plant-Based Gourmet Lunch Menu: 2018

  • Garden Crudités: Tree Nuts, Fresh Dipping Sauces To Include Hummus, Beet Hummus, Edamame Hummus,Baba Ganoosh, Olive Tapenade, Taro Chips

  • Raw Kale Salad: Tahini Dressing, Edamame, Diced Carrots, Craisins, Toasted Walnuts

  • Som Dtam Malakor "Raw Green Papaya Salad": Green Papaya, Carrot, Red Onion, Garlic, Cucumber, Dry Chilies, Green Bean, Thai Basil, Cilantro, Toasted Peanut, Grilled Lime Wedge, Sambal Mango Vinaigrette

  • Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille: Eggplant, Artichoke, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Red Onion, Garbanzo Bean, Fresh Herbs, Tomato Sauce

  • Quinoa with roasted root vegetables

  • Baked Potato Bar: Baked Russet Potatoes, Vegan Chili, Sliced Scallion, Salsa, Steamed Broccoli, Roasted Cauliflower, Balsamic Cippolini Onion

  • Raw Apple, Pear, Steel Cut Oat Streusel: Honey Crisp Apples, D Anjou Pears Topped With a Lightly Seasoned Oats Streusel and Raisins

  • All items are prepared with no added oil

There will be coffee and tea at beverage breaks. Be sure to eat breakfast before attending, because no refreshments will be served at registration in the morning.


Northwest VEG strives to ensure that our activities are fully accessible. To request an ASL interpreter or other accommodation, please contact us at as early as possible so we may attempt to fulfill your request.

(c) Northwest VEG 2018 - - (503) 746-8344