Our Medical Advisory Board helps us maintain a safe, healthy, and effective wellness experience that is consistent with the scientific principles generally accepted by the medical community. We are in constant communication with Board Members to evolve our best practices and promote the benefits of physical activity. Together, we are developing an array of accessible programs to progressively increase the percentage of the DMV population that engages in regular exercise.
If you’re interested in learning more about nutrition or have questions related to mental health, our experts are here to help. Email your questions to email@example.com.
Jeffrey S. Akman, MD serves as the Chair of the George Washington University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Chief of the Psychiatry Service in the GWU Hospital. Dr. Akman served as the GW Vice President for Health Affairs, the dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Walter A. Bloedorn, MD Chair of Administrative Medicine. During his tenure, GW significantly increased its biomedical and health sciences research, its clinical services including the creation of the GW Cancer Center and Transplant Institute, innovative educational programs and expanded its diversity and inclusion efforts. A psychiatrist who helped create the field of HIV/AIDS psychiatry and specializes in LGBTQ+ mental health, he previously served as the Leon M. Yochelson Professor and Chair of the GW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Akman received his B.S. at Duke University and completed his M.D. and psychiatry residency training at George Washington University.
Jessica Du Bois is the Vice President, Employee Benefits Consultant at Risk Strategies. She helps employers design and manage their employee benefits program, including their health plan, ancillary benefits, compliance, and employee perks. Jessica specializes in claims management and cost-containment strategies for health plans with an end goal of improving plan value for employees and families.
Jessica received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Northern Iowa and a certificate for International Business from Richmond University in London. Jessica is a SHRM Certified Professional, a Health Rosetta certified advisor, and she serves on the board of the Washington Area Total Rewards Association (WATRA). Other accolades include 40 under 40 by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, 2020 Rising Star by Employee Benefits Adviser magazine, 2019 Broker of the Year by BBG, and 2019 Face of Change by BenefitsPro magazine. Learn more by connecting with Jessica through LinkedIn.
Ben Gitterman, MD is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University and Children’s National Medical Center. He is a full-time Board Certified practicing pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
He has major interests in Pediatric Primary Care and Community Pediatrics. He has been the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Holy Cross Hospital and was the Chair of the National Council on Community Pediatrics for the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is also a Past President of the Washington D.C. Chapter of the AAP. He works actively in the field of Pediatric Environmental Health and has founded and co-directed the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit for the Mid-Atlantic Region (PEHSU), a federally funded center.
He has received numerous awards, including the Residency Teaching Award in the Department of Pediatrics at the Univ of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and has been noted as a “Top Doctor” in Washingtonian Magazine.
He continues to do Volunteer Work internationally with Operation Smile and was noted as Volunteer Pediatrician of the Year in 2018
He cares for a wide range of patients, from birth to post college age, and sees ranging from healthy well to very high complexity needs. He speaks multiple languages and sees patients in English Spanish and French, caring for a diverse patient population
Brad is an avid lover of the fitness industry. His career began as a Personal Trainer via the American Council on Exercise (ACE). He’s worked with a wide variety of clients and his main goal, regardless of circumstance, has always been based on safety and scientific evidence. Brad is a two-time graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, where he studied Public Mental Health and Vaccine Science & Policy. Today, he is the Chief Epidemiologist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Surgical and Infection Control Devices. He also teaches local college students as a part-time adjunct professor in Biologic / Epidemiologic Health Science. Education and service have been and continues to be the bedrock of his career. Brad specializes across several infectious disease-related equipment and treatment types of public health and safety. When he’s not at VIDA, you can find Brad at home binging on reality TV or spending time with his family and friends.
Brad’s service on the board does not reflect any position, legal statue, or political affiliation with the U.S. Government. He serves in this capacity as a private citizen.
Michael G. Knight, MD, MSHP, FACP, Dipl. ABOM is the Associate Chief Quality and Population Health Officer, Head of Healthcare Delivery Transformation, and Medical Director for Community Primary Care at The GW Medical Faculty Associates, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Knight is board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. He currently practices clinically in the GW General Internal Medicine Practice and Weight Management Clinic, where he works with a multidisciplinary team to provide medical weight management through nutrition, physical activity, and medication management. He completed undergraduate studies at Oakwood University, and attended the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. He completed residency at NewYork Presbyterian–Weill Cornell Medical Center, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed a Masters in Health Policy Research. Throughout his career, Dr. Knight has been a champion for health equity, and is the founder and president of the Renewing Health Foundation, a non-profit organization working to empower urban minority communities through health education. He also serves in leadership roles in organizations such as the National Medical Association and the American Medical Association. He has been a featured medical expert on radio, television, and in print news media, and routinely speaks at events internationally and throughout the United States. Dr. Knight has received numerous awards, including the American Medical Association Foundation Leadership Award, Washingtonian Magazine’s Top Doctors Award, and the Top 40 Under 40 Leaders in Health Award by the National Minority Quality Forum.
Dr. Rob Beer is currently an Orthopedic Trauma surgeon at the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Largo, Maryland. He attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated with distinction in 1990. He then served five years as a nuclear engineer qualified Surface Warfare Officer, including a tour on the USS Virginia (CGN-38). He changed military career paths, entered the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and obtained his M.D. in 2000. After a surgery internship, he became a Diving Medical Officer and was assigned to a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit in Charleston, SC, deploying with them in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Shortly thereafter he began an orthopedic surgery residency at the Bethesda Naval Hospital and later Walter Reed Military Medical Center, graduating in 2008. He was then assigned to Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Florida and deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan with a forward surgical team. He completed a year-long fellowship in orthopedic trauma at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma in 2012. After another assignment at Walter Reed, Dr. Beer left the Navy in 2015 and assumed his current position at Capital Region Medical Center. A VIDA member since its inception, Rob is an avid amateur cyclist and can often be found working on his FTP and VO2max on the stationary bikes at U Street.
Dr. Juliette Prust is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist with OBGYN Associates, A Division of Advantia Health in Silver Spring, MD. She has been in private practice for eight years. She is board certified and a fellow of the American Board of Obstetric and Gynecology. She recently completed her tenure as Chairman for the Department of OBGYN at Holy Cross Hospital.
Dr. Prust is a native Washingtonian. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Emory University. She received her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She then returned to Washington DC to complete her residency training at George Washington University.
As a practitioner, she cares for a diverse patient population and women at all stages of their lives.
Alexander Kiefer, MD. D.ABA is a double board-certified physician specializing in Chronic Pain Medicine and Interventional Spine Care. He focuses on the clinical care of patients suffering with chronic pain and non-operative spinal disorders through a balanced, multimodal approach. He has offices in Maryland and Washington, DC.
He attended medical school at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University where he completed two basic science research fellowships at The Rockefeller University and Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency training in Anesthesiology at Georgetown University Hospital. Following residency, he completed fellowship training in Chronic Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, the largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. He holds licenses in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia.
He has expertise in acute and chronic pain evaluation and diagnosis, medication management, treatment of chronic pain patients with addiction, fluoroscopic- and ultrasound-guided interventional techniques, and advanced pain therapies. He is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology at Georgetown University School of Medicine and is the rotation director of the Chronic Pain Medicine Rotation for the Anesthesiology Residency Program at Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Kiefer is a member of the medical staff of Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, and has served as a consultant to multiple biotech startups and clinical research studies.
Dr. Kiefer lives in the Dupont Circle neighborhood with his wife and son. He can often be found walking around the neighborhood with his labradoodle, Touhy, and Pomapoo, Bijou.
Dr. Gregory Martin grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia and has spent his entire life in the Washington DC metropolitan region. He completed his undergraduate studies in Mathematics earning both a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Masters of Science in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University. During this time he volunteered as a dental assistant and HIV screener at Whitman Walker Health in Washington DC. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry where he earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery and completed their oral surgery clerkship program. Fitness has always been an important part of Dr. Martin’s life and he has been a group fitness instructor with Vida Fitness since 2009 where he has taught over 2,000 hours of group fitness classes. One of his interests in the field of dentistry is modern and effective treatments for TMD and bruxism among weightlifters and athletes. Dr. Martin is an active participant in both local and national continued education courses and local study groups. He places high importance on the use and implementation of cutting edge technology in the dental field and the benefits of practicing digital dentistry. Formerly a high school mathematics teacher, Dr. Martin loves teaching and spends time with every patient explaining their treatment in clear and concise ways that empower them to better understand dentistry and take control of their oral health. In his spare time Dr. Martin enjoys fitness, travel, and expanding his knowledge of cosmetic and aesthetic facial medicine. He plays the trumpet, piano and is fluent in German.
Dr. Reginal Bellamy is a healthcare practitioner with 10+ years of pharmacy practice experience. Dr. Bellamy received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2010 from Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Institute of Public Health. He is licensed as a pharmacist and certified immunizer in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Florida.
Currently, Dr. Bellamy is a Supervisory Pharmacist at DC Health (Department of Health). He improves quality and public health by inspecting facilities and agencies that handle pharmaceutical products. He also practices at the University of Maryland Medical System, where he collaborates with providers and multidisciplinary teams to provide pharmacy support services in outpatient settings. Additionally, Dr. Bellamy is the Vice President of the DMV Metro Chapter National Diamondback Pharmacy Alumni Council.
Dr. Gary Fender is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. As a primary care physician, he has an interest in preventative medicine. Dr. Fender retired from clinical practice in September 2018. He was a Physician Partner at General Internal Medicine Group, which became INOVA/GIMG in 2016. Dr. Fender is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Boston University. He completed Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of N.J./N.J. Medical School and completed his specialty training in Internal Medicine at George Washington University Hospital. He was a charter member of VIDA, U Street, and now utilizes the Ballston location. Dr. Fender welcomes the opportunity to use his expertise and give back to the VIDA community.
Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick is an infectious diseases physician and CDC-trained medical epidemiologist. Her career has spanned research, clinical medicine, global health, community health education and patient advocacy. Most recently she served as the medical director for Washington DC’s Medicaid program.
Dr. Fitzpatrick is a professorial lecturer for the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and an adjunct clinical professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine. She is an Aspen Institute Health Innovator fellow and member of the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network.
Dr. Fitzpatrick has a Master in Public Health from the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health and Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
In addition to public health and infectious diseases, Dr. Fitzpatrick’s areas of professional interest include health literacy, patient engagement and health innovation for underserved communities, specifically digital health solutions. She founded Grapevine Health to provide a trusted source of credible health information for patients and underserved communities.
Annie M. Bailey, MD, MPH, is a primary care physician at MedStar Medical Group at Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. She is the founder and lead wellness curator of Evergreen Lane, a generational wellness initiative focused on empowering patients to achieve optimal health through Lifestyle Medicine. Double board-certified in Family Medicine and Obesity Medicine, Dr. Bailey’s philosophy of care focuses on patient-centered initiatives to develop holistic, individualized wellness plans.
Dr. Bailey earned her bachelor’s degrees at Howard University in Washington, D.C. as a Laureate Scholar. She received her medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine and her Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Bailey completed residency at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore, MD as a Global Health Scholar. She served as a Leading Provider Wellbeing Scholar with the American Academy of Family Physicians and a Health Equity Achieved through Lifestyle Medicine (HEAL) Scholar with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
Dr. Bailey’s clinical interests include Culinary Medicine, Running Medicine, Health Equity, Food Policy, Global and Immigrant Health, and the Health at Every Size (HAES®) framework. Her administrative interests include Quality and Process Improvement, Patient Safety, Human Factors Engineering, and Provider Wellbeing.
Passionate about service, Dr. Bailey serves with the Physicians for Human Rights as an Asylum Clinical Evaluator, participates as a medical runner for local races, teaches community Culinary Medicine classes, and volunteers internationally with Kitrinos Healthcare in Lesvos, Greece. Dr. Bailey is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Rooted in New Orleans and Panamá, Dr. Bailey resides in the District and enjoys cooking, hiking, running, biking, traveling, reading, and, per true Southern fashion, football—#WHODAT and #ROLLTIDE!
Marwah Khalid Tareen, M.D., M.B.A. is a primary care physician at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians in Washington, DC. She is board certified in Family Medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine and is an active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Medical Society of DC. Her areas of clinical expertise include general family medicine and primary care with a particular interest in prevention of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease.
Dr. Tareen earned her Medical Degree from Sint Eustatius School of Medicine and her M.B.A. in Health Systems Management at Davenport University. She did her medical residency at Hackensack Mountainside Family Medicine in Montclair, New Jersey, where she received the Diplomat of Family Medicine Outstanding Service Award in 2021.
Dr. Tareen is passionate about health and wellness and works closely with her patients to help them achieve their health goals by educating them about lifestyle, diet modification, and exercise.
Terri Stone MD, FACP DipABLM, serves as Medical Director of“Fresh & Savory” Culinary and Lifestyle Medicine Shared Medical Appointment Teaching Kitchen Program at Medstar Institute for Innovation in Washington, D.C. She’s a Georgetown University School of Medicine Mind Body Medicine and Creating Caring Communities group facilitator. Terri and her Fresh & Savory teammates work closely with Georgetown and Howard University colleagues to provide interactive culinary nutrition workshops for Integrative and Health Sciences Graduate Students, medical students in the Physician Wellbeing elective and Howard and Georgetown Graduate Medical trainees. As a Wellbeing Champion, Terri leads several initiatives throughout the MedStar Health system.
She co-chairs the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Health Equity Achieved through Lifestyle Initiative (HEAL) and serves as a trustee of MSDC’s Healthy Physician Foundation.
Dr. Margaret Pittman completed her undergraduate work at Towson University with a double major in Exercise Science and Spanish. She then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Doctorate degree in physical therapy at the top-ranked University of Southern California. The desire to be close to her family summoned her back to the East Coast where she has worked as a licensed PT in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
In 2013, Dr. Pittman completed an Orthopedic Residency and became a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist which allowed her to further develop her passion for treating musculoskeletal conditions across the lifespan. Over the last 12+ years, Dr. Pittman has practiced in orthopedic/sport, neurologic, and inpatient PT settings, and her areas of expertise include manual therapy, running assessment, movement analysis, custom orthotic casting, and myofascial trigger point dry needling (Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist/CMTPT).
Dr. Pittman enjoys treating patients of all demographics including professional athletes such as World and National Champion track and field athletes, MLB players, pro tennis players, triathletes, elite ballerinas, boxers, and collegiate basketball and football players. She excels at treating ACL reconstruction, fractures, hip FAI debridement, rotator cuff repair/Bankart/SLAP repair, TBI/concussion, and lumbopelvic/SIJ dysfunction.
She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at George Washington University which allows her to give back to the profession through teaching and mentoring. As a lifelong learner, Dr. Pittman is currently pursuing her MBA with a concentration in innovation and entrepreneurship at the George Washington School of Business. Her passion for learning and teaching has earned her the distinction of Director of Clinical Excellence at Momentous Sports Medicine, an outpatient sports physical therapy practice in NW Washington, D.C. In this role, in addition to treating patients, Dr. Pittman is responsible for developing clinical education tools and protocols for the clinical team to continue to provide cutting-edge, quality and efficient patient treatment.
Dr. Pittman’s favorite pastimes include spending time with her family, working out, enjoying music and photography, and traveling.
Dr. Phillip L. Van is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist specializing in Emergency and Body imaging and is also a consultant on artificial intelligence. He received his BS at the University of Virginia, MS at Georgetown University, MD at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and completed residency at Lahey Hospital and fellowship Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Dr. Adrienne James, MD is a Board Certified Internal Medicine specialist with over twelve years of experience caring for patients in Northern Virginia. She currently practices in Arlington, Virginia, and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine with Georgetown University Medical Center. As an Internal Medicine physician, Dr. James specializes in treating adult patients in the acute care environment. She has a special interest in wellness and providing whole-person care. Dr. James loves to incorporate education about preventative medicine and healthful living with her patients to promote optimal health using a holistic approach.
Dr. James earned her bachelor’s degree from Andrews University. She attended the University of Nebraska College of Medicine where she received her MD. Dr. James has a passion for caring for underserved communities both locally and abroad. She serves in multiple medical and non-medical volunteer capacities including the American College of Physicians. For years, Dr. James has served in a volunteer capacity providing medical care and education in rural communities in Kenya and Malawi.
Tobie Smith, MD, MPH, MEd, is a Board Certified Family Physician and Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She is a past member of the American Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors and has served on the AAFP Commission on Health of the Public and Science. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Street Health DC, a non-profit organization that offers health care and harm reduction services to persons living unsheltered on the streets of Washington, DC.
Dr. Smith has an extensive background in sports and fitness. She was a member of the USA Swimming National Team and was a multi-time National Champion as well as NCAA Champion when she competed for the University of Texas at Austin where she was inducted into the UT Hall of Honor in 2021. As a member of the USA Swimming World Championship Team, she won a gold medal in the open water 25-kilometer race at the FINA World Championships. She has swum around Manhattan Island and swam the English Channel. While in graduate school, Dr. Smith was an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the United States Antidoping Agency.
Dr. Smith has a BA and an MEd in Kinesiology from the University of Texas, an MD from Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and a Master’s in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed a Fellowship in Community Health Leadership Development at Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Melissa Pelligrino, MSN, APRN, was born and raised in Washington, DC. Melissa started her career as a case manager, working with teens, at a DC community non-profit organization. She returned to school and earned her BSN from John’s Hopkins University School of Nursing in 2011, going on to specialize in gerontology. Melissa received her MSN from The Catholic University of America in 2022 and is currently a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Resident at the VA Medical Center.
Melissa’s participation with the medical advisory board is in a personal capacity. Her opinions and views are her own and do not reflect any other organization.
Dr. Amr Madkour is an Obstetrician Gynecologist at The GW Medical Faculty Associates and an assistant professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. He is a graduate of Texas Tech School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Dr Madkour is currently completing a master’s degree and fellowship in Integrative Medicine through the George Washington University, in which his interests include mind-body therapies and trauma informed care, particularly as they pertain to the practice of obstetrics.