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|Gregory A. Plotnikoff, MD, MTS, FACP, is a practicing clinician/researcher who has received national and international honors for his work in cross-cultural and integrative medicine. He is a graduate of Carleton College, Harvard Divinity School, and the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Dr. Plotnikoff, “Greg,” consciously chose to attend divinity school before medical school in order to deepen his understanding of suffering and of human responses to suffering. After completing his residency in internal medicine/pediatrics, he helped establish the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota where he served as its first medical director. From 2002-2008, Dr. Plotnikoff served as an associate professor at Keio University School of Medicine where he studied, researched and taught the Kampo herbal medicine tradition in Japanese. While in Japan, he was active in East-West medical integration issues with the Japanese Society of Oriental Medicine, National Geographic and the World Health Organization. He is the recipient of several international awards for research and teaching as well as the Early Career Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Dr. Plotnikoff is well known for his work in interventional nutrition, herbal medicines and spirituality in clinical care. He has additional training as a hospital chaplain, in medical acupuncture, in mind-body skills and as a practitioner of Traditional East Asian Medicine. He is co-author of the book Trust Your Gut (Conari, 2013) and author of 22 textbook chapters and more than 50 first-authored articles in the medical literature including several in Japanese. His 2003 article on vitamin D and chronic pain is one of the most highly cited articles in the history of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Dr. Plotnikoff is a frequent invited speaker and has been quoted in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times as well as numerous national magazines. He has been heard on multiple radio programs including “All Things Considered” “Speaking of Faith” and “Science Friday.” He is a frequent commentator on local television, radio and newspapers.
Dr. Plotnikoff serves as an integrative medicine physician at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing and also serves as a co-editor of the new journal Global Advances in Health and Medicine.
| Kao Kalia Yang, Hmong-American writer, reflects on Hmong end-of-life traditions, her grandmother's life and death, final conversations, and where the Hmong spirit goes in a world where there is no Hmong homeland. Kao Kalia Yang's first book, "The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir" (Coffee House Press, 2008) was the winner of the 2009 Minnesota Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and Book of the Year. A graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University in New York City, Yang is currently finishing her second manuscript, "Still, Fluttering Heart: The Second Album". Her manuscript was awarded a 2013 McKnight Artist Fellowship.
As a writer, Yang’s poignant experiences of the Hmong search for identity reaches audiences of all ages. Yang is also a sought after teacher and inspiring public speaker on Hmong culture and the struggle to create a new home in a foreign land.
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