Healthy Alter Ego offers articles, tips, advice, updates, insights and breakthroughs from a wide source of qualified practitioners and sources. This need came out of the passion and personal experiences of its founders.
Meet Our Team:
Dr. Gary Huber, D.O., AOBEM
Medical Director (a.k.a. Head Medical Ego)
Dr. Huber who has served 20 years as a board certified emergency medicine physician has long had a passion for nutrition and human physiology as it relates to wellness and longevity. Dr. Huber presently serves as president of the LaValle Metabolic Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio and actively treats a broad range of patients with an integrative care approach that blends traditional medicine with complimentary and alternative care principles.
Dr. Huber brought the perfect blend of passion, expertise, common sense and humor to Healthy Alter Ego. As a founding member he writes, records videos and leads many of our regional health conference and outreach efforts.
A graduate of the University of Dayton Dr. Huber holds degrees in Biology and Psychology. Completing his medical school training at Ohio University, Dr. Huber graduated in the top 10% of his class.
Dr. Huber’s long-standing passion for health and wellness extends into many community programs. He served as the medical director for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon in 2002 and 2003. As founding member of “Hey Coach”, a charitable organization that delivered lectures to grade school and high school students, Dr. Huber educated kids about the dangers of steroid use as well as nutritional instruction and training guidelines. Dr. Huber has developed strength and conditioning training programs for high school varsity sport teams, as well as offered individual developmental training for youth athletes. He is a former triathlete and has been an avid cyclist for more than 25 years. His interest in human performance has led to extensive study on maximizing athletic potential in athletes both young and old. “There is an athlete in all of us that longs to be recognized.”
“My years in the emergency department have afforded me a unique perspective on health care. I have had the pleasure of treating a great spectrum of patients from pediatric to geriatrics, acute cardiac issues, cancer patients, diabetics and everything in between. I have seen what traditional medicine does well but have also been witness to where we fall short. It is my dream and desire to impact a life before it reaches the E.R. To stop disease before it starts and to reverse ailments before they cripple. We have the ability to do so much more than simply cover up symptoms. The body wants to heal itself and is fully able to do so with the right guidance. This is where my true passion lives. Not just keeping people alive but helping them to truly live.”
Q: Why did you leave emergency medicine to pursue integrative health care?
A: I have always been involved with integrative care; it is who I am as a person. I grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of options within traditional medicine. Medical schools do not teach physicians anything about nutrition yet we are faced with nutritionally based diseases like hyperlipidemia (cholesterol), diabetes, heart disease and cancer every day. Physicians are taught disease care in school and not taught how to make someone healthy. Traditional medicine lives within the guidelines set by the insurance companies and since the insurance companies don’t pay for preventative care, physicians have limited resources or incentives to pursue prevention modalities.
Q: Do you believe in natural treatments or drug therapy?
A: I feel drug therapy can be very useful, but I fear that many of my colleagues have lost respect for drugs and often hand out pills like they were harmless jelly beans. Synthetic drug therapy is the fourth leading cause of death in this country, right behind heart disease, stroke and cancer. We need to be mindful of the tremendous side effects that occur when using synthetic drugs and realize that the vast majority of all drugs do not treat the original metabolic dysfunction that caused the symptoms in the first place. I prefer to address the true cellular physiology and correct the source of the problem, rather than just covering up the symptoms with drug therapy. Sometimes, drugs are a necessary part of a therapeutic intervention but they should be viewed as a brief and temporary adjunct. The real solution is almost always found in diet and lifestyle changes.
Healthy Alter Ego was the anxious, frustrated, yet optimistic brain-child of Jo Wehage, a business professional in Cincinnati, Ohio. While living through some sad and traumatic times with her family, Jo found out the hard way that 100% of the facts, options and opportunities to better health do not always come from well-intentioned doctors, health organizations, government sources or the media. “Industry and politics can slant health and medical claims in ways that could be dangerous to your health. My family and I have been personally affected by these claims, because we didn’t know better. However, I’ve had to learn that it is no one’s responsibility but our own to research, learn and discover ways to incorporate our own avenues to better health.”
“Healthy Alter Ego was born from random email alerts to friends and family about startling facts discovered during countless hours of research on issues pulling my family apart – issues such as breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, emphysema and more. It was during this time that I started to reach out to doctors, researchers, authors, healthcare practitioners, educational organizations and community interest groups. The good news is that many reached back. I’ve since met and learned much from amazing sources that are available to us all and some of them still contribute regularly to the information you’ll find at Healthy Alter Ego.”
Jo, who holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northern Kentucky University, left her position as Vice President of Operations and Client Services of a Cincinnati-area direct marketing firm to spend more time with family and to further pursue educational endeavors in the health, wellness and nutrition arenas.
In 2007, Jo completed the education requirements from the Columbus, Ohio based Wellness Forum to become a Certified Wellness Consultant. She now serves as Operations Manager for Healthy Alter Ego online and Project Director for regional health conferences.
Other Healthy Egos on our Team:
Kristen Harding, M.D.
(a.k.a. Head Healthy Ego)
Kristen Harding, M.D., started to look for new answers for patients after spending more than ten years practicing as a family physician. She has worked in both metropolitan and rural settings and she was constantly meeting patients with serious health issues for whom the traditional healthcare model had no answers. The current medical system is built around naming a disease and then picking the right therapy (usually medication to cover up the symptoms.) The majority of patients, however, do not fit into this neat little box. “Sometimes I felt like I had so little to offer patients who I knew were really sick,” she comments.
Several years ago her sister began sending her weekly articles from Dr. Mark Hyman who practices a model called functional medicine. Functional medicine is a dynamic approach to prevent and treat complex chronic disease and is based on understanding the upstream physiology which caused the problem to start in the first place. Once this is understood, the goal is correct the pathway and create balance in the body again. It is very individualized medicine and there is a large focus on nutrition as well as environmental exposure. Dr. Harding began to read more about this new way to understand health and then began attending conferences through the Institute for Functional Medicine. “Once I began learning these concepts, there was no going back. Functional medicine puts all the physiology and biochemistry I learned in med school back into action.”
Dr. Harding received her medical degree from Wright State University and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. She completed her family medicine residency training at the University of Utah and is a board certified family physician.
“I want people to take charge of their health. They can start to do this by getting the information they need to make smarter choices about what they put into and do with their bodies. I am excited to contribute to Healthy Alter Ego and hope to energize people as they work on making positive changes.” Dr. Harding is currently taking an educational sabbatical and spending some time with her family while she gears up for a full functional medicine practice in the future.
Kristen Harding, M.D. has now opened her own functional medicine practice in the Cincinnati area, Whole Medicine, LLC. For more information about functional medicine or Dr. Harding’s practice please check out kristenhardingmd.com or call her office at 513-549-0494.
Phyllis received her training to practice Health Counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the only nutrition school integrating all the different dietary theories, combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods. Phyllis received her professional certification from Teachers College Columbia University, rated the No. 1 Graduate School of Education by U.S. News and World Report, as well as accreditation from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners in June 2008.
Prior to her nutrition career, Phyllis utilized a bachelor’s degree in business to focus a 16 year career with the airline industry, serving in a variety of roles, including operations, human resources and corporate leadership. Phyllis’ journey into the health and wellness field involved a personal transformation from expecting a quick “fix” by the medical community for a variety of chronic symptoms to finding complete relief by shifting her lifestyle and including more whole foods.
Phyllis is the proud mother of two beautiful girls, who have brought about her passion to improve the food options presented to children in our school systems. Phyllis hopes to educate parents, teachers and policy makers about the positive impact nutrient-dense food choices have on our kid’s health, behavior and learning ability. In contrast, she highlights the misleading marketing claims made by major food manufacturers as they relate to “nutrition,” and the problems with government recommendations, such as the USDA food pyramid, which includes beverages and desserts rich in high fructose corn syrup as “acceptable” under current standards.
Learn more about Phyllis on her website at www.cincyhealthcoach.com
Jody England is the Founder of BuzZen and the Visionary behind the creation of the Essence Process. Jody’s unique blend of experience as a former mental health therapist and long-time champion of women’s rights has positioned her as a leading voice in the global shift in consciousness that is currently occurring on the planet.
Jody is the author of Attraction Actions: New “Bee”haviors for Creating the Life you Deserve, is the host of the BuzZen radio show, and is in great demand as a speaker and life coach. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Work, is an EFT practitioner and Reiki Master.
Her passion is to raise the calibration level of the planet by empowering and connecting women with their inner wisdom and higher selves.
You can learn more about Jody and her coaching, courses, and company by visiting http://www.buzzen.us/
Dr. Tim McCrossen, D.C. (a.k.a. Head Fitness Ego)
This former Bobsled Olympian, 12 time NCAA Track All-American, 2-time National Champion 100 meters and 400 meters, and Gold and Bronze medalist for team USA at the Maters World Championships started his competitive career at St. Lawrence University, where he received his degree in Biology and still holds multiple collegiate track titles. Fueled by a passion in sports, medicine and accelerating peak performance Tim continued his studies and graduated from Life Chiropractic College in 1992.
“I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field but wasn’t sure what. My experience with many doctors through all of my sports ailments led me to pursue a career in chiropractic. I liked the way that chiropractic viewed the human body as a whole that could heal itself without drugs or surgery and was a sum of its parts, not a bunch of individual parts that needed their own treatments.”
Competing on the world’s stage offered interactions with many top athletes and celebrities like Nancy Kerrigan, the Prince of Monaco, Hulk Hogan and many Olympic and professional athletes.
These days this former upstate New York native makes Cincinnati, Ohio his home. There he owns and operates his own chiropractic office, McCrossen Chiropractic, and is co-founder of Robin’s Ultimate FitCamp which is a program that focus on getting every individual, young and old fit and healthy.
Tim also has a passion for athletic youth. He co-founded “Hey Coach” with other like-minded physicians that focused on anti-steroid use and nutrition lectures for high school athletes. The group presented at high schools and colleges as well as presented to the heads education for the NCAA and National Federation of High School Athletics.
Tim still enjoys speed and athletic performance training classes for youth through high school, college, Olympic and professional athletes.
“I have decided to not only practice chiropractic but encompass physical training and performance all in one. I feel putting the two together (chiropractic and my athletic background) really encompasses the human frame and how it can work at optimal levels.