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Embark on a journey towards health and happiness.

Join us for the 6th Annual
Community of Wellness Symposium & Gala!
May 16–17, 2024

Are you aware that a simple self-care routine can improve your health and wellbeing? It’s true!

Attend our annual Symposium and Gala to discover your path to health and happiness through improvements in your self-care practices. Plant-based nutrition, movement, restful sleep, social connection, stress management, and finding your passion can help you live your best life!

Learn about lifestyle medicine from leading health experts who will offer practical advice on how to become your happiest and healthiest self! They’ll share tips to prevent and reverse common health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. Plus, all attendees receive a light whole-food, plant-based breakfast and lunch.

The Community of Wellness Symposium & Gala is a 2-day event filled with practical advice on how to make small shifts in your daily life for better health.

For healthcare professionals — 1.25 CEU available through Winona State University!

Food is fuel! 

Provide your body with the right foods and give it the nutrition it needs to thrive.

Rest Up!

Keep your body running at peak performance by taking a break and resetting your system.

Relax and Recharge!

Take time to re-center, and step back from the everyday hustle and bustle.

Connect and Thrive! 

Build a community of support to reap the benefits of support from like-minded individuals.

Follow Your Passion!

Lose track of time doing something you love.

Get Moving!

Revitalize your existing fitness routine or discover a new reason to get active.

Amit Sood, MD, MS, FACP

Dr. Amit Sood

Don’t miss the 2024 Community of Wellness Gala celebration!

The “Community of Wellness” Gala on the evening of May 17 will feature a keynote presentation from Dr. Amit Sood with practical tips to cultivate a lifestyle full of resilience, gratitude, kindness, and happiness. A panel discussion will follow with local and national experts discussing the connection between Lifestyle and Happiness. Guests will enjoy delicious whole food, plant-based dinner, live music, silent auction, and an opportunity to network with local health professionals, wellness practitioners, and community organizations dedicated to promoting holistic health. The event will also serve as a tribute to Dr. Hans Diehl, honoring his significant contributions to the Rochester community. Dr. Diehl was a pioneer in Lifestyle Medicine and a lifelong champion of the power of preventative medicine.

Dr. Hans Diehl

Special Bonus for Symposium Attendees!

Weight Loss Champion, Chuck Carroll will host an episode of his nationally recognized The Exam Room Podcast LIVE! Sponsored by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), this show brings together cutting-edge research with practical tips on how to radically improve your health with plant-based nutrition. Don’t miss it!

Symposium Agenda

Day 1

Thursday, May 16, 2024
8:00 – 8:15amIntroduction – Ron Hanson and Denise Stegall, Emcee; Mei Liu, Founder and President; Mayor Kim Norton
8:15 – 8:45amWayne Dysinger, MD, MPH
A New Health Care Paradigm
8:45 – 9:15amEddie Ramirez, MD
The Fires that Destroy Health: Inflammation
9:15 – 9:30amQ&A
9:30 – 9:45amBreak 1: Chad Hergott, PT will lead the group with stretching exercises.
9:45 – 10:45amJengyu Lai, DPM, DipABLM
Osteoarthritis: an inflammatory disease
Chad Hergott, PT
Physical therapy for osteoarthritis
10:45 – 11:00amBreak 2
11:00 – 11:45amLetticia Callies, Certified Clinical Aromatherapist and Meiping Liu, MS, MBA
11:45am – 12:00pm Q&A
12:00 – 1:00pmLunch break
1:00 – 1:30pmDawn Jacobson, MD
Hormone Balance for Health and Happiness
1:30 – 2:00pmSara Persinger, DNP, DipABLM
The Practice of Mindful Acceptance
2:00 – 2:15pmQ&A
2:15 – 2:30pmBreak 3
2:30 – 3:00pmChuck Carroll
Protein and Weight Loss from the Perspective of a person who lost 275 lbs.
3:00 – 3:30pmBrenda Davis, RD
Plant Powered Protein
3:30 – 3:45pmQ&A
3:45 – 4:00pmBreak 4
4:00 – 4:30pmPanel Discussions
5:30 – 6:15pmWalk With A Doc (WWAD) – Jengyu Lai, DPM & Chad Hergott, PT
6:15 – 6:45pmRefreshments and Connections
6:45 – 7:45pmChuck Carroll
Overcoming Food Addiction and 10,000 Calories Per Day Junk Food Habit
Panel Discussions – Healthy Weight, Healthy Life

Day 2

Friday, May 17, 2024
8:00 – 8:15amIntroduction – Ron Hanson and Denise Stegall, Emcee; Mei Liu, Founder and President, Mayor Kim Norton
8:15 – 8:45amEddie Ramirez, MD
Body Clocks and Your Health
8:45 – 9:15amWayne Dysinger, MD
Gut Health and Fasting
9:15 – 9:30amQ&A
9:30 – 9:45amBreak 1
9:45 – 10:30amDawn Mussallem, DO, DipABLM
The Journey Within: Self-discovery, Love, and Connectedness
10:30 – 10:45amBreak 2
10:45 – 11:15am Brian Carlsen, MD, DipABLM
Thriving With Diabetes
11:15 – 11:45amLauren Plunkett, RD
Transforming Type 1 Diabetes through Lifestyle Habits… and a Dash of Disobedience
11:45am – 12:00pmQ&A
12:00 – 1:00pmLunch break
1:00 – 1:30pmCourtney Baechler, MD
Mental Health and Heart Disease
1:30 – 2:00pmThomas Kottke, MD
romoting Personal and Community Well-being Through Civility, Kindness and Appreciation
2:00 – 2:15pmQ&A
2:15 – 2:30pmBreak 3
2:30 – 3:00pmPanel Discussion
Healthy Weight, Healthy Life

Gala Agenda

Friday, May 17, 2024
5:30 – 6:00pmSocial Hour
6:00 – 6:15pmWelcome and Introduction
Welcome and Introduction – Denise Stegall, Ron Hanson, Emcee; Mei Liu, Founder and President; Mayor Kim Norton
6:15 – 7:15pmDinner
7:15 – 7:35pmA Tribute to Dr. Hans Diehl
Honoring Dr. Diehl’s significant contributions to Rochester and the local healthcare community. Dr. Diehl was a pioneer in Lifestyle Medicine and a lifelong champion of the power of preventative medicine.
7:35 – 7:40pmJazz music performance
7:40 – 8:10pmKeynote: Amit Sood, MD
Resilient Option–Keys to Happiness
8:10 – 8:30pmPanel discussion
Local stakeholders including the Mayor, guest speakers, corporate leaders, and the community at large will reflect the lifestyle medicine principles presented at the conference and how we can effectively apply those to our daily life. A conversation on how we create happiness at different places, roles, and stages of our life.
8:30 – 8:45pmClosing

Event Locations

EVEN Hotel Rochester is the designated hotel with special rates for this event — while rooms still available.

ADDRESS:  101 11th Ave. SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55902 
Get Directions

PHONE: 507.258.2323

For any questions about the reservation, contact Kelly Hodak at

Thank You to Our Sponsors and Community Partners

Event Sponsor
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More education, less medication.