February 7th, 2020 - Day One


2:00 - 2:30 PM

Laboratory, Endocrine and Neurotransmitter Concepts

Presented by Lylen Ferris, ND

Participants will assess and clarify foundational concepts in integrative medicine. These will include estrogen dominance and progesterone insufficiency, categories of progestogens, how dysglycemia affects androgen secretion, HPA axis dysfunction/adrenal “fatigue,” and an overview of best practices for ensuring quality neurotransmitter collection and testing. Clinical evidence for lifestyle interventions including diet and exercise, will be presented.

Identify and Address Sources of Inflammation for Foundational Healing

Presented by Lylen Ferris, ND

Chronic inflammation is recognized as the underlying basis of a significant number of diseases, including asthma, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke, cancer, autoimmunity, and various neurodegenerative disorders. It is increasingly recognized as an etiology of depression and other mood concerns. Participants will be able to identify and assess the role chronic inflammation plays and recognize this significant obstacle to cure.  Participants will analyze treatment considerations which utilize proven nutraceutical options combined with BHRT, diet and lifestyle programs. This presentation will summarize an integrative approach in addressing inflammation, which has been shown to be effective both for short term and long term sustained improvement.


2:30 - 3:30 PM


4:00 - 5:00 PM

Neurology of Pain and Addiction: Using Neurotransmitter Testing for Chronic Pain and Addiction

Presented by Brandon Lundell, DC, APC, DABCI, IFMCP, Dipl. Ac., NE, CAC

New understanding of the biochemistry and neurology of chronic pain is an important and timely topic. Millions of American suffer from chronic pain and traditional medical treatments are often ineffective and/or addictive, leaving millions without relief.  The epigenetics of pain will be discussed as well as inflammation and inflammasome activation in pain. Pain is often amplified in the brain and continued without peripheral stimuli.  The neuro-chemistry of nociception will be explored as well as novel and effective therapies using targeted natural therapies. Lab testing such as neurotransmitter, SNP and GI tests can prove invaluable in the diagnosis and management of chronic pain.   

The same principles and novel therapies will be applied in treating drug addiction. Drug neuroplasticity - what drugs (and chronic pain) do to the brain. Astrocyte dysfunction and substance abuse. Glutamate receptor balance and glutamate-glutamine ratio in addiction. Genetic susceptibility to opioid addiction - Dopamine and other SNP's relating to addiction will be discussed.



Advanced Concepts and Case Studies in Neuro-Endo-Immune Interactions

Presented by Brandon Lundell, DC, APC, DABCI, IFMCP, Dipl. Ac., NE, CAC

Learn how vitamins and minerals influence neurotransmitter production, function and elimination. Topics include 5HTR2C polymorphisms and stress responses; Vitamin D and other vitamins’ influence on neurotransmitter production and metabolism; G.I. correlation with neurotransmitter metabolism; interactions of testosterone, insulin and serotonin in NAFLD; mitochondria, neurotoxicity, autophagy and chronic fatigue case study.


5:00 - 6:00 PM


February 8th, 2020 - Day Two


8:00 - 10:00 AM

What You Must Know About Women's Hormones

Presented by Pam Smith, MD

The science behind women’s hormones, their function and replacement, has been extensively studied over the years. This interactive seminar will look at the biochemistry and physiology of women’s hormones, the entire steroidogenic pathway, and what influences each step. In this lecture, attendees will recognize the symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause, and learn the biochemistry and physiology of female hormones. Participants will discover the functions of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, melatonin and pregnenolone. This lecture will present the level of each sex hormone that a woman makes in the body during different phases of her menstrual cycle, as well as how the body breaks down estrogen, the symptoms of DHEA dysfunction, and elucidate the symptoms of hypercortisolism and hypocortisolism. The relationship that female hormones have with insulin will be examined. Attendees will conduct a review of medical literature concerning natural versus synthetic hormone replacement and gain an understanding of the different methods of hormone testing available.



Clinical Corrections for Women Under 45

Presented by Aimee Duffy, MD

Cycling women can present to clinic with symptoms and issues unique to their pre-menopausal status: irregular periods, endometriosis, PMS, and PCOS to name a few. In addition to these, peri-menopause can last 5-10 years for the average American woman. Women in their 30’s can often present with symptoms that sound like menopause. Add those together, and that’s a lot of symptomatic years for many women; essentially, an epidemic of hormonally-imbalanced young women. Environmental influences (xenoestrogens, for example) and declining nutrition are, in part, responsible for this change. Participants will review appropriate laboratory assessments and diagnostic strategies to identify HPA Axis (adrenal), hormonal, and neurotransmitter imbalances. Additionally, this lecture will summarize advanced diagnostic and therapeutic interventions to ultimately change the course for these young women to elicit balanced and vibrant health throughout their reproductive years.


10:30 - 11:30 AM



11:30 - 12:30 AM

Mastering Menopause: Solid Solutions for Symptom Relief

Presented by Erin Lommen, ND

In the United States, there are 11,000 Americans turning fifty every day. As this baby boomer population ages, entering and transitioning through mid-life, an unprecedented 6,000 plus women reach menopausal status every day. Hot flashes and night sweats are among the most common health concerns for these women. In addition, there are as many as thirty additional manifestations of menopause that can and will deeply affect the quality of a woman’s life.  Joint pain, mood changes (irritability, anxiety, depression) intense uncontrollable food cravings and weight gain (belly fat specifically), and addiction or obsessiveness are frequent chief complaints. 

An integrative practitioner will want to be equipped with a multitude of tools for assessment and treatment which reaches far beyond treating only hot flashes. There ARE many potential solutions to address these conditions and symptoms while rebuilding foundational health.  This presentation will equip the functional medicine practitioner with advanced tools for expert optimization of adrenal, hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalance, providing state of the art treatment considerations that extend well beyond just vasomotor symptom control. Aging with its inherent changes becomes a positive experience of regaining vitality, vibrancy and vigor rather than a time of complaint and loss.



To T or Not to T? Men's Health Demystified

Presented by Jay Mead, MD

The focus for men’s hormone health is still primarily directed toward testosterone; it’s evaluation, monitoring and replacement.  But just as women need adequate amounts of testosterone, the male body also has a critical requirement for progesterone.  Progesterone is imperative for optimal functioning of the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and of particular importance, prostate health.


1:30 AM - 2:30 PM


The male endocrine system is made up of many hormones, and proper balance of the entire complement of these will keep cognitive, cardiovascular, urinary and sexual function working optimally through the latter decades. This lecture will examine the clinical presentation and appropriate assessment criteria for hormone balancing for men. Participants will be able to identify the pathophysiology of testosterone and progesterone’s effects on cardiovascular, neurological and glandular (prostate) tissue. This lecture will present treatment options including bioidentical hormone supplements, nutrition and botanical therapies.



2:30 - 3:00 PM

Advanced Case Studies

Clinical theory is a wonderful thing, but the practice and application of that theory is where the rubber meets the road. Diving deep into real world clinical cases, participants will assess difficult symptom pictures, including intake, patient history and test results, as well as identify the in-depth questions that will lead to a more precise and tailored testing and treatment plan.  Pulling from a knowledge base of seasoned clinician’s private practices, providers will be able to obtain advanced treatment considerations, including bioidentical hormones, nutraceuticals, amino acids and lifestyle modifications, and review follow-up test results to learn how the patient responded to treatment, or if further evaluation and treatment is warranted.



Gut Instincts for Whole Health and Well-Being: The GI Microbiome, Neuroendocrine Imbalance, and Clinical Correction

Presented by Erin Lommen, ND

The gut microbiome determines the healthy and optimal functioning of the GI system and when it is disrupted (out of balance) we see associated disease states like IBS, IBD, SIBO and celiac.  The gut microbiome also exerts profound effects on the health and wellbeing of each individual through its direct relationships with the HPA axis, sex steroid hormones and neurotransmitter balance. In fact, it has recently been noted that gender differences in the gut microbiome appear to drive hormone-dependent regulation of autoimmunity: the commensal microbial community alters sex hormone levels and regulates autoimmune disease fate in individuals with high genetic risk. Furthermore, we have long recognized that IBS, for example, is noted to have a higher prevalence in women, and specifically during times of hormonal transitions like PMS, pregnancy and menopause. It is conceivable with the latest breaking research that we can tailor treatment programs for better clinical outcomes for IBS and other GI-based conditions in addition to optimizing whole health at the same time (i.e. correcting adrenal/HPA axis dysregulation, hormonal excesses and deficiencies, mood/neurotransmitter imbalances).


3:30 - 4:30 PM


Participants will gain an understanding of the gut microbiome and its influences on inflammation, detoxification, hormonal regulation, adrenal status, and neurotransmitter secretion. They will learn successful treatment approaches which address functional illness and numerous conditions with whole person treatments including improving GI health and the microbiome, as well as optimizing neuroendocrine secretion.



4:30 - 5:30 PM

Childhood Stress Can Affect Adult Disease

Presented by Lylen Ferris, ND

Biomedical scientists and brain researchers have shown how “fight or flight” stress chemicals, like epinephrine and cortisol, which flood the body when someone encounters danger, can cause lasting damage in the brain and body when a child is under prolonged or repeated and unmitigated stress, now commonly known as “toxic stress”. Toxic stress weakens the architecture of the developing brain, which can lead to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, and physical and mental health.

Events significant enough to cause toxic stress are known as Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs). ACEs include physical/sexual abuse, neglect, violence or substance abuse in the home, parental separation or divorce, death of a loved one, etc.

Questionnaires are available to screen children for ACEs. As the number increases, so does the risk for health problems. Compared to people with no childhood trauma, adults who scored a four or more (each instance of toxic stress is given a score of 1) were twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer or heart disease; seven times more likely to be alcoholic; six times more likely to have depression; and 12 times more likely to have attempted suicide. Adults exposed to six or more ACEs in childhood died 20 years sooner than those who had none. 

One prospective study found that poor emotional functioning assessed at age 7 years was associated with higher C-reactive protein at age 42 years. Emotional distress during childhood — even in the absence of high stress during adult years — can increase the risk of developing heart disease and metabolic disorders such as diabetes in adulthood. 

Teaching children and families coping mechanisms can help to constructively deal with whatever stressors come their way. Additionally, supporting the body’s HPA axis can help children become more physiologically resilient to the effects of stress. In adult patients, when testing reveals suboptimal or low cortisol levels and the patient denies any stress, it is pertinent to ask them about childhood stressors which can have long reaching implications. 


February 9th, 2020 - Day Three


Healthy Breasts for Life: Disease Prevention and Intervention

Presented by Aimee Duffy, MD

Separating fact from fiction when it comes to breast cancer can prove to be difficult. Diagnosis and treatment of cancer has become a “big business,” with many interests beyond just the health and well-being of each woman, propagating literature and media attention. It is imperative that physicians remain educated and poised to understand best practices for diagnostics and treatment, as breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women today.  However, a more complete understanding of breast cancer is needed. Is estrogen “bad?” Does it cause cancer? Participants will examine all three estrogens; estrone (E1), estradiol (E2) and estriol (E3) and the ratio between them (the Estrogen Quotient) as an independent risk marker. Additionally, participants will be able to identify the importance of estrogen in relation to progesterone as another critical risk preventative ratio, which can elucidate estrogens’ risk and promotes an approach of prevention.


9:00 - 10:00 AM


General confusion and controversy still exists regarding screening mammography guidelines and also about the safety and efficacy of hormone replacement therapy. This lecture will summarize safe and non-invasive diagnostic methods, such as Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging as well as effective strategies to detect breast lesions and tissue changes early, spurring action to prevent major issues (such as malignancy). Focus of the discussion will include guidelines for the supplementation of vitamin D, iodine, phyto-nutrients, estriol and progesterone.



10:00 - 11:00 AM

Where to Start? Functional Triage to Help Your Patients Return to Sleep

Presented by Krista Anderson Ross, ND

Sleep disturbances can result in neurobiological dysfunction which can manifest in a myriad of physical and mental/emotional symptoms. When faced with a patient’s insomnia, providers are often overwhelmed as to where to start. The scientific literature suggests that sleep dysfunction can be influenced by the choices one makes in a day including exposure to light and dark, diet, exercise, and alcohol. As well, inflammation, stress, neurotransmitter and hormone imbalance have all been shown to play roles.


Benzodiazepine receptor agonists are the most commonly prescribed class of medication for managing insomnia. But “Z drugs” have been shown to impair cognitive and psychomotor skills, promote dependence and abuse, and are associated with significant adverse events. As a result, these drugs are on the decline leaving a gap to be filled with natural substances and treatments.

This presentation will guide providers through the “triage” of diagnosing and treating insomnia. Starting with a detailed health, sleep and diurnal rhythm history, incorporating the use of questionnaires and testing to assess imbalance, treatments to restore the circadian rhythm, lifestyle interventions to manage the stress response, and supplements to address hormonal and nutritional imbalances, providers will leave with accessible strategies to help their patients return to sleep.



A Modern Solution to a Primitive Problem: Downregulating the Chronic Stress Response with Lifestyle Apps

Presented by Krista Anderson Ross, ND

In modern civilization one is more likely to die from a chronic, inflammatory disease than an accident or infection. The inflammatory mechanisms associated with perseverative cognition and chronic stress contribute to these diseases.


11:30AM - 12:15 PM


Research shows that managing perceptions contributes to downregulating the stress response. In short, one can change one’s brain by changing how one thinks. It’s time for a paradigm shift away from “managing stress,” and toward “preparing a healthy nervous system.”  This lecture will outline a deeper understanding of the growing body of research-based lifestyle interventions for optimizing hypothalamic pituitary axis (HPA) health. Attendees will survey recent scientific literature on the influence that mindfulness/meditation, yoga/movement, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) have on the HPA axis. Participants will identify simple tools including smart-phone based apps, for implementing and maintaining a successful treatment plan.



12:15 - 1:00 PM

Advanced Case Studies

Clinical theory is a wonderful thing, but the practice and application of that theory is where the rubber meets the road. Diving deep into real world clinical cases, participants will assess difficult symptom pictures, including intake, patient history and test results, as well as identify the in-depth questions that will lead to a more precise and tailored testing and treatment plan.  Pulling from a knowledge base of seasoned clinician’s private practices, providers will be able to obtain advanced treatment considerations, including bioidentical hormones, nutraceuticals, amino acids and lifestyle modifications, and review follow-up test results to learn how the patient responded to treatment, or if further evaluation and treatment is warranted.