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Expert Biographies

Anthony Lim, MD, JD

Dr. Lim is the Medical Director of the McDougall Program, a lifestyle medical program based in Santa Rosa, California, that has helped thousands of patients to successfully transition to a whole-food, plant-based diet and radically improve their overall health and well-being.  He also helps teach and lead the plant-based classes offered by Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center.  Dr. Lim is a graduate of Stanford University, Harvard Law School, and Boston University School of Medicine. He is board-certified in family medicine and lifestyle medicine, and completed his residency training at Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency.  He is also a bar-certified attorney in the state of California.  Dr. Lim lives in Santa Rosa with his wife, Jean, and their two children, Joshua (15) and Julia (11), who bring them endless joy and laughter.  His outside interests include playing out in nature, learning guitar, and continually growing in his Christian faith.

Maya Schafer

Maya Schafer was born in Sri Lanka and shortly after moved to Guatemala. Her early exposure to international cuisine gave her a diverse pallet and stoked her passion for food and health.  Maya completed her B.S. in Dietetics at San Francisco State, where she discovered a disconnect between nutrition science and the practical execution of its theory in people’s daily lives. As Maya searched within this international food mecca for answers around how to reconnect people with food as an expression of soul, health, and community, she realized that the missing link was the most obvious: cooking. Thus, she sought out those who were at the forefront of a new wave of culinary art and for the next five years, she trained under chefs who mastered their craft at top restaurants like Chez Panisse and One Market. As she began to make her own mark on the culinary world, she taught cooking classes for corporate team building events and began to provide culinary education and wellness coaching to private clients. Stirred by the science behind how food works in the body and prepped with the skill to make it taste good, Maya brings her skill set to Kaiser Permanente, facilitating classes on behavior change in the Medical Weight Management Department.

Samuel Ridout, MD

I graduated from medical school in 2013 and joined Kaiser Permanente in 2017. I am a clinician and researcher and value my ability to contribute to both the medical literature and to advances in treatment, as well as direct patient care. My goal is to form long-term relationships, working with my patients to improve their mental wellbeing and overall quality of life. I am very pleased to be working with an organization that seeks to care for its members longitudinally, and offers so many resources to improve health.

My practice philosophy is that all tools available should be used to help the patient. That means therapy, exercise, nutrition, and medications; they all have a role and are important. Additionally, patient autonomy is critical and should be respected in conversations about treatment options.

Jill Nussinow, MS, RD

Jill Nussinow, aka The Veggie QueenTM is a Registered Dietitian who has been teaching
plant-based, whole foods cooking almost 30 years at Santa Rosa Junior College and
elsewhere throughout the US and beyond. She is the author of three award-winning
cookbooks: ‘The New Fast Food: The Veggie Queen Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals in
Less than 30 Minutes’ , ‘Nutrition CHAMPS: The Veggie Queen’s Guide to Eating and
Cooking for Optimum Health , Happiness, Energy and Vitality’ and ‘The Veggie Queen:
Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment’ , and, and stars in the DVD: ‘Pressure Cooking: A
Fresh Look, Delicious Dishes in Minutes.’

Her next book ‘Vegan Under Pressure’ (Houghton) will be released later this year.You will
find her frequenting local farmers markets weekly. One of her favorite things is to see what
she can cook up in her pressure cookers with what’s fresh at the market. Jill also loves
mushroom hunting and teaching fermentation classes.
Jill’s goal is to see everyone leading a healthy, happy life through better eating and
cooking. She loves to share the passion and joy of great food, especially when using the
pressure cooker for personal and planetary health.

Her website is www.theveggiequeen.com. You can see her in action on You Tube at TheVQ.

Melanie Larson

Melanie started at KP SRO nineteen years ago as a registered dietitian and quickly moved into the role of manager of Outpatient Nutrition Services, Medical Weight Management and later the AFM Clinical Health Educator team.   She is truly a multi-talented wonder!   She is an engaging and effective educator, a highly skilled patient-centered clinician, a strategic program planner/manager, a passionate advocate for plant based eating education and the integration of nutrition services into clinical care paths.   She is a leader both locally and regionally.  She has served as the longtime lead of the regional outpatient nutrition managers workgroup.  In that role, she recently co-authored a business case to further develop the Outpatient Nutrition Service line regionally.

Melanie is a passionate and creative force and leads with HEART first.   Her enthusiasm for health education and nutrition is unmatched!   She will be greatly missed by me, her teams, the medical center and region.