Our Functional Medicine Doctors and Clinicians
The California Center for Functional Medicine was founded by two of the most respected thought leaders in the field of functional medicine, Dr. Sunjya Schweig and Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac. Our team of clinicians and staff has been hand-picked to provide the highest quality patient experience possible.
Sunjya K. Schweig, M.D., is an expert in complex chronic illnesses which require rigorous investigation and management. He has been studying, teaching, and practicing integrative and functional medicine for over 20 years.
Dr. Schweig received his B.A, from the University of California, Berkeley. He attended medical school at the University of California, Irvine, where he helped design and lead the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) curriculum. He served on the Board of the Susan Samueli Center for Complementary and Alternative medicine and was chosen as one of twenty medical students to attend the NIH Leadership Training Program in Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Dr. Schweig completed his family medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Family Practice Residency Program in Santa Rosa, CA. During his residency he was instrumental in developing and founding the Integrative Medicine Fellowship program.
Dr. Schweig continues to be active in medical education and has served as volunteer clinical faculty at the UCSF Santa Rosa Residency. He currently holds an adjunct faculty position at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Schweig has lectured nationally and internationally at conferences, hospitals, and universities.
Dr. Schweig has been in private practice since 2007, and is board certified in integrative and holistic medicine (ABIHM) and family practice (FAAFP). In 2014, Dr. Schweig launched the California Center for Functional Medicine (CCFM) with his friend and colleague, Chris Kresser, MS, LAc. CCFM is at the forefront of the functional medicine movement, offering patients a deep investigative approach to healthcare that is both high-touch and high-tech.
Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac is a globally recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and functional and integrative medicine. He is the creator of ChrisKresser.com, one of the top 25 natural health sites in the world, and the author of the New York Times best seller, Your Personal Paleo Code (published in paperback as The Paleo Cure). Chris was recently named by Greatist.com as one of the 50 most influential people in health and fitness, along with Michelle Obama, Michael Pollan, Dr. Andrew Weil, Tim Ferriss, and Dr. Mercola—and his work is frequently cited in national publications such as Time, The Atlantic, and NPR, and on Dr. Oz and Fox & Friends, where he has appeared as a guest.
Chris has been studying, practicing, and teaching Functional and Integrative Medicine for more than fifteen years. He did his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley, and studied Chinese and integrative medicine at the Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College, also in Berkeley. He has trained with world-renowned healers and educators in a variety of disciplines throughout the U.S., Thailand, and Indonesia.
Chris works with patients from a functional medicine perspective. He uses lab testing and a thorough intake process to discover the underlying causes of disease, and a combination of diet, supplements, botanicals, and lifestyle change to address them. His work is deeply informed by his own decade-long struggle with a chronic, mysterious disease—which he later recovered from through his own research and experimentation. Chris lives in Berkeley, CA with his wife and daughter.
Ramzi Asfour, M.D. is board certified in Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine. He graduated from New York Medical College then completed an Internal Medicine Residency Program at California Pacific Medical Center followed by a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at UCSD. He has worked for the World Health Organization (WHO), Colombia University in South Africa, and The University of California, San Diego. Prior to attending medical school, Ramzi majored in genetics at UC Davis. He is currently Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF.
Ramzi’s interest in Functional Medicine was led by family health issues that were not resolved via the conventional approach, as well as his experience with his own patients in the US and abroad. His in-depth Functional Medicine approach, along with his more than 20 years of medical experience, offers the best of both worlds for his patients. Ramzi has completed the Institute of Functional Medicine’s certification program, as well as Chris Kresser’s ADAPT Level One Practitioner Training Program.
Ramzi brings an open mind together with a holistic, patient-centered approach to enable long-lasting recovery from chronic illness and optimal health. He uses diet, lifestyle interventions, parasympathetic system strengthening, investigative laboratory testing, supplements, herbs, and if necessary, prescription medications. Among other conditions, Ramzi is interested in auto-immune disorders, chronic infections (Lyme, tick-borne diseases in general, and other acquired infections), gut imbalances and disorders, detoxification, and mold and environmental illness. He understands how hard some of these conditions are to overcome and is prepared to partner with his patients who suffer from chronic conditions or those who seek to achieve and maintain optimal health.
Tracey O’Shea is a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C) who graduated from Samuel Merritt University with a Master’s degree in Nursing. She became board certified through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and was first introduced to Functional Medicine in 2013, when she began her journey through the Institute for Functional Medicine’s certification program. She has trained with the Kresser Institute (ADAPT) program and is an IFM Certified Practitioner.
Tracey chose to become a nurse practitioner because it provided her the opportunity to help patients gain control of their health and become active participants in life. Seeing people enjoy every aspect of their health is rewarding. Studying and practicing functional medicine has given her additional tools to ensure that patients get the individualized, comprehensive treatment they deserve.
Tracey finds that communication is key for all successful and sustainable relationships. She tries to emphasize this with her patients during the first encounter, so that they understand what makes functional medicine different than conventional medicine. She listens carefully to the patient, especially as they discuss their needs and how they fit into a comprehensive, individualized health plan. Tracey hopes that she gives her patients motivation to live healthier, more fulfilling lives. Her goal is to help them understand the pivotal role they themselves play in designing and carrying out their treatment plan for health optimization. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with the California Center for Functional Medicine and is honored to be part of this journey.
Lindsay Christensen, Nutritionist
Lindsay Christensen has her B.S. in Biomedical Science and her M.S. in Human Nutrition. She is nearing completion of a 1,000-hour supervised experience program for the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential, an esteemed credential for healthcare professionals with an advanced level of education and experience in nutritional biochemistry and medical nutrition therapy. Lindsay enjoys working with a diverse array of clients; however, some of her areas of expertise include nutrition care for complex chronic illnesses, including Lyme disease and CIRS, food sensitivities, and gastrointestinal health issues. When Lindsay’s nose is not buried in the latest nutrition science and medical research, she can be found backpacking, skiing, and rock climbing in her beautiful home state of Colorado.
Kevin Defro, Health Coach
Kevin began his personal journey into the world of holistic health and fitness at the age of 16. In 2004, he became a fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle coach, and has been working with private clients, teaching group fitness classes, and teaching continuing education courses for TRX for the past several years. In 2018, he decided to become an ADAPT-certified Functional Health Coach studying with Chris Kresser and an amazing team of mentors. Realizing that telling people what to do rarely works, Kevin emphasizes a client-centered approach and focuses on cultivating wellness and the prevention of illness through the use of Ancestral Nutrition, other evidence- and science-based nutritional approaches, and by using coaching techniques to help clients make better lifestyle and behavior changes and achieve optimal health. Kevin primarily guides, assists, educates and supports clients to assume more personal responsibility for their health by helping them replace ambivalence with confidence and the motivation to make diet and lifestyle choices that align with their own beliefs.
Kristi Turchi, Practice Manager
Kristi Turchi was born and raised in Southern California. After graduating Cum Laude from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Management and a minor in Computer Science, she worked for 12 years as a senior business administrator at TRW.
Though she enjoyed her work, she realized she enjoyed staying home with her children more. She has four daughters and has been extensively involved in their school and sports from being the regional commissioner for their youth soccer organization comprised of over 4000 members and their teams’ manager to holding multiple positions on the PTA Board and making sure they got to all of their games and practices. During this time, she also volunteered alongside her daughters while they performed many hours of community service.
Kristi worked as an office manager and patient administrator for her husband’s dental office as well as a chiropractic and wellness practice. She began working as a virtual assistant and proofreader in 2003. Kristi enjoys providing excellent service and compassionate care to the patients of CCFM.
In her spare time, she can be found watching her girls play sports, walking the dogs, exercising, cooking, reading or watching movies. After suffering from multiple health issues that conventional medicine could not help with, Kristi turned to functional medicine. She changed her diet, revved up her exercise program and made multiple lifestyle changes which resulted in a wonderful shift in her health.
Laura Montgomery, Assistant Practice Manager
Laura has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology, and has a long-time passion for wellness and helping others. Born and raised in central Ohio, she escaped the Midwest winters and traded the clouds for sunshine with a move to Las Vegas five years ago. Here, she earned her masters degree in public health while working at a large orthopedic surgery practice.
In 2013, while researching nutrition and exercise, she stumbled across the Paleo diet and quickly found Chris Kresser’s website and podcasts. After making some dramatic lifestyles changes for herself, she experienced amazing results and wanted to keep learning more and share this information with others. Laura strives to provide excellent support and superior service to the patients of CCFM and is excited to be a part of the team.
During down time, she can usually be found outside enjoying the West coast sunshine and weather with her two dogs, or at the gym working on her Olympic weightlifting.
Shannon Martin, Operations Specialist
Shannon Martin is a New Hampshire native with an extensive career in Health Care Administration. She has close to ten years industry experience in Insurance, Urgent and Primary Care. Shannon has a passion for servicing others, and is proud to come from a family with a long lineage of nurses, firefighters and policemen.
In 2008, Shannon moved to California and fell in love with the sunshine, warmth, and healthy lifestyle. She first learned of the Paleo or Primal lifestyle in 2011 and was instantly attracted. Through her love of cooking, Shannon began experimenting with Paleo recipes to make healthier food for her family. Eager to learn more, she began researching the internet and, like thousands of others, found Chris Kresser. Shannon followed his blog, read his website daily and in the Spring of 2013, she took a chance and applied for a position as Patient Coordinator in Chris’ growing clinic. Since accepting the position, Shannon continuously strives to provide the highest quality of patient service while remaining empathetic and enjoying sharing her ever growing knowledge.
Shannon lives in Southern California with her husband and two children.
Nicole Petty, Patient Care Coordinator
Nicole has a passion for helping others improve their health using nutrition and functional medicine. She has over 15 years of customer service experience; she has worked everywhere from health food stores to the emergency room of a veterinary hospital (and many places in between).
Nicole has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado and a Nutrition Consultant certificate from Bauman College.
In addition to her studies, Nicole learned a lot about nutrition and lifestyle from her own health challenges. Nothing has helped her more than eating a Real Food/Paleo style diet. She wholeheartedly believes that food can nourish and heal. She loves researching and learning more about nutrition, cooking new recipes and geeking out about food in general.
Nicole lives in sunny Colorado with her husband and dog. In her free time she enjoys time outdoors, rock climbing, reading and spending time with friends and family.
Laila Remishevskiy, Patient Care Coordinator
Laila is from Las Vegas, NV, where she was born and raised. She has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in administrative leadership. Laila is very passionate about educating people on how to live a cleaner lifestyle by choosing the right kind of foods, exercise, meditation and natural/herbal remedies.
Laila has been married for 8 years and has 2 young children. She and her husband homeschool both of them. In their free time, you can find them traveling in their Airstream, enjoying the outdoor beauty and researching overall health and fitness.
Yvette Santos, Patient Care Coordinator
Yvette has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with emphasis in Computer Science. She was raised in the Philippines, but considers Las Vegas as her second home. She started her career in the banking industry, but found her interest in the medical field. She has 17 years experience in patient care and that’s why she fits perfectly with CCFM. On her down time, she loves to watch movies, hike and explore new things.
Gena Turner, Patient Care Coordinator
After stepping away from the workforce to start a family, Gena is happy to resume her career now that her children are both in elementary school. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the Metropolitan State University of Denver and a customer service background of 16 years. Gena lives in Southern California with her husband and 2 boys and has a strong interest in helping others and exceeding client expectations.
Gena also has a personal interest in functional medicine due to an unexpected health diagnosis of her oldest son when he was just two years old. After a lot of research, she was fortunate to find a functional medicine pediatrician in her area. With his guidance, she learned about the gut/brain connection and began the process of healing her son with a special diet that included many supplements and probiotics. She completely changed her family’s lifestyle and began detoxing his body and eliminating all toxins in their food and home environment. Her son has healed significantly in the last 8 years and she could not be more grateful for how far he has come.
Because of this experience she values holistic health and a balanced, healing home with an emphasis on nutrition. She is grateful to be part of an organization that helps others achieve their health goals by addressing the root causes.
Mary Pluff, Patient Care Coordinator
Mary moved west from Central New York over 11 years ago. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Niagara University and a Master’s degree in Administrative Leadership from UNLV. She now lives in Southern California with her husband and 3 young children.
Mary has a passion for helping others achieve happiness through setting and reaching their goals related to health, education and family. She has an empathetic and compassionate client-centered approach and is excited to be a part of the health journey of the CCFM patients.
In her spare time you might find Mary hiking with her family across the beautiful California landscapes, giving her time to the community and reading.
Jen Wade, Patient Care Coordinator
Jen went to college for digital imaging but had always had a passion for helping people, so she trained as a dental assistant, which she pursued for five years. She had hopes of becoming a dental hygienist, but her life took a different path when her daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Jen became passionate about alternative medicine and finding ways to help her family, especially her daughter, thrive.
Jen is an Arizona native who moved to southern California in 2012 with her husband and then two children. A third and final child arrived four years later. Jen enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and can often be found hosting impromptu dinner parties for friends. Jen strives to provide the ultimate experience to all patients and is honored to be part of the CCFM team.
Elise Guedea, Patient Care Coordinator
Elise was born in Santa Barbara, California and grew up enjoying the beautiful Central California Coast. She and her husband now live in Northern California, where they raised two children, and cherish every moment with their first granddaughter. Elise has an extensive customer service background of over 14 years, which includes both the retail and healthcare industry. Her lifelong interest in nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle lead her to pursue an Associate of Science degree in Health.
Elise’s passion for functional medicine began when she experienced her own healing after suffering from a chronic condition. She empathizes with those who suffer and have lost hope. Both her personal and professional experience have given her a deeper understanding of the restoration that comes from a patient-centered, functional medicine approach to chronic pain and disease. Elise is driven to provide exceptional patient care and inspired to help others throughout their personal journey to wellness. She is very thankful for the opportunity to work collaboratively with a dedicated team that shares the same values and goals of helping others achieve lasting health and wellbeing.
Whenever possible, Elise loves to explore the magnificent outdoors through hiking, camping and taking in all the natural beauty while traveling with her husband in their motorhome.
Leigha Taylor, Patient Care Coordinator
Leigha lives on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida. She has had struggles with her and her children’s health. She has overcome many obstacles in the way of her health and would love to see others experience the same. Leigha loves to encourage others and is a natural when it comes to relating to people. She is pursuing her Health Information Technology degree and has medical billing and coding background. Her passions include continuing her path into functional medicine and learning different ways to supplement via nutrition. She loves working out and spending time with her children and husband.