James Beckerman, M.D.Medical Director
James Beckerman, M.D. is WebMD Health Service’s Medical Director providing clinical oversight for WebMD’s condition management program and serves on the Quality Oversight Committee. Dr. Beckerman also participates in the Quality Oversight Committee and provides guidance on areas that impact the safety and clinical integrity of our site.
Dr. Beckerman is the WebMD Heart Expert and a cardiologist with the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute in Portland, Oregon. He served as Chair of the Oregon Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports and is the team cardiologist for the Portland Timbers Major League Soccer team. Dr. Beckerman is the medical director of Play Smart, a prevention-based cardiac screening program and is the coach-in-chief of Heart to Start, a multi-state 5K training program. He is the author of two books, The Flex Diet (2011) and Heart to Start (2015), which inspire lifestyle change through medical evidence and motivational coaching. Dr. Beckerman graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Medical School and completed his internal medicine and cardiology training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Stanford University.
Martin J. Abrahamson, M.D., FACP
Martin J. Abrahamson, MD, is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Division of Continuing Medical Education in the Department of Medicine and an active faculty member of the Endocrine Division, Department of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his medical degree from University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa, and completed his internship, residency and clinical fellowship in internal medicine and endocrinology at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, where he was a research fellow before joining the faculty of medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital. Dr. Abrahamson was joint head of the Endocrine Unit in Cape Town before taking up a faculty appointment at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Hospital in 1992.
He joined the faculty at Joslin Diabetes Center in 1998 where he held positions as Chief of Adult Diabetes, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs until 2015. While at Joslin Diabetes Center, Dr. Abrahamson led the reorganization of the Adult Diabetes Section into multidisciplinary teams comprised of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse educators, nutritionists, and exercise physiologists and spearheaded “pathways of care” for patients referred to Joslin (JoslinCare). He has co-authored guidelines for the pharmacological and perioperative management of patients with diabetes and management of hyperglycemic emergencies, and authored more than 80 papers, review articles and chapters related to diabetes.
Dr. Abrahamson’s research interests include the management of patients with diabetes, and use of technology to improve diabetes care and outcomes. Dr. Abrahamson is board certified in internal medicine and in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, and is a Fellow of the College of Physicians of South Africa. He has been cited regularly in Boston Magazine as one of Boston’s top doctors, and has delivered numerous invited lectures nationally and internationally on the management of diabetes. In 2010 he was the recipient of the Samuel Eichold II Memorial Award for contributions to Diabetes from the American College of Physicians.
Michael Dansinger, M.D.
Michael Dansinger, MD, is a nationally recognized authority on dietary and lifestyle counseling for weight loss and disease prevention. Dr. Dansinger is the Founding Director of the Diabetes Reversal Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and an Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. He is the Wellness Director at Boston Heart Diagnostics, is a nutrition and diabetes expert for WebMD, and a former Clinical Nutrition Editor for the Medscape Journal of Medicine. He serves on the Council of Directors and Media Response Team for the True Health Initiative–a leading voice on nutrition and lifestyle medicine, and is a member of the expert panel for the CDC’s Worksite Health ScoreCard project.
His research on dietary counseling is well known. He published the highly publicized research study “Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers and Zone Diets for Weight Loss and Cardiac Risk Reduction” in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). He is a panelist judge for US News and World Reports’ “Best Diets” awards, and was the nutrition doctor for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” for 11 years. He has been interviewed about his weight loss experience on the Today show, CNN, National Public Radio, CBS Radio, BBC Radio, Oprah magazine, Time magazine, Consumer Reports, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and hundreds of other media outlets. He lectures throughout the U.S. to medical and non-medical audiences, and is represented by the Harry Walker Agency.
Aria DiBiase, M.D.
Aria DiBiase M.D attended Stanford University School of Medicine and completed training in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation. She has practiced clinical cardiology and heart failure at Palo Alto Medical Foundation for 25 years. She has extensive experience in Disease Management and HF tele-management.
Sabrina Felson, M.D.
Sabrina Felson, MD, is board-certified in internal medicine and has practiced at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center Manhattan Campus since 2006. She maintains a busy primary practice, caring for close to 1,000 of our nation’s veterans. She supervises New York University internal medicine residents and medical students during their ambulatory clinics, and teaches physical exam to beginning medical students. She was recently honored to become a Firm Chief, one of a select core faculty chosen to mentor students academically and professionally. In her role as assistant chief of outpatient medicine, Felson shares responsibility for the smooth operations of the primary care clinic, and to this end she is involved in faculty evaluations, system redesign, and clinic flow. She has developed IT tools used throughout her service network to promote communication with the patient, encouraging appropriate follow-up between visits. Like any true generalist, she is interested in many facets of health care, including managing chronic disease in homeless populations, preventive health, addiction medicine, diabetes, patient navigation, teaching, and, most importantly, taking very good care of patients.
Before entering medical school, Felson lived in Bolivia, where she worked in program training indigenous Aymaran women to become midwives. She then earned a Master’s Degree in History of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She attended Case Western Reserve University Medical School before moving to New York City for residency at New York University, which she was drawn to because of its affiliation with the historic Bellevue Hospital. She had the honor of serving as senior chief resident before joining the NYU faculty. She is a member of the American College of Physicians.
John Foreyt, Ph.D
John P. Foreyt received his PhD in clinical psychology in 1969 from Florida State University. He served on the faculty there until 1974 when he moved to Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. He is currently Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Medicine and Department of Psychiatry. He is also the Director of the DeBakey Health Center’s Behavioral Medicine Research Center, Department of Medicine.
Dr. Foreyt has served as a member of the National Task Force on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity, National Institutes of Health; The Committee to Develop Criteria for Evaluating the Outcomes of Approaches to Prevent and Treat Obesity, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences; and The Expert Panel on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, National Institutes of Health, NHLBI.
He has published extensively in the areas of diet modification, cardiovascular risk reduction, eating disorders, and obesity. He has published 17 books and more than 380 articles. He is currently a member of the editorial boards of: Eating Disorders; Obesity Research and Clinical Practice; American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine; American Journal of Health Behavior; Obesity and Weight Management; American Journal of Health Promotion; Childhood Obesity; and Nutrition Today.
Dr. Foreyt is an Overseas Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine; a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, a Fellow of the Obesity Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and a member of other professional associations. He is a Life Member of the American Psychological Association and an honorary member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Ron Z. Goetzel, Ph.D
Ron Goetzel wears two hats. He is Senior Scientist and Director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (IHPS) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Vice President of Consulting and Applied Research for IBM Watson Health. The mission of the IHPS is to bridge the gap between academia, the business community, and the healthcare policy world – bringing academic resources into policy debates and day-to-day business decisions and bringing worker health and productivity management concerns to academia. Before moving to Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Goetzel was on the faculty at Emory and Cornell Universities. Dr. Goetzel is responsible for leading innovative projects for healthcare purchaser, managed care, government, and pharmaceutical clients interested in conducting cutting-edge research focused on the relationship between health and well-being, medical costs, and work-related productivity. He is an internationally recognized and widely published expert in health and productivity management (HPM), return-on-investment (ROI), program evaluation, and outcomes research. Dr. Goetzel has published well over 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and frequently presents at international business and scientific forums.
Dr. Goetzel was the principal investigator (PI) for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study examining the relationship between an organization’s culture of health, employees’ health risks, medical costs, and company stock price. Dr. Goetzel served as PI on a five-year project sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) focused on obesity prevention at the workplace. He was PI for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Senior Risk Reduction Demonstration, New Opportunities for Healthy Aging in Medicare, and demonstrations focused on Cancer Prevention and Treatment for Ethnic and Racial Minorities, Chiropractic Care, Vision Rehabilitation, and Health Improvement Incentive Structures for Medicaid Beneficiaries. He also served as PI for the Federal Employee Worksite Health and Wellness Initiative administered by the Office of Personnel Management. For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Goetzel was PI for a New York City-based project supporting collaboration between the private and public sectors directed at employer health promotion programs. He was the PI on two CDC initiatives focused on updating the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard and building a comprehensive CDC Workplace Health Resource Center.
Dr. Goetzel has worked with the Department of Defense (DoD) on two health promotion and resilience training demonstrations for the U.S. Army and Air Force. He supported the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the evaluation contractor for the Healthy Base Initiative focused on managing obesity and tobacco use in the military. Dr. Goetzel is working with the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) in Washington DC supporting the CEO Council on Health and Innovation and an initiative to build partnerships between businesses and public health departments to improve community health.
In the private sector, Dr. Goetzel has led multiple evaluations of health promotion and disease prevention programs at Boeing, Chevron, General Electric, Dow Chemical, Citibank, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Duke University, University of Michigan, Vanderbilt University, Motorola, Novartis, PepsiCo, Prudential, PPG Industries, Mass Mutual, Whirlpool, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Public sector partners have included King County Washington, Cayuga County New York, and the State of Delaware. Health plan and insurance company collaborators include Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program, Health Care Services Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Shield of California, Highmark, American Specialty Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Mayo Clinic, and Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Goetzel has also done extensive work with non-profits including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), Transamerica Center for Health Studies, American Heart Association, and The Health Project. Finally, Dr. Goetzel has established strong working relationships with vendors in the health promotion industry including StayWell, Johnson & Johnson, WebMD, Health Fitness Corporation, Virgin Pulse, HealthStat, and Pfizer. Dr. Goetzel’s international work includes projects with Discovery Health in South Africa, the Ministry of Health in Israel, Social Service of Industry (SESI) in Brazil, and The Health Promotion Board of Singapore.
Dr. Goetzel was a Task Force Member for the Guide to Community Preventive Services (Community Guide) housed at the CDC and is currently the President and CEO of The Health Project, which annually awards the prestigious C. Everett Koop Prize to organizations with credible data demonstrating population health improvement along with business results. He is the former Chairperson for HERO and Vice-Chair for The Fries Foundation housed at the CDC Foundation. He has also served on several committees organized by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM).
Before joining IBM Watson Health, Dr. Goetzel was Vice President of Assessment, Data Analysis, and Evaluation Services at Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Goetzel was one of the original members of the core development and marketing group at Corporate Health Strategies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Goetzel was the Medical School Education Program Evaluator at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he was appointed to the Psychiatry faculty.
Dr. Goetzel earned his doctorate in Organizational and Administrative Studies and his M.A. in Applied Social Psychology from New York University (NYU), and his B.S. degree in Psychology from the City College of New York (CCNY). He is based in Bethesda, MD.
Nirmal (Nim) Patel, M.D.
Dr Nirmal (Nim) Patel is a primary care physician, trained at the University of Manchester in the UK where she received her MD, then at Yale, where she received her MPH. Nim is passionate about high quality, patient centric care delivery, using evidence, data and information technology to improve efficiency at the point of care. She has more than two decades of experience working with senior executives, in developing high performing primary care delivery systems and digital health solutions, that are outcomes focused.
Nim has deep knowledge of the US healthcare system, clinical care, health benefits and her insights inform her approach to strategy, business and markets she has been responsible for. Having worked within the large employer, hospital, managed care and growth company environments, Nim understands the business imperatives of stakeholders and her work focuses on business solutions and timely delivery.
Her differentiated knowledge of clinical operations, evidence based medicine, care variation and gaps, have enabled her to innovate in the design of optimal primary care delivery systems, which when combined with her strong quantitative skills have allowed Nim and her teams to consistently measure outcomes and success.
Nim is a subject matter expert in telehealth having created first of the kind care-at-a-distance solutions focused on primary care, dermatology, as well as behavioral health, while simultaneously using vast data sets collected, to perform analytics to improve quality and cost of care.
She understands high performing ACOs models, development and deployment of innovative population health software with clinical decision support and telehealth applications for the point of care, to drive affordability and quality.
Nim is a respected thought leader and spokesperson for the businesses she represents. Areas of research, public speaking engagements are notable, she has participated in numerous nationally renowned boards, leadership councils and is often in the media sharing her expertise.
Loren Soeiro, Ph.D., ABPP
Dr. Loren Soeiro joined the WebMD Health Services Clinical Advisory Board in 2016. He is a psychologist and psychotherapist with over a decade of clinical experience. Prior to opening his Manhattan private practice, Dr. Soeiro worked as an attending psychologist in an outpatient psychiatry clinic for patients with HIV and AIDS. He collaborated with a multimodal treatment team of psychiatrists, physicians, social workers, and other specialists to evaluate and plan treatments in both English and Spanish from a population of chronically ill patients in the Bronx, NY.
Dr. Soeiro was previously employed as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he supervised and trained psychology interns, unlicensed psychologists and medical residents in psychiatry. He specialized in teaching psychodynamic theory and treatment, as well as psychotherapy for patients from diverse populations. Dr. Soeiro also provided training and career development for psychology interns at several other New York-area hospitals, such as North Central Bronx Hospital and the Beth Israel Medical Center.
Dr. Soeiro received his Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees in clinical psychology from Long Island University, in Brooklyn, New York. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center; prior to that, he studied psychology at Harvard College.
Dr. Soeiro is board certified as an expert in clinical psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychologists and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology, as well as a member of the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.
Deborah Shure, M.D., Master FCCP
Dr. Shure is a pulmonologist and consultant in clinical trials design for medical devices. Prior to this work, Dr. Shure served for seven years as a medical reviewer for the US Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health following a more than 25 year career in academic medicine. Her academic medicine career involved national funding for both clinical and basic science research in pulmonary vascular diseases and device development. Dr. Shure has an international reputation in clinical pulmonary medicine, teaching, and mentoring. Her expertise has been recognized by many awards and honors including Past President and Master Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, listing in Best Doctors in America for many years, and the Elizabeth A Rich Award of the American Thoracic Society.