Program Council

HHP’s Program Council is a group of people with extensive and diverse health knowledge and experience. HHP’s management team and HHP’s Board of Directors consult the Program Council about the goals and objectives of HHP, especially with regards to HHP’s efforts to improve access, self-management, equity, and affordability of health care throughout the world.

Vera Brandes, MSc

Vera is Director of the Research Program for Music-Medicine at Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria. She is Vice President of IAMM (International Association for Music and Medicine), New York, USA, board member of I.M.A.R.A.A. (International Music and Arts Research Association Austria), international program director for the Mozart & Science Congress and a member of the scientific advisory board of the Fritz Albert Popp Institute.

Vera Brandes was one of the co-founders of the Science Network Man and Music at the University Mozarteum, Salzburg and vice- president of the nonprofit organization  saludArt. Since 1995, she has been committed to the application of music in medical therapy and prevention. Since 1999 she organized advanced training for medical doctors and therapists in Neurodevelopmental Auditory Training. From 2001 to 2003, she lectured on culture & media at the University for Applied Sciences in Salzburg, Austria. She co- initiated and co-organized the congress “in:fusion – New Qualities in Healthcare” in 2004 before she assumed her current position at the Paracelsus Medical University. She is also CSO of SANOSON in Vienna, Austria and developed I-MAT© (Individualized Music-focussed Audio Therapies) for the treatment of psychosomatic disorders. She has published numerous articles, and presents at international conferences.

Before she began her career in science, Brandes was an award- winning music producer and record company owner. Between 1974 and 1999 she released more than 350 CDs featuring a broad spectrum of international artists and promoted a multitude of concerts, tours and festivals. 1n 1994, she received the award for the Most Creative and Innovative Company in Music and Media in Germany from the Ministry of Economics.

Recent book publications: “Music that works: Contributions of Biology, Neurophysiology, Psychology, Sociology, Medicine and Musicology”, English, Co-Editor: Roland Haas, Springer Vienna, New York, 2009), “Leben im Rhythmus” (“Life in Rhythm”), German, Co-Author Christian Salvesen, O.W. Barth Verlag, Munich, 2006.Springer Vienna, New York, 2009), “Leben im Rhythmus” (“Life in Rhythm”), German, Co-Author Christian Salvesen, O.W. Barth Verlag, Munich, 2006.

Patrick Briggs, MD, FRCS, FRCSI, FRCS – Intercollegiate Board in Plastic Surgery

Dr. Briggs qualified from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1977. He is now resident in Western Australia and has previously worked in London and at the University of Pittsburg USA. He has extensive experience in all aspects of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr. Briggs has a special interest and experience in trauma having spent two years in war-ravaged Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War 1987- 1989. He is an accomplished teacher and is the author of numerous surgical publications. Dr. Briggs is Emeritus Examiner in Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Emeritus Tutor in Surgery at the University of Western Australia.

Natalie A. Nevins, D.O., MSHPE

Dr. Nevins is the Founder and CEO of AD+ World Health, a non-profit for humanitarian aid. She is the Director of Medical Education at Downey Regional Medical Center for the Family Medicine Residency Program, the Program Director for the Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Residency Program and the Medical Director for the Amrit Davaa Wellness Center. She is board- certified in Family Practice, Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine, and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. She holds a Masters Degree in Health Professions Education and is an Associate Clinical Professor of Family Practice at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific and Touro University California and Nevada.

Dr. Nevins served in the United States Air Force and is currently a Major in the Ready Reserve. While on active duty she served as the Chief of Field Response, Chairman for Infection Control, Clinical Director of Laboratory Services and Radiology Services for the 61st Medical Squadron. She lectures nationally on issues related to disaster preparedness, bioterrorism, chemical and radiological warfare, emerging infectious diseases, family medicine, osteopathic manipulative medicine and health policy.

She was named Physician of the Year by the Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California in March 2011, received a Service Commendation from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in August 2010 and was given the Spirit of Service Award by the Human Services Association in September 2010.

Hyla Cass, M.D Dr.

Hyla Cass is a nationally acclaimed physician, certified psychiatrist, and one of the USA’s foremost authors and experts on the subject of integrative medicine. She combines the best of leading-edge natural medicine with modern science in her clinical practice of 25 years, writings, lectures, and nationwide media appearances. Quoted widely in newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, The Toronto Star, Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, and People Magazine, she appears regularly on radio and television, including The Dr. Oz Show, The View, E! Entertainment, and MSNBC. She is the author of several popular books including User’s Guide to Herbal Remedies, St. John’s Wort: Nature’s Blues Buster, Natural Highs, Supplement Your Prescription: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutrition, and 8 Weeks to Vibrant Health.

Dr. Cass also maintains a busy schedule of speaking engagements around the country, with topics ranging from complementary medicine and psychiatry, longevity enhancement, women’s health (including natural hormone therapy), and weight management, to stress reduction, and natural treatments for addictions, anxiety disorders, and depression.

She consults to the supplement industry in formulating nutritional products and has formulated some unique formulas for enhancing mind, mood, and energy available on her website

Felix Nunez MD

Dr. Felix L. Nuñez is the acting Chief Medical Officer of the Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles, and former VP of Clinical Services for the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County. He is a board certified Family Physician with extensive clinical and administrative experience in both the private and public sector. Prior to joining the Community Clinic Association, he was the Medical Director of The South Central Family Health Center, an Assistant Medical Director with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and an Assistant Clinical Instructor in the Harbor-UCLA Family Medicine Residency Program. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Loyola Marymount University in 1991, his Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School in 1995, and Master of Public Health degree from the UCLA School of Public Health in 2001. In 1998 he completed a residency in Family Medicine at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and in 2005 was a fellow in the Primary Health Care Policy Fellowship of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Felix is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine for the Keck/USC School of Medicine, a member of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, the California Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, and the Massachusetts Medical Society. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the UCLA School of Public Health-Health Services Alumni Association, and the Loyola Marymount Mexican American Alumni Association. He is the past Chairman of the Clinical Advisory Group of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County and is Chairman of the Advocacy Committee of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved. Dr. Nuñez is a native of Los Angeles who was raised in El Sereno, a Latino community in Northeast Los Angeles.

Andreas Otto Reiff MD

Andreas Otto Reiff, MD, is a Professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Keck School of Medicine and Division Head of the Division of Rheumatology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He is also the director of the Pediatric Rheumatology Program at Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, California and a Visiting Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Nevada School of Medicine.

Dr. Reiff received his medical degree from University Medical School in Freiburg, Germany. Following an internship in internal medicine and surgery at Kantonsspital Liestal in Switzerland, he returned to Freiburg and completed his residency at the University Children’s Hospital.
He completed a research fellowship in the Division of Rheumatology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles between 1993 and 1994, and a fellowship in pediatric rheumatology at University Children’s Hospital in Freiburg from 1994 -1996.

An avid researcher and investigator, Dr. Reiff’s primary research interests include the treatment, management, and genetics of pediatric autoimmune diseases; studying biologic immune modifiers, development of new immunosuppressive agents, and alternatives to stem cell transplantation. In addition to authoring and co-authoring numerous journal articles, abstracts, reviews, and book chapters, he has lectured on rheumatologic topics nationally and internationally. He is a clinical consultant for several pharmaceutical companies and serves on advisory boards for the Arthritis Foundation, Lupus International, and on the UCMG Business Development and Ambulatory Operations Committee at CHLA. He is a well known national and international speaker on biologic drug development and the treatment of chronic inflammatory eye diseases.

Dr. Reiff is board-certified in pediatrics by the European Community and the American Board of Pediatrics. He is a member of the Southwestern Pediatric Society, the Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group, and the American College of Rheumatology. In addition, he is a founding member of the pediatric rheumatology research network (CARRA). He has received several honors, grants, and awards.

Tom Dawson MB.ChB., D.Phil (Oxon), B.Med.Sci., D.SportsMed

Dr. Tom Dawson is a registered, licensed sports medicine physician who has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector. He has degrees in Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics, Medicine and Biochemistry and multiple post graduate qualifications. Dr. Dawson is leading a DARPA (US Department of Defense) project that is advancing the use of electric field sensors for detection of human electrophysiological signatures. He is an Independent Scientific Advisor for the Defence Sciences Advisory Board (UK Government).

Dr. Dawson was the technical lead for human performance and medical innovation at QinetiQ Ltd and military medicine theme lead for the Haldane-Spearman Consortium (European consortium of academic and commercial research institutions) until early 2011 when he left to focus on Rescon. He held various positions, up to Program Director of the MSc in the Science and Medicine of Human Athletic Performance (07-9), from 2003 to 2009 in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics at Oxford University. He continues to work with that department, and also the department of Chemistry, as a research visitor.

Dr. Dawson has published and presented internationally in human performance and genetics, molecular biology, sensors, medical informatics, visualization and the autonomic nervous system in relation to the cardiovascular system. He has ongoing professional collaborations with the University of Sussex, Duke University, Johns Hopkins APL, and the University of Leeds.

Additionally, Tom continues to stay fit and healthy having previously competed to an international standard in diverse sports ranging from multisport adventure racing to martial arts.

Christine McMaster, FRG, DCH (RCSI), DObs (RCPI), MSc ChPH (University of Warwick), MICGP, MFPH

Christine works as a doctor with the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland. Besides being a Public Health Consultant in the NHS, she is also trained as a General Practitioner and Disability Analyst. Her professional interests include cardiovascular health and well-being, child public health and obesity, community development, health intelligence, academic public health and health improvement. Throughout her varied career, she has learned that the wisdom of how to live a good life lies within each of us, hence her commitment to working collaboratively with service users and providers alike.

Prior to coming to Northern Ireland in 2007, Christine worked in the Health Service Executive and the Programme of Action for Children in Ireland; throughout she has fostered engagement with those closest to where health and wellbeing are determined- the young, the vulnerable and marginalized. She has collaborated with the All Ireland Institute of Public Health and supports voluntary and community organizations, including the West Belfast Partnership. She collaborates with a range of academic institutions on the island of Ireland in the context of research and teaching.

Christine has two boys, Alexander aged 18 years and Lucas aged 15 years. She shares her time between Donegal in the North West of Ireland and Northern Ireland, maintaining an active interest in all things living and outdoors as well as visual and performing arts. Her hobbies include music of all kinds, horse riding, skiing, running, cycling, walking, yoga, reading, and gardening. She is a contributor to and shareholder in Country Markets Ireland Ltd. Born and formally educated in Germany, she has lived on the island of Ireland for over 20 years.

Lyndee Knox, PhD, MS

Dr. Knox is founding director and CEO of LA Net, a primary care practice-based research network located in Los Angles and focused on the elimination of health disparities in Los Angeles. She is also an associate professor of Social Work and a clinical scholar of Family Medicine at the University of Southern California. Trained as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Knox is an expert in participatory research methods, peer-based interventions, and quality improvement in primary care. In 2010, she led the National Consensus Panel on Practice Facilitation/Coaching for the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. Currently, she is leading AHRQ’s National Working Group on Practice Facilitation and PCMH transformation, and a trial of practice facilitation to support Care Model implementation and PCMH transformation in 18 safety-net practices in Los Angeles County.

In addition, Dr. Knox co-directs the Southern California Academic Center of Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention and is leading a study in collaboration with the American Academy of Family Physician’s National Research Network on the impact of peer-mentoring on self-management behaviors and outcomes in senior populations with diabetes. She is the developer of the community-health-worker-delivered Madres a Madres intervention to address mental health needs in low-income immigrant families from Latin America, and has served as a consultant to the government of Trinidad and Tobago on implementing Madres a Madres and related interventions nationwide as part of a comprehensive violence prevention strategy in a multi-nation initiative funded by the InterAmerican Development Bank.

Dr. Knox is a Senior Research Associate of the National Research Network, serves on the steering committee for the Federation of Practice-Based Research Networks Steering Committee and the National PBRN Resource Center Advisory Group, and is a Director for the National Health Foundation (NHF). She has served as consultant to or collaborated with organizations including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the InterAmerican Development Bank, the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization and is the author of three books on youth violence.