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Our Team

NorthShore’s Integrative Medicine Program is staffed by a collaborative, dedicated team of professionals of board-certified physicians and expert practitioners. Team members meet regularly to review patient care and bring collective experience together for individualized treatment plans.

Our team includes: Integrative Medicine physicians, Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture, Integrative Counseling and Psychotherapy, Integrative Bodywork, Therapeutic Yoga & Meditation and Herbal Medicine Counseling.

Integrative Medicine Team

Integrative Medicine Physicians

Leslie Mendoza Temple, MD
Dr. Mendoza Temple is the Medical Director of the Integrative Medicine Program and an Assistant Professor in Family Medicine at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She combines the tools of modern Western medicine with safe, evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine to achieve optimal health and symptom reduction. She believes that excellent nutrition and regular exercise are the foundation to good health, and she advises her patients on the specifics to set that foundation. When herbs, vitamins, homeopathy, acupuncture, counseling, guided imagery, massage, Yoga, prescription medications, or specialty referrals are needed, she makes precise recommendations with thorough, verbal and written explanation.

Dr. Mendoza Temple works collaboratively with her patients’ primary care, specialty physicians and holistic practitioners to ensure safe and effective treatment plans. She sees adults, children and expectant mothers.

She received a B.A. in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Following medical school at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, she completed Family Medicine residency training at Northwestern University, serving as Chief Resident during the third year. She then completed a two-year fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Weil, internationally recognized as the lead pioneer of Integrative Medicine, concurrently finishing a two-year fellowship in Family Medicine Faculty Development at Northwestern University Medical School. She loves teaching medical students and residents the art of combining holistic practices with conventional medicine.

As Medical Director since 2006, she leads one of the largest, most established teams of holistic practitioners in the Midwest. Dr. Mendoza Temple is the mother of three vibrant young boys and somehow manages to also take care of herself.

Dr. Mendoza Temple sees patients at the Park Center in Glenview.

Mina Lee Ryu, MD, FACP
Dr. Mina Lee Ryu is a board-certified internist with a primary care practice in integrative medicine that focuses on preventative medicine and women’s health. She believes that the healthy balance of mind, body and spirit are integral parts of healing and living well. Her practice combines modern medicine and proven healing traditions from around the world to safely and effectively achieve optimal health. After her internal medicine residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, she completed the Kennamer Fellowship in Internal Medicine at UCLA with a concentration in Integrative Medicine and medical acupuncture. She is a graduate of the Fellowship at the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine where she studied under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Weil. Prior to joining NorthShore in 2008, she had a successful practice at Cedars Sinai Medical Group in Beverly Hills.

Dr. Ryu sees patients at 1000 Central Street, Suite 640 in Evanston and at the Park Center in Glenview.

Smita Patel, DO, Integrative Medicine, Neurology
Dr. Smita Patel is board-certified in neurology and sleep medicine.  She received her neurological training at Medical College of Wisconsin and Sleep Medicine training at the University of Chicago. Additionally, she enhanced her education by completing a two-year fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Weil.

Dr. Patel is passionate about helping people achieve their goals by fine-tuning their health and teaching patients the principles of wellness and personal transformation. She effectively combines her expertise in neurology and sleep with her proficiency in complementary and alternative medicine to develop tailored health plans for her clients. She has participated in clinical research studies in the area of sleep medicine and has written book chapters for several academic publications on neurological disorders.

Dr. Patel sees patients at Glenbrook Hospital and at the Park Center in Glenview.

Geeta Maker-Clark, MD, Integrative Family Physician, Maternal Child Health
Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark is a board-certified integrative family physician, who sees adults, children and expectant mothers. She is the coordinator of Integrative Medical Education for the University of Chicago and on the faculty at the University of Chicago NorthShore Family Medicine Residency program.  Dr. Maker-Clark has always held the belief that any meaningful healing must involve the mind, body and spirit, and that whenever possible the most natural and least invasive intervention serves the highest good of the patient. She has pursued studies with traditional healers in India, midwives, herbalists and energy healers, and found that the practice of integrative medicine, combining the best of conventional medicine and alternative therapies, offers an opportunity for healing, wellness and disease prevention that neither modality can achieve alone. 

She is a graduate of the University of Arizona Fellowship in Integrative Medicine, under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. Andrew Weil. Dr. Maker-Clark relies heavily on the use of food as medicine in her approach to healing, as well as herbs, botanicals, breath work, conventional medicines and healing practitioners in the community. She has been featured as an expert in widely viewed documentaries on family centered maternity care and the health of children of farm workers, and is deeply involved in the communities she serves.  She has always been active in teaching students and residents, and feels that this is a very important part of furthering integrative medical work for the future. Dr. Maker-Clark is an active mother of three young children, strives to be mindful of the need to live more slowly, and encourages her patients to do the same.

Dr. Maker-Clark sees patients at 909 Davis Street in Evanston and attends births at Highland Park Hospital.
Neha S. Shah, MD, FACR, Integrative Medicine, Rheumatology
Dr. Shah is a board-certified Rheumatologist with a special interest in Integrative Medicine. She has long believed in a holistic approach to wellness, integrating the best of scientific advances in the field of rheumatology and osteoporosis with complementary practices of nutrition, mind-body medicine, manual therapy, herbal medicine, spirituality, Ayurveda and other traditions of healing. Dr. Shah believes in working as a team with her patients to improve their quality of life. She is currently advancing her knowledge through the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Weil.  Dr. Shah attended medical school at the University of Florida.  She trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Miami, and completed her fellowship in Rheumatology at Stanford University.  Dr. Shah is the joyful mother of two children. She enjoys gourmet cooking, Yoga, travel, music, dance and the outdoors. 

Dr. Shah sees patients at Highland Park Hospital and at the Park Center in Glenview.

Pooja Saigal, MD, Integrative Family Medicine
Dr. Pooja Saigal is a board-certified family physician and a faculty physician with the University of Chicago Family Medicine Residency Program. A longtime Chicagoan, Dr. Saigal completed her undergraduate degree in psychology and her MD at Northwestern University. She subsequently completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Chicago, where she now serves as an assistant professor. She has completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Weil. Dr. Saigal offers comprehensive integrative medicine consultations to optimize disease management and overall well-being for adults and children; she also provides consultations during pregnancy and during cancer treatment. Dr. Saigal integrates alternative therapies into Western medicine in an individualized and evidence-based manner. She puts strong emphasis on nutrition and positive mental state as vital components of overall well-being; she also incorporates supplements, manual medicine, acupuncture, energy medicine, yoga, and various mind-body therapies, collaborating with other practitioners as needed. Dr. Saigal sees patients at the Glenbrook Family Care Center in Glenview.

Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture

Nicole Hohmann, MS, Dipl.OM., L.Ac., FABORM
Nicole has practiced acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for more than ten years. She studied Yoga and meditation through the Himalayan Institute and is a former teacher and clinic supervisor for Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Nicole is board-certified in Oriental reproductive medicine and completed a fellowship in Oriental reproductive medicine in Nanjing, China. She also has experience treating women's health issues, cancer, acute and chronic pain, infections/immune disorders, gastrointestinal problems, allergies/asthma, pediatric acupuncture without needles, anxiety and stress related conditions.

Edgar Lim, MS, BS, Dipl.OM., L.Ac., ACI, NMT, NSCA-PT
Edgar is a licensed, board-certified acupuncturist. He also is certified as an auricular-therapist, neuromuscular therapist, NSCS-personal trainer and massage therapist. He holds an MS in Oriental Medicine and a BS in Exercise Physiology. Edgar uses a combination of acupuncture, massage therapy and exercise to promote optimal holistic health to patients of all ages. He enjoys his free time with his family, playing sports, traveling and carpentry.

Patricia Piant, MSTOM, Dipl.OM., L.Ac.
Patricia is a licensed, board-certified acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. She holds an MS in Traditional Oriental Medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and is certified in Integrative Oncology from Memorial Sloan Kettering. She currently mentors both medical and acupuncture residents and students.  For many years, she worked in the pharmaceutical industry and holds certifications in shiatsu, Yoga, Reiki and energy healing. Patricia treats a wide variety of conditions with a focus on oncology, pain, women’s health, stress reduction, digestive issues, migraines and healthy aging.

David Vavrinchik, MSTOM, Dipl.OM., L.Ac.
Dave is a licensed, board-certified acupuncturist and herbalist.  He has an MS in Oriental Medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago, where he also serves as a faculty member/instructor, and clinic supervisor. Dave treats a wide range of disorders including respiratory disorders, supportive cancer treatment, smoking cessation, stress, headaches, G.I. digestive problems, and muscle and joint pain.  He has worked in health care for 25 years and is also a licensed Respiratory Therapist who worked in the areas of intensive care, home care, and as an evaluator of healthcare organizations for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Rena Zaid, MS, Dipl.Ac., l.Ac.
Rena is a licensed, board certified acupuncturist, graduating summa cum laude from Midwest College of Oriental Medicine.  In addition, Rena has a BA in behavioral sciences and an MS in counseling, as well as certification in Traditional Chinese Nutrition, Mei Zen cosmetic acupuncture, Laughter Yoga, and is a Reiki practitioner. She has a special interest in supporting individuals with serious illnesses including cancer, auto-immune diseases and chronic pain syndromes, as well as helping people with anxiety, depression and other psycho/emotional concerns. 

Integrative Counseling and Psychotherapy

Merikay Kimball, M.A., LCPC
Merikay is a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC).  She holds a BA in psychology from Barat College and an MA in counselor education from Northeastern Illinois University.  She received her post-graduate education at the Family Institute of Northwestern University.  As a trained family systems psychotherapist, Merikay works with individuals, couples and families. She is particularly skilled at helping people manage the stress and anxiety of health-related changes. She holds a strong belief that all members of the family system are affected by individual change, and she seeks to educate and support patients undergoing life changes. In her work, she engages people to access their innate movement toward health, balance and well-being.

Charlotte Walker, MSW, LCSW, LMT
(See Char’s bio under Integrative Bodywork)

Integrative Bodywork

Paulette Brody, RN, BA, CFT, CMES
Paulette is a registered nurse, certified personal fitness trainer, certified medical exercise specialist and certified aquatics instructor. She also holds the 1997 bodybuilding title of “Classic Ms. Midwest.” Paulette works with clients with specials needs, such as limited motion, strength, endurance or balance issues.  She teaches aquatic AI Chi and Qi Gong in the warm water therapy pool.  She also teaches Tai Chi and Qi Gong to the Cardiac Rehab Phase III patients at the Park Center in Glenview.  Paulette works with a holistic approach, addressing body, mind and spirit.

John Chamness, LMT, NCTMB
Since 1993, John has been applying the principles of Integrative Bodywork to a wide range of clients. He uniquely crafts every session to fit the individual's needs at the moment, using elements of stress reduction, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, stretching, self-care and energy medicine.  The results can lead to powerful changes in the biochemistry of the body that facilitate healing and optimal function. John is especially adept at working with head and neck discomfort. In addition to bodywork, he also leads Integrative Medicine Laughter Workshops.

Polly Liontis, LMT, AOBTA-CP, HITA
Polly is certified by the American Organization of Bodywork Therapies of Asia as a certified shiatsu practitioner and is a member of the Himalayan Institute Teachers Association where she received her Yoga teacher certification. She is a graduate of the Ohashi Institute in New York City. Polly integrates Yoga and meditation practices within her bodywork sessions in order to address the mind-body-spirit connection. Her combination of modalities is often successful in relieving back pain, sciatica, neck pain, and in facilitating deep relaxation, cultivating greater energy, concentration, peacefulness, power and radiant health.

Charlotte Royal Walker, MSW, LCSW, LMT
Charlotte (Char) is an integrative psychotherapist who graduated from Loyola University’s Master of Social Work School. She is also a certified massage therapist who graduated from Chicago School of Massage Therapy. She completed an advanced certification in Integrative Oncology from Memorial Sloan- Kettering. Char uses traditional psychotherapy methods including cognitive behavioral therapy, and combines it with mind/body techniques such as guided imagery and progressive relaxation as well as relaxing breathing techniques. Clients will have the opportunity to practice these techniques during her sessions. Char specializes in treating patients with anxiety, panic disorder, depression, cancer, and has many years of experience treating patients with chronic diseases such as heart issues, fibromyalgia, migraine headache and chronic and acute pain disorders.

Therapeutic Yoga and Meditation

Polly Liontis (See Polly’s bio under Integrative Bodywork)

Herbal Medicine Counseling

Jenna Otwell, CN, CH
Jenna attended the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies and is licensed as a certified nutritionist from the American Health Science University and the National Institute for Nutritional Education. She previously managed an integrative pharmacy in Boulder, CO, where she extended her experience with Western herbalism and nutrition. Jenna manages the Wellness Shoppe at Park Center, which is an integral part of the Integrative Medicine Program.