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Life Chiropractic College West




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2018 Symposium Speakers (More to Come!)


This multi-faceted Symposium includes a talented group of distinguished faculty and champion athlete guest presenters!  The fantastic Symposium program offers high-energy continuing education program sessions (up to 20 hours of quality education) with exciting updates on dynamic, practical applications of sports science and chiropractic. Join us and gain exclusive insights, information and inspiration to bring back to your patients, your families, and your entire community!

John Downes, DC, CCEP brings his multi-faceted background and extensive experience involving sports, chiropractic care, documentation, risk management, ethics, education, and injury prevention & management to the 2016 Symposium program.  His professional credentials and contributions feature a dynamic blend of private practice, team doctor coverage for multiple sports, and educational and administrative positions. An international lecturer on chiropractic and sports topics, Dr. Downes, a 1986 cum laude graduate from Life Chiropractic College, has served in numerous administrative positions at Life University, including Dean of the Chiropractic College, Department Head of the Sports Chiropractic Department, and Department Head of Technique for Life University.

Peter A Gratale, DC, CSCS is an electric and captivating speaker with the ability to connect with any audience as though speaking to them one-on-one. His topics of health, wellness and fitness have been improving peoples' lives for over 20 years. Dr. Gratale is also known to America as "Dr. Pete" from his popular ESPN TV fitness, exercise and health programs, which aired for more than a decade. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and has participated in the development of the ground-breaking "Straighten Up" programs, a spinal hygiene and exercise initiative supported by ICA and the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations.

In 1999, Dr. Pete was recognized for his many contributions and named the International Chiropractors Association's Outstanding Sports and Fitness Chiropractor of the Year. He currently serves as the President of the International Chiropractors Association's Council on Fitness & Sports Health Science and has served as postgraduate faculty and emcee for the Symposium on Natural Fitness program for numerous years. Dr. Gratale is the founder and director of Energy Wellness and Fitness Inc., located in Teaneck, NJ since 1986. The facility caters to people looking for the finest in Chiropractic, Pilates and exercise programs.

Todd McDougle, D.C. graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1997. Since then, he has found his niche researching the biomechanics of sports and athletes. His own applications; McDougle Chiropractic Methods, was developed through his work with Professional World Class Strongmen and assisted by Mr. Chad Coy, a World renowned Professional Strongman. In 1998 McDougle began his journey as the #StrongmanDoc while aiding many Local, State, National, and International Strongman athletes which he continues today.  In 2002, Dr. McDougle was the Medical Coordinator and Chiropractor for the Indiana Tornandos, of the North American Football League. Since these early days in his career, Dr. McDougle has been the Sports Chiropractor to numerous elite athletes and teams. He has been an advisor and collaborator to Doctors at UCLA Gymnastics, the USOC for USA Swimming, and the L.A. Dodgers. He continues his work as the Team D.C. with United States Strongman, Global Strongman Corporation (for NAS, ASC), America's Strongest Man, the Arnold Strongman Classic, The Lee Haney Games, "Giants Live" International events, the World Strongman Games, and assists athletes at Indiana USPA and Indiana UPA Power-lifting competitions.

He is the President of the International Chiropractic Association of Indiana since 2015 and a Board Member since 1998, he continues as the Indiana State Assemblyman for the ICA since 2014. Historically, he has shared his knowledge as a talk show host for "The Spinal Word" on WHBU Radio, Anderson, Indiana as well as having written many informative publications such as "Scoliosis - Who's Checking It Now?", "Kids in Sports: Are They Really Protected?" and writer for "The Informer," a publication of ICA of Indiana. For more on Dr. Todd McDougle go to

Ken Kinakin, DC is a chiropractor, and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He has also competed in bodybuilding and powerlifting for over 30 years and regularly lectures across Canada and United States and Europe to doctors and personal trainers on the areas of weight-training, rehabilitation and nutrition. He has a clinical practice in Toronto, Ontario, Canada where he treats everyone from World Champions to stay at home mom. Dr. Kinakin is the author of "Optimal Muscle Training" and is the founder of the Society of Weight-Training Injury Specialists – SWIS that educates and certifies doctors, therapists and personal trainers in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of weight training injuries,

Jack Barnathan, B.B.A., D.C., (ISSA) C.F.T., M.F.S., M.S.S., S.S.N., S.E.T.:  Dr. Barnathan is a 1984 graduate of New York Chiropractic College and holds multiple credentials and recognitions in numerous areas.  He served on the United States President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports when chaired by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and is the founding Chair of the ICA Sports and Fitness Council; he has also served as Director of Fitness Sciences and as instructor for the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).  His professional experience includes numerous consulting and educational positions in sports health sciences including injury prevention and care, sports nutrition, peak performance consultations, and educational programs involving professional and Olympic sports, performing arts, and fitness training.

Maria Dalton, DC.:  Dr. Dalton is a graduate from New York Chiropractic College 1989, began her health and fitness educator as a Lucille Roberts exercise instructor and manager in 1981. She also lectured and designed exercise plans for members. Dr. Dalton has worked or presently working as a studio manager, aerobic director, personal trainer, instructor and/ or Chiropractor in a variety of facilities for dance, boxing, Kung Fu, aerial conditioning and general fitness from infants to seniors. Dr. Dalton is the founder of BeneFITness - "The company that brings fitness to your company" providing ergonomic workshops and exercise and nutritional programs. She also created a free public exercise program at the Jones Beach, New York in the mid 90's called "Beach Tones".

Dr. Dalton has been certified by American Council of Exercise, Athletics and Fitness Association of America, American Aerobic Association International / International Sports Medicine Association (AAAI/ISMA), Les Mills - 1) Bodypump using a barbell , 2) Bodyattack , and the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She has been on staff with the AAAI/ISMA 1989- 2014 teaching sports nutrition, personal and group fitness certifications. Since Dr. Dalton was a Club MTV Dancer; fitness, figure and bodybuilder competitor with the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation 1999-2003, she has helped others in these fields as competitive conditioning coach , choreographer and Chiropractor.

(Photo credit: Brittany Graham Photography)

Debi Darnell, is a registered yoga teacher, NYStrength Master of Fitness Design Honoree, and Mind-Body-Style consultant. Debi combines an extensive background in fitness training and yoga with her love of style and personal expression to create intriguing programs for individuals seeking lifetime vibrance. Understanding the impact of personal style upon our life choices adds to the power of her unique program designs and have resulted in the specialty approach of "Yoga Unexpected." To read about Debi Darnell, her speaking engagements and personal consulting, visit:

Ron Oberstein, DC, FICA, serves on the Board of Directors as one of the ICA's three College Representatives and has served on a host of ICA committees and held many ICA offices including service as Vice President and Western Regional Director, over his more than three decades of participation in the ICA. He graduated from Life Chiropractic College (now Life University) in 1981 and since has had private practices in both Boston and San Diego. Before being named President of Life Chiropractic College West (LCCW), Dr. Oberstein served as Chair of the Board of Regents of LCCW and was Chair of the Life West Board Enrollment Committee for several years.

Dr. Oberstein has lectured at venues worldwide on the scientific validation of chiropractic and the safety and effectiveness of the chiropractic adjustment along with the vitalistic force that resides within the body. He and his wife of 29 years, Dr. Mary Oberstein, have practiced together since 1986, serving multitudes of patients and mentoring new graduates.  Dr. Ron Oberstein has three daughters, two of which, Lauren and Morgan, are chiropractors and Sydney is finishing her last year at Life West.




Scott Rosa, D.C., B.C.A.O. has been an upper cervical Chiropractic practitioner in private practice in New York for 30 years.  He is a 1987 Palmer Graduate and a Board-Certified Atlas Orthogonist and also holds a masters Certification in Whiplash and Brain Traumatology from the Spine Research Institute of San Diego.  Dr. Rosa holds Certification in Low Speed Automobile Crash Reconstruction, and is a Graduate of the Center for Research into Automotive Safety and Health (CRASH).  Dr. Rosa is Certified in Live Automobile Crash Testing, Certified in Motor Vehicle Crash Forensic Risk Analysis, and a Graduate of the 9th Annual Spine Research Institute of San Diego (SRISD) Scientific Conference.  He has presented at the NASS (North American Spine Society) convention on trauma imaging with the use of Dynamic Upright MRI and Motion X-ray as well as the International Whiplash Trauma Congress and Private Imaging Centers around the Country, on the topic of "Advanced Dynamic Imaging". 

Dr. Rosa is the president of the "Trauma Imaging Foundation", a foundation created for the advancement of diagnosing patients involved in head/neck trauma thru advanced imaging methods.  Dr. Rosa has developed and patented" Image Guided Atlas Treatment" (IGAT™) which utilizes Dynamic Upright MRI imaging to derive adjusting vectors for correction of "misalignments at the craniocervical junction." Dr. Rosa's latest research is in the area of neuro-degenerative brain disease, concussion, CTE, altered CSF flow dynamics and their correlation to the cranio-cervical junction derangements and misalignment. The research further includes the "glymphatic system" and the ill effects of aberrant spinal fluid flow (CSF) on brain health.

Phil Heath, grew up in Seattle, Washington where his innate athletic drive in high school led him to play varsity basketball which in turn secured a scholarship as point/shooting guard for the Pioneer's at the University of Denver. Inspired by the rewarding experience on the court and the capability to scratch "basketball player" from his to-do list, he positioned himself for the next challenge. The allure of intense training and competition steered Heath towards the bodybuilding trajectory. He transitioned his focus to the intensely competitive sport as he realized basketball hadn't allowed him to fully define his niche. Humble in his approach, yet stealth with strategy, he officially pursued bodybuilding with unyielding fortitude in October 2002.

Starting out at 185 lbs., he grew to be 215 lbs. with 6% body – a dramatic transformation. Ultimately, at a rock solid 192 (considered a light-heavyweight by industry standards), Heath competed in his first competition in 2003 The Rocky Mountain NPC (National





Ben Lerner, DC

Founder of the Ultimate Impact Group

Through the Ultimate Impact Group with companies such as Velocity Coaching and Consulting, Achiever7, and Advanced Wellness Equipment along with his training programs like the Zero to a Million Institute and Wining the Battle of Wellness, Dr. Ben continues to create opportunities for people and organizations to actualize their potential.

He is a two-time New York Times, USA Today, Wall-Street Journal, and Christian Booksellers Association best-selling author with millions of books sold.  Dr. Lerner has written 20 books and has created curriculum in multiple languages in health, life management, and entrepreneurialism.  These programs have been utilized in thousands of corporations, churches, schools, and sports teams in countries all over the world and he has consulted for over 3000 clients. 

 A former college All-American wrestler himself, he was first named as chiropractor and wellness advisor for the USA Wrestling (USAW) World Team in 1995.  He traveled with USAW to the Atlanta, Sydney, London, and Rio Olympic Games, as well as eight world championships.  Dr. Ben has personally worked as a doctor, nutrition, and fitness specialists for the NBA, Major League Baseball, USA Judo, USA Weightlifting, the NFL Alumni Association, and the LPGA. 

He has Masters in I/O Psychology, a Bachelors in Nutrition, and with advanced certifications in corporate and life coaching.  In his health programs, he is an innovator of products, technologies, and practice protocols designed to help people become healthy, fit, and recover from a multitude of conditions.



Suzanne Morgan

Ayurveda Practitioner, Health Coach, Nutrition Consultant & Yoga Therapist

As an Ayurveda Practitioner and Health Coach, Suzanne uses natural solutions to help people who are over scheduled, overwhelmed and struggling with chronic health issues get the vibrant body and vibrant life they've always wanted. Suzanne is also a Yoga Therapist with who has taught over 3,500 yoga classes and has the highest accreditation, E-YRT-500 (advanced yoga registered teacher) from Yoga Alliance. She has a yoga teacher training school. She is the author of the yoga book, Hasta Mudras for Health & Healing and the cookbook, Simple * Healthy * Comfort Food. Suzanne has been an entrepreneur for over 25 years and previously founded and ran successful tech companies.



Saturday Panel Guest Speakers


Christine Stein
Lifestyle Design Consultant

Jackie O'Neil 
Professional Dog Trainer and
Dog Behavior Specialist

Frank Warren
Certified Fitness Professional

Michael Goldberg
Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant

Tracey Palmer
Master of Fitness Design

Kathy Brodeur
Owner/Founder of Climaxx Cycling and Fitness

Maritza Martinez, CFT, IFBB Pro
Certified Fitness Trainer

Lisa Papenbrock, DC
Founder of Release and Restore Wellness

Don Doward
Lifestyle Design Consultant and Chef

Nikki Fiel
Lifestyle Consultant, Keynote Speaker and Fitness Advisor