2018 Medical Practitioners Poll: Which Ones Do Mold Group Members Believe Helped Them?


September 11, 2018

By Lisa Petrison, Ph.D.

The Paradigm Change mold practitioners poll allows individuals participating in online mold groups to share information about which medical professionals have been helpful to them.

This is the third year for this poll. The 2016 results and 2017 results were published in previous Paradigm Change blog articles.

The goal of the poll is to provide recognition to those practitioners who are thought by patients to be particularly helpful and also possibly to gain insights into the practitioner characteristics that are especially valued by patients.


The Poll

This year’s poll question read as follows:

Have you consulted personally with any medical practitioners who already have been helpful to you in addressing your mold-related illness symptoms?

Please check those healthcare practitioners who have been at least moderately helpful to you in terms of addressing your chronic illness issues. 

If there are additional practitioners who have been helpful to you, please write their names in the comments. 

This poll also will be shared in other mold-oriented groups on Facebook. Please participate in the poll only one time.  

The results of the poll will be shared as a Paradigm Change blog article.

Here is a link to the 2017 results: 


A list of mold-oriented practitioners may be found here: 


Thank you for your participation in this poll!


Practitioners who had received two or more mentions in the 2017 poll were listed as the initial choices for all groups.

The poll was conducted in seven different Facebook mold groups. A total of 173 individuals participated.

The poll was first shared in the Mold Avoiders group on June 28, 2017. It then was shared in the other groups a week later.

Individuals were instructed to participate in the poll only one time, and participant names were checked across groups to make sure that no one had participated more than once.

Practitioners were not permitted to vote for themselves.

A total of 89 people in the Mold Avoiders group participated.

The other groups where the poll was posted were Toxic Mold, CIRS and Lyme Disease Support Group (17 participants); Toxic Mould Support Australia (24 participants); Surviving Toxic Mold (8 participants); Toxic Mold Symptoms (7 participants); Toxic Mold – Rediscovering Health and Wellness (18 participants); and Toxic Mold Support Group (10 participants).

A total of 104 different practitioners were mentioned by participants, and 31 practitioners received at least two mentions.

About 23% of all participants (39 individuals) checked the following response: “I have not yet found any medical practitioners to be at least moderately helpful to me.”

Following is a summary of the results, as well as some background information about those practitioners receiving the most mentions.


1. Mary Ackerley, M.D. (19 mentions)

Dr. Mary Ackerley is an integrative psychiatrist specializing in treating mold-related illness.

She is the author of the popular Paradigm Change blog article “Brain on Fire: The Role of Toxic Mold in Triggering Psychiatric Symptoms.”

She did her M.D. at the University of Maryland; her medical residency at Johns Hopkins; and her M.D.H. at the American Medical College of Homeopathy.

She is the current vice president of the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI).

She practices in Tucson, Arizona.


2. Sandeep Gupta, M.D. (11 mentions)

Dr. Sandeep Gupta focuses on nutritional, environmental and Ayurvedic medicine with a particular emphasis on mold-related illness.

He also provides basic information about chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) to patients in an online training course, called Mold Illness Made Simple.

He was interviewed in a podcast by Better Health Guy and also spoke in a brief video about his holistic approach to medicine.

He has a website at Lotus Holistic Medicine and a nutritional medicine blog at DrSandeepGupta.com.

He graduated from medical school from the University of Queensland.

He practices in Queensland, Australia.


3. Keith Berndtson, M.D. (9 mentions)

Dr. Keith Berndtson is an integrative practitioner focusing on mold-related illness issues.

He is the author of the book Seek Wisdom: The Modern Quest for Health and Sustainability and of the peer-reviewed journal article “Review of Evidence for Immune Evasion and Persistent Infection in Lyme Disease.”

He also authored a popular slide presentation on mold toxicity and an article on why mold toxicity has been so invisible for so long.

He wrote the foreword to the biography of mold avoidance pioneer Erik Johnson, called Back from the Edge.

He also participated in a mold avoidance group discussion in 2008-09 that is featured in the book The Role of Toxic Mold in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

He was interviewed in 2015 by High Intensity Health.

He is a graduate of Rush Medical College.

Dr. Berndtson has spent his career working in the Chicagoland area, but more recently joined the mold-oriented practice at Haven Medical in Chapel Hill, NC.

He is currently taking a leave of absence from the practice.


4. Jennifer L. Smith, N.M.D. (8 mentions)

Dr. Jennifer L. Smith is a naturopathic physician with a focus on complex chronic disease, Lyme disease and chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS).

She became certified in the Shoemaker protocol after seeing a friend become very ill as a result of a mold exposure.

After obtaining her naturopathic degree, she completed a 6-month internship with Dr Deborah Ardolf, N.D., in immunology and autoimmune disease. She also did one-year residency at the American Center for Biological Medicine with Dickson Thom, D.D.S., N.D., and Jeoffrey Drobot, N.M.D.

She holds a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and a B.S. from Arizona State University.

She practices in Scottsdale, Arizona.


5. Daniel Cagua-Koo, M.D. (7 mentions)

Dr. Daniel Cagua-Koo is a physician incorporating integrative, functional and environmental medicine approaches into his practice.

He has experienced severe mold hyperreactivity himself and spent most of 2015 seeking out pristine locations in the western half of the United States while living in a converted cargo trailer.

His experience was that many treatments work much better when patients are clear of exposures (including from small amounts of toxins from cross-contamination and the outdoor air), and he encourages his patients to attend especially diligently to avoidance issues.

Although he treats a variety of biotoxin illness patients, a particular focus is on more severe patients.

He graduated in 2007 from the Tufts University School of Medicine, where he received the Presidential Award for Citizenship and Public Service.

In his prior career, he ran a faith-based non-profit, organizing and serving high-risk Vietnamese youth in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

He works in private practice in Massachusetts.


6. Margaret DiTulio, A.P.R.N. (6 mentions)

Peg DiTulio is a family nurse practitioner and a Shoemaker-certified practitioner.

She has served as a clinical nursing instructor of pediatrics at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire.

She also is pursuing advanced studies in clinical herbalism at the Boston School of Herbal Studies, with a particular interest in the use of herbs for treatment of tick-borne infections.

She currently serves as the treasurer for the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI).

She practices in Atkinson, New Hampshire.


7. Jill Carnahan, M.D. (5 mentions)

Dr. Jill Carnahan is a functional medicine practitioner with a particular focus on mold toxicity, other types of environmental toxicity, and gut-related issues.

Dr. Carnahan has written frequently about using functional medicine to address various health challenges and has participated in numerous interviews on the topic.

She also often discusses her own health history, which included conventional treatment of aggressive breast cancer while in her 20’s, as well as using more natural means to address Crohn’s disease and toxic mold illness issues.

One of her most recent articles was for the Townsend Letter, called “Mold-Related Illness and Mycotoxins – A Unique Opportunity for Functional Medicine Practitioners.”

Dr. Carnahan’s practice is located in Louisville, Colorado.


8 (tie). David Bird, M.B.Ch.B. (4 mentions)

Dr. David Bird is a former general practitioner who now has a clinic specializing in nutritional and environmental medicine in Melbourne, Australia.

He focuses on the use of integrative medicine to treat chronic conditions, and is particularly interested in mold-related illness, chronic fatigue syndrome, heavy metal toxicity, post-viral syndrome, thyroid disorders and weight management.


8 (tie). Neil Nathan, M.D. (4 mentions)

Dr. Neil Nathan is a physician focusing on complex medical conditions who has been treating mold illness patients for more than a decade.

He is the author of a book called Mold and Mycotoxins: Current Evaluation and Treatment 2016. 

(A review of the book is on the Living Clean in a Dirty World blog.)

Dr. Nathan collaborated with Scott Forsgren and Dr. Wayne Anderson, N.D., on an article published in Townsend Letter in July 2014. The title was “Mold and Mycotoxins: Often Overlooked Factors in Chronic Lyme Disease.”

Dr. Nathan’s previous book also includes some mold discussion. It is called Healing is Possible: New Hope for Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Persistent Pain, and Other Chronic Illnesses.

His radio program, “The Cutting Edge of Health and Wellness Today,” has focused on mold-related issues several times.

His interview with Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker was presented as a Paradigm Change blog post in 2014.

Dr. Nathan also recently participated in a podcast interview with Better Health Guy.

His M.D. is from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine.

He practices in Redwood Valley, California.


8 (tie). Dr. Raj Patel, M.D. (4 mentions)

Dr. Raj Patel focuses on mold illness, Lyme disease and autism in his practice. He states that he uses a wide range of treating modalities.

He is mentioned as the treating physician in the Living Clean in a Dirty World blog post “Age 24 and Feeling Fantastic: How Addressing Mold Got Rid of My Lyme Symptoms After a Decade of Illness.”

He recently participated in a video interview with Better Health Guy and also did another interview with him several years ago.

Dr. Patel is a graduate of Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey.

He practices in Foster City, California.


11 (tie). Georgina Hale, MBBS, FRACP, Ph.D. (3 mentions)

Dr. Georgina Hale is a functional medicine practitioner in Queensland, Australia.

She obtained her medical degree (MBBS) from Monash University in Australia, then spent eight years studying internal medicine.

She completed two clinical studies on phytoestrogens (in midlife and menopause) at the Cedars Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles and then returned to Australia to complete a PhD in 2006 in the “Hormonal Dynamics of Midlife and the Menopause Transition.”

The Hale Clinic is located near Brisbane in the town of Buderim.


11 (tie). Janet Kim (3 mentions)

Dr. Janet Kim is family physician in private practice in Chatsworth, NSW, Australia.

She is certified in the Shoemaker protocol.

Her medical degree is from the University of NSW in Australia.

She has additional training in acupuncture; counseling and psychotherapy; and nutritional and environmental medicine.


11 (tie).  Allan Lieberman, M.D. (3 mentions)

Dr. Allan Lieberman has practiced environmental medicine and toxicology for more than 36 years.  Prior to that, he specialized in pediatrics.

He has published more than 15 peer-reviewed journal articles and dozens of conference proceedings articles on mold illness, environmental illness, chronic fatigue syndrome and many other topics.

He earned his doctor of medicine degree at Chicago Medical School, and also trained at Mount Sinai Hospital and Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

He is the founder of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, which has treated more than 10,000 patients over the past 33 years.

He practices in North Charleston, South Carolina.


11 (tie). Jacquelyn Meinhardt, F.N.P.-B.C. (3 mentions)

Jacki Meinhardt is a board-certified family nurse practitioner who also has become a Shoemaker-certified practitioner.

Her current focus is on chronic inflammatory response syndrome, vector-borne illnesses, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, thyroid and adrenal management, detoxification, and autoimmune disease.

She works with Dr. Andrew Heyman at The Virginia Center for Health and Wellness in Aldie, VA.

In addition, she teaches in the graduate degree program at Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies.

Her prior experience includes working as a trauma nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

She holds a master of science in health studies as a family nurse practitioner from Georgetown University.


11 (tie). Kellyn Milani, N.D. (3 mentions)

Dr. Kellyn Milani is a licensed naturopathic physician and primary care physician in Montana and California.

She is certified in the Shoemaker protocol and specializes in mold toxin illness, Lyme disease and other difficult-to treat conditions.

She received her medical degree from Bastyr University and her clinical training in family medicine at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, Washington.

Her current practice is in Auburn, California.


11 (tie). Steve Nelson, Pharm.D., Ph.D.  (3 mentions)

Dr. Steve Nelson is a naturopathic and holistic practitioner focusing much of his attention on difficult-to-treat chronic illness cases.

He has written many academic and clinical papers, and is featured in a chapter of Suzanne Somers’ book Breakthrough.

He has participated in several video interviews.

He holds a Ph.D. in clinical nutrition from Indiana University; a clinical Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Wisconsin; and a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin.

He practices in Palm Desert, California.


11 (tie). Eric Potter, M.D. (3 mentions)

Dr. Eric Potter is a functional medicine practitioner using a variety of healing modalities to help his patients.

He is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School and has completed a large number of additional training programs in particular areas.

His practice is located in Franklin, Tennessee.


11 (tie). Mary E. Ray, D.O. (3 mentions)

Dr. Mary Ray (also known as Dr. Mary Short-Ray or Dr. Mary Beth Short-Ray) has been focused on how to best treat mold-related illness since becoming affected by it herself in 2005.

Her book on the topic, Surviving Toxic Black Mold Syndrome, was published in 2007.

Dr. Ray obtained her doctorate of osteopathy from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri.

She also holds a B.S. in biochemical pharmacology and an M.S. in nutrition from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

She completed a family practice residency at Mount Clemens General Hospital in Mount Clemens, Michigan. She then practiced for a number of years in the Ann Arbor, Michigan, area before moving to Florida.

She currently sees mold illness patients in her practice in St. Augustine, Florida.


Practitioners with Two Mentions

David Buscher, M.D. (Redmond, WA)

Corey Deacon, D.N.M. (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

Andrew Heyman, M.D. (Aldie, VA)

Evan Hirsch, M.D. (Olympia, WA)

Neil Hirschenbein, M.D. (La Jolla, CA)

Scott McMahon, M.D. (Roswell, NM)

Dr. Douglas J. Phillips (West Palm Beach, FL)

Sonia Rapaport, M.D. (Chapel Hill, NC)

Oscar Serrallach, MBChB (Byron Bay NSW, Australia)

Robin Thomson, N.D. (Bozeman, MT)

Werner Vosloo, N.D. (Portland, OR)

William Weirs, M.D. (North Charleston, SC)

Dr. Christabelle Yeoh (Wyoming, NSW, Australia)


Practitioners with One Mention

Dennis Alexander, Ph.D., DMQ (St. Petersburg, FL)

Wayne Anderson, N.D. (Santa Rosa, CA)

Tania Ash, M.B., B.S. (Malvern, Australia)

Carrie Ballas, B.S.N., M.S., FMP-C, (Boulder, CO)

Michael Beilby, MBBS (Sydney, Australia)

Harlan Bieley, M.D., M.S. (North Palm Beach, FL)

Dr. Brian Biggs (Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia)

Dr. Taufiq Binjemain (Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia)

Teresa Birkmeier-Fredal, M.D. (Rochester Hills, MI)

Susan Black, M.D. (Vienna, VA)

Carla Brook, N.P. (Whitefish, MT)

Lucy Budde, M.D. (Lakewood, CO)

Dr. Rashmi Cabena (Melbourne, Australia)

Michael Cantwell, M.D. (San Francisco, CA)

Dr. Anne Chappel (Sydney, Australia)

Gail Clayton, Rh.P., M.S., CNS (Houston, TX)

Ann Corson, M.D. (Kennett Square, PA)

Walter Crinnion, N.D. (Scottsdale, AZ)

Gordon Crozier, D.O. (Lake Mary, FL)

Dr. Hugh Derham (Bicton, Western Australia)

Lauren Deville, N.M.D. (Tucson, AZ)

Dr. Mark Donohoe (Mosman, NSW, Australia)

Dr. Ruth Edwards (Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia)

Clifford Fetters, M.D. (Carmel, IN)

Eric Gordon, M.D. (Santa Rosa, CA)

Pamela Gould, N.D. (Sebastopol, CA)

Irene Grant, M.D. (Tarrytown, NY)

Michael Gray, M.D., M.P.H. (Benson, AZ)

Dale Guyer, M.D. (Indianapolis, IN)

Allison Hamza, PA-C (Olympia, WA)

Cathryn Harbor, M.D. (Lexington, VA)

Steve Harris, M.D. (Foster City, CA)

John Hibbs, N.D. (Seattle, WA)

Karima Hirani, M.D. (Culver City, CA)

Bruce Hoffman, MSc, MBChB (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

Janette Hope, M.D. (Santa Barbara, CA)

Gregory Hyde, M.D. (Nacogdoches, TX)

Dawna Jones, M.D. (Norwell, MA)

Casey Kelley, M.D. (Chicago, IL)

Dayna Kowata, N.D. (Irvine, CA)

N. Thomas LaCava, M.D. (Worcester, MA)

Jacob Leone, N.D. (Novato, CA)

Sheryl Leventhal, M.D. (Valley Cottage, NY)

Vincent Marinkovich, M.D. (Since Deceased)

Perry Maynard, D.C. (Englewood, CO)

Kate McCandless, BHS, ACNEM (Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia)

Lisa McDonald, Adv Dip Naturopathy (Sydney, Australia)

Randee Miller, N.P. (Indianapolis, IN)

Dr. Paulo Morisco (North Ward, Queensland, Australia)

Shawn Naylor, D.O. (Denver, CO)

Stephen Nitz, M.D. (Rockford, IL)

Adam Nuttall, NBBS, DIP, RHM (Midland, Australia)

David Ou, M.D. (Atlanta, GA)

Terry Pfau, D.O. (Las Vegas, NV)

Colleen Pietrowski, D.C. (Timonium, MD)

Philip Ranheim, M.D. (Lake Stevens, WA)

William Rea, M.D. (Since Deceased)

Richard Sager, BHS, MS (Darwin, NT, Australia)

Patricia Salvato, M.D. (Houston, TX)

Heather Sandison, N.D. (Encinitas, CA)

Carol Savage, M.D. (Harvard, MA)

Guy Schenker, D.C. (Mifflintown, PA)

Sunjya Schweig, M.D. (Berkeley, CA)

Ritchie Shoemaker, M.D. (Since Retired)

Amy Joy Fishman Smith, N.P. (Mountain View, CA)

Shawn Snider, C.N.P. (Peoria, IL)

Shawn Soszka, N.D., L.A.D. (Portland, OR)

Natasha Thomas, M.D. (Myrtle Beach, SC)

Geordie Thomson, M.D. (Peterborough, NH)

Daniel Tucker, M.D. (West Palm Beach, FL)

Alan Vinitsky, M.D. (Gaithersburg, MD)

Melissa Young, M.D. (Cleveland, OH)

Wes Youngberg, DrPH, MPH, CNS, FACLM (Temecula, CA)


General Comments

Please note that the results of this poll should not be taken to suggest that the individuals who received the most votes are definitely the best mold illness practitioners out there.

There are many reasons that a practitioner providing quality care to mold illness patients may not have come up with very many mentions or even any mentions in this poll.

For instance, practitioners may be relatively new and not yet have built up their practices; may be serving a patient population consisting mostly of people who do not participate in mold groups; may serve a limited number of new patients or patients in general; or may have patients who just happened not to see the poll when it was posted.

Note also that the methodology of the poll limited responses to those who had had positive experiences with these clinicians. Insofar as some mold group participants had seen clinicians but did not find them to have been helpful, this would not have been reflected in the poll results.



Please understand that the listing of physicians and other medical practitioners in this blog post does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by anyone associated with Paradigm Change. We do not suggest that individuals actually become patients of these professionals or follow their treatment recommendations based on their inclusion on this list. Mold illness is an emerging area, not all patients may benefit from the same treatments, and our knowledge about these practitioners is limited (in some cases, based on a single reported experience from someone who we do not personally know). Practitioners listed here use a wide range of treatment modalities, most of which may not be appropriate for all situations. The information provided through the sharing of these poll results is at most provided only to give patients a starting point with regard to doing their own due diligence in terms of learning about and interviewing practitioners that might be appropriate for their situations. Best of luck to all with regard to finding a practitioner appropriate for your situation.

Suggestions for corrections to this article may be sent to info at paradigmchange dot me.


About the Author

Lisa Petrison is the executive director of Paradigm Change. She holds a Ph.D. in marketing and social psychology from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


About Paradigm Change

Paradigm Change is an organization with the goal of providing information about the role of mold toxins in chronic illness.

Information on contacting most of the practitioners listed in this article can be found on the Mold Illness Practitioners page of the Paradigm Change website. Note that many of the individuals mentioned here have long waiting lists and that a few are not accepting new patients at all.

Links to articles by and interviews with many of the practitioners mentioned here are in another Paradigm Change article, titled Clinical Treatment of Mold Illness.

An introduction to a variety of mold avoidance topics is provided in the book A Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance, written by Lisa Petrison and Erik Johnson. The book is available for free to those signing up for occasional emails on mold avoidance topics and also is sold on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

Those signing up for the Paradigm Change newsletter will receive a free PDF copy of the popular book about the remarkable life of mold avoidance pioneer Erik Johnson, called Back from the Edge. 

This article includes Amazon affiliate links. A small portion of the money from purchases resulting from clicking on these links may be directed to Paradigm Change and will be used to provide more information on mold-related illness through the Paradigm Change websites.

Links on this page are in orange (no underlining).

Thanks very much for reading this blog.