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Our Medical Staff

Wendy Skiba-King,  Ph.D., APN, BC (Board Certified Advanced Practice Nurse) is director of behavioral medicine and clinical research.

Dr. King is an expert in a broad range of health areas including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, preventive nutrition, and bio-behavioral medicine.  A certified psychotherapist, Dr. King combines natural healing therapies and psychotherapy in treating stress related disorders.

Dr. King directs our Chronic Fatigue Syndrome research trials (Ampligen) in a Food and Drug Administration approved study. Dr. King also serves as director of behavioral medicine and of our Autism Spectrum Therapy program.  Her expertise includes Autism Spectrum Disorder (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-PDD, Autism, Asperger's Syndrome) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-ADHD.

Highly-experienced holistically-oriented, Dr. King has a background in both education and clinical practice. She has held faculty positions at both the graduate and undergraduate level.  Areas of instruction have included Psychopharmacology, Alternative Health Care Practices, and Family Systems Theory.

Her doctoral degree is in communication with an emphasis on interpersonal and health communication, which makes Dr. King a unique resource for patients.  She specializes in effectively clarifying the often confusing and contradictory information on herbs, supplements, and natural therapies. 

Her recent publication, "Vitamins, Herbs, and Supplements:  Tools of Empowerment" was featured in the Alternative and Complementary Therapies special issue of The Journal of Psychosocial Nursing (Volume 39, Number 4, April 2001, pp 35-41). 

Please note: Dr. King is an Advanced Practice Nurse, not a physician.  Her doctoral degree is a Ph.D.  In the state of New Jersey, APNs collaborate with physicians to provide patient care, including ordering laboratory tests and writing prescriptions.

Richard N. Podell, M.D., M.P.H., Collaborating Physician and Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Dr. Podell is one of the nation’s leading experts on the scientific integration of complementary and alternative therapies with conventional medicine.  He also has special interest and expertise in clinical nutrition, behavioral medicine, and the diseases of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.

A graduate of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Podell is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and in Family Medicine.  A Clinical Professor at New Jersey's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Dr. Podell served as co-host of the Willner’s Window Health and Nutrition Show on New York City’s WOR Radio (710 AM).

The New Jersey Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Association presented Dr. Podell with their outstanding Achievement Award for the year 2002.  Dr. Podell serves as Principal Investigator of a Food and Drug Administration approved Phase III clinical trial on the use of Ampligen, an investigational drug for the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  He is a member of the expert panel on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the  New Jersey State Department of Health and the New Jersey Academy of Medicine.  He is a member of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Association, the International Myopain Society, the American College of  Nutrition and the American Medical Association.

Dr. Podell has been an invited author for Fibromyalgia Network, a major patient-advocacy support group.  Dr. Podell has served as one of the main preceptors for  Robert Wood Johnson Medical School's required third year course on nutritional and holistic medicine.  Dr. Podell has received teaching awards from the family practice residents at Overlook Hospital and from the medical student organization at New Jersey Medical School.

Dr. Podell is on the scientific advisory board of Healthnotes, one of the leading educational resources for the scientific evaluation of nutrition and herbal therapies.  He was contributing editor for Nutrition Science News, and was the regular columnist on nutrition for the journal Postgraduate Medicine.  Dr. Podell has published 45 peer-review journal articles, and patient education essays in Bottom Line Personal, Bottom Line Health, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health and other magazines.  He has appeared as a medical expert on Good Morning America, the Today Show and CBS’ Morning Show.

Beverly LaCotta, R.N., our adult health educator has twenty years of experience in patient education.

Susan Richard is our health educator for the Autism Spectrum and Pediatric Behavioral Science Program. 

Our autism staff was originally trained at the DAN! national conference and attend training twice a year to stay current on all protocol changes and research.