Starting early in life Alicia Williams was interested in nutrition and fitness. With a passion for reading and a love for science, this lead to studying Nutrition and Biochemistry at the University of Michigan. Although Cardiology captured her interest and ultimate career, she had a growing concern on what to do with her patients; especially those with multiple chronic health challenges. After Dr. Dean Ornish’s research on reversing heart disease was published, she realized much more needed to be done to impact a patient’s health, not just adding medications and doing procedures.
To try to promote health, she participated as the medical director for the “Coronary Health Improvement Project” which was a 4 week- long community-based program led by Dr. Hans Diehl. This program was very unique and almost 8,000 participants from South West Michigan over a 2 year span learned invaluable health information on the impact of a healthy diet.
She was then involved as the Medical Director of the Borgess Health and Fitness center (which houses Cardiac Rehab, Neuro Rehab and Physical Therapy). While at the Borgess Health and Fitness Center, she was very pleased with helping to develop the first site in Michigan to offer EECP (External Enhanced Counterpulsation), which is a non-invasive treatment for severe angina (chest pain).
The Fitness center also expanded its programs to include Integrative Medicine. At this time, she was very fortunate to collaborate with Dr. Christina Minger and the Metabolic Clinic was started. This clinic offered patients an indivualized approach to applying health based practices to help alleviate chronic symptoms and improve risk for disease. The clinic was developed by Dr. Minger from the principles of Functional Medicine and offered individual and group appointments along with cooking classes. Over the last 17 years Williams has continued to expand her nutritional knowledge with the help of training with the Institute for Functional Medicine.
Over the last 24 years Williams has been honored to work with a very talented Cardiology group at the Heart Center for Excellence at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo as a non-invasive Cardiologist. One of her favorite technologies is Echocardiography (heart ultrasound). She has also enjoyed having students and residents on rotations to teach them about lifestyle, nutrition and sports medicine.
But it was in part from her own health challenges that she became even more focused on the importance of nutrition. With a diagnosis of severe gluten and dairy allergies, she intensified her education on the impact of foods and inflammation on body. With the current challenges in health care, she realized that TRUE health-care reform would require a radical shift in the approach to patient care. With chronic conditions, the focus needed to be on “Restoring Health”, not managing sickness.
Williams is passionate about expanding her clinical experience to include more advanced wellness as it applies to all chronic conditions, especially those that lead to heart disease. Her hope is to significantly reduce the burden of disease and improve the wellbeing of each patient.
- Undergraduate: University of Michigan Nutrition/Biochemistry (B.S)
- Graduate: Michigan State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)
- Internship and 3 years of Internal Medicine: Botsford Hospital, Farmington Hills
- 3 years of Non-Invasive Cardiology:
- Consortium program Botsford Hospital and University of Michigan
- Board certified: Cardiology and Internal Medicine
- AOA (American Osteopathic Association)
- ACOI (American College of Osteopathic Internists)
- ACC (American College of Cardiology)
- IFM (Institute of Functional Medicine)