RCMA: To get us started, tell us a little bit about your background (school, training, personal life, etc.)
Asena: I am a native of St. Louis Missouri, graduating from Washington University in St. Louis where I have 16 beloved nieces and nephews. I received my Medical Degree at VCU School of Medicine and completed my Family Medicine training at Chesterfield Family Practice Residency. I am a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and I am passionate about teaching my patients the power of plants and their amazing capacity to prevent, treat and reverse chronic diseases. I enjoy outdoor activities and playing sports, especially volleyball. I am fluent in Spanish and enjoy international missions.
RCMA: When did you first get involved with CMDA?
Asena: I got involved during a 1-year graduate program in physiology at MCV in 2005. I thought I was only going to be here in VA for a year. God had other plans, I met the awesome loving people of RCMDA, and felt like a part of a family away from home.
RCMA: What impact did the Richmond CMDA have on you during your medical training as a student?
Asena: The lunch meals and inspirational focuses to keep God as God, vs. making medicine my god, was a strong foundation. It also provided me a community of godly friends to connect and fellowship with.
RCMA: Have you participated in any CMDA leadership roles?
Asena: I serve with the Richmond CMDA counsel and as a mentor to some of the medical students.
RCMA: Did you maintain your involvement with CMDA as a resident? If so, what impact did that have?
Asena: Dr. James Anderson was my primary attending in Residency and he is on the RCMDA counsel. My connection to him, and his great leadership, guidance, care, and academic tutelage, helped me stay connected.
RCMA: Where are you currently working and what is your professional passion?
Asena: I am the owner/CEO and doctor at The Garden of Eden Health Center, PC. I opened this year in February 2019 after a combination of divine moments and guidance. Our mission scripture is 3 John 2, “Beloved I wish above ALL things that you prosper and BE IN HEALTH, even as your soul prospers”. God’s biblical pillars of truth influence our body, soul and spiritual approach to health care. Genesis 1:29 validates the science behind a whole food plant-based diet and how it can be used to get us back to God’s original design of health and wholeness. It’s a joy to help coach others with lifestyle changes to improve, reverse, and prevent diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
RCMA: How have you been able to incorporate your faith into your schooling/career?
Asena: (see above) and I offer to pray with my patients for additional spiritual support and encouragement. Many of them really appreciate it.
RCMA: CMDA’s vision is “Transformed Doctors, Transforming the World.” What does that mean to you?
Asena: There is so much competing with how we should think and practice as clinicians, even what we should value. The Word of God has set a solid precedent in Romans 12:1,2 about being transforming by renewing our minds to God’s Word, Way, and Character. That provides me a great foundation of truth for every area of life, that’s timeless, relevant, and helps align my mind, soul, and spirit. The transformation of God’s Word on me becomes my source for positively impacting and sharing truths and showing love to transform the lives of those I serve as patients, friends, and families.
RCMA: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Asena: “Life is about relationships!” I have ground to understand and truly appreciate this truth. 😊