Lori Whelan, MD
Dr. Whelan is an Associate Professor and the Vice Chair of Education for the Department of Emergency Medicine at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine. She is a practicing Emergency Physician at Hillcrest Hospital in Tulsa. Dr. Whelan is a native Oklahoman and has a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma and received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. After completing post-graduate training in physician-performed ultrasound, Dr. Whelan spent the past 10 years teaching this vital skill to medical residents and practicing physicians through Continuing Medical Education courses. She received 10 teaching awards in recognition of her work, including the prestigious Dewayne Andrews Award for Excellence in Teaching from the OU Academy of Teaching Scholars.
Over the course of her career as an emergency medicine physician, Dr. Whelan has grown to recognize the vital need for nutrition as a central component of medical care. For the past 6 years, Dr. Whelan has developed a personal passion for plant-based nutrition and is an advocate for using food as medicine to prevent and manage chronic disease. She recently completed the Plant Based Nutrition course from Cornell University and is committed to incorporating nutrition education into treatment plans for her own patients, as well as developing evidence-based nutrition curriculum for medical and physician assistant students.
Chef Valarie Carter
Chef Carter is the Lead Chef for the OU Culinary Medicine Program. A Webbers Falls, OK native and graduate of Fort Gibson HS, Valarie earned a B.A. in English from Oklahoma State University and an Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of Atlanta. She recently completed the Plant Based Nutrition course from Cornell University and is a graduate student at the OU College of Public Health.
Chef Carter is the co-creator of The Can Do Kitchen, a local initiative that works to make cooking accessible to all persons, regardless of skill level. Chef Carter is a trained chef, educator, food and beverage columnist, recipe developer, food stylist, culinary consultant, Okie, mom, wife, and lover of local food and beverage. Valarie is currently a chef instructor and culinary consultant for Cooking for Kids, an organization tasked with improving the child nutrition programs in public schools across the state. She is former editor of Edible Tulsa magazine and former columnist for the Tulsa World, Green Country Living Magazine and Sheridan Living Magazine. Valarie has broad experience as a personal chef as well as in hotels and country clubs and her skills extend to streamlining food and beverage operations, consulting and catering. She worked as a special events coordinator in Oklahoma City, planning and organizing events for Bricktown Entertainment and was a culinary arts faculty instructor at OSUIT for 5 years. She enjoys using her culinary skills to benefit local, philanthropic organizations and is on the board and currently serving as vice president of the Tulsa Farmers’ Market. Valarie lives in Bixby with her husband and 2 children.
Marianna Wetherill, PhD, MPH, RDN-AP/LD
Dr. Marianna Wetherill is the lead dietitian and evaluator for the Culinary Medicine Program. She is an Assistant Professor with joint appointments in the Departments of Health Promotion Sciences at the OU College of Public Health and Family and Community Medicine at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine, where is also holds the George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Population Healthcare.
A native Oklahoman, Dr. Wetherill completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Oklahoma, as well as post-graduate training in dietetics and integrative medicine through the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Wetherill is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with Advanced Practice Certification in Clinical Nutrition from the Commission on Dietetics Registration. With a decade of dietetics practice experience including HIV/AIDS, cardiometabolic disease, and plant-based diets, Dr. Wetherill’s nutrition philosophy incorporates a functional medicine approach to personal healing, with a passion for making healthy eating accessible for low-income populations. She is a member of the Institute for Functional Medicine, Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine practice group, and the American Society for Nutrition.