Roberta Ruggiero President/Founder

Roberta Ruggiero is the founder and president of the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, Inc., and author of The Do’s and Don’ts of Hypoglycemia: An Everyday Guide to Low Blood Sugar, which was acclaimed by the American Library Association as “one of best lay medical books in public libraries.” Having overcome ten years of illness–during which she saw dozens of doctors, endured countless medical tests, took thousands of pills and even underwent electric shock therapy–she understands the plight of the hypoglycemic firsthand. In her book, she shares with you her own personal experience and the knowledge she’s gained about this baffling disorder.

In 1980, Ms. Ruggiero established The Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, Inc., to inform, support and encourage hypoglycemics and the public about this too often misunderstood and misdiagnosed disease. This organization has enabled her to show how poor nutritional habits and severe nutritional deficiencies affect one’s emotional and physical health.

A frequent guest on radio and television and a well-known speaker, Roberta has also brought her message to the international, corporate, medical and educational communities. Presently, she is focusing on Children with Hypoglycemia by launching , the first-ever website devoted just to this cause, while simultaneously designing a program for schools on the food/mood connection. Ms. Ruggiero is also dedicated to educating the public on the correlation between hypoglycemia and alcoholism. Perhaps a website addressing that topic is in the stars! Whatever road she takes in the future, you can be assured that Roberta will stay on top of the latest developments in hypoglycemia research and treatment and will continue to connect the dots for you… her HSF audience!

The advisors on both websites, and, play a pivotal role in advising me on the continued work and progress of the HSF, all for the benefit of every one needlessly suffering from hypoglycemia.  I deeply appreciate their dedication and commitment to our cause!  



Keith W. Berkowitz, M.D.
Founder, The Center for Balanced Health


Keith Berkowitz, M.D., is the founder and medical director of the Center for Balanced Health in New York City where he specializes in treating metabolic conditions such as obesity, fatigue, blood glucose disorders, thyroid problems, and hormone imbalances.

Before founding the Center for Balanced Health, Dr. Berkowitz was medical director of the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine, where he worked closely with Dr. Atkins until the time of his death. He also for many years served on the teaching faculty at North Shore University and New York University School of Medicine. He is on the Medical Advisory Board of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. He is frequently quoted in the print media, fielding interviews for Newsweek, New York Magazine, Newsday, The Sunday London Times, Associated Press, INC Magazine, amNY, Wins 1010 online and The New York Post. He has been featured on ABC News, CNN, WOR Radio, WCBS Radio and RAI TV. He is the co-author of Princeton Review’s Medical School Companion (Random House, 1995), The Stubborn Fat Fix (Rodale, 2009) and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Flour Free Eating (Alpha Books, 2010)

Valerie Berkowitz, M.S., R.D., C.D.E. 
Director of Nutrition, The Center for Balanced Health

Valerie J. Berkowitz, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., C.D.E., is a licensed registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and certified lifestyle counselor practicing for 25 years. She is the Director of Nutrition at the Center for Balanced Health. Prior to this, Valerie worked as a nutritionist at The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine (ACCM).

While employed at The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine, her efforts focused on bridging the gap between conventional and complementary nutritional practice and included educating patients, mentoring nutrition students, speaking at events for consumers and health care professionals, in addition to assisting in research efforts. These efforts helped her gain invaluable scientific and practical understanding of the intricacies of controlled carbohydrate nutrition plans and the beneficial medical implications.

Ms. Berkowitz was also a clinical dietitian for the Long Island Jewish Medical Center/ Schneider Children’s Hospital as well as a nutrition and wellness counselor in private practice.

Ms. Berkowitz completed an internship at Camp Shane, a retreat for overweight children, in Ferndale, NY. In addition to teaching classes at the camp, she held cooking demonstrations and contributed to the children’s yearly newsletter.

Ms. Berkowitz recently acted as a reviewer for “The Sweet Truth about Managing Type 2 Diabetes,” published by Pritchett & Hull Associates Inc., in 2004. She created a quarterly column for diabetes educators and has been published in the monograph, “Managing the Patient with Diabetes.” In 2009, she co-authored “The Stubborn Fat Fix,” by Rodale Press. She has been featured in Men’s Health and

Ms. Berkowitz received her B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Rhode Island and her M.S. in Nutrition from New York University.

Dr. David J. Blyweiss, M.D.
Founder: Florida Integrative and Functional Medicine Center and Maximum Wellness Centers

David J. Blyweiss, MD began his medical career as a clinical pharmacist in South Florida prior to earning his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in 1982. This dual background allowed him to appreciate the relevance of conventional pharmaceutical/surgical based treatments in acute medical conditions, but also to recognize where these approaches fell short in treating the majority of patients who suffered from the chronic degenerative diseases of “western civilization origin”.

Over the last twenty years, with the nutritional medical knowledge base expanding in the fields of nutrigenomics, proteomics and other related “orthomolecular” disciplines directed towards patients’ biochemical individuality, Dr. Blyweiss became an early adherent and experienced practitioner of what would become known as “functional medicine”. Dr. Blyweiss has used this matrix of systems biology to effectively manage and alleviate the symptoms related to the most “difficult-to-treat” conditions by addressing the underlying causes, allowing the body to heal itself.

Dr. Blyweiss was one of the researchers doing the early work on chlorhexidine (phisohex) while earning his first post graduate degree at Temple University School of Pharmacy. During medical school he worked with the WHO (World Health Organization) in vaccinating children in the islands of the Caribbean. He has traveled the world, most recently to Gabon and Croatia working closely with teams of specialists to identify new plant life and natural products for possible human benefit. He has consulted for and created state-of-the-art nutritional supplements for multiple nutritional companies since 1999.His most recent accomplishment was forming Eden Laboratories Ltd. doing stem cell research and transplants in Belize, CA. He is currently in private practice in South Florida where he resides with his family.

Lynn Lafferty, Pharm.D., N.D.,MBA, CNC, CNHP

Lynn Lafferty, Pharm.D., N.D.,MBA, CNC, CNHP is a doctor of Pharmacy and licensed pharmacist, naturopath, herbalist, nutritionist and chef who is committed to finding the safest and most effective means to promote health and wellness over disease and illness. She is an Endowed Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and developing an Integrative Medicine Department at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is Director of the Functional Medicine and Herbal Therapy Certificate Program and teaches these courses within the Masters in Science in Nutrition Degree program. She has a Functional Clinical Nutrition and Herbal Therapy practice in the Nova Southeastern University Clinic Pharmacy. She is proud to serve on the boards of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and Broward County Pharmacy Association. She is currently conducting research on Antibiotic Resistance and Natural Immune Builders.

Her goal is to educate and help as many people as possible to the amazing possibilities of combining the best of both worlds from modern medicine and age old traditional therapies

Leslie Lee, MS, RD

Leslie Lee, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in human nutrition. She became a dietitian to learn how to manage her own debilitating hypoglycemia, having not found enough answers elsewhere. Years later, she feels like a transformed person having found the energy she was missing for much of her life. She is currently an outpatient pediatric dietitian in Seattle where, among other things, she is working on developing a program to reverse metabolic dysfunction in children–including hypoglycemia, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and excess weight.  She recently helped to plan and facilitate the Pediatric Metabolic Health and Nutrition Summit held by Swedish Medical Center.

Leslie is an unconventional dietitian who focuses on quality of food and individualized needs instead of quantity of calories or specific nutrients. She believes we should all be eating real food—the food our bodies evolved eating—rather than the ultra-processed fare typical of the modern industrial diet.  She developed an educational (and free) 10 Day Real Food Challenge during her previous tenure as the Director of Education at the Institute for Responsible Nutrition. Connect with Leslie on LinkedIn.

Uma K. Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Inspired by her own pediatrician, Dr. Pisharody always knew she wanted to become an advocate for children’s health. Experiences with malnutrition and diarrheal diseases during medical training in India, led to her choosing a career in pediatric gastroenterology. Dr. Pisharody is passionate about helping children and families understand the connection between diet, nutrition, digestive health and well-being. She is proud to serve as a member of the board of directors for the Institute for Responsible Nutrition, participates in the medical advisory committee for the Northwest Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, and is also on the Board of Trustees for the WA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Philosophy of Care: Approach each patient and family with the sincere intent to listen carefully and empathetically. Strive to make diagnoses based on clinical judgement and experience, using diagnostic tests wisely, as a complementary adjunct. Tailor treatment approaches to meet each child’s individual needs.

Dr. Pisharody’s Professional Associations:  North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition; American Gastroenterological Association; American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition; American Academy of Pediatrics, Washington Chapter, hospital representative, Board of Trustees; Institute for Responsible Nutrition, member, Board of Directors; Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Northwest Chapter, Medical Advisory Committee

Wendy Cottiers
Owner: Positive Nutrition of So. Florida

Wendy Cottiers, is a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Certified Raw Food Chef, Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Educator through Dr. T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell, Owner of Positive Nutrition of So. Florida, Author of Healthy is not a Size, it is a Lifestyle, Positive Nut: 7-Step Plan, and Publisher of Positive Nut’s Holistic Minds & Holistic Living eNewsletter. Offering holistic nutrition counseling services at Roxy Barber Acupuncture Alternative & Holistic Health Center and Dr. Jorge Serrat, MD Pediatrician Endocrinology Office.

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