Michigan Fitness Association

Medical, Science, and Health Advisory Council

Consistent with IHRSA’s National Medical, Science and Health Advisory Council the state-level board will advise and support the MFCA Board of Directors on current research and science. The purpose and objectives of the group will be to:

  1. Identify ways to measure and quantify the impact of exercise and lifestyle change as a driving force to improve population health, individual health risks, and post medical treatment outcomes.
  2. Provide technical information on current science and research related to the health benefits of physical activity.
  3. Guide and evaluate the development and delivery of education and resources for the industry in the state of Michigan.
  4. Serve as industry ambassadors in the state of Michigan to publicly promote health safety and efficacy through proper exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits through contributing editorials or quotes, participating in media interviews, speaking to policymakers, etc.
  5. Collaborate with the National Medical, Science, and Health Advisory Council when necessary.

Tony Moreno PhD

Tony Moreno PhD is a Professor of Kinesiology at Eastern Michigan University with focus in biomechanics, youth sport, and pediatric exercise science. He has authored educational materials regarding athlete development, physical literacy, performance enhancement, and injury prevention for the Michigan High School Athletic Association, USA Lacrosse, USA Ultimate, USA Hockey, the Society of Health and Physical Educators, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. In addition, Professor Moreno is the proprietor of Atletika USA, a movement, physical activity, and sport programming consulting firm based in mid-Michigan. Professor Moreno holds graduate adjunct faculty positions at both Michigan State University and West Virginia University and was recently appointed to serve on both the Michigan Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health, and Sports, and on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Fitness Foundation.

Tony Kawa MD

Tony Kawa grew up in Southeast Michigan, attending Warren High School. He was a high school all-state athlete in football and track and went on to play Division 1 football at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.  He graduated from Michigan State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1996.  He completed an internship, internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at Maclaren Oakland in Pontiac, MI.  He has been practicing cardiology in a private practice at Eastlake Cardiovascular since 2002.  His interests are in preventive cardiology, non invasive cardiac imaging, lifestyle modifications to reduce primary and secondary cardiac events, and sports medicine in cardiology.  He is the Director of Cardiology Fellowship Training at Ascension Macomb/Oakland in Warren, MI and Medical Director of Nuclear Cardiology and Stress Lab at Ascension Providence Rochester, MI. He has been a coach for youth sports in football and baseball, and enjoys attending his sons’ contests in high school football, basketball and baseball. He continues to actively train in fitness, weight training and enjoys traveling with his family.

Keri L. Denay MD, FACSM

Keri L. Denay, M.D., FACSM, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.  Dr. Denay is the Medical Director of Briarwood Family and Sports Medicine Director of the University of Michigan Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. She received her Bachelor’s in Biopsychology and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Michigan (2003) and went on to complete Medical School in 2007 followed by Family Medicine residency (2010) and Sports Medicine fellowship (2011).  Dr. Denay is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and serves as a Team Physician with US Figure Skating.  She is on the MWACSM board of directors and chairs ACSM’s Exercise is Medicine Clinical Practice Committee.  Dr. Denay has a passion for integrating physical activity assessment and counseling into clinical practice and advocating for new models of health and wellness built on a foundation of active lifestyles for all.

John Evans MA, PhD

John Evans, MA, PhD Director of Mental Conditioning for the University of North Carolina, Greensboro PhD. He earned his Master’s in Counseling Psychology at Western Michigan University and his BA in Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) at Kalamazoo College.

Working alongside a wide range of athletes and elite performers, John also worked 7 years with U.S. Army Special Operations Forces (SOF), training mental performance and human engagement skills.

John works on skill development and harnesses theoretical frameworks such as acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness to create impactful, person-centered care. John can help you change your mindset and habits to help you become your best self. John specializes in mental performance and human engagement skills.

Tom Rifai MD, FACP, DipABLM

Dr. Tom Rifai is Founder and CEO of FlexMD, a digital health company focused on therapeutic lifestyle support. He is a diplomate of both American Boards of Internal and Lifestyle Medicine and past president of the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists. Dr. Rifai was a question writer for the original Obesity Medicine Certification exam. He serves on the True Health Initiate Board of Directors.

Dr. Rifai is the course director for Harvard University’s most popular online Lifestyle Medicine continuing medical education program – Nutrition and the Metabolic Syndrome – which integrates his 5 Keys to Optimal Wellness system and which has now been taken by over 3000 healthcare professionals.

Dr. Rifai’s 5 Keys, comprised of critical skills and knowledge necessary for successful long term transformational lifestyle change, are: psychology, nutrition, physical activity, managing (food, social and physical) environments and accountability. They are rooted in an advanced understanding of Flexitarianism – inspired by his unique combination of medical and lifestyle modification training blended with his binge-eating disorder experiences, a disorder to which he lost his youngest brother, Basil. Dr. Rifai’s upcoming book, The Flex5: Your 5 Keys to Forever Health, will be dedicated to Basil.

His 5 Keys to Optimal Wellness inspired the central theme for the 2019 “Tools for Lifestyle Change” Harvard Institute of Lifestyle Medicine International Conference. The 5 Keys system was chosen in 2021 by the Henry Ford Health System’s Metabolic Health leaders as their unifying patient education curriculum of choice for all Henry Ford metabolic health programs throughout metro Detroit.

Dr. Rifai’s personal journey was a central theme in his premier article as Editor in Chief for THI’s NOTeD (News Of The Day) platform. NOTeD was originally only focused on debunking nutrition and lifestyle misinformation in the media. Since late 2020, Dr. Rifai has led NOTeD’s evolution into a video interview-based format, providing THI audiences with access to world luminaries in nutrition and exercise science, lifestyle medicine, innovation and anthropology.

Dr. Rifai served as Associate Medical Director of the renown Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida, and over a decade on Pritikin’s science advisory committee. He continues to serve as lead educator for dietary fats and weight control for the Medicare-approved Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, which is now running in over 100 hospital cardiac rehabilitation programs throughout the USA.

David Oliver, PT, OCS, Dip. MDT

David Oliver, PT, OCS, Dip. MDT received his degree from the University of Bradford, School of Physiotherapy in the United Kingdom in 1993. After working for several years in the United Kingdom, he move to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Oliver attained his Diploma in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy through The McKenzie Institute International in 2003.

Oliver was appointed Teaching Faculty by The McKenzie Institute in 2005 and was appointed Senior Faculty for the Institutes US Branch in 2013.

Dave also completed the American Physical Therapy Associations ‘Orthopedic Clinical Specialist’ (OCS) program in 2018.

In addition to his institute teaching responsibilities, Dave sits on The McKenzie Institute’s Exam Review Committee and faculty mentoring program.

Dave has been active in research related to the McKenzie Method and has had the opportunity to present at several MDT Conferences of the Americas (2010-2018) and International Conferences in MDT (2009 & 2012).

Dave is currently in full time clinical practice at Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists in Ann Arbor, MI. He’s an avid golfer who enjoys spending family time with his wife and two daughters. Dave has been a member of the American Physical Therapy Association since 2004.

Kristin Traskie

Kristin Traskie is the Fitness and Wellness Coordinator in the Health Promotion Department at Michigan State University where she is responsible for the SPARTANfit Fitness and Wellness Program, leads the Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIM-OC) Initiative as well as Co-Leads the University Well-Being Coalition. On a mission to create a culture of health and well-being on campus and beyond, she is focused on improving life satisfaction and health outcomes thru the creation of holistic wellness and movement opportunities for all. Kristin is a National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching certified Health and Wellness Coach and holds several other certifications including American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Personal Trainer and Exercise is Medicine® Level 1 Credential, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Exercise Instructor, Wellcoaches® Health and Well-Being Coach and American College Health Association College (ACHA) Health and Wellness Professional. She has been honored most recently as the 2021 ACSM Inaugural Certified Professional of the Year and currently serves at the Michigan Intramural Sports Association State-Director Past. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from Old Dominion University and currently resides in St. Johns, MI.