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Clinic Practitioners – Santa Cruz

Chen Ping (Joanna) Chao
Senior Professor

Joanna Zhao, Academic Dean, has been Director of Five Branches’ TCM Clinic since she co-founded it in 1984. Her commitment to TCM began as a youngster in China, when she became interested in the work of her uncle, a famous TCM doctor. Joanna received her education from the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the People’s Republic of China, where she trained in both Western medicine and TCM. She studied with noted medical doctors and acupuncturists Xiuyan Lu and Yuan Fang. Joanna has spent more than a quarter of a century teaching and practicing TCM in China and the U.S., working with local oncologists and developing specialties in cancer, immune diseases and mental emotional disorders. Joanna has lectured at the Five Branches’ International Symposium on Women’s TCM and on Pediatric TCM, and has been a guest speaker at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has also been the lead speaker at national conferences on female reproductive cancer, and leukemia. She has led study tours to China since 1992, where Five Branches’ students and graduates study in Shanghai’s Shuguang Hospital and Zhejiang Chinese Medical University. Joanna is an accomplished musician, integrating Eastern and Western styles of music. Like her teacher and great-grandfather, she is also an excellent calligrapher. Professor Zhao teaches in the Departments of TCM Acupuncture and TCM Herbology, and is a faculty member of the Five Branches DAOM program.
Stephanie He
L.Ac., M.D. (China), DAOM
Senior Professor

Stephanie He graduated with honors in 1985 from Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She worked for thirteen years as a physician and instructor at the Tianjin University of TCM Teaching Hospital, one of China’s most prestigious Traditional Chinese Medicine hospitals. During her tenure at Tianjin University she trained with Dr. Shi Xuemin on the treatment of stroke. Stephanie has published numerous research articles in nationally recognized journals of TCM. She is a professor at Five Branches University and a graduate of the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program.
Eleonor Seiff-Mendelson
L.Ac, B.Pt., DAOM

Eleonor Mendelson received her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University. She worked for over a decade as a physical therapist in hospitals, out-patient clinics and in-home care in her home country, Israel, and was a lecturer on behalf of the health education department. Eleonor specializes in pain management and endocrinology.
Shawn Smolinski
Associate Professor

Shawn Smolinski received his Master’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University in 2008. He trained with Jennifer Minor and Miranda Warburton, two of NATSTA's most senior instructors for 16 months in a nationally recognized clinical apprenticeship in Jin Shou Tuina?. Shawn combines Tuina, Acupuncture and CranioSacral Therapy in a focused treatment setting often giving herbal and diet/nutriment recommendations, as well as qigong or other exercises to support his patient’s progress at home. He specializes in the treatment of: acute and chronic pain syndromes, insomnia/anxiety, cancer support, and stroke rehabilitation.
Douglas Yi Wang
L.Ac., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM), M.D. (China)
Senior Professor

Douglas Wang received his M.D degree in 1982 from Qinghai University Medical School in China and continued his medical studies at the International Psychiatrist Training Center. He pioneered the first series of seminars for physicians treating substance abuse, and established the first substance abuse program in Qinghai Province; employing a combination of Western medical and TCM treatments for its participants. Douglas earned his Master’s degree in TCM from ACTCM in San Francisco. He specializes in stroke, paralysis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, mental illness, and drug addiction.
Kevin Zhu
L.Ac., M.D. (China), DAOM Fellow
Senior Professor

Kevin Zhu received his M.D. degree in 1988 from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology. He worked as the Physician-in-Charge and as a Lecturer for nine years at the Beijing First Teaching Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Kevin served as the chief secretary for the National Academic Symposium and organized four symposiums on male diseases, urology, skin diseases, cancer, gynecology, and gastroenterology. He developed the Acupuncture and Herb Treatment Software with the Qinghua University in China, and participated in the compilation of eight professional books. Kevin specializes in pain management, dermatology and urology.