My name is Dr. Donna Ruiz.
I received my MD from the University of Santo Tomas, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in the Philippines and completed a residency in Pediatrics at UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey. Following residency, I completed fellowship training in Pediatric Rheumatology at The Hospital of Special Surgery, affiliated with Cornell University Medical College in New York. I completed my acupuncture education through the American College of Acupuncture in New York City with additional clinical training at Chengdu University Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. I have been trained in the biomedical approach to autism and also have additional training in functional medicine, holistic nutrition, clinical homeopathy, herbal medicine, and IV therapies.
I have been practicing Pediatrics since 1995. Prior to practicing Integrative Medicine, I worked as a pediatrician in a private practice in northern New Jersey. I also served as Attending Physician in the Department of Pediatrics at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ and The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ, upon moving to the West Coast. In 2010, I joined a holistic pediatric practice in the San Francisco Bay area.Since moving from the San Francisco Bay area to southern CA in 2015, I have had the privilege of being a member of the prestigious faculty in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Bastyr University, CA teaching Clinical Pediatrics to the naturopathic medical students. I continue to lecture nationwide teaching clinical homeopathy to fellow physicians through the CEDH (Center for Education & Development of Homeopathy). I typically see newborns through young adults (21 years of age). In addition, being board-certified in Integrative Medicine, I have the unique opportunity to also treat the parents of my patients as well as other adults using functional medicine to address underlying medical problems.
My special interests lie in treating patients who suffer from PANDAS/PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome), mold toxicity, and lyme disease and co-infections. I also treat children who suffer from allergies, anxiety, asthma, atopic dermatitis, ADHD, autism and other sensory disorders, autoimmune disorders (celiac disease, eosinophilic esophagitis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), food allergies/intolerances, genetic mutations (MTHFR, COMT, etc.), headaches, IBD (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis), infant colic, chronic infections (viral and bacterial), nutritional deficiencies, reflux, seizures, tic disorders, and Tourette’s syndrome. I have also helped parents of my pediatric population in whom i have treated chronic conditions such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), leaky gut, food allergies & sensitivities, celiac disease, migraine headaches, hypercholesterolemia, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, and many other disorders. Besides being trained as an allopathic physician, treatment modalities I incorporate into my clinical practice include Functional Medicine, clinical homeopathy, peptides, herbs, dietary support, medical acupuncture, and IV nutritional therapies (including ozone).
Of the various organizations that i belong to, these two are among the most important sources of current information:
The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society is an international group of like-minded physicians who specialize in treating lyme and co-infections. ilads.org
The International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness is a nonprofit professional medical society that aims to raise awareness of the environmental causes of inflammatory illnesses and to support the recovery of individuals affected by these illnesses through the integration of clinical practice, education, and research. iseai.org
Defeat Autism Now!
I have been trained in the Defeat Autism Now! biomedical approach to autism with additional training through the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS). As an integrative physician, I have helped numerous families whose children suffer from a collective set of conditions known as Autistic Spectrum Disorders. These include Autism, Asperger’s Disorder, and other developmental disorders previously known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Sensory Integrative Disorders. The biomedical approach encompasses gastrointestinal healing using various nutritional supplements and dietary modifications, addressing infections, immunologic support, and detoxification. In certain circumstances, heavy metal detoxification is also addressed after appropriate testing is performed using urine, blood, hair, and stool analysis.
Traditionally, many children suffering from ASD have been managed using psychopharmacology, even employing anti-psychotics if deemed necessary. Additional therapies such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and special education programs have been utilized. Current research is showing that these children suffer from a wide range of medical problems including increased intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”), intestinal flora imbalances and infection, nutritional deficiencies, multiple food sensitivities, immunologic dysregulation, and central nervous system autoimmunity. Once these illnesses are addressed, the child’s overall health may be improved and recovery, though never certain since every child is different, is possible.
I practice meditation, pilates, and have an interest in Feng Shui and eastern philosophy. I love quoting Nkosi Johnson who said: “Do all you can with what you have, in the time you have, in the place you are.” Nkosi was an AIDS activist who lived fully until he died at the age of 12. My goal has always been to offer my patients the safest and most effective medical treatments. The integrative approach is grounded in a philosophy of care that embraces the whole person, mind-body-spirit, and in so doing, optimizes heath and well-being. Everything I do is about inspiring my patients to live a healthy and vibrant life, and restoring health using a health-oriented rather than a disease-oriented approach. I consider myself a health adviser & partner with my patients, empowering the child to thrive in his or her own environment within which conventional and alternative modalities stimulate the body’s innate healing potential since the body is capable of healing itself.
I am blessed to be part of a network of holistic providers in the community who customize treatment plans blending both worlds of complementary/alternative medicine with allopathic/western medicine.
May we work together to create a happy, healthy, and sustainable world for today’s youth.