Meet The New Vitality Medical Team

Allison Cochran at New Vitality Medical

Allison Cochran PA-C, MPAS

Physician Assistant

Allison’s integrated approach encompasses both traditional and Anti-Aging medicine with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. This approach together with nutritional therapy is the way to a better quality of life and a healthier future. Her advanced integrated training, unique medical experience, and compassionate nature provides exceptional healthcare to both men and women.

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Allison is Board Certified as a Diplomate in Anti-Aging Medicine by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.
Allison is a Board Certified Physician Assistant, and licensed to practice in Georgia. She graduated with honors from LSU Health Sciences Center in 2011.
Allison went on to earn her Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies from LSU Health Sciences Center where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. In fulfillment of the requirements for her Master’s Degree, Allison conducted extensive research on the role of Vitamin D in prevention of various diseases.

My Bio:

I grew up in a small town in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. Since I was a little girl, I was always interested in medicine. At a very young age, I remember learning about cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and wishing that I could find a cure one day.  There was really no question in my mind that I would someday work in the medical field. I studied Biology and Chemistry in college and decided I wanted to become a PA. I attended the PA program at LSU Health Sciences Center in Louisiana.

While in PA school, I had a clinical rotation with an internal medicine doctor who was practicing Anti-Aging Medicine. She opened my eyes to a different approach to medicine. I saw firsthand patients feeling better and being healed without the use of prescription drugs. This was unlike anything I had learned in school. She was utilizing nutritional therapies and bioidentical hormones in her patients, and seeing amazing results. I could not look at medicine the same. I now knew there was this whole other integrated aspect of medicine out there, and it fascinated me. I began doing more research in this field, and I decided that was the direction I wanted to go.

Upon graduation and moving back to my home state of Georgia, I met Dr. Daniela Paunesky. Dr. Paunesky was considered a pioneer in the field of Anti-Aging and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement. She had been featured in countless books, including several by Suzanne Somers. She took me under her wing and trained me to be her PA at Renaissance Medical Center in Alpharetta, GA. I really cannot put in to words the gratitude I feel to have had the opportunity to learn from her.  I truly believe that God allowed our paths to cross. After working with Dr. Paunesky for over a year, she very tragically passed away, due to an illness she had been suffering from. I was heartbroken. I will never forget this amazing woman and everything she has taught me. A year after her passing, I found myself searching for a practice where I felt I could grow and continue learning. I came to New Vitality Medical Institute, and found it to be a perfect fit for me. We have the most wonderful team of doctors and staff and we are all passionate about the health of our patients. We consider it a privilege to be able to share our knowledge with others and help them to achieve optimal health.

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Rhett Bergeron at New Vitality Medical

Dr. Rhett Bergeron, MD

Medical Doctor

Dr. Bergeron has extensive training in integrative medicine with the American Academy for Advancement in Medicine, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, the Academy of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine and the Biological Medicine Program with the Paracelsus Klinic of Switzerland

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I grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I spent my childhood days swimming, playing piano, backpacking, camping and spending time on rivers and water, and to this day these are still a very important part of my life.

I thought often about becoming a doctor. My father was a physician, and he was an inspiration and role model to me. He was quiet about his profession, and did not glamorize it, but he imparted a sense of its importance to me. Even so, I wasn’t completely sure until about midway through college. I was torn between music and medicine. Music was one of the things I enjoyed most about my younger life, but there was always a sense of a deeper calling and desire.

Upon beginning LSU medical school, I only had the beginnings of a sense of the importance of nutrition, lifestyle, and taking responsibility for one’s health. During the initial two years of medical school, I began to understand that medicine did not seem to always search for the cause of difficult health conditions and often used the term “idiopathic”. Idiopathic is an adjective used primarily in medicine meaning arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause. The pharmaceutical drug treatments did not in any way bring healing (except in the case of some infections and the judicious use of antibiotics), but left patients drug dependent for long periods of time, if not the rest of their lives, and had side effects and potential negative interactions that were harmful.

In my third year of medical school I first encountered the principle that the body is designed to stay well or return to wellness if essential nutrients are provided, if supporting therapies are offered, and if toxicities are removed. This was the beginning of an insight and approach that would change the rest of my life and set me on a course that would allow me to truly work within my calling.

During my last two years of medical school I started seeking out physicians who were already practicing. With their guidance, I read books, listened to audio lectures, and attended integrative medical seminars on nutrition, detoxification, and complimentary therapies. While observing patient care in their offices, I witnessed individuals who were taking responsibility for their health, overcoming longstanding disease, returning to a vital, joyful life, freeing themselves from daily pharmaceuticals, and truly enjoying good health.

Early on I joined one of the premier organizations for complementary health care in America, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. I quickly became passionate about environmental toxic exposure and the internal metabolic and biological environment of the body.
After medical school, I completed a combined internship in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine and then a Family Medicine residency in the Charity Hospital System of Louisiana. During my residency training I started attending medical education meetings with other groups of integrated or complimentary-alternative (CAM) physicians and trained with various physicians who were already practicing integrated medicine. These groups of physicians include American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (AAAAM or A4M).

After residency, I joined a specialty research laboratory studying the immune system in chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia and cancer. We had success in treating these conditions and this set the foundation for much of what I would do in the future.
I have been practicing complementary and alternative medicine for over two decades, and in that time have learned about various treatment approaches, from nutritional and therapeutic IV’s, to ozone, acupuncture, judicious use of antibiotics and medications, homeopathy, herbal medicine, detoxification, chelation, sauna, hyperbaric oxygen, immunotherapy, bio-identical hormone therapy, and more.

I have also studied with and visited clinics around the country and world that specialize in biological and metabolic medicine. Perhaps the most fascinating is the Paracelsus Institute in Switzerland. The Institute was founded in 1958 as a center for health and well-being based on the principles of natural healing, biological medicine, and supporting the body so that it can heal.

During internship and residency, I immediately started to apply nutritional therapies and bio-identical hormone therapy to patients with success. In fact, when I first began practicing, I focused largely on nutrition, and I felt nutritional deficiencies were the underpinning of chronic illness.

Though I still focus on nutrition, my approach to illness has evolved over time and my understanding has broadened to see the wide array of factors that influence health and cause disease. I began to be more aware of the role of environmental factors and toxicity in disease, such as heavy metals and pesticides, electromagnetic smog, chemicals in our food and water. But just as important, in the end, is the emotional, psychological and spiritual aspect of illness. I did not fully appreciate this when I began to practice. I was young, healthy, happy and came from a good family. I had never experienced horrific life events, or major suffering. It is my patients who have taught and guided me about stress and trauma and how our emotions can impact longterm health. Now, twenty years later, I place great emphasis in addressing these with patients.

Finally, I want to mention what is the most important part of my own life and work: God. When I was twenty, I became a Christian – it was as if I was drawn to this faith – out of myself, and towards God. I believe this orients my entire life as a doctor. My faith allows me to see the privilege, responsibility, carefulness, and accountability that are required in assisting those who come for help, and who desire to improve their health.

My prayer and hope is that I will be faithful to the calling God has given and that I will be used to assist you in improving and enjoying health. Let not your heart be troubled (John 14)….I pray that you can prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers (3rd letter of John).

Ashley Walker at New Vitality Medical

Ashley Walker PA-C, MPAS

Physician Assistant

Ashley Walker, MPAS, PA-C is a nationally certified Physician Assistant specializing in Functional Medicine at New Vitality Medical Institute in Alpharetta, GA. ​​She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia and then earned her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia.

She is a member of the Institute for Functional Medicine and certified by the National Commission for Certification of Physician Assistants

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I am a Georgia native and grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta. My mother is an RN and I always had great respect for her career and saw the compassion and role for service that she exemplified. Once in college, I knew in my heart that I was meant to be a Physician Assistant in order to help others achieve healing and wellness. After studying biology and chemistry in college, I was accepted to the Exercise and Sport Science Program at the University of Georgia. This rigorous academic program focused on human anatomy, physiology, exercise and nutrition. This background provided a solid foundation for more advanced training at the Medical College of Georgia’s Physician Assistant Program. After graduation, I worked in Otolaryngology and Primary Care for a short while, enjoying patient care but lacking the sense of fulfillment I hoped a career in medicine would bring.

This was all before a dear friend and mentor introduced me to the field of Functional Medicine. The Functional Medicine approach differs from conventional medicine in that our perspective on healing encompasses total body health through addressing the root cause. Functional medicine goes beyond naming a constellation of symptoms as a disease and matching that up with a medication. We use advanced testing to put the pieces of the puzzle together and utilize therapies that work with the body to promote healing on a root-cause, biochemical level.

I recall that on my first day of introduction to this new perspective, I had found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I began reading books, attending Functional Medicine conferences, listening to audio recordings and anything I could get my hands on to soak up information about Functional Medicine. I continued training in Functional Medicine with two wonderful IFM-certified Practitioners for a year. I learned more in that year than I did in college and PA school combined. I saw patients with complex, mysterious health issues improve beyond expectation with the application of Functional Medicine principles.

Bringing healing to my patients through practicing Functional Medicine is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of my life. It has changed my perspective on what it is to be truly healthy, not just free from disease. I started my own journey to certification through the Institute for Functional Medicine in 2015 and I am on track to certify in early 2018. I continue to attend conferences all over the country and will never stop learning. Yoga has been a transformative factor in my life and I am currently enrolled in a Yoga Teacher Training program with graduation in June 2017.  I look forward to studying the eastern philosophies of yoga and further incorporating the element of mind-body healing into my practice.

be able to share our knowledge with others and help them to achieve optimal health.

Jennifer Croff

Jennifer Croff – Patient Coordinator

I have an absolute passion for living a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and fitness. This along with 15 years of medical experience makes New Vitality the perfect fit for me.

Since I was a little girl, going to work with my Grandma who is a Registered Nurse, medicine has always been a passion of mine. It wasn’t until 2014 that I dove deep into the area of nutrition and fitness.

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It all started about 10 years ago in 2007 with the sudden onset of right shoulder pain that quickly led to an inability to use my right arm. Numerous doctor visits and tests over a period of 5 years hadn’t provided a diagnosis. I had to rely on lots of medication just to get through the day, as the pain was so excruciating. Finally, a neurologist diagnosed me with Brachial Plexopathy, cause unknown.

Brachial Plexopathy is a form of peripheral neuropathy. It occurs when there is damage to the brachial plexus, an area on each side of the neck where nerve roots from the spinal cord split into each arm’s nerves.

2 years passed, where I did nothing but take medication just to get through the day. The pain was awful, but the fact that the medication I was on had so many side effects was even worse. I was beginning to lose hope of ever regaining normal function of my arm.

Once I realized that I had a choice of how my life was going to continue, then I became determined to get better.

In 2014, my husband started taking me to the gym. He would lift my arm to the weight and assist me with pulling it down. I also changed my diet to be very clean and late that year, I weaned myself off all medication and much to my surprise there was no pain. I slowly regained full use of my arm and was beginning to build muscle where it had atrophied. By June 2015, I competed in a bikini competition. I have since competed in 2 more competitions earning my pro card in Bikini in 2016 and competing in my first figure competition in 2017.

I have full use of my arm and am stronger than I have ever been. All the muscle, and more, has built back up where it had atrophied. I am addicted to this healthy life style.

At New Vitality Medical we promote optimal health. An important area of this is physical health including exercise and eating habits. My experiences, personally and professionally, allow me to assist our medical team in treating our patients so they too can enjoy the best life has to offer.

Lauren Burden at New Vitality Medical Atlanta

Lauren Burden, RN

Registered Nurse

Lauren comes to the New Vitality team, bringing 10 years of nursing experience. The last 3 years, she has focused on anti-aging medicine and IV nutrient therapies.Her passion is to help patients achieve their goals in wellness, and encourage lifelong commitment to health and fitness.

Lauren’s and her family are new to the Alpharetta, GA area and enjoy exploring the many new and exciting activities in the surrounding Atlanta area. Please feel free to ask her any questions you may have regarding hormone therapy or the use of IV nutrients.

Melissa Bennett at New Vitality Medical

Melissa Bennett, ND, CTN, CNW

Traditional Naturopath

Melissa Bennett, ND, CTN, CNW is Certified as a Traditional Naturopath through the American Naturopathic Certification Board, She is board certified in nutritional wellness and has completed her accreditation as a health partner in predictive medicine through Emory University. She is also a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors through Liberty University.

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She is a Certified Natural Health Practitioner and she is skilled in the Zollinger method of reflexology from the Heal Center. A devotee of the science of blood type, she is an IfHI Master – earning her designation under the guidance of Dr. Peter D’Adamo. Melissa focuses on total wellness and prevention. Her desire is to see you achieve optimal health. Melissa specializes in counseling patients with cancer, providing nutritional direction, and preparing the body for pregnancy. She works with you to help you achieve better wellness through education and is dedicated to helping you reach your health care goals.
Her Story: Melissa personally recognizes that all aspects of health care serve a constructive purpose. In 2000 she was diagnosed with breast cancer on her 33rd birthday had undergone two years of chemotherapy and 46 radiation treatments. She is an advocate of integrated healthcare which has blessed her as well as those that she has helped over the years. She knows what it feels like to be sick and also knows the blessing of being healthy. True health is achieved when your Spiritual, Emotional and Physical states are in harmony. Melissa truly believes disease can manifest itself only when these primary areas are out of balance. She also believes our Lord is the true Healer and He will direct you if you place your trust under His guidance.