The diverse and talented leadership team listed below provides insight and direction for the Association of Cannabis Specialists.
Paul A. Czech is the founder and managing partner of Paul Czech and Associates. Paul received his Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television and Film from Temple University in 1984 and his law degree from Temple University in 1992. Paul gained valuable experience working first for defense firm Marks, Kent, and O’Neil and then for plaintiffs firm Anapol, Schwartz, Weiss and Cohan. Mr. Czech is licensed to practice in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Paul is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts Bar. He is an active member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Albany Bar Association, NY State Bar Association, MA Bar Association, PA Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.
Paul is a trial attorney first and foremost. He has significant trial and litigation experience and has received substantial verdicts in the cases he has tried before Judges and Juries. Paul prides himself on having built a very successful general practice. His clients are long term and seek his legal counsel on a wide variety of legal issues including personal injury, MVA, family law and matrimonial issues, wills and estates, DUI-DWI-DWAI, medical malpractice, juvenile/adult criminal and corporations.
Paul is a member of the New York State Rehabilitation Council on appointment by the Governor of New York. He is also a Commissioner on the Disability Commission for the Town of Arlington, Massachusetts where he now resides. Paul’s personal practice has expanded to cover the area of Cannabis Law to which he brings his substantial counsel and litigation background. All of Paul’s clients appreciate that he has the ability and knowledge to negotiate matters but he can also police them and litigate when it becomes necessary to go to Court. Paul has been an invited speaker to numerous conferences and groups giving talks ranging from Music Management to Hearing Loss Initiatives.
Mr. Eckhardt has had a long career in medicine starting as a certified respiratory therapist in the 70’s. He went on to start a couple of home medical equipment businesses focusing on lung disease.
In the early 90’s he moved into the field of sleep technology opening a hospital based sleep laboratory. He went on to operating a large company sleep company based in Massachusetts.
Mr. Eckhardt gained a love of studying neurophysiology. He also used Synthetic Cannabis on two separate occasions which sparked his interest in the cannabinergic system. He has an autodidactic education in Cannabis as medicine.
He also advocated for medical Cannabis in his home state of NH. Becoming the secretary for the ACS is natural to William as he has broken his teeth being a past board member for the Association of Sleep Technologists for 7 years and working within the ranks of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
William is now semi-retired and offering his time to establish Cannabis Therapeutics as a field in medicine using the ubiquitous cannabinergic system in treating so many pathological diseases.
Jordan Tishler, M.D.
Dr. Tishler is a Cannabis Specialist. Through his training in Internal Medicine and years of practice as an Emergency Physician, Dr. Tishler brings his knowledge, reason, and caring to patients here at inhaleMD, and through his advocacy work at the local and national levels.
Dr. Tishler graduated from both Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, trained at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and is faculty at both the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He has spent many years working with the underserved, particularly providing care for Veterans. Having treated countless patients harmed by alcohol and drugs, his observation that he had never seen a cannabis overdose lead Dr. Tishler to delve deeply into the science of cannabis safety and treatment.
Dr. Tishler is also a parallel entrepreneur working for patients’ wellbeing in the corporate space, helping to elevate dosing and safety profiles of medication, and helping to establish best practice for bringing new Cannabis products to market.
Dr. Tishler is a frequent speaker and author on a variety of topics related to the medical applications of cannabis. He is the President of the Association of Cannabis Specialists which aims to educate clinicians, lawmakers, and the industry about best practices and needed tools for proper patient care.
Board of Directors
Eileen Konieczny, RN
Eileen Konieczny RN has over 20 years of nursing experience specializing in oncology. Her hospital nursing career runs the gamut, high-dose chemotherapy with peripheral stem cell and bone marrow transplant rescue, palliative chemotherapy regimens, comfort care, research as well as over-night House Supervisor of a 68-bed acute care hospital.
Since 2008 Eileen has been an outspoken advocate for the use of medical cannabis as a complementary medicine. Eileen has served within the leadership of the American Cannabis Nurses Association since 2013, taking on the role of President 2016-2018. She played an integral role in the passage of medical cannabis legislation in Connecticut (2012) and New York (2014), securing safe access to medical cannabis for over 23 million people. Eileen is Co-Founder, Lead Strategist & Director of Patient Services and Community Outreach of a New York-based vertically- integrated medical cannabis company whose mission is to optimize the quality of life of our patients by utilizing cannabinoid therapeutics.
She remains a strong patient advocate and is dedicated to building a patient-tailored therapeutic model for patients to obtain safe, effective, standardized cannabis.
Janice M Vaughn Knox, M.D.
Dr. Janice Vaughn-Knox is a board-certified anesthesiologist who believes in the power of self-healing. Dr. Vaughn-Knox is a wife, mother, physician, best-selling author and cannabis expert. Dr. Janice grew up the 4th of 15 children in Richmond, California. She did her undergraduate studies at the University of California Berkeley and medical school at the University of Washington,
Seattle, Washington. Dr. Vaughn-Knox brings her expertise, experience and knowledge of cannabis therapeutics to help cure and relieve symptoms of chronic disease that traditional medicine has failed to conquer. Dr. Knox is certified by the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine as a Cannabinoid Medicine Specialist. Dr. Vaughn Knox is a much soughtafter speaker for cannabis therapeutics nationally and abroad.
As a cannabis and cannabinoid medicine specialist who has counseled several thousand patients in cannabis therapeutics, she has seen firsthand how significant a role cannabis plays in helping patients reclaim their health and overall sense of wellness, establishing renewed ownership over their lives. She has witnessed her patients safely use cannabis as adjunctive therapy to their conventional treatment plans, to wean from prescription drugs, find relief from the side effects of toxic therapies, or avoid conventional pharmaceuticals altogether.
Along with her teammates at The American Cannabinoid Clinics, Dr. Knox believes in an integrative approach to delivering medical cannabis care that is rooted in evidence-based Lifestyle and Functional Medicine.
Dr. Vaughn-Knox is one of the founding doctors of The CannaMDs, the American Cannabinoid Clinics and The American Cannabinoid Group. Dr. Janice Knox serves as the CEO of the American Cannabinoid Group as well as the Board Chair of the AC Group. Dr. Janice Knox serves as the Oregon representative to the DFCR, on the medical advisory board to GoFire, Inc as well as serving on the medical advisory board of Pure Green, LLC.
Elizabeth (Lisa) Whittemore’s work at HMA focuses on strategic planning, practice transformation, behavioral health integration, alternative payment models, and delivery system reform. An executive with over thirty years of experience in a variety of healthcare settings, Lisa brings her training as a clinical social worker and knowledge of the challenges of delivering care to her work. During her time at HMA, Lisa wrote and was awarded a large technical assistance grant to provide technical assistance to primary care practices who are integrating behavioral health in Massachusetts. Her work has also included supporting providers and health plans to prepare for value-based care.
Projects have included assessments of practice readiness, leadership development, trainings to implement team-based care, developing and implementing models of care management, and implementing the collaborative care model.
Prior to joining HMA, Lisa worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts as Vice President of Network Performance Improvement; in this role, she was responsible for working with providers who were participating in a full risk payment model, the Alternative Quality Contract. Lisa has held leadership roles in community health centers, community hospitals, academic medical centers, community mental health centers, and agencies on aging. Lisa is experienced in helping practices transform to team based care and to integrate behavioral health clinicians into primary care practice settings. Since joining HMA, Lisa has worked with several primary care associations and their member organizations to prepare them for new payment models.
Julia Arnsten, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Julia Arnsten is Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, and Epidemiology & Population Health. Dr. Arnsten is a general internist with a long-standing interest in behavioral medicine, including adherence with medication-taking, nicotine dependence, and substance abuse. She currently leads led an NIH-funded research program focused on addiction and chronic medical illness.
Dr. Arnsten graduated from the New York University School of Medicine in 1990 and completed residency training in Primary Care Internal Medicine at Bellevue Hospital and New York University Medical Center in 1993. She then completed a research fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. From 1998-2002, Dr. Arnsten was a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar. In 2002, she was awarded an R25 grant from NIDA to start a clinical addiction research and education fellowship for physicians; this program has now been funded for over a decade. Dr. Arnsten has been recognized for outstanding teaching and mentoring with several local and national awards.
David Meiri, PhD
David (Dedi) Meiri, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Biology at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and a member of the Technion Integrated Cancer Center (TICC). Dr. Meiri’s scientific background is highly diverse. He holds a M.Sc. in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in plant biotechnology from Tel Aviv University. Dr. Meiri conducted his post-doctoral fellowship at the Ontario Cancer Institute where he focused on the role of the GEF-H1 protein in tumor invasion and metastasis. During his post-doctoral studies, he expanded his knowledge in human biology and cancer pathogenesis and succeeded within a very short time frame to receive worldwide recognition as an expert in the fields of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and small GTPases. Upon completion of his post-doctoral fellowship, Dr. Meiri took a position at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, where he heads the “Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research”.
Presently, his lab investigates the therapeutic potential of phytocannabinoids, the unique active compounds of the Cannabis sativa plant. On top of other research being conducted in the lab, the main focus of his research is to determine the antitumor effects of cannabinoids, including the anti-metastatic and pro-apoptotic effects of phytocannabinoids.
In addition to the laboratory cannabis research performed on-site, Dr. Meiri collaborates with cannabis growers, clinicians, major manufacturers and distributors of medical cannabis for the purpose of revolutionizing cannabis treatment. He is operating the “Cannabis Database Project” and his lab is currently involved in eight clinical trials covering diverse aspects of cannabis treatment such as colon disease, pain prevention, cancer treatment and epilepsy.
Dr. Meiri is also highly involved in governmental regulations and is a residing member in several Israeli Ministry of Health committees which seek to advance the fundamental understanding of optimal cannabis usage and minimization of adverse side effects.
Danielle Feldman is an MIT-trained neuroscientist, specialized in stem cell modeling of early human development. She has worked in the fields of technology transfer and IP portfolio development, and is particularly focused on bringing useful, novel technologies from the bench into the real world. She remains a strong patient advocate and is dedicated to building a patient-tailored therapeutic model for patients to obtain safe, effective, standardized cannabis.