The 2017-2018 Wil Alexander Wholeness Series will get underway at Loma Linda University Health on Oct. 18.

The Wil Alexander Wholeness Series — 11 free presentations on a variety of topics related to wholeness — will host its inaugural event of the 2017-2018 season with an Oct. 18 lecture by David Sobel, MD, MPH, adjunct professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. All presentations will be held on Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 5:50 p.m. in Damazo Amphitheater at the Centennial Complex on the campus of Loma Linda University Health.

Next week, in his lecture titled, “Happiness and Health: Enriching Life with Healthy Pleasures,” Sobel will present scientific evidence suggesting that doing what is pleasurable — whether defined as sensory delights, selfless pleasures, optimism or laughter — pays off twice in both immediate enjoyment and better health.

Future dates and presentations in the Wednesday series include:

  • Nov. 1: Film producer Annie O’Neil will present her multiple-award-winning film, “Phil’s Camino" and share the story of how it came to be in "Phil's Camino: a short film about a long walk”
  • Nov. 15: Barbara Hernandez, PhD, MFT, professor of medical education at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, will discuss “Nurturing wholeness in relationships”
  • Nov. 29: Brian Sharp, PhD, associate professor in the School of Allied Health Professions, will lead an LLU all-school panel in sharing the story of how a couple, injured in a car accident in Reche Canyon, triggered a creative response in “Teamwork in action: a powerful story of interprofessional collaboration.”
  • Dec. 6: In “The beauty of Christmas: a concert by Alessandra Sorace,” the vocalist, who has been performing since she was a child, will take the audience on a musical journey back to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem
  • Jan. 10: Adam Arechiga, PsyD, DrPH, MA, associate dean of academic and student affairs at the LLU School of Behavioral Health, will discuss “Anxiety and loneliness in graduate school”  
  • Jan. 24: Danny Handysides, DrPH, MPH, CHG, assistant dean and assistant professor at the LLU School of Public Health, will discuss “The war on weed: ethical, legal and medical issues of marijuana”
  • Feb. 7: Attendees will help select the winners of The Wil Alexander Wholeness Series Student Film Festival, featuring videos created around the theme of “Love and wholeness”
  • Feb. 28: Chris Stanley, a pastor at Redlands SDA Church, will discuss the benefits of dedicating time and energy to a church in “Finding and connecting with a community of faith”
  • Mar. 7: Henry Garcia, PT, DPT, OCS, assistant professor of physical therapy in the LLU School of Allied Health Professions, will present strategies for minimizing obesity in children in “Childhood obesity: challenges we face”
  • Apr. 11: Wes Youngberg, DrPH, MPH, FACLM, lifestyle medicine specialist and clinical nutritionist at the Youngberg Lifestyle Medicine Clinic, will discuss “Insulin resistance of brain and brawn: prevention and treatment of diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.”

The Wil Alexander Wholeness Series was named for the late wholeness and spirituality pioneer whose groundbreaking work on whole person care spanned more than five decades at Loma Linda University Health. He served as professor at the LLU School of Medicine, emeritus professor at the LLU School of Religion, and as founding director of the Center for Spiritual Life and Wholeness. He passed away on Nov. 16, 2016, at the age of 95.

Additional information about the Wil Alexander Wholeness Series is available online at