Category Logo


August 26, 2013

Aug. 26, 2013

For more information,
Contact: Jennifer Lawson
Moxley Carmichael


JanetMcKenziePrinceGastrointestinal Associates, in partnership with Knoxville author and celiac disease expert Janet McKenzie Prince, will present two free, public workshops to help people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity understand their condition and learn how to shop, prepare healthy meals and dine out in restaurants. The workshop, “Living Well Gluten Free,” will be held twice, once in September and once in October.

Prince will share her compelling story of living with celiac disease and her goal to help other people struggling with the condition or gluten intolerance. Gastrointestinal Associates physicians Dr. John Haydek (September workshop) and Dr. Sarkis Chobanian (October workshop) will speak and answer questions along with dietitian Heather Kaufman. People who have celiac disease, gluten intolerance or gluten-sensitive irritable bowel syndrome and their families are invited to attend one of the free, one-hour sessions.

“Living Well Gluten Free” Workshop

Dates: Wednesday, Sept. 18, or
Thursday, Oct. 17
Time: 6-7:15 p.m.

Place: Bearden High Auditorium
8352 Kingston Pike

RSVP: by email or phone:
[email protected]
or 865-558-0650

Background information:

Thirteen years ago in 2000, Knoxville author Janet McKenzie Prince was so malnourished that she was a self-described “skeleton” who had to use a cane to support herself. She sought a diagnosis, desperate to find out what was causing her host of symptoms that included abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, drastic weight loss, anemia and joint and bone pain.

The diagnosis she received was devastating – terminal pancreatic cancer – and also completely wrong. Finally in the fall of that year, a physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore told her that it was celiac disease that had so severely inflamed her intestines that she was deriving almost no nutrition from the food she ate.

That diagnosis began a journey to understand this digestive and autoimmune disorder, a journey that has produced several books Prince wrote to help those with celiac and gluten sensitivity live full and healthy lives through gluten-free eating. In the early years of her recovery, Prince became her own dietitian and her own chemist because the condition was not as well understood as it is today, nor were there gluten-free cookbooks or food products available.

Gastrointestinal Associates has teamed up with Prince to offer free, public one-hour evening workshops to help people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, as well as their family members, learn more about these conditions and about how they can ensure they do not feel deprived of the enjoyment of eating. Prince’s mantra is “gluten-free is good.” She’s become an expert at shopping for and preparing tasty gluten free meals and also dining out in area restaurants. Her books will also be available for purchase at the workshop.

Gastrointestinal Associates founding partner Dr. Bergein “Gene” Overholt recently met Prince at a gluten-free dinner. The two immediately began discussing their mutual interest in providing health education for those who must eat gluten-free for the rest of their lives in order to be healthy.

Out of that encounter grew “Living Well Gluten Free” the one-hour workshop that GIA will present on Sept. 18 and Oct. 17. Prince will tell her story, a GIA physician and dietitian will share their expertise, and the panel will answer audience members’ questions.

About Gastrointestinal Associates

Gastrointestinal Associates is one of the Southeast’s leading GI practices and is the only GI practice in Knoxville that operates three licensed and certified endoscopic ambulatory surgery centers in the north, central and west areas of Knoxville and Knox County. For more information, visit