UCLA Center for East-West Medicine
Department of Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
Dr. Heesakker is an acupuncturist at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine. He is also employed at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. He earned his M.S. and Doctorate from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, and his Bachelors from Marquette University. He is a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), and has worked with a wide range of patient populations.
Justin came to UCLA from the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, at Abbot Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, part of the Allina Health network. He has helped develop integrative health programs at VA (Veterans Affairs) Medical Centers in both Minneapolis and Washington DC. Previously he was the lead acupuncturist at a psychological health clinic at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, where he focused on treating active duty service members with combat PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and other complex presentations. He also served as a consultant and Subject Matter Expert (SME) on Integrative Medicine (IM) for the TBI Coordinating Center, in support of the Federal TBI program, as administered by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). During his training, he completed externships at: San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Medicine, Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, and the University of California San Diego - Recreation, IntraMural, and Athletic Complex (RIMAC).
His interests include incorporating IM into health care systems, developing the evidence base in IM approaches, and translational research in Traumatic Brain Injury and psychological health. His personal interests include rock climbing, surfing, swimming, hiking, and cooking.