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The Team

Our Practitioners

Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald, Director and Founder

Patricia Fitzgerald, D.A.O.M., D.H.M., L.Ac., C.C.N. founded the Santa Monica Wellness Center in 1995 after being in private practice for several years. She has a Doctorate Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and a Master’s Degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine. She is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, as well as a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a QiGong Instructor.

Dr. Fitzgerald is the author of the best-selling award winning book, The Detox Solution: The Missing Link to Radiant Health, Abundant Energy, Ideal Weight, and Peace of Mind. This groundbreaking book has received rave reviews from the press as well as medical professionals. For more information, visit

Dr. Fitzgerald is a member of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the California State Oriental Medical Association. She serves on the Professional Advisory Council of the American Holistic Veterinary Association Foundation and is on the board of Creature Kind, an animal rescue organization.. She has served on the faculty of Yo San University and was the Wellness Editor of The Huffington Post from 2008-2016. Dr. Fitzgerald also served as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Emperor’s College for five years. Dr. Fitzgerald is also a volunteer with Los Angeles Animal Services and is dedicated to supporting the animal rescue community in matching homeless pets with loving hearts and homes.

Passionate and interested in integrative health since she was a teenager, Dr. Fitzgerald has attended countless seminars and workshops, and is often a featured speaker. She enjoys educating, inspiring and empowering her patients so that they may enjoy optimal health, and is often found leading a qigong class or tending to her herbal garden.  To learn more about Dr. Patricia, visit

Lauren Howard, Licensed Acupuncturist & Herbalist, Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine

Lauren’s interest in Chinese Medicine began when she was a patient herself. After seeing positive changes in her own health and vitality, she enrolled in the prestigious Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine, where she graduated with honors in 2004. Lauren has been an integral part of the Santa Monica Wellness Center team ever since.

At a time when many doctors are specialists, Lauren enjoys the full-spectrum of a family practice. Lauren truly understands the deep mind-body-spirit connection, and believes that to experience genuine healing, the whole person must be taken into consideration. In her practice, Lauren treats patients presenting with wide-ranging array of health challenges including endocrine imbalances, immune and auto-immune conditions, fertility issues, dermatological issues, gastrointestinal conditions, orthopedic and sports injuries, and stress and anxiety challenges. She utilizes lab tests, nutritional and lifestyle counseling, acupuncture, and herbal and nutritional supplementation.

Lauren is recognized by her patients for her passionate style of healing. She is thrilled to bring her unique approach to all people seeking greater health and wellness. When she’s not treating her patients, Lauren loves spending time with her family, especially chasing after her very active young son, Ben, and their rescue dog, Pita. She also loves creating new recipes, and cooking up delicious and healthy meals.

Our Staff

Clinic Manager: Sondrina Bullitt

Sondrina Bullitt serves as SMWC’s Clinic Manager and is a clinic intern at Emperor’s College Acupuncture Clinic in Santa Monica. She is a fervent advocate of community health with a Master’s in Public Health, specializing in health promotion and health education. Appointments with Sondrina can be made by calling Emperor’s College Clinic at (310) 453-8383.

Wellness Coordinator & Coach: Danielle Hartley

Danielle Hartley serves as SMWC’s Wellness Coordinator & Coach. She is a certified health coach through Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and completed Andrea Nakayama’s Functional Nutrition program. Inspired from healing her own health challenges,  Danielle loves empowering others on their wellness journey. She and her husband love Southern California, exploring new parts of the city, hiking, cooking at home, and gardening. Danielle enjoys experimenting with nutrition and food and its unlimited possibilities for health and enjoyment.


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