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American College of Lifestyle Medicine Announces New National Council to Facilitate Pioneering Trend of Lifestyle Medicine Integration into Health Systems

ST. LOUIS, June 8, 2021 / — The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) today announced its Health Systems Council (HSC), a new group to support the pioneering trend of implementing lifestyle medicine into some of the largest and most innovative health organizations in the U.S. The new council has a founding membership of 19 systems employing more than 650k employees serving millions of patients in 28 states. It is guided by an advisory board chaired by Michael P. O’Donnell, PhD, CEO and Founder, Art and Science of Health Promotion Institute, with six other experts who are accomplished pioneers in the field of lifestyle medicine.

Lifestyle Medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic interventions—including a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connection—as a primary modality, delivered by clinicians trained and certified in this specialty, to prevent, treat, and often reverse chronic disease. Leading health systems have begun deploying lifestyle medicine centers, integrating lifestyle medicine into employee wellness and expanding research into the therapeutic impacts of lifestyle medicine. U.S. health systems, defined in this case, include at least one hospital and at least one group of physicians providing comprehensive care, and who are connected with each other and with the hospital through common ownership or joint management.

The council is designed to support a collaborative community of health systems leading the transition to value-based care through integration of lifestyle medicine, synonymous with value-based care. While lifestyle medicine is not new, large-scale implementation of these evidence-based modalities into health systems is one of the greatest pioneering initiatives in the health care industry today, and presents a number of learning opportunities and challenges. The council will provide a platform for health systems to exchange state-of-the-art practices and resources, identify pragmatic solutions to common barriers, and accelerate the integration and implementation of lifestyle medicine therapeutic modalities within their organizations and their communities.

“This is pioneering work with systems who have identified that providing care through a lifestyle medicine lens and through lifestyle medicine programs is an avenue to successfully make a transition to value-based care,” said ACLM President Cate Collings, MD, MS, FACC, DipABLM.  “These organizations are leading edge in this recognition and ACLM and patients are equally fortunate to move forward together in this direction. I congratulate our partners in their dedication to the best patient care.”

Founding systems are:

  • Advent Health
  • Adventist Health
  • Emory Healthcare
  • Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Intermountain Healthcare
  • Kaiser Permanente Southern California
  • Memorial Health
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • MedStar Health
  • Midland Health
  • Monument Health
  • NYC Health + Hospitals
  • Rochester Regional Health
  • Spectrum Health
  • St. Luke’s Health System
  • St. Luke’s University Health Network
  • UC San Diego Health
  • University of Central Florida Health/UCF College of Medicine
  • Vidant Health

Advisory members of the council include:

  • Dexter Shurney, MD, Chief Medical Officer / Sr. Vice President, Wellbeing Division Executive Director, Adventist Health
  • Janice M. Prochaska, PhD, Consultant at Prochaska Change Consultants and Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.
  • John Harris, MHE, Previously Performance pH, Healthways, Axia, and Harris HealthTrends, Inc.;
  • Michael P. O’Donnell, PhD, CEO and Founder, Art and Science of Health Promotion Institute
  • Mike Roizen, MD, Wellness Officer Emeritus, Cleveland Clinic
  • Padmaja Patel, MD, Medical Director at Lifestyle Medicine Center, Midland Health
  • Richard Safeer, MD, Chief Medical Director, Employee Health & Well-being, Johns Hopkins Medicine

“The power of lifestyle medicine lies in its ability to transform ‘sick care’ to ‘health care’,” said Sean Hashmi, MD, MS, FASN, Regional Physician Director, Weight Management and Clinical Nutrition for Southern California Kaiser Permanente. “The Health Systems Council provides an exciting opportunity to create collaboration and share evidence-based best practices that will help healthcare organizations on their mission to provide the highest quality care and improve affordability.”

“As a primary care physician who has served in health care for over 25 years, I am excited to see Vidant Health invited to the ACLM Health Systems Council,” said David Michael, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer, Vidant Health. “Lifestyle medicine is an evidenced-based approach to achieving value-based care initiatives through prevention, management, and even reversal of chronic diseases. With the prevalence of chronic diseases so high in our area, eastern North Carolina is the perfect setting to apply the principles of lifestyle medicine, which will help improve the health and well-being of those we serve and help us meet our mission. As a member of the council, Vidant looks forward to sharing its experience as a rural health care leader, and learning from others on the journey to wellness.” 

Council participants do not need to be ACLM members, but they need to meet qualifications as a representative for their health system. They can apply to join by reviewing the Health Systems Council Brochure which contains a link to the Health Systems Council Interest Form.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: ACLM is the medical professional society for those dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of Lifestyle Medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable health care system. More than a professional association, ACLM is a galvanized force for change. ACLM addresses the need for quality education and certification, supporting its members in their individual practices and in their collective mission to domestically and globally promote Lifestyle Medicine as the first treatment option, as opposed to a first option of treating symptoms and consequences with expensive, ever increasing quantities of pills and procedures. Learn more at www.lifestylemedicine.org.

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