ACLM's membership is distinguished by its diversity, bringing together progressive thinkers from a broadening range of careers, specialties, nations, and educational backgrounds; from medical students to physicians who have been practicing for more than 30 years. Through ACLM’s community of proactive professionals, we are reminded that our struggle for a lifestyle-oriented healthcare system is shared by countless others.
In our membership application, we ask potential members to describe their interest and experience in Lifestyle Medicine. Over the years, the answers collected have become a testimony to our members' passion for better healthcare, and reveal the spectrum of backgrounds and experiences that have brought members to ACLM.
We'd like to use your words to answer the question: why have so many people from numerous backgrounds joined ACLM?
Because we're frustrated with the state of our healthcare.
“Our nation is in critical condition. As a physician and former global corporate executive, I am increasingly concerned that American medicine's high-cost, reactive, disease-centered approach to health care is failing us. So many Americans are sick and tired of being sick and tired. I want to leverage my skill as a leader and change agent for a new era of health.”
Shealynn Buck, MD,
Physician executive, certified health and wellness coach, medical spokesperson
“I practice in Wisconsin, where obesity is an epidemic, and I’m very interested in learning more about Lifestyle medicine. I currently discuss physical activity and healthy diet with the majority of my patients and would be interested in pursuing an even greater degree of knowledge in the area of Lifestyle Medicine. I am frustrated by our nation's food industry and, even more so by childhood obesity. I feel as physicians we can take a more active role in education and developing healthier programs to slow this epidemic.”
Heather Schmidt, DO
“What I have noticed through my volunteer work at hospitals, prisons, nursing homes and The Braille Institute, is that the people who could benefit the MOST from dietary interventions, seem to be fed the WORST. I would like to change that.”
Because we're tired of treating the symptoms.
"I am frustrated with medication side effects and their limited effectiveness, and obesity of patients. I want to help my patients more and find more reward in my work."
Jill McBride, MD
"I am growing less trustful of the benefit of pharmaceuticals and am seeing how superior lifestyle changes can improve my patient's lives."
Lisa Robbins, MD
Robbins Health Alliance
"As an Emergency Room Physician, I realized that I did not have the time necessary to help individuals with their health as a whole. Many times, I wanted to sit down and discuss lifestyle changes that could help impact their present and future health problems. Unfortunately, the ER did not allow for such time, but when I was able, I found that I felt rejuvenated, focused and fulfilled. This is what lead me down the path to Lifestyle Medicine."
Thomas Luton, MD
In Sintonia: Achieving Balance through Lifestyle Medicine
"My personal radical nutritional change began about 2 years ago, after a week's visit at the Hippocrates Institute at West Palm Beach which triggered a lot of interest in educating myself on nutritional lifestyle and health. As I became vegan myself and started learning more about this lifestyle and its health benefits it was impossible not to make the connection between the eating and lifestyle habits of my patients and their diseases. As a cardiac anesthesiologist I realized that they are mostly presentations of a diet-induced metabolic syndrome that even though we treat with medicines and interventions we neither prevent them nor cure them. The progression of theses diseases continues.
With my new knowledge, the futility of our current medical system and most surgical treatments and the shameful waste of money and resources became so obvious to me that I started looking for a way to really help people to take control and truly save their lives. I realized that even those physicians who mention some lifestyle changes to their patients are highly inefficient in making them realize that with the way they live and eat they will never be cured of anything, the progression of their diseases will continue, and they will either die soon or they may have a miserable prolonged life without any quality, living it in and out of the hospitals a tacking a bunch of medications.
Thankfully, I have been able to inspire a lot of my colleagues, as well as some patients and relatives. I find this extremely exciting and fulfilling. I decided to join your society in an attempt to learn more of options that I may have in order to be able to truly educate and help patients."
Nicolas Athanassiou, MD
Because we've overcome our own lifestyle battles.
“I myself weighed 340 pounds at my maximum weight. In December 2010 I weighed 300 pounds and now weigh 175 pounds. I lost weight through exercise, lifestyle changes and dietary modifications. I am a third year Internal Medicine resident and through my training I have realized that medicine in the US is being practiced wrongly. Most of the disease processes I treat are end complications of obesity and preventable causes such as smoking, sedentary lifestyles, etc. We are way too reactive in our approach to treating patients. I want to be proactive and prevent disease before it occurs and feel that this is the future of medicine. I also feel that with my own story and experience, I am a credible and inspiring resource for my patients. My biggest interest of course is obesity and its prevention.”
Andrew Sparkman, DO
“I was practicing as a board certified gastroenterologist for almost 10 years. In 2005 I was mountain biking and realized just how out of shape I was and how much my own lifestyle was contributing to my own personal health and the health of my patients. It was then that I decided to change. I started a general medical practice which has now evolved into a lifestyle practice with a strong focus on health through solid medical care combined with nutrition and fitness. I personally have lived up to my own plan and have become an Ironman triathlete top third finisher and I continue to train. Lifestyle medicine is exactly what I have been looking for as a way to practice.”
Corey Howard, MD, FACP
CEO/President, Physicians Life Centers
Because we believe in treating the whole person.
“I have been interested in cultivating a lifestyle and prevention approach to chronic illness. As a psychiatrist, I see many ways in which lifestyle can affect mental health. Additionally, psychiatric patients have a higher risk for obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, not to mention risks associated with many psychiatric medications. I would like to learn better methods to teach my patients about exercise, nutrition, and stress management.”
Katharine Ballinger, MD
“Career-long interest in wellness medicine and nutrition. As an anesthesiologist, I have seen many who submit to surgery in an attempt to lose weight and achieve health. I have offered nutritional counseling and drugs for weight loss in the past with some success, but believe that whole foods plant based nutrition is the best available way to deal with obesity and chronic diseases based on current science.”
Henry Venable, MD, Anesthesiologist
Because we are innovating a new approach to health care.
“I have been very dissatisfied with my usual practice of medicine. I have been practicing and pursuing teaching my patients about lifestyle medicine over the last 2-3 years, and have been very gratified with the results. Medicine is now rewarding again because I feel like I am actually helping people get well.”
Joseph Kretschmar, MD, Gastroenterologist
“I am pursuing clinical and educational experiences within LM. My particular interests lie in formulating and developing a sustainable clinical practice model which combines clinical and behavioral medicine and interdisciplinary providers (including nutritionists, personal trainers, and psychologists) with a modern approach (including health information technology, cutting edge diagnostics and delivery systems, and social media). It is by utilizing all these components to advance the behavior change integral within Lifestyle Medicine that we can achieve a lifetime of health.”
Ingrid Edshteyn, D.O.
Internal & Preventive Medicine Resident (PGY1)
Griffin Hospital-Yale School of Public Health
"I work in an under-served population whose disease prevalence is very high due primarily to their lifestyles. Practicing in an area with limited resources, lifestyle management and medicine is the key to health and chronic condition care. I am dedicated to helping the population I serve and feel that the tenets of Lifestyle medicine are in alignment to what I am trying to accomplish every day."
Jennifer (Mariotti) Stephens, DO, FACP
Medical Director, Lehigh Valley Physician Practice
Because this is what we do.
"As a family nurse practitioner I have found that lifestyle changes are the most difficult, important and rewarding for my patients."
Dr Deborah Kiley FNP
TelepresenceCoaching.com and Avante Medical Center
"Especially interested in the "root causes" of disease, I have a special interest in helping patients reverse or minimize their lifestyle diseases. I have practiced Lifestyle Medicine for over 23 years."
Harold H. Fain, MD, MPH
Preventive Medicine and Family Medicine Physician
"As an osteopath of several decades, I've had a lifelong interest in a patient's entire "wellness", not just treating the chief complaint with which he/she presents. I've incorporated a therapeutic lifestyle change program into my practice targeting the underlying causes of chronic illnesses by counseling patients to adopt a sensible eating plan, exercise, nutritional supplementation, and stress management."
Jere G. Sutton, D.O., FAASOS, FAADEP
Because this is what we want to do.
"I would like to promote Lifestyle Medicine in my practice, especially for the prevention and management of chronic diseases in children and adolescents."
Fiona Lewis, MS, RD
Preventive Care Program DrPH(s), LLU
"I want to contribute to the education of our aging population as to healthy brain aging & risk reduction for Alzheimer's disease through lifestyle."
Paul E. Bendheim, MD
Founder & Chairman,
"I am an occupational therapist in a doctoral program and find lifestyle medicine to be very complimentary to occupational therapy. I plan to do research examining how LM and OT might be complimentary and how collaborations might affect practice in both professions."
Donna Mann, MEd, OT/L
Assistant Professor, Eastern Washington University
Doctoral Student, Loma Linda University
"I believe Lifestyle Medicine is a solution to our nation's healthcare crisis. I intend to incorporate intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) programs into my future physiatry clinical practice."
Adam Tuttle, MD
University of Chicago/Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital
Because this is what we believe.
“My interest stems from my profound belief that healthcare should be proactive and help people maintain good health rather than trying to heal them once they are sick.”
Darren Clair, MD
Vibrance Health Services
"I truly believe that most chronic pain can be minimized or eliminated based on lifestyle choices."
Debra Brothers-Klezmer, RN-BC, CRRN, NCTMB
Integrative Health Nurse, Marino Center for Integrative Medicine
"My first day on the wards in Psychiatry I realized how important lifestyle and habits are in the development of mental illness. I believe lifestyle medicine will play a huge role in improving mental health and helping substance abuse patients cope with sobriety and fight addiction."
Cono Badalamenti MD, MHSA
Loma Linda FM/PM, Chief Resident
"Lifestyle issues are absolutely key to good health and without addressing lifestyle issues, we will not be able to accomplish meaningful healthcare reform."
Julie McKee, MD
UTMB Distinguished Teaching Professor
Integrative Medicine Clinic
Department of Family Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch
Because we can't do it alone.
"I have become more aware of how all the factors of a patient’s life (work, play, family, finance and environment) interconnect to influence health, particularly nutrition. As I looked into attempting to start a practice that specialized in a comprehensive lifestyle approach to address the diseases of obesity, I realized our current insurance reimbursement structure would not allow me to earn a living. I am seeking to join other Preventive Medicine advocates to change the structure of our healthcare system so doctors can earn a living preventing disease and not simply managing it."
R. Jason Newsom, MD, MPH
Preventive Medicine Physician
"The vast majority of my patients have lifestyle-related diseases. Over the years I have come to the realization that health is an investment that demands personal responsibility. I also believe that an integrated approach that combines an assessment of clinical risk factors along with nutrition counseling, exercise training and the use of appropriate supplements is likely to effect more meaningful long- term changes in health and behavior than simply handing out a prescription for a new medication. I try to practice what I preach."
Lisanne Laurier, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Specialist in Endocrinology & Metabolism
Our thanks to all these members, for their words and for granting us permission to use them.