Lifestyle Medicine 2017: A Rousing Success!

By Jean Tips, ACLM Senior Director of Communications

November 2017

Lifestyle Medicine 2017, with the theme “Transforming Health; Redefining Healthcare,” was held October 21-25 in Tucson, AZ, at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, thanks in large part to a stellar line-up of sponsors, including conference headline sponsor Sharecare. The CME accredited conference was a tremendous opportunity for intense learning, networking, ideation, laughter and gaining “right tribe” inspiration for disrupting the current model of sick care.  Moreover, it was the site of many “firsts” in this fastest growing field of medicine:

  • It was ACLM’s largest annual conference to date, with more than 800 attendees.
  • The Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance held its first in-person meeting with over 30 countries represented.
  • Some 300 of the attendees sat for the inaugural American Board of Lifestyle Medicine Certification Exam, held the day following the conference’s conclusion.
  • A trailer for Dr. Saray Stancic’s upcoming documentary “Code Blue” debuted.
  • The first installment of ACLM’s new Lifestyle Medicine Story Project was unveiled, showcasing how lifestyle medicine is transforming Texas’ Midland Health System (see
The Lifestyle Medicine Education Collaborative (LMed) hosted its summit in conjunction with the LM2017 conference.

    The 48 hours leading up to the Sunday evening conference kick-off were filled with six sell-out pre-conference workshops on topics ranging from shared medical appointments to culinary medicine, along with two Board of Directors meetings for both the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. This was capped off with the convening of the Lifestyle Medicine Corporate Roundtable, led by CRT Founding Gold Members Sharecare and Kashi.  

    Keynotes were presented by the 17thU.S. Surgeon General of the United States Richard Carmona, MD, Whole Foods CEO and author John Mackey, and several of the most well-known names in the field, including Drs. Kim Williams and Michael Greger, along with Brenda Davis, RD and Lifestyle Medicine Institute parent company’s CEO Kevin Jackson. Breakout sessions throughout the conference highlighted practical information across the spectrum of the field, and a special “field trip” tour was provided to the Iora Health Primary Care Clinic in Tucson. All presentations will soon be available as video on demand, so stay tuned for details!

    ACLM task forces, working groups and committees met formally and informally throughout the conference, and attendees interacted with 30+ sponsors featuring a wide array of products and services.

    The 2017 ACLM Annual Membership Meeting held during the conference featured reports by outgoing Secretary Cate Collings, MD and Treasurer David Ferriss, MD, highlighting significant year-to-date growth in both membership and revenue, allowing for increased staffing to support the rapid expansion of ALCM’s scope and reach. The meeting, chaired by President George Guthrie, MD, honored outgoing board members Cindy Geyer, MD and Mark Fairies, PhD, along with Drs. Collings and Ferriss, also recognizing incoming board members Drs. Amana McKinney, Sal Lacagnina, new Treasurer Quinn Pauly, MD and Secretary Deepa Sandhini, MD, wherein Dr. Guthrie shared a brief “state-of-the-college” address, emphasizing “The state of the college is strong!”  ACLM’s Professionals in Training Executive Board members and more than a dozen other students and residents were recognized as recipients of the LMEd / ACLM scholarship grants, enabling 25 students to attend the conference and annual awards banquet.  Winners of the poster abstract competition, sponsored by LMEd, were also recognized.   

    In keeping with the Lifestyle Medicine pillar of physical activity, fitness activities included ACLM’s Professionals in Training (PiT) 5K run, walks with the local Walk with a Doc chapter, along with body resistance training, yoga and meditation.

    At this year’s awards banquet, Michael Greger, MD, FACLM, was honored as winner of the 2017 Lifestyle Medicine Trailblazer Award, which recognizes a leader in the field of Lifestyle Medicine who has contributed significantly to strengthening the foundation laid by others, while advancing it through innovation. Greger, a founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, is a physician, internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety and public health issues, and a New York Times best-selling author of How Not to Die, the Fifteen Leading Causes of Death. He provides freely available nutritional information at

    T. Colin Campbell, PhD, was named winner of the 2017 Lifestyle Medicine Lifetime Achievement award. This award recognizes a significant body of work over a considerable span of time that has advanced the field of Lifestyle Medicine, and, in the process, paved the way for others to follow. It is presented to individuals who have been devoted to the cause of Lifestyle Medicine for half their lives or more. Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, was featured in the internationally recognized documentary Forks Over Knives, and is co-author of two groundbreaking works on the effect of nutrition on long-term health, The China Studyand WHOLE.

    In addition, the Donald A. Pegg Student Leadership Awards, established to encourage leadership in the field at the student level, were presented to: Albert Barrera, University of Florida; Alicja Baska, MD, Medical University of Warsaw; Alyssa Greenwell, Ohio University--Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine; and Paresh Jaini, University of North Texas Health Science Center—Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Each will use a portion of their award to either establish a Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group (LMIG) on his or her campus or support an LMIG already in existence.

    Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, author of Prevent and Reverse HeartDisease,recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, and his wife, Ann, were honored and interviewed onstage by Dr. Hans Diehl in a delightful walkthrough of Dr. Esselstyn’s life, including a his Olympic rowing gold medal victory that took place during the  1956 Olympic games in Australia.

    Whole food, plant-based meals throughout the conference were thoughtfully prepared by the Westin culinary staff headed by Chef Russell Michel, including a “veggie burger bash” during the opening welcome reception.

    Mark your calendars now for next year’s conference!You won’t want to miss the inspiring speakers, activities and the opportunity to sit for the second annual American Board of Lifestyle Medicine Certification Exam.  Lifestyle Medicine 2018, with the theme “Real Health Care Reform,”will take place October 21-24 at the JW Marriott, Indianapolis, IN. Details are coming soon at