Spotlight: The Lifestyle Medicine "Movement" Begins!

Marc Braman, MD, MPH
ACLM Executive Director / Past President

"Our time has come!" proclaimed Dean Ornish in his keynote address at ACLM's annual conference, Lifestyle Medicine 2012, "Treating The Cause."  He was saying that the circumstances are finally coming together such that evidence-based lifestyle medicine has opportunity to come out of the shadows and fringes and enter the mainstream.  While his words resonated with the health care professionals in attendance, it was more than just a concept we agreed with or that we believed in.  There was a palpable passion and sense of excitement that was translating into action. 

We had begun developing the concept of a lifestyle medicine "movement" internally prior to the conference.  The conference solidly confirmed this concept.  Many amazing opportunities, connections, resources, volunteered expertise, etc., was pouring out of those in attendance.  Things have definitely started  "moving" in ways that they had not thus far.  There are many forces pushing things toward filling the vacuum that exists for Lifestyle Medicine.  What is needed is a professional body to lead and serve as the nidus to coalesce these forces into a productive process -- ACLM.

While it is too soon to announce many of these, we can announce one of the primary events we are formally engaging on: a Lifestyle Medicine Movement Event.  Next year, instead of just a professional conference, ACLM will convene a professional and public "event" with the theme of "The Lifestyle Medicine Movement".  Our Advisors will be the core and have indicated a strong level of support.  We will invite other leading health care  professionals and professional health care organizations, engage major media, invite the multiple documentary films calling attention to the need for better health care (and their audiences), politicians, etc.  There will be a national spotlight and dialogue about fundamentally changing the substance of health care in this country to something that makes sense -- "treating the cause" as the basis of health care.

We will likely be joined by professionals from other continents who are beginning to form professional Lifestyle Medicine associations in their parts of the world.  Plans are developing for the best ways to communicate the message of Lifestyle Medicine, and to harness the energy from such an event to be highly productive and carry forward. 

There will be substantial build-up leading up to this event.  Be ready to engage your world through social media and other means as this goes forward.  We will be seeking ideas and dialogue among ACLM members through our member list serve.  You may also contact me directly with ideas and connections.   Connections to funders are particularly appreciated.

We trust that many of you, who share a common passion for better health care that "treats the cause," will resonate with what what Dr. Ornish said about the movement event: "Count me 'in'."