Mayor Adams, American College of Lifestyle Medicine Announce  Million to Offer Lifestyle Medicine

Mayor Adams, American College of Lifestyle Medicine Announce $44 Million to Offer Lifestyle Medicine

December 5, 2022

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City Health Leaders Embrace Single Largest Training Rollout in Specialty Anywhere in World — Giving Practitioners New Tools to Combat Chronic Disease and Health Disparities

Massive Investment in NYC Health Care Workforce Will Have Positive Downstream Impacts on Millions of Patients, Helping Improve New Yorkers’ Lives and Reducing Health Care Spending

Initiative is in Addition to Training and Clinical Expansion Underway at NYC Health + Hospitals

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) today announced a new partnership — as a result of a massive $44 million investment by ACLM — to provide every New York City health care practitioner with free introductory training in nutrition and lifestyle medicine, enabling practitioners to integrate evidence-based content into their clinical practice to treat certain health conditions. The initial phase will include practitioners at 20 hospitals and health systems that serve millions of New Yorkers. The $44 million investment from ACLM will cover training for up to 200,000 doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, and other health care professionals in New York City and is the largest lifestyle medicine training rollout in the world.

“A plant-based diet restored my eyesight, put my Type 2 diabetes into remission, and helped save my life,” said Mayor Adams. “Our administration has invested in expanding lifestyle medicine programming and plant-based meals at NYC Health + Hospitals, and now, we’re bringing this evidence-based model to all of New York City’s health care workforce. Thanks to a massive $44 million investment from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, foundational trainings will be available for free to 200,000 health care workers in New York City. Once again, we’re setting the standard for the rest of the nation, giving practitioners new tools to combat chronic disease and health disparities, and investing in a healthier city for generations to come.”

“ACLM is proud to make this investment in expanding the knowledge of health professionals in New York City and ultimately in better health for its citizens,” said Cate Collings, MD, FACC, MS, DipABLM, past president, ACLM. “New York City is truly blazing the trail nationally for public-private partnerships to enhance population health. Treating the root cause of chronic disease in this country, and especially lifestyle-related chronic disease health disparities, will positively change the trajectory of both quality of life and health costs. We applaud Mayor Adams and all the health care leaders in the city for recognizing what an impact they can make through this initiative.”

Lifestyle medicine is a medical specialty that uses evidence-based, therapeutic lifestyle interventions as a primary modality to treat chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and Type 2 diabetes. Clinicians certified in lifestyle medicine are trained to apply evidence-based, prescriptive lifestyle change to treat and, in some cases, achieve remission of certain common chronic conditions. Applying the six pillars of lifestyle medicine — a healthful plant-predominant eating pattern, physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connections — also provides effective prevention for many common chronic conditions.

The initial group of participating hospitals and hospital systems includes:

  • NYC Health + Hospitals
  • BronxCare Health System
  • The Brooklyn Hospital Center
  • Calvary Hospital
  • Episcopal Health Services
  • Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Maimonides Health
  • MediSys Health
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Montefiore Health System
  • Mount Sinai Health System
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System
  • Northwell Health
  • NYU Langone Health
  • One Brooklyn Health System
  • Richmond University Medical Center
  • The Rockefeller University Hospital
  • SBH Health System
  • SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University – University Hospital at Downstate
  • Wyckoff Heights Medical Center

Studies have shown there is a significant knowledge deficit among physicians when it comes to lifestyle medicine. For example, only about 14 percent of physicians reported that they had the foundational training to counsel their patients on nutrition, one of the most significant components of lifestyle medicine. This is a structural issue, as only approximately 27 percent of medical schools in the United States offer the requisite 25 hours of nutrition education in their programs.  The foundational training offered through this partnership will help raise the level of education in the discipline across all medical and specialty areas and across practitioner levels, giving new tools to practitioners and new hope to patients struggling with common chronic diseases.

This initiative comes amidst staggering impacts of chronic diseases across the United States and in New York City. For example, 60 percent of U.S. adults have already been diagnosed with one chronic disease, with an estimated 40 percent diagnosed with two or more, and more than 100 million adults — almost half the entire adult population in the U.S. — have pre-diabetes or diabetes. Nationally, cardiovascular disease afflicts approximately 122 million people and causes roughly 840,000 deaths each year, or about 2,300 deaths each day. Overall diet quality is the single leading cause of premature death in the United States today, causing an estimated 500,000 deaths each year. The use of lifestyle medicine — in conjunction with efforts to address social determinants of health, the food environment, and other barriers to making lifestyle changes — is an extraordinarily powerful way to improve the health of individuals and communities.

The foundational training opportunity will include 5.5 hours of online, self-paced coursework, available for one year, and participants will be eligible for continuing education credits. The three courses in the online training package include a one-hour “Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine” course, a three-hour “Food as Medicine: Nutrition for Prevention and Longevity” course, and a 1.5-hour “Food as Medicine: Nutrition for Treatment and Risk Reduction” course. The training commitment in New York City builds on a recent commitment at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, in which ACLM donated 100,000 training scholarships for use nationwide.

To implement the training, executive teams from the participating hospitals and health systems will promote the training throughout their facilities. ACLM will support these leaders by also sharing best practices from other national health systems and inviting their participation in the ACLM Health Systems Council. Over the coming year, the Adams administration will continue working closely with ACLM to support the promotion and implementation of the training initiative. The city will continue to engage with executives from all participating entities to understand the impact of the training on practitioner awareness and adoption into clinical practice. Additionally, the Adams administration and ACLM will continue working together to reach practitioners that are not affiliated with these systems, such as those working in other medical networks, community health centers, and private practice settings.

“Over the last few years, we have asked a lot of our hospitals and health systems. They have had to pull together and treat COVID-19 patients, deploy vaccines, and screen for MPV. These have all been acute challenges that came to their doorstep. We are excited to now give back and invest in our health care professionals across the city to help fight health inequities in every community and to go upstream with our approach,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “The announcement of this training partnership with ACLM, with the buy-in from every hospital and health system across the city, responds to the longstanding needs of our communities related to chronic diseases, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. This initiative will provide new tools to every health care practitioner across the city and will thereby offer new hope to every person coming through their doors with a lifestyle-related chronic disease. Thank you to ACLM for their partnership and thank you to all the participating hospitals and hospital systems for making this a priority and working with us to make New York City healthier.”

“Thanks to Mayor Adams and Dr. McMacken, New York City’s public health system is a leader in lifestyle medicine,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “I’m proud that the city is partnering with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine to educate clinical providers across the city about the benefits of this specialty.”

“As a practicing clinician, I know that making lifestyle changes can do far more for my patients living with chronic illnesses than many medicines. And as a public health leader and epidemiologist, I know that healthy lifestyles are the best way to prevent the onset of chronic disease, in turn preventing untold suffering and staving off enormous moral and economic cost,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “As providers, it starts with us supporting and educating our patients on how to adopt healthy lifestyle practices, but too many practitioners are not familiar or comfortable doing so. This is an opportunity for radical reform of the way we educate clinicians and deliver clinical care that prioritizes what really delivers the most value for health, not just the most volume of care. New York City is proud to lead the way in transforming medicine in this way, to combat our rising epidemic of diet- and lifestyle-related chronic diseases.”

“Today, by announcing a training partnership with ACLM, this administration establishes a new pathway for a healthier New York City. One of the pillars of lifestyle medicine is a healthy plant-based diet,” said Mayor’s Office of Food Policy Executive Director Kate MacKenzie. “We are working aggressively to ensure all New Yorkers have access to healthy, nutritious produce through our office’s ‘Food Forward’ plan.”

“Diet and other lifestyle behaviors play an enormous role in health outcomes, and yet nutrition and lifestyle change are underemphasized in many health professional training programs,” said Michelle McMacken, MD, FACP, DipABLM, executive director, nutrition and lifestyle medicine, NYC Health + Hospitals. “This partnership is truly groundbreaking, helping health care professionals leverage one of the greatest tools to improve patients’ lives. I applaud Mayor Adams, the health systems leaders, and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine for their leadership.”

“Six in 10 U.S. adults are afflicted by some kind of lifestyle-related chronic disease, and these conditions contribute significantly to the nation’s ballooning healthcare costs. As a native New Yorker and a product of the New York City public school system, I am elated that my colleagues at the American College of Lifestyle Medicine have partnered with New York City leaders to reduce the large preventable disease and economic burden through lifestyle behavioral changes.  This training is the foundation that will improve the quality and quantity of people’s lives, while reducing costs over the long term,” said Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, 17th Surgeon General of the United States; and distinguished laureate professor, University of Arizona. “We must employ partnerships just like this one across the country to advance understanding of lifestyle medicine and its power to prevent, treat, and bring into remission the common chronic diseases that touch the lives of tens of millions of Americans.”

“A significant share of all health care dollars spent in America is related to chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes — which is now showing up in children as young as 10,” said Kathleen Sebelius, 21st Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and former Governor of Kansas. “It is urgent that we reverse that trend to improve the health of the American people and save dollars in our health care system. The initiative announced today to educate the health care workforce in lifestyle medicine will have a positive impact on millions of New Yorkers through the prevention, treatment, and remission of many lifestyle-related chronic diseases. I welcome this model partnership between Mayor Adams’ office and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.”

“The promise of population health and health equity lies within the tenets of lifestyle medicine, and its application is our opportunity to reduce unnecessary suffering through improvement of the human condition,” said Michael Leavitt, 20th Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and former Governor of Utah. “I commend Mayor Adams and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine in their work to certify and train health professionals in lifestyle interventions. Their work will have longstanding generational impacts for millions of New Yorkers in the years to come.”

“The National Black Leadership Commission on Health applauds the mayor’s office and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine for partnering to tackle the city’s large chronic disease burden,” said C. Virginia Fields, president and CEO, National Black Leadership Commission on Health. “About one in four Black or Hispanic New Yorkers are obese, and Black New Yorkers are three times more likely to die from diabetes or its complications than White New Yorkers. Educating our health care workers to provide accurate, non-stigmatizing guidance on behavioral change interventions is a pivotal first step in fighting these disparities in health. We look forward to partnering with the city to continue to reduce the barriers to achieving health equity.”

“NMA, the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States, is excited about this initiative and applauds the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and Mayor Adams for recognizing the importance of offering this comprehensive training to all levels of health care practitioners,” said Dr. Garfield A. D. Clunie, 123rd president, National Medical Association (NMA). “Lifestyle and nutrition training for practitioners will allow for more comprehensive diagnoses and treatment plans for patients, especially those in minoritized communities who have been historically and systematically underserved by the health care industry. This training will be particularly impactful in our communities, where chronic disease prevalence is disproportionately higher.”

“Preventable chronic diseases account for the vast majority of deaths and health care costs in America. Kudos to ACLM and to Mayor Adams for leading this effort to train health care professionals on prescribing evidence-based lifestyle services to their patients that can help prevent, treat, and bring into remission some of the most common chronic diseases plaguing our citizens and weighing on our federal budget,” said Anand Parekh, MD MPH, chief medical advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center; and former deputy assistant secretary of health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Coupled with broader policy, systems, and environmental changes to help make the healthy choice the easy choice, this partnership will help create a healthier population.”

“Workforce readiness is the key enabler to deliver on the promise of high-value, high-quality care that delivers equitable outcomes for all. However, current training within our allopathic medicine model alone will not create health and wellness in our society,” said Eric Weaver, DHA, MHA, FACHE, FACMPE, FHIMSS, executive director, Institute for Advancing Health Value. “We instead must offer training to every health care practitioner on the importance of lifestyle medicine and nutrition, so that they may integrate this evidence basis into their clinical practice. At the Institute for Advancing Health Value, the largest peer learning collaborative for value-based care transformation in the country, we support the work of Mayor Adams and the ACLM in reskilling and upskilling the health care workforce. We must create a more effective system of care, and the scale and impact of workforce competency in lifestyle medicine will be a force multiplier for change in population health.”

“The hospital community is proud to partner with Mayor Eric Adams and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine to advance lifestyle medicine in New York City,” said Kenneth E. Raske, president, Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA). “Our member hospitals and health systems are leaders in the field of lifestyle medicine and are committed to further integrating it into their care delivery models. GNYHA supports this opportunity to offer lifestyle medicine training to clinicians across the five boroughs, and we applaud the Adams administration for its leadership on this issue.”

“Northwell’s mission is providing care to the communities we serve, and we have a keen focus on improving public health and health equity,” said Michael Dowling, president and CEO, Northwell Health. “As the largest health care provider in New York, with more than 81,000 health care professionals in our system, including 12,000 physicians and 19,000 nurses, we are committed and proud to support this program, as we believe an investment in our health care professionals in lifestyle medicine training is an investment in the overall health and wellness of our communities.”

“For too long, many Central Brooklyn residents have died prematurely, suffered disability, or been unable to live their best lives because of chronic diseases that can be prevented,” said LaRay Brown, CEO, One Brooklyn Health System. “One Brooklyn Health’s providers have this opportunity to become certified in lifestyle medicine, which will provide them the evidence- based tools to partner with our patients to make a difference in their lives and improve the overall health of the community.”

“This extraordinary effort provides training in lifestyle medicine to health care professionals in every borough, so that all New Yorkers can benefit, regardless of where they live,” said Robert I. Grossman, MD, dean and CEO, NYU Langone Health. “At NYU Langone Health, our longstanding commitment to health equity is likewise reflected in our approach to bringing our world-class care directly to the communities where our patients live and work. Through this initiative, Mayor Adams has shown that he is ‘all in’ with NYU Langone Health and other New York City hospitals to improve the health and well-being of all New Yorkers.”

“For years, we have sought to expand our health care offerings beyond the four walls of the practitioner’s office so that we’re not just treating disease but also promoting overall well-being,” said Dr. Philip Ozuah, president and CEO, Montefiore Medicine. “That vision has led to partnerships like our School-Based Health Initiative, which brings care directly to children, and the Project Bravo food pantry, which makes fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible to low-income New Yorkers. Mayor Adams’ resolute focus on preventing diet-related chronic disease will transform lives, further cementing New York City’s reputation as a leader in preventive medicine.”

“As leaders in integrative medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is at the forefront of understanding how lifestyle interventions impact overall health and can enhance well-being for patients in cancer treatment,” said Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, FACS, president and CEO, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “We look forward to collaborating with the mayor’s office and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and applaud this program that will benefit our staff, patients, and the communities we serve.”

“We welcome the support of needed education for our team in prevention and treatment efforts through lifestyle medicine training. Serving as a capstone is the leadership of Mayor Adams who brought us with him on the journey of his own lifestyle change that diverted his path towards chronic illness. Each healthcare worker can learn from his experience and commitment to sharing his own conversion for themselves,” said Ramón Rodriguez, president and CEO, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. “Remember that we in health care are people too. We are equally susceptible to tastebud addiction to sugar and salt. This will permit our colleagues privately to observe their own unhealthy choices and serve as a reminder that first clinician heal thyself. Then in every aspect of our treatment, we can continue to integrate the way towards improved health and well-being.”

“The goal of patient-centered primary care is to focus on the entire lifestyle of a patient, not just one health outcome,” said Dr. Elaine Fleck, chief medical officer, Division of Community and Population Health, NewYork-Presbyterian. “We look forward to working with Mayor Adams and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine on this important initiative. Lifestyle medicine will enrich our current primary care services at NewYork-Presbyterian.”

“Lifestyle medicine is an important element of overall health care practice,” said Kelly Cassano, DO, CEO, Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice; senior vice president, ambulatory operations, Mount Sinai Health System; and dean of clinical affairs, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Many elements of this are already imbedded in care at Mount Sinai to address chronic conditions. We applaud Mayor Adams for his leadership on this issue and look forward to working with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine to certify and train health professionals in lifestyle interventions, and we hope by doing so, we will increase health for millions of New Yorkers and the diverse communities we serve.”

“Our ambulatory care programs are addressing an integrative approach to health by working with our providers, patients, and families to address social determinants of health through lifestyle medicine interventions and other avenues such as diet, exercise, mindfulness, personal well-being, and safety,” said Bruce Flanz, president and CEO, MediSys Health. “Through this lifestyle approach to medical care, we seek to change our philosophy of care that focuses on the whole health of people by addressing what matters to them and improving their quality of life. This educational program from the mayor’s office and ACLM will help us meet the needs of our underserved culturally diverse citizens of Queens County, the world’s borough.”

“We are grateful for Mayor Adams’ continued commitment to engaging with each borough on the importance of physical activity, health, nutrition, and social connection. In communities with high rates of chronic illnesses, we must ensure our health care professionals are prepared with evidence-based, therapeutic lifestyle interventions to provide holistic and effective treatment. This partnership will help us achieve just that,” said David H. Berger, M.D., MHCM, FACS, CEO, University Hospital at Downstate. “As home to one of the first Lifestyle Medicine Interest Groups in the New York area, Downstate Health Sciences University is thrilled to expand our current offerings through this partnership and work to address health disparities in underserved communities.”

“SBH Healthcare System is excited to collaborate with Mayor Adams and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine in providing training in lifestyle medicine and nutrition,” said David Perlstein, MD, president and CEO, SBH Health System. “Strategic partnerships and innovation are essential in recalibrating how we approach and deliver health care and educate our communities about the importance of health, wellness, and nutrition. We look forward to participating in this forward-thinking training program and implementing strategies focused on creating and promoting a more holistic approach to health care delivery, which will contribute to the health and wellness of the Bronx.”

“HSS applauds this initiative by the mayor’s office and ACLM, because it will help New York City and inspire communities nationwide to improve health and wellness,” said Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). “This training will further advance the important work being done by the lifestyle medicine program at HSS, which focuses on the special needs of people who experience pain and functional challenges in the setting of lifestyle-related chronic disease.”

“We commend the mayor’s leadership as he works to improve the health of New Yorkers,” said Ken Gibbs, CEO, Maimonides Medical Center. “There are so many factors that can contribute to health problems, and staying ahead of them is always better than catching up once someone is sick. We are thrilled to take part in this program and help New Yorkers live longer, healthier, and happier lives.”

“Our clinicians, along with the patients we serve, will benefit from this life-saving approach, and we are excited to make this training available to our practitioners. We sincerely thank Mayor Adams and ACLM for this collaboration, and we look forward to addressing the root cause of chronic diseases through lifestyle medicine,” said Dr. Donald Morrish, chief medical officer, Episcopal Health Services. “In addition, we are pleased to join the 82 other health systems as part of ACLM’s Health Systems Council from across the nation to lead the transition to high-value care through the integration of evidence-based lifestyle medicine.”

“The communities our hospital serves have high rates of diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions that are influenced by lifestyle factors. We welcome the opportunity for our providers to become even more trained in how to counsel our patients about the importance of healthful eating, exercise, and other positive habits,” says Gary G. Terrinoni, president and CEO, The Brooklyn Hospital Center. “Partnerships between health care providers and the mayor’s office better the wellness of all New Yorkers. We are delighted to be a part of this exciting endeavor.”

“We are pleased to be participating in such an important program in New York City,” said Daniel J. Messina, PhD, FACHE, president and CEO, Richmond University Medical Center President. “As an academic medical center, one of our many important core responsibilities is to train the physicians of tomorrow in the importance of lifestyle medicine. Dr. Philip Otterbeck, our chair of medicine, and Dr. Jay Nfonoyim, Department of Medicine vice chair, Internal Medicine Residency program director, and Critical Care Division chief, are actively incorporating the critical elements essential to providing effective lifestyle medicine into our residency training program. Richmond University Medical Center considers this initiative an important step forward to increasing health equity and health care access in the community.”

“Calvary, since our founding in 1899, has believed that you cannot treat any illness or disease on its own. You must treat the whole person — their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual care, and their family,” said Frank A. Calamari, FACHE, president and CEO, Calvary Hospital. “This is especially important in our areas of innovation and practice, palliative and end-of-life care. We support this training because it is complementary to Calvary’s values of compassion, caring, commitment, dignity, and non-abandonment — all of which are required as we fulfill our mission every day to relieve the suffering and improve the quality of life for our patients and their families. We look forward to learning and sharing the benefits of lifestyle medicine with the Calvary community.”

“We are looking forward to collaborating with Mayor Adams and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine providing training in lifestyle medicine and nutrition,” said Maija Williams, chief operating officer, The Rockefeller University Hospital. “As a leader in conducting clinical and translational research in pursuit of our mission to conduct science for the benefit of humanity, we are eager to work with the mayor, ACLM, and neighboring health care institutions on this initiative to identify the health needs of our research participants and implement strategies and deliver resources and education that support the needs of the populations we serve.”

“BronxCare Health System continues to take an important leadership role in responding to the social determinants impacting the health and wellness of the Bronx Community,” said Suneel Parikh M.D., director of health equity, BronxCare Health System. “We strongly support and commend the efforts of the mayor’s office and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine in identifying and addressing this most important issue.”

“We know that individual behaviors, particularly diet in combination with other supportive lifestyle factors such as physical activity, good sleep habits, and social support and stress management, are the biggest factors impacting health and life span — bigger than genetics or hospital care,” said Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., vice provost for global initiatives; Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy university professor; co-director, Healthcare Transformation Institute at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and former special advisor for health policy to the White House Director of the Office of Management and Budget. “Getting physicians to effectively advise patients on eating well, exercising, and tending to other lifestyle habits has the opportunity to significantly improve the city’s health and, applied more broadly, the health of the nation.”

“AMWA recognizes that when clinicians understand the importance of diet and lifestyle, they can better educate patients about health preservation for disease prevention and treatment,” said Eliza Chin, MD, MPH, MACP, FAMWA, executive director, American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA). “We applaud ACLM and Mayor Adams for offering this opportunity to health care professionals across New York City, beginning with these hospitals and health systems. This is a promising step toward reversing the obesity epidemic and a model for similar collaborations to propagate.”

“Health equity becomes more tangible when patients feel they have more control over their health outcomes through a supportive and diverse health care system,” said Bisi Alli, DO, MS, FACP, scholar, ACLM Health Equity Achieved through Lifestyle Medicine (HEAL); and member, board of directors AMWA. “That is what lifestyle medicine uniquely offers clinicians and patients.”

“COVID-19 uncovered the vulnerabilities of people living with one or more chronic conditions,” said Ken Thorpe, chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease; and Robert W. Woodruff professor and chair, Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. “While it is important to remember that chronic diseases and premature deaths associated with them are often preventable through better nutrition, physical activity, avoiding tobacco use, and reducing alcohol consumption, too many Americans face barriers to these essentials that result in poor health. Efforts to make these kinds of opportunities more accessible is critical to achieving better health outcomes.”

“Attention to lifestyle and health behaviors is foundational to providing a patient-centered, whole person approach to optimal health and well-being. This collaboration between the mayor’s office and ACLM helps guide health care and communities towards better health for all by educating health care teams in how to help patients take charge of their health to prevent, treat, and reverse disease,” said Dr. Amy Locke, chair, Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health. “The Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health, comprised of more than 75 academic institutions and health systems, strongly supports this work and encourages teams to take advantage of this opportunity and for other cities to follow suit.”

“The evidence indicates that our health outcomes are overwhelmingly influenced by social, economic, and environmental factors. Supplementing health care practitioners’ expert clinical care skills with evidence-based learning on how to influence these social determinants of health has the potential for significant benefit to patients,” said Ann Kurth, PhD, MPH, MSN, CNM, president-designate, The New York Academy of Medicine. “This is of critical importance for communities bearing a disproportionate burden of disease due to the influence of environmental factors and an important step to advancing health equity in New York City.”

“The American Heart Association applauds the mayor’s office to have health care professionals train in nutrition and lifestyle medicine,” said Rafael Ortiz, M.D., president, American Heart Association Board of Directors in New York City; and chief, neuro-endovascular surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital. “This year. the American Heart Association introduced Life’s Essential 8, key measures for improving and maintaining cardiovascular health. The eight measures are eat better, be more active, quit tobacco, get healthy sleep, manage weight, control cholesterol, manage blood sugar, and manage blood pressure. Better cardiovascular health, with the help of improving one’s lifestyle, helps lower the risk for heart disease, stroke, and other major health problems.”

The lifestyle medicine initiative engaging hospitals and health systems builds upon educational opportunities in lifestyle medicine already underway at NYC Health + Hospitals. All clinical staff at Health + Hospitals will have access to the above training modules. Additionally, as part of the planned expansion of Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Programs in every borough announced earlier this year, Health + Hospitals is working with ACLM to offer the following training to all staff engaged with those programs:

  • Foundations of Lifestyle Medicine Board Review Course, third edition: Online, comprehensive review course on lifestyle medicine, designed to prepare candidates to pass the lifestyle medicine board certification exam. Available to physicians, dietitians, nurse practitioners, and psychologists staffing each of the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program sites.
  • Lifestyle Medicine for Coaches: Online review course on lifestyle medicine basics for professionals helping patients meet their health goals. This will be offered to health coaches and community health workers.

Finally, membership to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine will be provided to Health + Hospitals physicians, dietitians, health coaches, nurse practitioners, psychologists, and community health workers staffing each of the program sites. Membership has many benefits, including free educational webinars, professional resources, member interest groups, and patient educational materials.

“I commend Mayor Adams on today’s announcement and holistic approach to addressing the health disparity crisis in our community and ensuring the overall societal health of New Yorkers,” said U.S Representative Adriano Espaillat. “Chronic diseases ranging from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are among the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, and the numbers are especially stark within communities of color. Addressing these issues today will have lasting and generational benefits to come, thus helping improve the overall state of health for our communities, families, and our future.”

“For over a decade, I have adhered to the plant-based diet, and I applaud Mayor Adams for bringing this healthy option to all New Yorkers,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “Our mayor discovered that a plant-based diet and other lifestyle changes can be more effective than any prescription in tackling health challenges. Now, he is sharing that lifesaving knowledge with the entire city. A healthy lifestyle, with the plant-based diet as a cornerstone, can remedy obesity, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and a host of other illnesses, while reducing risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. By encouraging the preventative measures of plants before pills, meditation before medical procedures, and social connections before surgery, Mayor Adams is helping New Yorkers lead healthier, happier lives.”

“We are experiencing the worst public health crisis of our lifetime, which caused needless deaths, especially among those with health disparities and underlying conditions,” said New York City Councilmember Lynn Schulman, chair, Committee on Health. “This investment by Mayor Adams and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine will go a long way in addressing current disparities and further enhancing the health and well-being of all New Yorkers.”

“The city’s partnership with ACLM is major step toward providing widespread access to a holistic and traditional medical approach to all New Yorkers,” said New York City Councilmember Joann Ariola. “Many of the hospitals who will be participating in this initial program are safety net hospitals who have already been implementing outreach efforts to educate the consumer about the benefits of lifestyle and nutritional changes for diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. Now, through this generous program, they will be able to grow their specialties and outreach efforts.”

“The health of our communities is in the hands of our medical professionals, and by providing them with critical training and information, we will see an improvement throughout the city,” said New York City Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez. “Too many people, especially in communities like mine, are living with chronic illnesses that could be managed by leading a healthy, nutrition-based lifestyle. I am excited to see Calvary Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center as a part of this initiative; I look forward to seeing their physicians thrive as they provide critical education to our seniors, children, and everyone in between on how to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

“This is an exciting and beneficial partnership which will afford health care practitioners free introductory training in nutrition and lifestyle medicine,” said New York City Councilmember Mercedes Narcisse. “Such an opportunity will surely positively impact the lives of not only theses healthcare professionals, but those they serve within our communities. I thank Mayor Adams and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine for their efforts to help rebuild and enhance our city’s health system.