The Evolution and Revolution of Lifestyle Medicine

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Season 1, Episode 20 Guest: Susan Benigas

Lifestyle Medicine, rather than pills and procedures, should be the core of virtually all healthcare related interactions. Lifestyle related behaviors including nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress, risky substances and social connections are behind approximately 80% of early, preventable chronic disease and death in the United States.

Fortunately, that is the mission of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), the Executive Director for which, Susan Benigas, is our guest on this episode. Susan is one of a kind. Her knowledge on the state of lifestyle medicine in medical education and medical practice is tremendous and her energy is infectious.

She takes us through the journey of the foundation of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, its current state and future. We discuss the six pillars of Lifestyle Medicine, the distinctions between Lifestyle Medicine and both functional and integrative medicine. And Susan explains how to find physicians who are certified by the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine.

In between all of that are a number of extra details that you’ll just have to listen to hear for yourself! Thanks to Susan‘s energy, the episode will fly by in a flash!

Key Messages about the Evolution and Revolution of Lifestyle Medicine:

  • The ACLM has grown to 7500 members in just 7 years since its inception
  • Healthcare transformation means lifestyle medicine becoming the foundation of all health and healthcare.
  • The 6 pillars of lifestyle medicine are prescribed by those who are trained and certified to treat, reverse and prevent chronic conditions that are ravaging so many people in our world.
  • ACLM providers offer virtual services, making them far more accessible.
  • ACLM offers clinical resources and education for physicians and allied health professionals.
  • ACLM encourages and supports their members to become certified by the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine.

As executive director of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), Susan advocates coming together as a galvanized force for change. It was from under ACLM’s wing, through Dr. David Katz’ leadership, that True Health Initiative was born, creating cultures that support the adoption of healthy lifestyle choices.

Susan Benigas, Executive Director, American College of Lifestyle Medicine

Susan Benigas

Susan’s work has spanned the gamut, from running political campaigns to serving in executive, senior management and consultant roles for organizations ranging from professional sports and media to healthcare technology and worksite health promotion.

Prior to joining ACLM, Susan founded the not-for-profit The Plantrician Project and co-founded the International Plant-based Nutrition Healthcare Conference, showcasing the efficacy of whole food, plant-based nutrition in its ability to prevent, suspend and often even reverse much of the chronic, degenerative disease pervasive in our patient populations.

Susan joined ACLM in March 2014 and the organization has experienced tremendous growth under her leadership. She leads the ACLM vision that lifestyle medicine become the foundation of all health and all health care.

Read Susan Benigas’ full bio here.

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