“The American College of Lifestyle Medicine, in recognition of the significant lifestyle medicine interest within the UConn Health system, we are pleased to invite UConn Health to join the ACLM Health Systems Council as a Founding Member,” shared ACLM’s recognition letter.
As a member of the Health System Council UConn Health will now help further develop a collaborative learning community of health systems that promote lifestyle medicine.
In fact, this fall UConn School of Medicine launched its new Lifestyle Medicine Residency track curriculum for those new doctors receiving advanced training in the School’s three residency programs of internal medicine, primary care, and family medicine.
Dr. Varalakshmi Niranjan, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Internal Medicine at UConn Health, is director of the lifestyle medicine residency track at UConn School of Medicine. The program currently has 20 trainees specializing in lifestyle medicine.
“Education on lifestyle medicine is a critical part of teaching among residency programs to train clinicians in lifestyle medicine,” says Niranjan. “The six pillars of lifestyle medicine include healthy eating, increasing physical activity, stress management, improving sleep hygiene, avoiding substance use and improving social connectivity. Our goal is to change consumers to contributors who can create a healthy community. By adopting healthy lifestyle, we will decrease chronic medical conditions and thereby decrease health care cost and burden in the long term.”
The Health Systems Council, which only just launched this May, already has more than 50 Founding Member health systems participating such as UConn Health in its collaborative learning community. These are health systems that have actively begun integrating lifestyle medicine programs into their organizations.
According to ACLM lifestyle medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic interventions—including a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connection—as a primary modality, delivered by clinicians trained and certified in this specialty, to prevent, treat, and often reverse chronic disease.
ACLM is the medical professional society for those dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of lifestyle medicine and promotes lifestyle medicine as the first treatment option.
“UConn Health is dedicated to helping people achieve and maintain healthy lives and restoring health and wellness to maximum attainable levels,” said Niranjan of UConn Health. “We can prevent and treat chronic medical conditions by educating patients with lifestyle changes that they can adopt.”