Rochester Regional Health is among 19 founding health systems of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s new Health Systems Council. The new group will pioneer the implementation of lifestyle medicine into health organizations across the United States.
As a founding system, Rochester Regional Health will be a part of routine meetings, collaborating with a community of health systems to work towards the integration of lifestyle medicine into all areas of health care.
“We’re thrilled that Rochester Regional Health was chosen to be in the initial group of founders,” said Kerry Graff, MD, Family and Lifestyle Medicine physician. “It calls attention to our commitment to lifestyle medicine and how much it is needed throughout our organization.”
Lifestyle medicine is a newer medical specialty that focuses on the treatment of underlying causes of health problems instead of managing current symptoms. It is aimed at shifting the process of treatment from pills and procedures to long-term changes and treatments that target health issues at their root.
“We focus on preventing, treating, and reversing chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and more,” said Dr. Graff.
At Rochester Regional Health, Lifestyle Medicine physicians focus on three lifestyle determinants of health:
These determinants of health directly affect health. Other factors that we look at in patients, such as sleep length and quality, stress levels, and love or relationships; can indirectly impact health in a variety of ways.
“For people to make healthy behavioral changes, it helps to focus on what they love and what they want to be healthy for,” she said. “That’s often my focus when I’m working with patients, but that’s not something any of us get taught in medical school.”
Working with patients to help them adopt a healthier lifestyle can greatly impact their health, including any chronic health conditions. The goal of lifestyle medicine is to find those causes and treat them.
Ms. Fournier said she felt like she was “coming home” when she drove to CPH on her first day of work.
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