We’re grateful to those who serve on our ACLM Board of Directors—their service is invaluable. Those with terms expiring at the end of October of this year include Treasurer Quinn Pauly, MD, Secretary Deepa Sannidhi, MD, and At-large Directors Beth Frates, MD; Brenda Rea, MD, DrPH, RD, PT; James Loomis, MD; and Richard Safeer, MD. We extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of these outstanding Lifestyle Medicine leaders.

BALLOTS will arrive in e-mail boxes on August 1.

Koushik R. Reddy, MD, Candidate for Treasurer

I am a Director of Interventional Cardiology. After being involved with cardiovascular care and advanced cardiac interventions for years, I realized that we have neglected the most important tool in medicine – Healthy Lifestyle. Once I realized the value and importance of healthy lifestyle, I have been on a mission to learn and share information related to Lifestyle Medicine. As a part of that mission, I joined the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, got certified by the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine. The training and certification enabled me to formally expand my scope of practice. At the Tampa VA hospital, I established a cardiology-based lifestyle clinic called Cardiology HEAL – Healthy Eating And Living. In addition, I established a lifestyle medicine and whole foods plant-based nutrition related discussions into the core curriculum of our cardiology fellowship. I worked with ACLM and established a working group for the Veteran Health Administration and Armed Forces. I currently Co-Chair this working group. I am also an active member of the American College of Cardiology’s working group on Lifestyle and Nutrition. Recently, I founded the Tampa Bay Chapter of PBNM – Plant Based Nutrition Movement. This is community based nonprofit organization that is working on taking the power of plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine to the grassroots level.

I am passionate and deeply committed to the idea of health promotion and disease prevention, using lifestyle and nutrition related tools. Majority of our current healthcare expenditure is geared towards chronic diseases that are lifestyle related. The onus is on all of us to change the current paradigm. The status quo is not sustainable at a personal, societal and planetary scales. This is an issue that can no longer wait. Given my current work, involvement the College, and the degree of commitment, I see myself as someone who is qualified to bring value, new ideas and new partnerships to ACLM. This opportunity will enable me to be closely involved with policy, and reach a larger audience, on behalf of all of us.     

 



 

Richard Safeer, MD, FACLM, FAAFP, FACPM, Candidate for Secretary

My professional path has made it easy for me to assist in the maturation of our college. I received my BS in Nutritional Science at Cornell University under the mentorship of T. Colin Campbell.  I quickly learned during my first family medicine practice that our health system wasn’t supporting health – just transactions. I then served as the Associate Residency Director of Family Medicine at George Washington University and completed a fellowship in faculty development.  I was the Medical Director of Prevention and Disease Management at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, giving me valuable insight to the payer system. I’m now the Chief Medical Director of Employee Health and Well-being at Johns Hopkins Medicine, still seeing patients and incorporating lifestyle into each visit.

The ACLM is more than a college of like-minded professionals.  We are a business. We need to continue to grow in numbers and influence.  During my tenure on the Board of Directors the past three years, I’ve had the opportunity to shape the Corporate Round Table, a collection of companies that support the ACLM both financially and with opportunities for our members.  I’ve also been the co-chair of the Lifestyle Medicine in the Workplace Committee, which is poised to release our first toolkit. This resource will attract more employers to our cause, which will help us with job opportunities and increase pressure on payers to cover lifestyle medicine services more substantially.  I’ve also had the occasion to advise ACLM on reimbursement and health system strategies. I bring a well-rounded perspective of practitioner, payer, educator and employer to the ACLM. I hope you agree that my unique qualifications make me an excellent candidate for secretary.


Michelle Tollefson, MD, Candidate for Secretary

As an Ob-Gyn, I have focused on advancing lifestyle medicine in my clinical practice through patient education. I am a founding co-chair of the Women’s Health Member Interest Group which unites practitioners from diverse backgrounds in order to advance women’s health through healthy lifestyle practices. As one of the first ob-gyn physician wellness coaches when I joined the ACLM over a decade ago, it was inconceivable that I would eventually help lead a burgeoning group of clinicians dedicated to lifestyle medicine in women’s health. 

Additionally, I have dedicated the last eight years to the creation and instruction of a lifestyle medicine and wellness coaching curriculum for pre-professional students at MSU Denver. This experience has allowed for the acquisition of a broad and unique skill-set; including expertise in curriculum development, authentic learning, instructional design, online learning management platforms, and faculty coordination. Our university now offers a Bachelor of Science Major and Minor in Lifestyle Medicine that I designed and administrate. As founding co-chair of the Pre-Professional Lifestyle Medicine Education Member Interest Group, along with others, I have advocated for lifestyle medicine as the foundation of all health education. My demonstrated experience with project development, management, attention to detail, and organization are assets that I would offer while serving on the Board of Directors.

As a product of my ever-increasing involvement in ACLM initiatives, co-chairing two member interest groups, and as a member of the education and conference planning committees, I understand that the lifestyle medicine movement requires all hands on deck. If elected, I will work to broaden our reach to pre-professional trainees in addition to seasoned clinicians across the spectrum of health care professions. Through efforts that increase our numbers while uniting and engaging existing and future members with meaningful opportunities which utilize their strengths and expertise, we will continue to transform healthcare through ACLM. 




 

Brad Biskup, PA, Candidate for Allied Health Representative

Brad Biskup’s professional career has been devoted to Lifestyle Medicine.  He has worked as an Exercise Physiologist in osteoporosis/exercise research, and cardiac rehab.  After becoming a Physician Assistant (PA), Brad worked in cardiology and focused on lipid management as well as cardiovascular disease prevention, using lifestyle modalities.  He developed the Lifestyle Medicine Clinic at UCONN Health in 2010 and the Lifestyle Medicine Lecture Series, both of which are regionally renowned. After joining the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, he founded the Physician Assistants Members Interest Group in 2014, which he continues to chair.  He is also a Lifestyle Medicine Diplomat, having completed requirements at the inaugural testing in 2017.  Brad is also active lecturing on topics in Lifestyle Medicine ranging from Grand Rounds at local hospitals, Physician Assistant conferences, as well as the ACLM conference.

Brad would be an excellent candidate for the Allied Health Professional seat on ACLM’s Board of Directors since he has been part of the growth and development of ACLM and has a unique and nuanced perspective of the importance of all members--especially Advanced Practice Practitioners (APPs), and providers focused on exercise science.  Allied Professionals need a voice on the Board of Directors who advocates for inclusion of all members to grow and enhance the field of Lifestyle Medicine as it transitions to the forefront of healthcare, and Brad Biskup is committed to being that voice.

Kelly Freeman, RN, Candidate for Allied Health Representative

Lifestyle Medicine 2013 event was life changing for me.  I was introduced to so many wonderfully kind, talented, and passionate ACLM members including not only Dean Ornish, but also David Katz, Michael Greger, John McDougall, Wes Youngberg, Hans Diehl, Caldwell Esselstyn, Colin Campbell, Liana Lianov, and Wayne Dysinger.  I was quite easily convinced by the overwhelming evidence that true health comes not from a pill or procedure, but from how we live our lives.

While at the 2013 conference, I searched for another nurse attendee.  It seemed logical and necessary that nurses would share this same interest in health promotion through therapeutic lifestyle techniques as physicians.  Knowing the importance of getting nurses involved, I founded the ACLM RN/APRN Interest Group. I am currently still serving as the chairperson for this group.  We have monthly Zoom meetings. Our membership has grown dramatically. There are five regional RN/APRN interest groups and many talented nurses and advanced practice nurses working towards incorporating lifestyle medicine content into nursing curriculum and published in nursing journals. 

I ask for your consideration for the ACLM Board of Directors as the allied health professional representative.  Allied health professionals such as nurses, PA’s, dieticians, and exercise physiologists offer a strong foundation for the continued growth and momentum of this organization and its endeavors.  I would be honored to serve representing all of these allied specialties in this capacity.

 

Craig McDougall, MD, Candidate At-Large

We are entering an exciting and daunting time within healthcare in our country, expenses are skyrocketing and quality is decreasing.  Healthcare organizations around the country are trying to find innovative ways to lower costs while improving the health of our population.  What is clear to me, the principles of lifestyle medicine need to be at the core of this solution.  Over the last 2 years I have been working at Oregon Health and Science University as the medical director of a primary care clinic.  Besides the responsibilities of managing a local primary care practice, I have been involved with strategic planning for the organization as we grow.  This involves planning innovative practice models, expansion of primary care clinics, and primary care integration across a large health care system.  

Besides my work at Oregon Health and Science University, I have also worked at The McDougall Program, Kaiser Permanente, and Zoom+Care.  At each of these organizations, I had the experience of working in different models of care, and had the opportunity to help design and deliver a lifestyle first approach to patient care.  My hope for joining the ACLM board of directors is to bring viewpoints from my previous experiences with lifestyle medicine and working within large healthcare organizations to help advance the ACLM goals of growth and expansion.  Also, I hope to learn from the ACLM leadership ideas to bring back to OHSU to help the development of a lifestyle medicine clinic within primary care and a lifestyle medicine curriculum for the medical students, internal medicine and family medicine residents of OHSU.  Thank you for your consideration. 

 

 



 


Meagan Grega, MD, Candidate At-Large

When I learned about ACLM several years ago and attended my first conference I was so invigorated and inspired.  Since that time I have found great satisfaction connecting with colleagues while assisting with the work of the Reimbursement Task Force, Clinical Practice Management Working Group, Lifestyle Medicine Program Certification Task Force, Community Engagement Member Interest Group, Lifestyle Medicine Health Systems Working Group and the ACLM Speaker’s Bureau. 

As Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Kellyn Foundation (www.kellyn.org), I am committed to bringing Lifestyle Medicine approaches into the community through our “Healthy Neighborhood Immersion Strategy”; including Kellyn Schools programs that reach over 9,500 students each year, Kellyn Kitchens culinary medicine initiatives, Kellyn Food Access through the Eat Real Food Mobile Market and the Lehigh Valley Corner Store Initiative, and Kellyn Health which encompasses intensive behavioral interventions for patients as well as CME events such as the Lehigh Valley Lifestyle Medicine Symposium to spread the word about the power and potential of Lifestyle Medicine.  I am excited to serve as faculty for the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum at St. Luke’s University Health Network Anderson Campus and am actively engaged in mentoring medical students, including assisting with the creation of our student Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group. 

I believe we are at a tipping point in regards to Lifestyle Medicine’s acceptance and implementation; moving past the time of trying to prove the “Why” to the time of designing and teaching the “How”.  Towards that end, I am passionately committed to focusing my energy and creativity in support of the next phase of its evolution in becoming the foundation of all healthcare. It would be my honor to serve on the Board of ACLM as we enter this exhilarating new era together. 

Sean Hashmi, MD, Candidate At-Large

My vision for joining the ACLM Board of Directors is to help propel lifestyle medicine into the forefront of healthcare. As a nephrologist and obesity medicine specialist, I have spent the last eleven years dealing with comorbidities that could be halted and, in some cases, reversed simply with lifestyle medicine. What I bring to ACLM is local, regional and national experience. On a local level, I serve as the Assistant Area Medical Director at Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills, California. This role allows me to oversee operations for close to one hundred physicians and encompasses thirteen different medical subspecialties. In addition, I oversee the finances for these departments with a total budget in excess of one hundred million dollars. This large-scale background gives me the business knowledge to help ACLM’s future growth. 

On a regional level, I serve as the Regional Director for Clinical Nutrition and Weight Management at Southern California, Kaiser Permanente. In this role, I am responsible for creating, managing and evaluating our weight management programs for our 4.6 million members spread across thirteen medical centers. In addition, I have also served on the SCPMG Board of Directors representing our eight thousand plus physicians on a variety of issues. 

On a national level, I am proud to be a member of ACLM. In addition, I have served as the secretary/treasurer, president-elect and currently the president for the clinical section of The Obesity Society (TOS). In addition, I am a national speaker on topics of nutrition, lifestyle medicine, and kidney disease. 

I am confident that my depth and breadth of experience will allow me to contribute to ACLM’s vision where lifestyle medicine becomes the foundation for a sustainable healthcare system.


Melissa Mondala, MD, MHA, MS, Candidate At-Large

I am a board certified Family Medicine physician and completed my medical school training at Chicago Medical School. Over the past year, I have served as Preventive Medicine Junior Faculty at Loma Linda University Health and will be completing my Lifestyle Medicine fellowship.  I have experience in lifestyle medicine group visits on a variety of topics and been heavily involved in the development of lifestyle medicine residency and fellowship curricula. In addition, I have participated in Intensive lifestyle change programs, such as Weimar Institute’s NEWSTART, TrueNorth, and St. Helena’s TakeTEN and can attest to the power of these intensive programs.  In the Loma Linda University Health Lifestyle Medicine Consultation Service Line that includes both inpatient and outpatient settings, I empower patients to make positive lifestyle changes and develop disease-specific lifestyle recommendations and prescriptions. Consequently, there has been sustainable reversal of type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, rhinosinusitis, mood disorders, functional abdominal pain, polysubstance abuse, polyarthritis of various autoimmune diseases, and chronic kidney disease. I have seen dramatic improvements in chronic pain, atrial fibrillation, and lupus through stepwise lifestyle modifications. In addition, I have implemented therapeutic lifestyle medicine recommendations in various specialty settings such as adolescent psychiatry, student health, sickle cell anemia, and a federally qualified health center. 

I served as President 2018-2019 and Secretary 2017-2018 for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Professionals in Training (PiT) Division. I carried out PiT’s mission to expand PiT nationally and globally through Lifestyle Medicine Interest Groups (LMIGs), social media campaigns, and personally inspiring a neighboring medical school, Western University to create a LMIG. I have accelerated the lifestyle medicine movement within academic institutions, social media, community fairs, and podcasts. I am committed to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s collective efforts to elevate lifestyle medicine in the medical, political, and social spheres. If selected to judiciously serve on the Board of Directors, I plan to impart my passions, creativity, and experience to contribute to lifestyle medicine solutions for our current healthcare system and health education reform. As healthy doctors transcend into healthy patients, I plan to emphasize personal healthy behaviors and professional resilience. My health and healing comes from plant based culinary experimentation, gym time, hiking, and making memories with loved ones.

Theresa Stone, MD, FACP, Candidate At-Large

My journey to Lifestyle Medicine began early during my Internal Medicine career as a National Health Service Corps Scholar assigned in Philadelphia, PA. While serving communities with limited access to medical care and economic resources, I became acutely aware of the strong health impact of lifestyle and environmental factors. I learned the importance of empowering patients with skills to promote well-being and sought to integrate evidence-based lifestyle interventions (nutritious cooking plant predominant meals, exercise, stress reduction, sleep, and community – building.) in my clinical practice. 

After fulfilling my service obligation in the NHSC , I joined Washington Internal Medicine Group P.C. ,a small District of Columbia based private practice where I thoroughly enjoyed working for many years until 2006 when I joined Medstar Health. Invited by Medstar Health Leadership, I joined a taskforce to bring wellness initiatives to our large 10 hospital system in 2014, I attended ACLM Annual Lifestyle Medicine Conference to learn how other hospital systems were implementing Lifestyle Medicine Programs. I became enlightened and found my tribe. As a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine I have had the pleasure of serving on the Annual Conference Corporate Sponsor Committee, Lifestyle Medicine in Health Systems Working Group, and participate in several LM annual conferences and special meetings such as LM Summit on Happiness and Wellbeing in Healthcare. Valuable training obtained from these LM meetings, Certification in Culinary Chef Coaching, Mind Body Medicine Education at Harvard Univ. and Georgetown Univ involvement in Harvard Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, and Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives CME provided the opportunity to work with colleagues on multiple wellness initiatives for the health system. These initiatives include; Georgetown School of Medicine Mind Body Medicine Elective Facilitator, “Mindfulness Mondays “ relaxation technique introduction for several Georgetown University Hospital Nursing Units , Physician Wellbeing Taskforce, “Wellness Wagon” designed to promote healthy lifestyle interventions and build connectedness for Medstar Health Associates in several of multi-specialty outpatient ambulatory outpatient centers. I look forward to sharing my experience with many of the dynamic energetic compassionate members of ACLM who are interested in designing work place wellness initiatives at their institutions. 

I am the cofounder and Medical Director of Fresh & Savory Culinary and Lifestyle Shared Medical Appointment Program a Medstar Institute of Innovation initiative. This pop-up Teaching Kitchen is designed to catalyze transformative health behaviors in patients, employees, and students via culinary and lifestyle skill building. Since starting the program in 2017, our team has published our work in JACM, presented posters at Teaching Kitchen Collaborative Research Day, Medstar Health Research Institute Research Symposium, Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health, participated in panels presentations , led breakout sessions at Harvard Institute of Lifestyle Medicine CME Conference, and joined ACLM leadership to discuss the nuts and bolts of Lifestyle Medicine practices with Health Care Senior Policy Advisors in D.C. Sharing our work with health professionals, educators, administrators, and policy advisors dedicated to promoting Lifestyle Medicine has been incredible. The passion, creativity, and brilliance of the ACLM membership is contagious. With exponential growth, increased awareness , and recent expansion Culinary and Lifestyle Medicine programs across the country, this is a wonderful time for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. It would be a great honor to serve and support the wonderful momentum of this dynamic organization.