Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Awards Recipients

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

John A. McDougall, MD has been studying, writing, and speaking out about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 50 years. A graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, Dr. McDougall performed his internship at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and his medical residency at the University of Hawaii. He is certified as an internist by the Board of Internal Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners. He and his wife, Mary, are also the authors of several nationally best-selling books as well as the co-founders of Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods, which produces high quality vegetarian cuisine to make it easier for people to eat well on the go

Dr. McDougall is the founder and director of the nationally renowned McDougall Program: a ten-day residential program that he and Mary host in Santa Rosa, CA where medical miracles occur through diet and lifestyle changes. He has cared for thousands of patients for five decades. His program not only promotes a broad range of dramatic and lasting health benefits but, most importantly, can also reverse serious illnesses including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and others, all without the use of drugs.

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

For decades T. Colin Campbell, PhD has been at the forefront of nutrition education and research. Dr. Campbell’s expertise and scientific interests encompass relationships between diet and disease, particularly the causation of cancer. His legacy, the China Project, is one of the most comprehensive studies of health and nutrition ever conducted. The New York Times has recognized the study as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology”.

Dr. Campbell is the coauthor of the bestselling book The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health, and author of the New York Times bestseller Whole, and The Low-Carb Fraud. He is featured in several documentaries including: the blockbuster Forks Over Knives, Eating You Alive, Food Matters, Plant Pure Nation and others. He is the founder of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and the online Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate in partnership with eCornell.

Dr. Campbell has conducted original research both in laboratory experiments and in large-scale human studies; received over 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding (mostly with NIH), served on grant review panels of multiple funding agencies, actively participated in the development of national and international nutrition policy, authored over 300 research papers and given hundreds of lectures around the world.

He was trained at Cornell University (M.S., Ph.D.) and MIT (Research Associate) in nutrition, biochemistry and toxicology. Dr. Campbell spent 10 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition before returning to Cornell in 1975 where he presently holds his Endowed Chair as the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.

2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Dr. Esselstyn received his BA from Yale University and his MD from Case Western Reserve University. In 1956, pulling the No. 6 oar as a member of the victorious United States rowing team, he was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Games. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. In 1968, as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

During his association with the Cleveland Clinic, which began in 1968, Dr. Esselstyn served as president of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic’s Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery.

In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn served as president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, That same year he organized the first National Conference on the Elimination of Coronary Artery Disease. In 1997, he chaired a follow-up conference, the Summit on Cholesterol and Coronary Disease, which brought together more than 500 physicians and health-care workers. In April, 2005, Dr. Esselstyn became the first recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Association in 2009. In September 2010, he received the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Award. Dr. Esselstyn received the 2013 Deerfield Academy Alumni Association Heritage Award In Recognition of Outstanding Achievement & Service, and the 2013 Yale University GEORGE H.W. BUSH ’48 LIFETIME OF LEADERSHIP AWARD. He’s also the recipient of the 2015 Plantrician Project Luminary Award.

His scientific publications number over 150, “The Best Doctors in America” 1994-1995 published by Woodward and White cites Dr. Esselstyn’s surgical expertise in the categories of endocrine and breast disease. In 1995, he published his bench mark long-term nutritional research arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients. That same study was updated at 12 years and reviewed beyond twenty years in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, making it one of the longest longitudinal studies of its type. Dr. Esselstyn and his wife, Ann Crile Esselstyn, have followed a plant-based diet for more than 26 years. Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute and serves on the Board of Directors of The Plantrician Project. The Esselstyns have four children and 10 grandchildren.

2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

The founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute, Dr. Ornish is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his MD from the Baylor College of Medicine, was a clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School, and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dean earned a BA in Humanities summa cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin, where he gave the baccalaureate address.

For over 36 years, Dr. Ornish has directed clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease, without drugs or surgery. Recently, Medicare agreed to provide coverage for this program, the first time that Medicare has covered a program of comprehensive lifestyle changes. He directed the first randomized controlled trial demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes may stop or reverse the progression of early-stage prostate cancer. His current research showed that comprehensive lifestyle changes affect gene expression, “turning on” disease-preventing genes and “turning off” genes that promote cancer and heart disease, as well as the first study showing that these lifestyle changes reverse aging by lengthening telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes which control aging (in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009).

He is the author of six books, all national bestsellers, including: Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease; Eat More, Weigh Less; Love & Survival; and his most recent book, The Spectrum.

Distinguished Lifestyle Medicine Trailblazer Award Recipients

2018 Trailblazer Award Recipient

Dr. Dysinger currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for Lifestyle Medicine Solutions, a new model primary care concept that is built on Lifestyle Medicine principles along with a direct primary care funding mechanism. He is also Medical Director of the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) and consults and teaches on Lifestyle Medicine issues around the world. Dr. Dysinger was previously Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Loma Linda University. He is a past President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, is on the board of the American College of Preventive Medicine, and has worked in various capacities with the American Medical Association and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. Dr. Dysinger earned his M.D. degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine (1986), and his MPH from Loma Linda University School of Public Health (1990). He has previously worked in Guam, Atlanta and Dartmouth.

2017 Trailblazer Award Recipient

As a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues, Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, among countless other symposia and institutions. He testified before Congress; has appeared on shows such as The Colbert Report and The Dr. Oz Show; and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. In 2017, he was honored with the ACLM Lifestyle Medicine Trailblazer Award.

Dr. Greger’s most recent scientific publications in the American Journal of Preventive MedicineCritical Reviews in MicrobiologyFamily and Community Health, and the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition, and Public Health explore the public health implications of industrialized animal agriculture.

Dr. Greger is also licensed as a general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition and is a founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He was featured on the Healthy Living Channel promoting his latest nutrition DVDs and honored to teach part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s esteemed nutrition course at Cornell University. Dr. Greger’s nutrition work can be found at NutritionFacts.org, which is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit charity.

He is the author of Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching and Carbophobia: The Scary Truth Behind America’s Low Carb Craze. His latest book, How Not to Die, became an instant New York Times Best Seller. View the book trailer here. Dr. Greger is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr. Greger is proud to be a Council of Directors member of the global voice for lifestyle as medicine, the True Health Initiative (THI). This is a growing coalition of more than 360 world experts representing 35 countries. It is an unprecedented assembly that includes physicians, university Deans, former Surgeon Generals, Olympic athletes, chefs, environmental professionals and a diverse group of nutritionists. Together they offer clarity over confusion and support the foundational principles of healthy eating and healthy living.

All speaking fees and proceeds Dr. Greger receives from the sale of his books and DVDs are donated to charity.

2016 Trailblazer Award Recipient

Dr. Barnard is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. In 1985, he founded the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit organization that promotes good nutrition through education and advocacy, conducts clinical research, promotes higher ethical standards in human and animal research, and provides direct medical care. In 2015, he founded Barnard Medical Center, a nonprofit primary care clinic integrating nutrition into patient care. In his medical practice, Dr. Barnard works with patients with diabetes, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and chronic pain in innovative clinical trials, including a groundbreaking study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes, funded by the National Institutes of Health. His research contributed to the acceptance of plant-based diets in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In 2015, he was named a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Barnard has authored more than 80 scientific publications and 18 books and has hosted four PBS television programs on nutrition and health.

Dr. Barnard works with the Medical Society of the District of Columbia and the American Medical Association, of which he is a Lifetime Member, to bring forward policy improvements calling for healthier food in hospitals, schools, and federal food assistance programs. Dr. Barnard is the editor in chief of the Nutrition Guide for Clinicians, a textbook made available to all U.S. medical students.

Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Dr. Barnard received his M.D. degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the same institution. He practiced at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York before returning to Washington to found the Physicians Committee.

2015 Trailblazer Award Recipient

Dr. John H. Kelly is the founding President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Medicine is a second career for Dr. John and he received the AMA Foundation’s Excellence in Medicine Leadership Award for his work with ACLM in 2004 as a young physician–at age 55y. He received his BS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Shepard University (1996; McMurran Scholar, Summa Cum Laude), his MD from Loma Linda University (2000) and his MPH in Epidemiology from Loma Linda University (2002; with honors).

Known internationally for his passion for and leadership in the field of Lifestyle Medicine, he is an invited speaker on the topics of Lifestyle Medicine and Epigenetics. He served as Co-PI for research on the use of lifestyle interventions to reverse diabetes in the Marshall Islands ($2-million federally-funded study). He has published research articles and co-authored a book chapter on nutrition as medicine.

Dr. Kelly was the recipient of the inaugural ACLM Trailblazer Award for his leadership in the field of Lifestyle Medicine, and has recently launched one of the first clinical fellowships in LM at the Black Hills Health and Education Center near Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota where he now serves as Medical Director for a residential lifestyle treatment center in the Black Hills.

Dr. Ancel Keys Award

Professor Pekka Puska was the Director General of the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland (THL) 2009–2013. Recently (2017-2019) he served as a Member of the national Parliament of Finland, including the Health and Social Affairs Committee and of the Education Committee of the Parliament. Professor Puska continues also his affiliation with THL. THL is a comprehensive national institute for public health and welfare under Ministry of Health in Finland. It covers a broad range of health and welfare issues from disease prevention, nutrition, lifestyles and environment, infectious disease control and national vaccination programs to health and social services, health and welfare monitoring and statistics. THL was formed after a merger of the National Public Health Institute (KTL) and the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (Stakes), and started its work in January 2009. Before THL Professor Puska was the Director General of KTL (2004-2008).

Professor Puska has, for most of his career, worked at KTL/THL. He was, for 25 years, the Director and Principal Investigator of the North Karelia Project: prevention of cardiovascular diseases in North Karelia and later on in all Finland. Within 25 years, over 80% decline in annual heart disease mortality among the working age population and a dramatic general improvement in public health took place. The project is widely seen as a model for successful population based prevention of cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases (NCD).

In 2001-2003 Professor Puska served as the Director for Non-communicable Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the World Health Organization Headquarters in Geneva. At WHO, Pekka Puska directed the work on integrated prevention of NCD targeting the main risk factors (tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity) through health promotion, national programs, policy measures and regional networks. Professor Puska’s Department was the focal point of this work that culminated in adoption of the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health by the World Health Assembly in 2004. Recently (2015-16) he chaired the Independent Expert Group for he Impact Assessment of the WHO/FCTC.

Professor Puska has, internationally and domestically, served in a number of scientific, expert and public health functions, WHO’s work, multinational projects, international conferences etc. He has over 500 scientific publications. Internationally, Professor Puska is the past President of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI). He has also served as the Chair of the Governing Council of the WHO International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) and as the President of the World Heart Federation.

Donald A. Pegg Lifestyle Medicine Student Leadership Award


Abigail Joy Garcia | University of Incarnate Word
Stephen Manga | Eastern Virginia Medical School
Timothy Voehl | Arizona State University
Annika Lintvedt | Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Ali Koehler | Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine – Southern Utah


Simal Ali | Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
Brent Gawey | Emory University School of Medicine
Gautam Ramesh, Alec Terrana (co-applicant), Kyleigh Kirbach (co-applicant) | University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine
Cait Magee | Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Leonie Dupuis | University of Central Florida College of Medicine
Gali Katznelson | Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry


Nicole Almeida | UniCEUB
João Paulo Batista de Souza | Unila – Univerdidade Federal da Integração Latino Americana
Madeleine Jacques | Eastern Virginia Medical School
Lauren Kanzaki | The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Neil Kelly | Weill Cornell Medical College
Alyssa Kramer | Trinity College Dublin
Hannah Maddox Rhea | Indiana University
Brooklynne Palmer | University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Anthony Rizzo | Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Lora Stoianova | SUNY Downstate
Nicholas Sweet | Idaho State University
Emily Wey | Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine – Dublin Campus


Daniel T. Gorenstin | Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Unirio)
Lisa Kisling Thompson | University of Colorado
Krystyna Rastorguieva | Emory Rollins School of Public Health
Tatiana Znayenko-Miller | The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Kacie Amacher, MS-III | Keck School of MEdicine of USC
Saul Baustista , MS-IV | Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Alexander Buell, MS-III | Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine
Erica Veazey | Brown Medical School


Albert Barrera | University of Florida
Alicja Baska | Medical University of Warsaw
Alyssa Greenwell, OMS-II | Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Paresh Jaini, OMS-IV | University of North Texas Health Science Center


Jessie Hipple | Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy
Elaine Poling | Oakland University School of Medicine
James Gardner | University of Utah School of Medicine
Alyssa Abreu | Stephen F. Austin State University