ACLM Timeline

Healthcare professionals who treat and reverse disease with lifestyle change

2003 | ORIGINS

The first official meeting of the founding committee was held on December 3. The second official meeting was held on December 8 to nominate the founding officers and board members.


The vision for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) is cast by John Kelly, MD, MPH. Impressed by the growing number of scientific studies demonstrating the efficacy of intensive lifestyle interventions in treating and reversing disease, Dr. Kelly understood that a unique skill set was required for physicians to successfully practice the emerging field known as “lifestyle medicine.”

Bylaws are drafted, and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine is officially established. The first general meeting is held March 9, and Dr. Kelly is named the organization’s inaugural president.


Marc Braman, MD, MPH, is elected as ACLM’s second president.


Wayne Dysinger, MD, MPH, is elected president, serving until 2012. Dr. Braman, MD, MPH, transitions into the newly created role of executive director.


A pivotal moment in the evolution of ACLM is the publication of “Physician Competencies for Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine” in JAMA, co-authored by Liana Lianov, MD, MPH, and Mark Johnson, MD, MPH. The article introduces the concept of lifestyle medicine to its broadest audience yet. Fellowship in the college is established.

2011 | FELLOWS

The inaugural class of ACLM Fellows is inducted, and access to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (AJLM) becomes a benefit of membership. ACLM hosts its first stand-alone conference in Portland, OR.


ACLM’s first Standards are published. Professionals in Training – today known as Trainees ‑ are established, and Liana Lianov, MD, MPH, FACLM, is elected president. The second annual conference is held in Denver, CO.


In a key moment for ACLM’s expansion, membership eligibility is extended beyond just physicians and PhD professionals to individuals in other disciplines. The third annual conference is held in Washington, D.C.


Momentum grows as ACLM recruits Susan Benigas to become executive director and organization membership surpasses 500. David Katz, MD, MPH, is elected president. ACLM’s 4th annual conference, held in San Diego, CA, draws more than 500 attendees.

2015 | AWARDS

Membership reaches nearly 800 members and the fifth annual conference in Nashville, TN, includes ACLM's inaugural Healthcare Transformation Summit. The Lifetime Achievement and Trailblazer Awards are established, with Dean Ornish, MD, and John Kelly, MD, MPH, the inaugural recipients.

ACLM creates the True Health Initiative and partners with Wellcoaches® to develop the Lifestyle Medicine for Coaches course. A member survey identifies lifestyle medicine education as a top priority.

2016 | Partnership

ACLM supports the establishment of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM) and launches the Lifestyle Medicine Corporate Roundtable (CRT), with Healthways and Kashi first founding members. ACLM also introduces the LM Core Competencies Program online course (LMCC), co-developed by ACLM and ACPM, and goes worldwide creation of the Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance (LMGA).

Membership surpasses 1,000 and the annual conference in Naples, FL, attracts more than 7,000 attendees. In honor of her father, Beth Frates, MD, created the Donald A. Pegg Student Leadership Award. George Guthrie MPH, FACLM, is elected president.

2017 | GROWTH

ABLM becomes the credentialing body for MDs and DOs, with ACLM providing certification to doctoral- and master’s-level medical professionals. ABLM and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine (IBLM) give their first certification exams, with 300 seated for the U.S. exam.

ACLM transitions from 501(c)6 to 501(c)3 nonprofit status, enabling acceptance of tax-deductible donations, and the Liana Lianov Fund for Happiness Medicine is established.

ACLM education resources continue to expand with the launch of the organization’s learning management system and Monthly Webinar Series. The Lifestyle Medicine Course Syllabus, authored by Beth Frates, MD, FACLM, is published on ACLM’s website, thanks to support from the Ardmore Institute of Health, and the Comprehensive Board Review Course goes live. The Lifestyle Medicine Speakers Bureau debuts

Membership almost doubles in just a year to nearly 2,000, and ACLM partners with Blue Shield of California to provide LM training for BSCA’s provider network. With support from the Lifestyle Medicine Institute, the Lifestyle Medicine Economic Research Consortium (LMERC) is established. More than 800 people attend the annual conference in Tucson, AZ.

2018 | FOCUS

• ACLM board and staff convene for strategic planning meeting, refining the following: Mission: Advancing evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine to treat, reverse and prevent noncommunicable, chronic disease; Vision: A nation and world wherein Lifestyle Medicine is the foundation of health and all healthcare

• Inaugural Summit on Happiness Science in Healthcare is co-presented and hosted by Dell Medical School on the University of TX, Austin, campus

• First pilot sites launched for new Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum (LMRC), with full roll-out projected for 2020

• President George Guthrie invites Immediate Past-president David Katz to serve as task force chair in developing a methodology to evaluate Lifestyle Medicine scientific evidence, addressing the shortcomings of RCTs in regard to Lifestyle Medicine

• ACLM expands practitioner certification tier to bachelor's-level nurses

• Foundations of Lifestyle Medicine Board Review Course launches with CME, including a 386-page manual, authored by John Kelly, MD, MPH, and Jeni Shull, MD, MPH, DipABLM

• The Lifestyle Medicine Handbook: An Introduction to the Power of Healthy Habits by Beth Frates, MD, FACLM, DipABLM, is published

• ACLM membership surpasses 2500

• 8th annual conference held in Indianapolis, IN, with nearly 1,200 attendees

• John McDougall, MD, presented the Lifetime Achievement Award; Wayne Dysinger the Trailblazer Award

• Dexter Shurney, MD, MBA, MPH, FACLM, DipABLM, becomes president

• Cate Collings, MD, FACC, DipABLM, becomes president-elect, the first cardiologist executive officer

2019 | 15th ANNIVERSARY

• Early in 2019, member survey shows reimbursement and clinical practice support most important, fueling the start of advocacy efforts

• Lifestyle Medicine Provider Network (LMPN) is formed

• Taste of Lifestyle Medicine micro grants program launches

• Inaugural Lifestyle Medicine Week debuts

• Dr. Katz’ chaired task force publishes “Hierarchies of Evidence applied to Lifestyle Medicine (HEALM): Introduction of a strength-of-evidence approach based on a methodological systematic review,” in BMC Medical Research Methodology journal.

• ACLM practitioner certification becomes available to bachelor's-level registered dietitians

• 30 Lifestyle Medicine Interest Groups (LMIGs), and growing, exist on medical school and other campuses across the U.S. and internationally

• “The Case for Lifestyle Medicine in the Workplace” is published, spearheaded by the LM in the Workplace MIG

• The “Lifestyle Medicine Reimbursement Roadmap” is published, a project of the LM Reimbursement MIG

• Comprehensive LM curriculum, Lifestyle Medicine 101, and companion LM syllabus and teaching guide, is developed by Beth Frates, MD, FACLM, DipABLM and Michelle Tollefson, MD, FACOG, DipABLM, available via ACLM's website

• Revised Foundations of Lifestyle Medicine Board Review 2nd Edition debuts, with CME and CE

ACLM is the only medical society in the United States that offers quality education and certification to individuals dedicated to clinical and worksite practice of lifestyle medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable health care system. As a result, we are eradicating the root cause of disease by using lifestyle as a therapeutic intervention to prevent, treat, and often reverse lifestyle-related diseases. When you join ACLM, your membership delivers an exceptional return on investment:

  • Gain access to our network of members dedicated to advancing the field of lifestyle medicine.
  • Receive exclusive member-only discounts on CME/CE/CPE opportunities, events, and products.
  • Unlimited access to clinical practice resources.
  • Annual subscription to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.
  • Opportunities to apply for scholarships, grants, and research presentations.

As a member, you are a part of the galvanized force for change. ACLM is committed to tirelessly advancing lifestyle medicine – for your benefit, our medical profession colleagues, and those we serve.