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School of Medicine Greenville

Transformational year for Lifestyle Medicine culminates with 2022 conference

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine annual conference was held Nov. 13 to Nov. 16, 2022 in Orlando, Florida, with the theme, “Redesigning Healthcare Better.” This year’s conference welcomed 1,900 in-person attendees and more than 750 virtual attendees, building on momentum that has been gaining in lifestyle medicine. It was a key event — coming on the heels of the September rollout of the U.S. White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, which announced a pioneering vision for ending hunger and reducing diet-related disease by 2030, while closing disparities among the communities that are impacted most.

Lifestyle Medicine 2022 featured more than 120 speakers, 35 general conference sessions, 25member group meetings, 17 pre-conference and post-conference meetings and 12 oral research abstract presentations.

“Interest in lifestyle medicine as a solution to the United States’ unsustainable trajectory of chronic disease and its associated costs has never been higher,” said Shannon Worthman, Director of Education at the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. “The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health recognized the urgent need for increased focus on nutrition and physical activity in medical education and highlighted the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s and School of Medicine Greenville’s commitments to these efforts.” 

Representing the School of Medicine Greenville (SOMG) — an innovator in the field with its open-source LMEd lifestyle medicine curriculum — a team of faculty and medical students attended the annual conference. On opening night of the conference, Dr. Jennifer Trilk, Associate Professor at SOMG, was named as one of three awardees of the ACLM “Special Recognition Award.” Furthermore, three medical students had a poster presentation at the conference on their key research that shows a tandem cycling program can help improve the physical and mental health of both Parkinson’s disease patients and their care partners.

Leila Djerdjour, Alia Sadek, Ryan Reyes, all second-year medical students at SOMG, discussed the preliminary results of their research. The research, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Trilk and researchers at Prisma Health-Upstate, looks at tandem cycling dyads and the impact on physical, mental, and emotional health — with positive results thus far, said School of Medicine Greenville Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Phyllis MacGilvray. “It was wonderful to see their excitement as they discussed this study and the positive outcomes for the families that participated,” said MacGilvray, who also attended the conference. 

School of Medicine Greenville is investing in this kind of research, which can help to provide resources and knowledge for better patient health and life. “Partnering with Prisma Health, SOMG is interested in investing in patient-oriented research that improves the health and wellness of patients, families, and communities,” said Dr. MacGilvray. “Research in lifestyle medicine and programs that promote the six pillars of lifestyle medicine (physical activity, plant-forward nutrition, restorative sleep, positive social connections, risky substance avoidance, and stress management) promotes health behavior change for all of us.” 

The growing field of lifestyle medicine focuses on wellness, striving to be a resource for better patient health and life. “Lifestyle medicine is understanding the lifestyle-related root causes of our chronic disease and using this power to prevent, treat, and reverse these diseases in our patients and our population,” said Dr. Jennifer Trilk. 

Awareness of lifestyle medicine has grown exponentially over the past two to three years. “This particular conference was yet another significant stepping stone after the important White House conference and it was an acknowledgment of the USC SOMG and ACLM commitments and efforts, as well as the efforts of many others,” said Trilk, associate professor. 

Membership in ACLM, which recently became a content provider for the American Medical Association (AMA) Ed Hub learning platform, has grown to more than 9,000 health professionals, said Worthman. 

The 2022 Lifestyle Medicine conference follows the Sept. 28 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and health, an effort that was lead in large part by Rep. Jim McGovern, (D-Mass.).

McGovern was named as an awardee of the Special Recognition Award, along with Dr. Trilk and Dr. Brenda Rea, a Lifestyle Medicine Intensivist at Loma Linda University Health Education Consortium.  Rep. McGovern also specifically commended Dr. Trilk, Dr. Rea, and ACLM for their efforts in advocating for lifestyle medicine education and practice in the United States.

During the conference, Dr. Trilk and SOMG medical students got the opportunity to meet with Dr. Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, FASA, the former 20th U.S. surgeon general and a prior member of the President's Coronavirus task force. Dr. Adams spoke at the conference on the topic of “Healing Our Nation,” health equity achieved through lifestyle medicine. 

Other information about the 2022 Lifestyle Medicine Conference can be found at 

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