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Healthcare Leaders Release Joint Statement in Support of Lifestyle Medicine to Reduce Chronic Disease

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) and its Corporate Roundtable released a joint statement today stressing the need to incorporate lifestyle medicine into clinical practice to lower rates of chronic disease in America.

The statement—written by ACPM leadership and the private sector organizations who make up the Corporate Roundtable—comes at the conclusion of their one-day symposium on "Building Community Health and Wellbeing through Business, Culture and Policy" and reads as follows:

"The United States is burdened by lifestyle-related diseases that threaten its economy and the wellbeing of its citizens. More than half of Americans cope with chronic disease; the nation's total direct and indirect economic cost for the most common chronic diseases is estimated to exceed $1 trillion annually. Projections indicate this figure could reach $6 trillion annually by 2050, an unsustainable reality that would devastate the U.S. economy.

"This massive chronic disease burden is almost entirely preventable. A substantial body of epidemiologic and clinical research documents the relationship between lifestyle behaviors and chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and common cancers.

"The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) supports the advancement of lifestyle medicine in clinical practice to address this growing public health crisis. Lifestyle medicine is defined as a scientific approach to decreasing disease risk and illness through lifestyle interventions such as nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction, smoking cessation, avoidance of alcohol abuse, and rest."

"A series of strategic initiatives will be required to influence the successful advancement and adoption of lifestyle medicine in clinical practice. These include:

  1. Incorporating lifestyle medical competencies – physician leadership, knowledge, and assessment and management skills – into clinical practice.
  2. Educating consumers on the compelling link between behaviors and health to drive demand for lifestyle medicine.
  3. Securing the support of public and private payers for reimbursement of lifestyle interventions that have been shown to prevent, treat, and reverse chronic disease.
  4. Securing the support of employers in benefit design and incentives based on their influential role in determining reimbursable services."

The Building Community Health symposium convened senior-level representatives from the healthcare, academic, business, policy, and human resources fields on February 23 to discuss ways in which employers, insurers, and health providers can work together to advance innovative new programs in-line with these strategic initiatives. Robin Schepper, Senior Adviser of the Bipartisan Policy Center, provided the keynote address, and sessions covering business, culture, and policy perspectives were led by Robert W. Carr, Rick Brush, and Tevi Troy, respectively. Videos of each presentation will be made available to the public next month.

The symposium was held at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, Va., in conjunction with Preventive Medicine 2016, the annual meeting of ACPM, and was additionally supported by the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies and sponsored by BioMeasure. 

ACPM's Corporate Roundtable consists of mission-aligned, private sector organizations committed to advancing issues of prevention and public health. Roundtable members meet with ACPM leadership twice each year to discuss health-related topics of mutual interest, and will convene on Thursday, February 25 during the Preventive Medicine 2016 conference.

ACPM is the leading U.S.-based organization for physicians dedicated to disease prevention and health promotion. Founded in 1954, ACPM provides leadership in research, professional education, development of public policy, and enhancement of standards of preventive medicine. Specialists in preventive medicine are uniquely trained in both clinical medicine and public health, and have the skills needed to understand and reduce the risks of disease, disability, and death in individuals and in population groups.

SOURCE The American College of Preventive Medicine

For further information: Media Contact: Dani Pere, ACPM Associate Executive Director, 202.466.2044 x105,