American College of Lifestyle Medicine President David Katz Welcomes Stephen Squinto as First Benefactor of the GLiMMER Project and True Health Coalition

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David Katz, MD, MPH, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, welcomes Stephen Squinto, PhD, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. co-founder and former chief global operations officer, as first major benefactor of the GLiMMER Project and its True Health Coalition.

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Dr. Squinto has made significant contributions to public health. I greatly appreciate his generosity and commitment to this project and am thrilled that the GLiMMER initiative is officially under way.

David Katz, MD, MPH, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and founding director of the Yale University’s Prevention Research Center today announced the major backing of the GLiMMER Project (Global Lifestyle Medicine Movement to Effect Revolution) and its True Health Coalition by Stephen Squinto, PhD, recently retired Alexion co-founder.

The vision for GLiMMER and the True Health Coalition was cast this past October during ACLM’s annual conference and was met with a standing ovation by over 500 conference attendees. Katz said to the audience that he wanted to dream, asking them to dream with him, as he outlined plans for a global coalition of the world’s leading authorities and organizations. The ultimate goal of the initiative is steady, measureable progress toward one of the most accessible, yet greatest advances in the history of public health: the eradication of 80% of premature death and chronic disease in the modern world.

“My hope is that GLiMMER will light the way to meaningful reform where lifestyle becomes the medicine, resulting in more years in life and more life in years—bequeathing this blessing to our children and to generations to come,” said Katz.

In the wake of his January 1 retirement from Alexion, Squinto was in search of a meaningful project behind which he could throw his support. He was intrigued when learning about plans for the GLiMMER Project and the True Health Coalition, seeing the void in the world for the convening by widely respected leaders of global renown, speaking with one voice to establish universal knowledge of the common core elements of lifestyle as medicine and their capacity to create a blueprint to rein in our ever escalating chronic disease trends and the associated costs.

“It’s imperative that we take immediate and decisive action to address the alarming reality of our current health crisis,” said Squinto. “I’ve devoted my career to the pharmaceutical industry but certainly understand the power of lifestyle medicine in light of the fact that 80% or more of our healthcare costs are directly tied to poor lifestyle choices.”

Squinto was quick to note his high regard for the leadership of David Katz, adding “In order for a project of this magnitude to succeed, it needs to be in the hands of capable people. It’s about trust and faith, and I have both where David Katz and this project are concerned—I look forward to being part of something extraordinary.”

"Dr. Squinto has made significant contributions to public health of his own,” said Katz. It is especially gratifying to gain the trust, and garner the support, of someone of his stature. I greatly appreciate his generosity and commitment to this project and am thrilled that, with Steve's philanthropy, the GLiMMER initiative is officially under way."

Katz emphasizes that unless this is done, the status quo will persist. “Every year it does, we will continue to succumb unnecessarily to chronic disease, premature death, and associated costs. We are paying for the failure to turn what we know into what we do with a monumental, perennial loss of life from years, and years from life.”

The overwhelming majority would agree that this must be fixed. Katz’ final words, “If not now, when? If not us, who?”

About the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM):
ACLM is a professional association of physicians and clinicians dedicated to the advancement and practice of Lifestyle Medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable healthcare system. Lifestyle Medicine is a branch of evidence-based medicine in which comprehensive lifestyle changes (including nutrition, physical activity, stress management, social support and environmental exposures) are used to help prevent, treat and even reverse the progression of many chronic diseases by addressing their underlying causes. Visit http://www.lifestylemedicine.org. Visit http://www.lifestylemedicine2015.org for information about ACLM’s annual conference, set this year for November 1-4, 2014 in Nashville, TN, with the theme of Integrating Evidence into Practice!

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