American College of Lifestyle Medicine Names Award-Winning Harvard Medical School Faculty Member and Author Dr. Beth Frates 2022-24 President

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Beth Frates, MD, FACLM, DipABLM, Harvard Medical School faculty, author, trained physiatrist and health and wellness coach, will lead the 9,000-member organization. Cardiologist Cate Collings, MD, MS, FACC, DipABLM, transitions into the role of immediate past president.

Dr. Beth Frates is President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

It is an honor and joy to serve as ACLM president and to work closely with the thousands of dedicated health professionals it represents in pursuit of a redesigned, value-based and equitable health care delivery system.

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) has announced the transition of Beth Frates, MD, FACLM, DipABLM, an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, award winning teacher and author, from president-elect to a two-year term as president of the medical professional association that represents more than 9,000 physicians and other health professionals.

Dr. Frates succeeds Cate Collings, MD, MS, FACC, DipABLM, who transitions into the role of immediate past president after a highly successful two-year term.

ACLM is the only medical professional organization that educates, equips, and supports certification of physicians and other clinicians in lifestyle medicine. The growing medical specialty uses therapeutic lifestyle interventions as a primary modality to treat chronic conditions including, but not limited to, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Lifestyle medicine-certified clinicians are trained to apply evidence-based, whole-person, prescriptive lifestyle change to treat and, when used intensively, often reverse such conditions. Applying the six pillars of lifestyle medicine—a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances and positive social connections—also provides effective prevention for these conditions.

Dr. Frates has devoted much of her career to advancing lifestyle medicine as a specialized field with board certification and to help fill the gaping void of lifestyle medicine curricula taught in medical education. In 2008, she started the first Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group at Harvard Medical School and later developed and taught the first lifestyle medicine curriculum at the Harvard Extension School, where it remains one of the most well-received courses offered at the school.

As director of wellness programming at the Stroke Institute for Research and Recovery at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, Dr. Frates created and implemented a 12-step wellness program, PAVING the Path to Wellness™ for patients and providers. That led to her co-authoring the book “PAVING the Path to Wellness Workbook: A Guide to Thriving with a Healthy Body, Peaceful Mind and Joyful Heart.” She also co-authored “The Lifestyle Medicine Handbook: An Introduction to the Power of Healthy Habits” as well as “The Teen Lifestyle Medicine Handbook.”

Dr. Frates wrote a lifestyle medicine syllabus, which can be downloaded through the ACLM website, to serve as a template for other instructors and professors. As of fall 2022, she serves as director of lifestyle medicine and wellness for the Department of Surgery at Mass General Hospital. Dr. Frates is also a lifestyle medicine consultant and wellness coach treating patients in individual and group settings.

Dr. Frates, the third woman to serve as ACLM president, assumes leadership at a time of growing recognition among health leaders and policymakers that the trajectory of chronic disease and health care spending in the U.S. is unsustainable, and that lifestyle medicine can deliver high-value care.

“Lifestyle medicine can address up to 80% of chronic diseases,” Dr. Frates said. “There is a mounting sense of urgency that our current health care strategies are failing and that, by making lifestyle medicine the foundation of health care, we can arrest the decades-long rise in the prevalence of chronic conditions and their ever-increasing costs. It is an honor and joy to serve as ACLM president and to work closely with the thousands of dedicated health professionals it represents in pursuit of a redesigned, value-based and equitable health care delivery system.”

ABOUT ACLM
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine is the nation’s medical professional society advancing lifestyle medicine as the foundation for a redesigned, value-based and equitable healthcare delivery system, leading to whole person health. ACLM educates, equips, empowers and supports its members through quality, evidence-based education, certification and research to identify and eradicate the root cause of chronic disease, with a clinical outcome goal of health restoration as opposed to disease management. http://www.lifestylemedicine.org

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