October 11-12, 2019 – Under the auspices of the Lebanese Minister of Public Health, His Excellency Dr. Jamil Jabak represented by Dr. Bahij Arbid, Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences (FNHS) launched in collaboration with the Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance the “Transformative Power of Lifestyle Medicine” conference: the first of its kind in Lebanon.
The conference was organized by a committee from the FNHS at NDU comprised of: Cecile Obeid, senior lecturer instructor at NDU; Dr. Antoine Aoun, Associate Professor and University Physician; Dr. Doris Jaalouk, Professor; and Dr. Jessy El Hayek, Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, and had the following goals:
1. Provide an overview of lifestyle medicine
2. Present the scientific basis for using lifestyle medicine in the prevention and treatment of non-transmittable diseases.
3. Examine methods for evaluating lifestyle-related factors and implementing lifestyle behavior changes in the health of patients.
“The Transformative Power of Lifestyle Medicine” was held in the Issam Fares Auditorium on NDU’s main campus and featured local and international experts, from academics to healthcare professionals, who shared their expertise in employing lifestyle changes as a means of preventing and treating non-transmittable chronic diseases.
The conference’s keynote speaker was Dr. Wayne Dysinger, MD, MPH. A leading figure in the lifestyle medicine movement, Dr. Dysinger has an extensive resume both as an academic and healthcare professional: he has served as chair of the Preventive Medicine Department at Loma Linda University, one of the founders and third President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, chair of the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine, either in board or consulting roles for the American Medical Association, the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, the American Medical Student Association, and the Ardmore Institute of Health. Currently, Dr. Dysinger serves as Chief Executive Officer for Lifestyle Medicine Solutions – a new model primary care clinic concept that is built on Lifestyle Medicine principles – and Medical Director of the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP), and an active faculty at Loma Linda University, and is on the board of the American College of Preventive Medicine.
The conference was split into a total of six sessions: four on the first day, and two on the second, with each session covering some aspect of Lifestyle Medicine, from diet, to sleep, to physical activity, to social and psychological approaches methods of implementing a healthier lifestyle in every person.
The second day was comprised of four workshops. The first and third, given by Dr. Dysinger, covered the lifestyle medicine assessment and the use of lifestyle medicine as cancer prevention and treatment. The second, given by Dr. Marwan El Ghoch, was about the practical application of cognitive behavioral therapy for obesity. The last one was a hands-on workshop which demonstrated effective methods of cooking healthy meals on a budget given by Monique Zaarour, owner of the Sohi W Sarih diet clinics.
Turnout for the conference was very high, with around 400 attendees on the first day, and over 70 attendees on every workshop of the second day. More information on the conferences as a whole, the talks presented, the speakers, and the chairs can be found here (http://www.ndu.edu.lb/lifestyle-medicine/home).