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The future of health

Invest in the future of health

Reflections from the ASLM Board

ASLM is dedicated to ensuring that, whatever the future of health looks like, Lifestyle Medicine is embedded as first line treatment for mental health and chronic disease. We understand that to achieve this we need to support practitioners and patients as well as influence policy and communicate with the public. We are passionate about pursuing this agenda in 2022 and into the future with the support of our members and the wider health community. ASLM President, Dr Sam Manger, reflected on the critical importance of Lifestyle Medicine in creating a better healthcare system;

“Lifestyle Medicine may be a new field but it is founded on the deepest and strongest roots. And the deeper I get into the field of LM, the more I realise how necessary it is to achieve a better healthcare system that helps people, satisfies providers, is more cost effective and catalyses grassroots and systemic change. COVID has exposed this need even more painfully. Now it is more important than ever for ASLM and its members to succeed in our respective visions.” (Dr Sam Manger, ASLM President)

Executive Director, Stephen Penman, also reflected on the growth of ASLM and its connection to a global movement for change;

“Since relaunching ALMA as ASLM in July 2015, our growth has been exponential. In this time, we have gone from just one person in the office to a team of ten dedicated staff, serving a membership of nearly 1000 members, working with hundreds of partner and stakeholder organisations across numerous projects, and reaching a direct audience of around 10,000 professionals. ASLM’s rapid growth mirrors that of the Lifestyle Medicine movement around the world, and highlights the growing recognition that Lifestyle Medicine is the key to a healthier, more sustainable future.” (Stephen Penman, ASLM Executive Director)

As we draw towards the end of another challenging year ASLM is cautiously optimistic about what the next twelve months holds. Despite the challenges that are still ahead in terms of the impact of COVID-19 there are many examples of resilience and innovation creating enthusiasm to reshape the delivery of healthcare from practitioners, the public and policy makers. ASLM is uniquely positioned to help drive the critical change needed in the treatment and management of mental health, chronic disease and lifestyle related conditions.

“The COVID pandemic has been a huge disruptor, to our entire social structure including the healthcare system. May humanity be wise enough to harness this opportunity and put the pieces back together using the glue and gumption of Lifestyle Medicine!” (Dr Chris Ganora, ASLM Board Member)

The Board of ASLM and Management of ASLM are energised by the potential for the next twelve months to advance the field of Lifestyle Medicine. Especially exciting is the prospect of a return to face to face engagement as well as the launch of a number of key initiatives that will evolve ASLMs contribution to the future of health.

“Going to an ASLM conference was one of the best things I have ever done for my career and work satisfaction and obviously for my patients’ outcomes. I always gain many new avenues to introduce to my practice and I leave the conferences feeling uplifted after being surrounded by like minded, motivated clinicians. ASLM membership has been an invaluable investment into my medical care and my own well being. It’s only getting bigger and better. I can’t wait for 2022. Care to join me?” (Dr Cheryl Wilson, ASLM Board Member)

ASLM knows that we can galvanise the growing movement of LM to engage more health practitioners and their patients in the practice of LM. We are attracting more recognition and we can take great heart from the many achievements of our members and supporters this year in a uniquely challenging time. Not least of these is the recognition in Australia and New Zealand of the value of a LM approach in General Practice. Three ASLM Board members received the following awards in 2021:

  • ASLM Director and Fellow, Dr Hung The Nguyen: RACGP Australian GP of the Year and RACGP Victorian GP of the Year
  • ASLM Director, Dr Glen Davies: RNZGP New Zealand GP of the Year
  • ASLM President and Fellow, Dr Sam Manger: RACGP Queensland GP of the Year

A core principle of the Lifestyle Medicine approach and how it can simply change the future of health is well summarised by Dr Nguyen;

“To create long term impact on the health of patients GPs need to get out of the clinic and engage with their communities, listen to what they need and work with them to understand their lifestyle.” (Dr Hung The Nguyen, ASLM Board Member)

Despite the huge scope of the change ASLM envisions for the future of health we are not daunted; we recognise that a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step and while many steps have been taken already there are many more ahead.

We have developed the Lifestyle Medicine Innovation Fund to help fund member initiatives in 2022 and scale the impact we have on the future of health. Every donation big or small is another step on our journey as a movement for change. ASLM is a registered health promotion charity, and every donation is tax deductible and is being directly invested into the future of lifestyle medicine.

In addition to our work to date, ASLM is investing in growing our network of values aligned philanthropists and organisations to scale our work.  We are working with our members to develop best practice projects that help improve the health of health practitioners and grow their knowledge of LM as well as establishing local community and practitioner linked LM groups around Australia. We have a big vision for the future of health, and we are humbled to have the support of so many dedicated health practitioners and advocates for change.

Invest in the future of health