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WCM-Q hosts global symposium on lifestyle medicine

WCM-Q hosts global symposium on lifestyle medicine

Sunday, March 3, 2024/ Editor -  

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Doha – March 2, 2024: Over 360 healthcare professionals attended a symposium on lifestyle medicine to discuss the recent advances in lifestyle medicine education, medical practice, and research.

Organized by the Institute for Population Health (IPH) at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q), the one-day symposium brought together experts from Qatar, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Hungary, India, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

Titled ‘Lifestyle Medicine - Redefining Healthcare to Promote Wellbeing’, the symposium featured speakers and panelists from Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance (LMGA), International Board of Lifestyle Medicine (IBLM), World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Qatar, and global lifestyle medicine societies. 

In addition to the symposium, the Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance Leadership Forum, was held, where experts discussed the Doha Declaration, and Lifestyle Medicine competencies.

Lifestyle Medicine employs evidence-based strategies to prevent, treat, and manage chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension while enhancing overall health and wellbeing. These strategies encompass adopting positive lifestyle habits such as regular physical activity, healthy nutrition, effective stress management, restorative sleep, social connections, and abstaining from harmful substances.

The symposium began with a welcome message from Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q, and introductory remarks from symposium organizers—Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, professor of population health sciences, and vice dean for population health and lifestyle medicine at WCM-Q, and Dr. Sohaila Cheema, assistant dean for IPH and associate professor of clinical population health sciences at WCM-Q.

Other key speakers included Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Bin Hamad Al Thani, director of non-communicable diseases prevention programs department, MoPH; Dr. Wayne Dysinger, chair, LMGA, US; Dr. Samar ElFeky, regional adviser for health promotion and social determinants of health at WHO Regional Office in Cairo ; Dr. Sathyanarayanan Doraiswamy, operational support and quality assurance branch chief, UNFPA; Dr. Padmaja Patel, president elect, American College of Lifestyle Medicine; and Dr. Amy Mechley, chair of the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine.  

Dr. Sheikh said: “The symposium and inaugural LMGA global forum provide an excellent platform for global leaders in lifestyle medicine to share their insights and contribute to the advancement of healthcare. WCM-Q’s initiatives, such as Innovations in Global Health Professions Education, showcase a commitment to pushing the boundaries of health education and making a positive global impact. Collaborative efforts with like-minded health professionals further amplify the potential for positive change and improvements in the quality of life for individuals worldwide.” 

For his part, Sheikh Dr. Al Thani said: “MoPH is dedicated to promoting the fundamental principles of healthy living and preventative healthcare to help mitigate the prevalence of non-communicable diseases. Through education, advocacy, and policy initiatives, we aim to empower individuals to make informed health choices.” 

Dr. Mamtani spoke about the transformative power of lifestyle medicine in shaping healthcare, emphasizing its pivotal role in promoting overall wellbeing and combating the chronic disease epidemic. He said: “A significant percentage of mortality stems from lifestyle-related chronic diseases, and by educating the population about modifiable lifestyle factors, the burden of these diseases can be significantly reduced.” 

Dr. Cheema said: “The symposium provided a platform to discuss how the realm of lifestyle medicine promotes wellbeing, and opportunities that lie within lifestyle medicine. We are grateful for the support of our local and global partners who share our mission to improve both longevity and quality of life for all citizens.” 

Integrating Lifestyle Medicine in healthcare systems is the way forward. Ignoring it is not an option.


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