Lifestyle Medicine as a Pathway to Health Equity: Translating Community Engaged Lifestyle Medicine in Low Resource Settings
According to the 2016 National Healthcare and Quality Disparities report disparities continue to remain across different races, ethnicities, income and insurance status groups. These disparities are due to several complex factors including the “social determinants of health i.e., the conditions in the the environments in which persons are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning and quality of life outcomes and risks.”.
Lifestyle-based risk factors are the leading causes of death in industrialized nations and emerging as major risk factors in many developing countries as well. Underserved and vulnerable populations with low resources are both disproportionately affected by lifestyle preventable diseases, but are least likely to access evidence-based lifestyle counseling.
Lifestyle medicine in underserved communities can be an effective “common denominator” pathway to achieve health equity, eliminate disparities and improve the economic and social health of our nation as a whole. However, promoting lifestyle change in low-resource and vulnerable settings requires a multi-level, culturally responsive, and “out-of-the-box” approach. Community-Engaged Lifestyle Medicine puts these pieces together with the goal of delivering Lifestyle Medicine for healthier communities and the greater good. Through this workshop, we aim to train providers in effective, community-engaged processes of lifestyle medicine that can build health in vulnerable communities.
- Describe the importance of lifestyle medicine interventions in vulnerable communities, and how lifestyle medicine can promote health equity
- List key challenges of LM practitioners and “myths” of Lifestyle Medicine in underserved settings and how each one may be addressed
- Define the cornerstones of Community-Engaged Lifestyle Medicine, including cultural competency, resilience, self-efficacy, empathy, and community-centeredness
- Engage in dialogue and collaboration with others (US and globally) working to build healthy lifestyles in vulnerable communities
- Know how to implement approaches associated with promoting health equity in vulnerable areas, including multi-level, intersectoral, and culturally responsive interventions
- Be able to understand, apply and build upon the basic “toolkit” of evidence-based activities and processes for promoting health of vulnerable populations through lifestyle change, such as Health Risk Assessments and Health Action Plans
- Understand how to tailor the Core Competencies of Lifestyle Medicine in different settings