Andrews University opens lifestyle medicine clinic and training center

The Andrews University Lifestyle Medicine Clinic & Training Center opened Monday, April 25 with the goal of preventing and treating chronic disease. Its lifestyle medicine practitioners, wellness coaches, primary care physicians and student interns will work together to administer lifestyle interventions, patient assessments and other related services.

“Andrews’ educational philosophy is based on a holistic approach that focuses on the whole person throughout their life. At Andrews, we care about body, mind and spirit. And the Lifestyle Medicine Clinic & Training Center reminds us of the foundations of our philosophy,” says Christon Arthur, PhD, Provost.

The clinic was made possible by a $97,000 grant awarded in October 2021 by the Ardmore Institute of Health, an organization dedicated to increasing the availability of lifestyle medicine projects through grant-driven efforts.

From left to right: Dr. Greg Steinke; Sherri Isaak, MS, RDN, dietetics internship director and associate professor; Shelby Huse, BS; Dr John Kelly [Credit: Michael Uppala]

Padma Tadi Uppala, PhD, MPH, professor and president of the Andrews University School of Population Health, Nutrition & Wellness, will also serve as director of the Lifestyle Medicine Clinic & Training Center. Uppala holds a degree in Lifestyle Medicine from Loma Linda University and, along with a team of collaborators, applied for the competitive grant that provided funding for the clinic.

The center, located in the Andreasen Center for Wellness, is integrated with Andrews University’s wellness initiatives. It includes an exercise and health assessment laboratory and a counseling center for dietary and other non-drug modalities. Plans are underway to have clinic branches in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Uppala says the clinic’s creation was inspired by a conversation with John Kelly, MD, MPH, who received the American Medical Association’s Excellence in Medicine Award in 2004 for his leadership as founding president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM). Kelly shared a church history document that quoted Ellen White: “In due time a sanatorium will be erected at Berrien Springs, not to rival any other sanatorium, but to represent our work in clear and straight lines, and to give students an opportunity to learn how to care for the sick” (Letter to Dr. David Paulson, 1902).

Uppala believes that as the clinic’s services are extended to residents of Berrien County, it will not only be a source of physical healing, but also a place of spiritual healing in the end times.

“There is a need for the Lifestyle Medicine Clinic at Andrews University, whose founding principles are to ‘make the man whole’, to further the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ and spread the Adventist health message,” Uppala says.

Additionally, the School of Population Health, Nutrition, and Wellness is preparing to offer a Graduate Certificate in Culinary Medicine that will be conducted entirely online. The academic certificate program begins this fall.

For more information, contact Padma P. Tadi Uppala at [email protected]

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Milton S. Rodgers