Lifestyle Medicine Program Expands to NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County as Part of Citywide Expansion

Lifestyle Medicine Program Expands to NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County as Part of Citywide Expansion

The program provides patients with the tools to make healthy lifestyle changes, including access to plant-based food resources and personalized counseling.

Adults living with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or health problems related to excess weight are eligible to enroll.

Kings County Hospital is one of six new NYC Health + Hospitals sites offering the lifestyle medicine program this winter

November 30, 2023

NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Care and Population Health Dr. Ted Long, Executive Director of Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals Dr. Michelle McMacken, NYC Health + Hospitals/Medical Director of the Medicine Program Kings County Lifestyle Medicine Program Dr. Melissa Lee and others celebrate the launch of the Lifestyle Medicine Program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County.

New York, NY – NYC Health + Hospitals announced today that its nationally recognized lifestyle medicine program has expanded to NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County in Brooklyn. This is the third of six new sites that will make the program available citywide, following the recent launch of the program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi in the Bronx and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull in Brooklyn. The pilot program, launched at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue in 2019 with the support of then-Borough President Eric Adams, has already served hundreds of patients. The Lifestyle Medicine Program team helps patients make evidence-based lifestyle changes, including a healthy plant-based diet, increased physical activity, better sleep habits, stress reduction, avoiding substance use and stronger social connections. Adults living with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or health problems related to excess weight are eligible to enroll. The program accommodates 48 new patients each month and the care team at each site includes physicians, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives (Woodhull only), a dietitian, a health coach, community health workers, a psychologist, a exercise coordinator and trainer. The six new sites include NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, Woodhull and Kings County, which have already launched, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, Lincoln and Gotham Health, Vanderbilt, which will launch in the coming months. Current NYC Health + Hospitals patients can get a referral to their provider’s program, and people who are not yet NYC Health + Hospitals patients can see if they qualify to enroll in the program by contacting 347-507-3695.

“Being Food Forward NYC means ensuring that all New Yorkers can make healthy behavioral changes, which for some could include transitioning to a whole-food, plant-based diet,” he said. Kate MacKenzie, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy. “We are grateful for Health + Hospitals’ continued partnership to address the leading causes of disease and fundamental inequalities to comprehensively increase life expectancy in underserved communities across the five boroughs. “Through this expansion of lifestyle medicine, New Yorkers disproportionately affected by chronic diseases in Kings County will have access to the tools and interdisciplinary support that can help them live the longer, healthier lives they deserve.” .

“I am delighted to celebrate the launch of the Lifestyle Medicine Program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County,” said Michelle McMacken, MD, FACP, DipABLM, Executive Director of Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals. “Healthy lifestyle habits are essential for preventing and treating common chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. The Lifestyle Medicine Program’s talented interdisciplinary team will provide patients with the guidance they need to adopt healthier habits while helping to address food insecurity and other key barriers to lifestyle change. Congratulations to NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County for providing this invaluable resource to patients and the community.”

“The launch of our Lifestyle Medicine Program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County is a testament to our commitment to holistic wellness,” he said. Sheldon McLeod, CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County. “We are excited to offer a program that provides our patients with resources to adopt healthier habits, such as access to plant-based food materials and individual counseling sessions. With our Lifestyle Medicine Program, we are revolutionizing healthcare by offering more than just treatment – ​​we offer empowerment.”

“I have high cholesterol and prediabetes, so my doctor referred me to the Lifestyle Medicine Program,” he said. Timothy Nicholls, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Lifestyle Medicine Program patient. “I’m learning to make better decisions about what I eat. I’m eating more vegetables, more celery, more fruit. I’m learning to exercise more and walk more. The program is exactly what I was looking for.”

“This is a different program.” saying Paulette James, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Lifestyle Medicine Program patient. “It’s about knowing yourself and knowing exactly what bothers you: how you live, your activities, how you eat. It’s lovely. The time it takes them to get to know you has left me speechless.”

The nine-month Lifestyle Medicine program provides each patient with the following resources:

  • 6 to 9 individual counseling sessions.. Patients will have 2 to 3 visits each with a physician, nurse practitioner or certified nurse-midwife, dietician, and health coach to develop and implement a personalized care plan.
  • 14 weekly group classes. Topics include reading nutrition labels, grocery shopping, meal planning and preparation, and sleep and stress management techniques.
  • 8 weekly exercise classesPatients will work with a fitness trainer and take home a resistance band for strength training.
  • 6 free monthly deliveries of fresh seasonal products. Patients will work with dietitians to learn how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet across all culinary traditions and skill levels. Each box of products is accompanied by delicious and healthy recipes developed by the team’s dietitians. (Launches early 2024)
  • Health dollars. Patients will have access to Health Bucks, which are $2 coupons that can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at New York City farmers markets. Five of the seven program sites have farmers markets on their campus.
  • Cooking Skills Videos. Patients can learn culinary skills through short videos developed by the Lifestyle Medicine team in partnership with an online culinary school, Rouxbe. The videos will feature healthy cuisine in various culinary traditions, including Caribbean, South American, Central American and South Asian, and will be translated into Spanish, Mandarin, Bengali and Haitian Creole. (Launches early 2024)
  • A plant-based cookbook. Cookbooks on plant-based eating for type 2 diabetes are also available.
  • Support to access benefits. Community health workers will help eligible patients access SNAP benefits and nutritional resources.

Each site will partner with local community organizations to explore ways to support community members in nutrition and other aspects of lifestyle change. The NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Lifestyle Medicine Program will collaborate with United Community Centers in Brooklyn.

“We are very excited to be able to collaborate to share preventive solutions with community members looking to live healthier,” he said. Sarah Bacio, deputy project manager at Eastern New York Farmsa United Community Centers project. “I hope this collaboration strengthens our relationship with NYC Health + Hospitals and provides our market customers with valuable resources and support to empower them to make healthier decisions. Connecting people with fresh, organic, locally grown products and providing spaces for them to learn to make more informed health decisions is invaluable!

Once all sites are launched, the program will be able to serve nearly 4,000 patients per year. With support from the City of New York, NYC Health + Hospitals will commit $3 million this year and approximately $5 million annually in future years to fund staffing and programmatic services for Lifestyle Medicine Programs.

Special attention has been paid to ensuring that the curriculum is relevant to patients of diverse backgrounds and experiences. For example, the Spanish curriculum reflects cultural adaptations, not simply a translation of the English version. Additionally, individual visits with medical providers, dietician, and health coach allow for personalized behavior change recommendations based on each patient’s social, financial, cultural, and family context.

Formal evaluations of the Bellevue pilot program revealed a successful implementation process, extremely high demand for services (more than 850 patients applied to enroll in the first few months), and positive health outcomes, including clinically and statistically significant improvements in weight, glycemic control and diastolic blood pressure.


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About New York City Hospitals and Health
NYC Health + Hospitals is the nation’s largest municipal health care system, serving more than one million New Yorkers annually at more than 70 patient care centers across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of neighborhood-based outpatient primary and specialty care centers supports care coordination with trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agencies, and the system’s MetroPlus health plan, all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is solely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest lives possible. For more information, visit and stay connected on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

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