Hospitals & Facilities

NYC Health + Hospitals expands lifestyle medicine program to Brooklyn

The healthy eating effort already accepts patients at two other facilities within the public hospital system.
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NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H) has expanded its lifestyle medicine program for healthy eating to Brooklyn, the municipal health system announced on Thursday.

The program, which started as a 2019 pilot at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, aims to help patients with hypertension, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and prediabetes minimize symptoms through a plant-based diet as well as other interventions, counseling, and reliable access to affordable, healthy foods.

Nearly 50 eligible patients at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull in Central Brooklyn will be able to enroll each month in the effort, which is already available at Manhattan’s Bellevue and NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi in the Bronx. Three more public hospitals will begin offering the nine-month program in the coming months as well, according to H+H.

“Healthier lifestyle choices will lead to a life with significant improvements in many chronic diseases, and our goal is to support people to make sustainable changes, which ultimately brings health and happiness,” Gül Bahtiyar, medical director for Woodhull’s lifestyle medicine program, said in a statement. “Imagine a person who no longer needs to inject insulin for diabetes or take medications for blood pressure. This would be a success story that needs to be shared with many.”

The program, which New York City Mayor Eric Adams pushed for when he was Brooklyn borough president, will be able to accommodate nearly 4,000 patients per year once all six new sites are operational, according to H+H.

“With support from the City of New York, H+H will commit $3 million this year and approximately $5 million annually in future years to fund staffing and programmatic services for the lifestyle medicine programs,” the public hospital system said.

The system added that a formal evaluation of the Bellevue pilot found “extremely high demand for services (more than 850 patients requested 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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