A new medical program that prescribes whole-food, plant-based nutrition to critically ill patients will begin operation in the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue medical system in New York this fall. The Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program (PBLMP) will be overseen by Michelle McMacken, MD and has the capacity to treat up to 100 patients who suffer from illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and high cholesterol. Patients with these conditions can self-refer or they can be referred by their physicians within or outside of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue medical system, and will receive comprehensive medical evaluations, tailored nutrition programs, and motivational support from medical staff trained in plant-based living. The new program—funded by a $400,000 investment from city initiative NYC Health—is the result of the campaigning efforts of Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, who adopted a vegan diet in 2016 to improve his health. “This clinic will champion a new paradigm for health care in New York and beyond, one in which patients gain freedom not only from debilitating, life-threatening chronic diseases but also from the harsh side effects and reduced quality of life associated with traditional, less effective treatments,” Adams said. “The power of the plant-based diet has allowed me to reverse my type 2 diabetes, and I’m elated that through this clinic, it will do the same—and more—for countless New Yorkers.” During his term in office, Adams has been instrumental in promoting the benefits of eschewing animal products through various initiatives, including working with youth-driven organization The Coalition For Healthy School Food to add a vegan option to all 1,200 New York City public school menus last year.
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