• ‘New concept’ for treating chronic disease

    A new centre at Sydney Adventist Hospital aims to reduce the number of deaths in Australia linked to largely-preventable conditions.

    New South Wales’ largest private hospital started out as a wellbeing sanitarium 120 years ago and is still known as “the San”.

    It is continuing that tradition of holistic healthcare with the launch of a lifestyle medicine clinic on its grounds at Wahroonga.

    Created by ELIA Wellness, a sister organisation within the Adventist HealthCare group, the clinic is focused on targeting chronic and lifestyle-related illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, mental health disorders, and cardiovascular and lung diseases.

    “Lifestyle medicine as a way to tackle chronic disease and promote optimal wellness has been a respected, evidence-based discipline in healthcare for many years – particularly in the USA,” Adventist HealthCare CEO Brett Goods said. 

    “In Australia however, despite equally staggering rates of chronic disease, having a lifestyle medicine centre co-located with a hospital is still a new concept.”

    Chronic disease accounts for 90 percent of nationwide deaths, while half the population lives with at least one chronic disease according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

    The ELIA Lifestyle Medicine Centre will offer evidence-based consultations, group programs and interdisciplinary interventions to address the root cause of patients’ conditions.

    “Establishing the centre at the hospital complements the excellent acute-care facility in combating chronic disease,” said its Medical Director, Dr Andrea Matthews.

    “Anyone from the community can attend programs at the centre – with or without a GP referral.”

    The centre will use a whole-person health approach to help patients achieve their health goals – physical, emotional, social and spiritual.

    It brings together the combined expertise of lifestyle medicine physicians, dieticians, exercise physiologists, registered nurses, health coaches and psychologists, while working closely with patients’ general practitioners and specialists.

    “Living with a chronic disease can be very debilitating and discouraging, with significant impact on the quality of life of patients and their loved ones,” Mr Goods said. 

    “When supporting people who suffer from chronic illness, it is crucial we use a compassionate, evidenced-based approach.”

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