Dean Tricia Penniecook of Loma Linda University School of Public Health has been appointed to an additional role as director of the university’s Lifestyle Medicine Institute. In this capacity, she hopes to unite the entire Loma Linda University enterprise – Including eight professional schools, six hospitals, and a faculty physician practice group – to improve health in Southern California through lifestyle education.
“Lifestyle impacts any number of medical conditions. But it’s also about prevention and sustaining the level of health necessary for living life to the fullest,” she said. “My vision is that everyone on this campus recognize how lifestyle medicine can contribute to their success both as individuals and health care providers.”
Healthy lifestyles have been promoted at Loma Linda University since its inception some 105 years ago. Dean Penniecook envisions the Lifestyle Medicine Institute coalescing numerous separate strands to do so into a unified whole; it will meet the personal and professional needs of the university’s students, faculty and staff, health care providers, and patients.
If an obese patient comes to a faculty physician office, for example, Dean Penniecook wants that patient to be provided with a comprehensive kit of the various resources available across campus for helping individuals achieve a healthy weight.
She also envisions coordinating the lifestyle efforts of the university’s Diabetes Treatment Center, Center for Health Promotion, Drayson Center fitness facility, and cardiac rehabilitation services.
Furthermore, Dean Penniecook hopes to more fully integrate lifestyle medicine concepts into the curriculum for students across this health-sciences university to the point that Loma Linda graduates become known as versed in applying lifestyle principles to their particular health care specialty.
“Dr. Penniecook is a world authority in lifestyle medicine,” said President Richard Hart of Loma Linda University. “She has worked both locally and abroad in the fields of public health and lifestyle medicine, both in academia and the public sector. In addition, she has a true passion for lifestyle medicine.”
Two other School of Public Health faculty members also help lead the Lifestyle Medicine Institute. Dr. Serena Tonstad will serve as associate director, and Dr. Wayne Dysinger is the associate director for clinical services.
[Photo: Dean Tricia Penniecook]