On Thursday, January 13, vegan doctor, Michelle McMacken, was officially announced as the new Executive Director of Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine for NYC Health + Hospitals.

McMacken, MD, FACP, DipABLM is a leader in plant-based health. After going vegan in 2007, she began to integrate plant-based nutrition into her medical practice and found that it made a huge difference in her patients’ lives as well as her own.

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To help even more people experience the benefits of plant-based whole foods, she created the Bellevue Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program in 2019. The program helps people with certain health issues “upgrade” their lifestyle and increase overall wellbeing by focusing on diet, sleep, stress, exercise, social connection, and substance use. The program was supported by NYC’s new plant-based Mayor, Eric Adams, who was the Brooklyn Borough President at the time, and has helped hundreds of New Yorkers. Now, Dr. McMacken has the opportunity to build on this work and help even more individuals overcome chronic diseases by adopting healthier lifestyles.

In this new position as the Executive Director of Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine for NYC Health + Hospitals, Dr. McMacken will expand the services available through the Bellevue Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program. She will also promote increased access to healthy plant-based foods for patients, as well as nutrition and lifestyle education for both patients and providers.

She explained, “Healthful lifestyle habits, especially nutrition, can significantly reduce cardiovascular, metabolic, cancer, and other health risks. The science is clear, and I’ve seen the benefits firsthand in my own practice.” McMacken promised, “It is my mission to support our patients in adopting the healthiest possible lifestyle, particularly those who are the most vulnerable and face the greatest barriers.”

Mayor Eric Adams voiced his support for the decision, “Dr. McMacken is a trailblazer who knows how to get stuff done. She knows the power of lifestyle medicine to reverse chronic diseases, transform lives, and combat generations-long health inequities. I am proud about the innovative work she has been doing at Bellevue, and it is truly exciting to see her expand her mission to all our NYC Health + Hospitals facilities in this new role.”

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“Diet is among the leading causes of preventable death and disability in the country,” said Preeta Sinha, Founder of One Green Planet. “With Mayor Adam being a plant-based advocate, and Dr. McMacken leading the charge for NYC’s health and nutrition, this is a huge win for public health as it will promote healthier plant-forward eating habits amongst New Yorkers.”

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects

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For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster App which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

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