Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont to Advance Lifestyle Medicine Education Statewide

Lifestyle medicine includes healthy food and exercise

Blue Cross VT is investing in 50 certification scholarships and promoting foundational “Food as Medicine” training to providers statewide.

Berlin, Vermont —To expand lifestyle medicine and “food as medicine” knowledge across the state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (Blue Cross VT) is offering free continuing education credits. Presented by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), this new course will offer certification scholarships to credentialed providers statewide. The complimentary 5.5 hours of CME/CE content provides a foundational, evidence-based introduction to the field of lifestyle medicine with a focus on nutrition.

“The way a patient eats is often the most complex behavior to change, yet a predominantly plant-based diet can prevent, treat and reverse some of the most prevalent chronic diseases you see in your patients,” said Keri LeCompte, the Program Director of Lifestyle Medicine at Blue Cross VT.

Blue Cross VT and ACLM are offering 50 fully funded certification scholarships to the insurers’ credentialed providers, including physicians, nurses, dietitians, psychologists, pharmacists, and clinicians in many other disciplines. This advanced certification is designed to equip health care professionals with the core competencies of lifestyle medicine and support their integration into clinical care.

The partnership is also offering more a complimentary course, “Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine and Food as Medicine Essentials.” This consists of three modules, four presentations and 5.5 hours of CME/CE content, including: an introduction to lifestyle medicine; food as medicine: nutrition for prevention and longevity; and food as medicine: nutrition for treatment and risk reduction. 

This complimentary course is provided to educate health care providers on patient-centered, high-value, and outcome-oriented care. The complimentary access for Vermont health care professionals is part of a $22 million national commitment ACLM made in collaboration with the September 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

When applied in a clinical setting by trained professionals, lifestyle medicine can address up to 80% of chronic diseases. A lifestyle medicine approach to population care has the potential to arrest the decades-long rise in the prevalence of chronic conditions.

Improved patient and provider satisfaction often result from a lifestyle medicine approach, which strongly aligns the field with the Quintuple Aim of better health outcomes, lower cost, improved patient satisfaction, improved provider well-being, and advancement of health equity, in addition to its alignment with planetary health. Lifestyle medicine is the foundation for a redesigned, value-based and equitable health care delivery system, leading to whole person health.

“Recognition is growing that we can no longer just keep managing the symptoms of lifestyle-related chronic disease and that it is time to actively address the root causes of these diseases, which drive human suffering and out-of-control health care spending in our country,” said Beth Frates, MD, FACLM, DipABLM, ACLM President and Clinical Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. “The scientific evidence shows that sufficiently dosed lifestyle medicine interventions are a solution to prevent, treat and even reverse many of these diseases.

“It is great news that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has taken the initiative to educate clinicians within its network on food as medicine.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is Vermont’s only local, not-for-profit health plan. For over 40 years, the company has been enhancing the health and well-being of the Vermonters we serve by offering innovative plans to individuals, older Vermonters, and businesses. Our employees are dedicated to developing new ways to support high-quality care, programs, and events that promote wellness. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.