Welcome to

Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute

RLMI is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization.

We believe that Lifestyle Medicine is the prescription needed to promote not just the healing of the individual, but the healing of our world, and the ecosystems we and our fellow creatures depend on. What’s the connection? In addition to being a more powerful treatment for most of the illness that we currently attempt to address with the paradigms of modern medicine, Lifestyle Medicine—with its emphasis on a whole-food plant-based diet, physical activity, and other low-tech interventions—uses far fewer resources while generating less waste and greenhouse gas; and at a much lower cost. Lifestyle Medicine brings into alignment the needs of the individual with the needs of the many!

Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute (RLMI) was formed to accomplish the following:

  1. Help Lifestyle Medicine and Plant-Based Nutrition become the Standard of Care for our ailing health care system.
  2. Help develop a sustainable and attractive medical practice model for Lifestyle Medicine physicians.
  3. Set an example of how to fully integrate the practice of Lifestyle Medicine into a medium-sized metropolitan area. 
  4. Support scientific research into Lifestyle Medicine and Plant-Based Nutrition
  5. Provide financial support for indigent or underserved patients being treated in a Lifestyle Medicine program
  6. Provide a framework for volunteers who wish to support the goals of Lifestyle Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine research
  7. Support individual, community, and professional education regarding Lifestyle Medicine and Plant-Based Nutrition
  8. Support community efforts to promote healthy lifestyles

On the immediate horizon, RLMI is involved with the following:

—We will continue to host the Lifestyle as Medicine lecture series with highly regarded Lifestyle Medicine and Plant-Based experts, for the benefit of local health professionals, lifestyle medicine patients, and the Rochester community at large. The lecture series is held at the Rochester Academy of Medicine. Previous speakers have included Michael Greger, MD; Neal Barnard, MD; Caldwell Esselstyn, MD; Thomas Campbell, MD; Joel Kahn, MD; Michael Klaper, MD; Chad Teeters, MD; T. Colin Campbell, PhD; Caroline Trapp, DNP; Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD; Robert Ostfeld, MD, Natalie Santiago, MD, and Jim Loomis, MD.

—We are developing additional programs to help groups and individuals adopt healthy lifestyles based on Plant-Based Nutrition and the principles of Lifestyle Medicine.

—We recently began our own 15-day Whole-Food Plant-Based Jumpstart program which demonstrated remarkable results in just two weeks. An abstract of the program was presented as a poster at the annual conference of the American  College of Lifestyle Medicine in October 2018. The poster won first prize!

—Under the enthusiastic guidance of Susan Friedman, MD, MPH, our Director of Clinical Research (and the Medical Director of Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Group), we are continuing to sponsor research and to analyze our outcomes with the aim of sharing data in the form of publications in peer-reviewed journals.

RLMI is on the cutting edge of a movement to transform the practice of medicine.

In order to achieve our goals, we are developing a new medical practice paradigm based on the principles of Lifestyle Medicine and the frequent use of shared medical visits. By necessity, this must develop outside the huge health systems which are focused on their own issues of survival. Most of the political arguments about health care revolve around who should pay—rather than, “why does it cost so much and why are the results so dismal?”  Lifestyle Medicine has the potential to drastically reduce costs while dramatically improving outcomes. Being heard above the din and competing for talented practitioners requires money. Those of us who are committed to the success of this enterprise are swimming against the current and are clearly not doing it for personal enrichment—or more leisure time! We are doing this because we are passionate about transforming the way medicine is practiced!

Please help support Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute with a tax-deductible donation:


Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Board of Directors

Ted D. Barnett, MD, FACLM
Board Chair
RLMI Founding President
Read more about Dr. Barnett here.

Carol H. Barnett, PhD, JD
Board Member
RLMI Secretary/Treasurer

Susan Friedman, MD, MPH
Board Vice-Chair
RLMI Director of Clinical Research
Learn more about Dr. Friedman here.

Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Advisory Board

Jill Brooks, RN, DC
Jane Dorsey, MSN
Robert Franki
Kerry Graff, MD
Rosalind Hayes, MD
Brian Justice, DC
Cheryl Kelley, DDS
Stefenie King, MD
Rob Kriss
Scott E. Liebman, MD
Steve Melcher
Rebeca Monk, MD
Robert Paine
Thomas Roberts, MD
Sandra Sarnoski-Roberts, MD