Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute

Helping you find your best health

The health professionals at Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute (RLMI) have not let the pandemic get in the way of helping people take charge of their own health. Since the advent of COVID-19, RLMI has converted its programs into virtual, Zoom-based events. There’s plenty of opportunity for interaction and mutual support, and people are signing up from all over the U.S. and Canada.


RLMI’s signature program is its 15-Day Whole-Food Plant-Based Jumpstart. Jumpstart participants make a big change in their eating habits all at once so they can see positive changes in just two weeks. Most people improve their lab values and other clinical measures, and many experience dramatic improvements, as shown by results from the more than 600 people who have taken the program.

RLMI also offers an in-depth lifestyle intervention, the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP). CHIP has been helping people turn their health around since it was introduced in Loma Linda, California, in 1988, and a number of research studies demonstrate its effectiveness in bolstering health.

Recently, RLMI added an interactive program to boost mood, The Lift Project. RLMI’s sister organization, the Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Group, offers one-on-one medical consultations to those seeking individualized guidance and support.

Program for medical practitioners

RLMI has introduced a continuing medical education (CME) course to teach the fundamentals of plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine. Doctors and other health professionals watch 12 hours of recorded lectures on whole-food plant-based diet and other principles of lifestyle medicine. They also take the 15-Day Jumpstart themselves as part of the course, so they can experience its beneficial effects and learn how to support patients embarking on a plant-based way of eating.

Peer-reviewed publication

RLMI’s Director of Clinical Studies Susan M. Friedman, MD, MPH, recently published “Lifestyle Medicine in the Midst of a Pandemic” in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine  ( The article makes the case that following healthy behaviors to reduce the risk of chronic disease is the best way to defend against bad outcomes from COVID-19 (while also following public health measures such as mask-wearing, hand washing, and avoiding crowds). Eating a healthy plant-based diet is one of the most powerful behaviors to reduce risk.

Community events

RLMI had four outstanding speakers present by Zoom in September and October: Neal Barnard, MD; Michael Greger, MD; Milton Mills, MD; and Lisa Smith, executive director of the Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group.

To find a calendar of upcoming events, as well as information about all of RLMI’s ongoing programs, visit While you’re there, you can download a four-page handout of healthy plant-based recipes for the holidays.

2024 W. Henrietta Road, Bldg. 5, Rochester, NY 14623 • 585-484-1254 • •

Photo: Team at Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute: from left, Maria Dewhirst, Robert Franki, Beth Garver, Ted D. Barnett, MD, Susan M. Friedman, MD, MPH, Courtesy of photographer Keith Bullis.