A Guest Article from Dr. Stephen Devries
Why would a successful cardiologist at a university medical center with a 9 month wait-list for patients leave his practice to start a nonprofit? That’s the question we put to Dr. Stephen Devries. Dr. Devries is the director of the Deerfield-based nonprofit Gaples Institute, and our upcoming speaker at our Brushwood Healthy Happy Hour scheduled for May 26th.
In over 25 years of practice I’ve seen too many patients with serious heart conditions that could have been avoided with greater attention to nutrition and lifestyle. The problem is that physicians just don’t receive the training they need to effectively guide patients toward healthier lifestyles. Unfortunately, the emphasis is on high tech procedures and medication — that was true when I was in training and it’s still the case today.
That’s why I left the practice that I loved to make an even bigger difference in my work as director of nonprofit Gaples Institute (named after our co-founder). The mission of the Gaples Institute is to advance the role of nutrition and lifestyle through education and advocacy. We are supported in our mission by our Gaples Institute Advisory Board that consists of nationally recognized leaders in education, science, and policy, including Adele Simmons.
The Gaples Institute has two target audiences:
1) Health professionals: the Gaples Institute developed an award-winning nutrition continuing medical education course, now with more than 1200 registrants, that recently became a required course in its first major medical school;
2) Community members: we developed another award-winning nutrition learning program provided as a service by the Gaples Institute, used by adults as well as secondary schools, and soon to be released in Spanish.
My work focuses extensively on community education to help promote awareness of the untapped power that individuals have over their health, which is the theme of my upcoming talk for the Happy Hour Brushwood presentation on May 26, “Natural Approaches to Bountiful Health.