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Dr Elizabeth Joy

Senior Medical Director, Wellness & Nutrition,
Intermountain Healthcare, United States of America

Dr Joy is the Senior Medical Director for Wellness & Nutrition at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, UT. Dr Joy practices Family Medicine and Sports Medicine at the Salt Lake LiVe Well Center. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah School of Medicine in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, and in the College of Health Department of Nutrition & Integrative Physiology. Dr. Joy completed her university and medical school training at the University of Minnesota, followed by Family Medicine residency and Sports Medicine fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center. She completed her master's degree in Public Health at the University of Utah.  Dr Joy is the Past President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the Female Athlete Triad Coalition. She chairs the Exercise Is Medicine Governance Committee for the ACSM and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Physical Activity Plan. Her research interests lie in the areas of diabetes prevention, physical activity promotion, and the Female Athlete Triad.

Presentation Title: Beyond Healthcare to Health: The role of Sport and Exercise Medicine in Enhancing Population Health

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease are leading causes of death globally. Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, notably insufficient physical activity (PA), are key risk factors in their development. More recently, physical inactivity and low fitness have also been identified as a risk factor for death from Sars-CoV-2 infection. The discipline of Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) has historically been focused on injuries and conditions associated with participation in sports and other activities; increasingly SEM physicians are being called upon to provide patients with expert advice and prescription of PA.

The American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise Is Medicine TM program calls on healthcare providers to assess patient PA levels at every clinical visit as a vital sign. In doing so, it assures that PA is discussed and considered in the prevention and treatment plans for all patients. Using the SBIRT approach (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment), SEM physicians and members of their care team, can first screen patients using the Physical Activity Vital Sign (PAVS), advise and counsel on PA in the context of health and disease, and refer patients to exercise professionals and community programs to achieve recommended levels of physical activity.

Presentation Title: Strategies and Programs that Connect Patients to Community Physical Activity Resources

Regular physical activity (PA) promotes health in people of all ages. Yet, more than 80% of adolescents and 27% of adults do not meet WHO’s recommended levels of PA. In the US, ~ 25% of adolescents, and a similar proportion of adults, meet recommended levels of aerobic and muscle strengthening. Over more than a decade, the U.S. has sought to improve PA levels through the development of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the National Physical Activity Plan, and recently, the Physical Activity Alliance. These national efforts drive aligned strategies to promote PA across the lifespan. Programs such as Walk With a Doc, Park Rx, and Exercise Is Medicine are largely focused in healthcare, providing information, tools and resources to physicians and patients to elevate the importance of regular PA in achieving and maintaining health and well-being. Increasingly, healthcare systems are recognizing the importance of addressing lifestyle behaviors to prevent and manage chronic disease. Prediabetes affects 1 in 3 adults in the U.S., and osteoarthritis, 1 in 4 adults. Programs such as the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program, and the Walk With Ease Program are evidence-based examples of PA programs that can alter the disease course and improve outcomes for participants.

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