NYC Health + Hospitals today announced the appointment of Michelle McMacken, MD, FACP, DipABLM as Executive Director of Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine for the system. In this newly created role, Dr. McMacken will lead system-wide efforts to advance nutrition and lifestyle education for patients and health care professionals, and increase patients’ access to nutritious foods and plant-based meals. She will also help expand dedicated lifestyle medicine services to support positive behavior changes, such as improved diet, physical activity, sleep, stress reduction, avoidance of risky substances, and social connection to reduce chronic disease risks.
This work will build on Dr. McMacken’s work with the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program launched in 2019 at NYC Health + Hospitals / Bellevue with the advocacy of then-Brooklyn Borough President and our new mayor, Eric Adams. Dr. McMacken will continue to practice in the NYC Health + Hospitals / Bellevue Adult Primary Care Center.
“Dr. McMacken is a trailblazer who knows how to get stuff done. She knows the power of lifestyle medicine to reverse chronic diseases, transform lives, and combat generations-long health inequities. I am proud about the innovative work she has been doing at Bellevue, and it is truly exciting to see her expand her mission to all our NYC Health + Hospitals facilities in this new role,” said Mayor Eric Adams.
“Healthful lifestyle habits, especially nutrition, can significantly reduce cardiovascular, metabolic, cancer, and other health risks. The science is clear, and I have seen the benefits firsthand in my own practice,” said Dr. McMacken. “It is my mission to support our patients in adopting the healthiest possible lifestyle, particularly those who are the most vulnerable and face the greatest barriers.”
“Dr. McMacken’s new appointment marks the next step in the evolution of our public healthcare system, making nutrition and lifestyle medicine core to how we deliver healthcare,” said Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Care and Population Health at NYC Health + Hospitals Ted Long, MD. “As a primary care doctor myself, I know well the critical impact that a healthy lifestyle has on your overall health. I am incredibly excited to work with Dr. McMacken to bring this new focus on lifestyle medicine to New Yorkers across our City, without exception.”
Dr. McMacken joined NYC Health + Hospitals in 2004 and currently practices in the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Adult Primary Care Center. She’s also directed the hospital’s Adult Weight Management Program since 2005.
In 2019, with the advocacy of then-Brooklyn Borough President and our new mayor, Eric Adams, she developed and launched the innovative Bellevue Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program, the first of its kind in a safety-net healthcare setting. The program takes an interdisciplinary approach to reduce patients’ cardiometabolic risk through intensive lifestyle changes, including a healthful plant-based diet, physical activity, improved sleep habits, stress reduction, avoidance of risky substances, and social support. The program has received national attention and high demand for services, including self-referrals from more than 850 New York City residents.
An Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Dr. McMacken has received the faculty “Teacher of the Year” award three times for her work with physician trainees, and a 2014 NYU Merrin Fellowship grant to study evidence-based nutrition and develop a curriculum for her internal medicine faculty colleagues.
Dr. McMacken received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. McMacken is a seasoned public lecturer, has published on nutrition and lifestyle medicine topics in peer-reviewed scientific journals and served on the Board of Directors for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. She is board certified in both internal medicine and lifestyle medicine.
About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible.