After 30 years as a primary care physician at Family Medical Group in the Grant Park neighborhood, Dolph Park neighbor Dr. Thomas Harvey has opened Portland Lifestyle Medicine at 2119 N.E. Halsey St. in Sullivan’s Gulch. Harvey and his wife Jan, a school psychologist with Portland Public Schools, have raised three sons in the neighborhood who attended Alameda, Beaumont and Grant High schools.
“I’m passionate about helping people improve their health by showing them how a change in lifestyle can change their lives for the better,” said Harvey. “If we adopt lifestyle medicine as a foundation of primary care, we can prevent, arrest and often reverse chronic diseases, reduce the number of medications prescribed, improve the quality of life for millions and dramatically reduce the cost of health care in our country,” said Harvey. “If you are free of disease, changing your lifestyle will still maximize your energy and vitality as you grow older.”
A tennis player and longtime member of the Irvington Club, Harvey advocates healthy lifestyles with a predominantly whole-food, plant-based diet, regular exercise, no tobacco, alcohol in moderation, adequate sleep, stress management and healthy relationships. He believes that traditional Western medicine fails to get to the root causes of chronic diseases by only treating symptoms, which results in patients taking medications for the rest of their lives.
A book by T. Colin Campbell, The China Study, first gave Harvey some new insights into medicine.
“The study found that there were very few chronic diseases among the Chinese population that ate a whole-food, plant-based diet – as they had for thousands of years,” said Harvey. “Regions that adopted a more Western diet – centered around animal products – had proportionately more chronic diseases, however. Researchers concluded that a plant-based diet in the United States could reduce our high prevalence of chronic diseases.”
Subsequent evidence-based studies by highly respected researchers have substantiated these findings. In June 2015, Kaiser Permanente advised primary care physicians to recommend a plant-based diet to all patients, but especially those with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity or cancer.
“I personally changed my own diet, because I have a family history of several chronic diseases that are all preventable,” said Harvey. “With the diet and lifestyle changes I made, I can now control 80 percent of my health. If you can control 80 percent of your health through lifestyle, that’s a big deal.”
For more information, call 971-328-2516 or visit www.portlandlifestylemedicine.com.