The greatest thing about community is finding your people. For us it’s plant-based people. We found them!
Catherine and Dr Bingham met over stirrups during Catherine’s pregnancies. Catherine was a mom of four young children, working in the hospital as an ICU nurse. Dr Bingham was an OB/gyn taking call and managing teenaged children at home.
Over time we connected on “the plant-based thing” and started finding ways to work together to teach our patients, community and friends.
What started as an InforMeal in Catherine’s dining room, to talks at the local library, and classes at the Crescent St OB/gyn office. We kept spreading the good news:
A plant-based diet can prevent, treat and reverse chronic disease.
Meantime Dr Patel, a dad of young kids and full-time physician, was offering a plant-based nutrition class for his patients after hours. His wife did the cooking and he spent time teaching them the benefits and how-to of a plant-based diet.
Here we were in our own silos trying to bring the simplicity, science and power of plant-based food to our patients and the community.
Building a plant-based community
In an effort to build a plant-based community, Catherine and Dr Bingham started The Plantluck in 2016 at the Community Health Center in Middletown. They had a beautiful new building and a kitchen area that was perfect to host a potluck for plant-based folks.
Our goal was to bring plant-based and plant-curious people together to share good food and just hang. To chat, eat and learn about each others’ stories.
There we met Dr Patel, who works as one of the medical directors for CHC.
The food was incredible! It was like a delicious Thanksgiving meal every month.
The Plantluck grew and we met other physicians, nurses, and people who were going in the same direction, wanting the same thing: community and someone who understands how important diet is for your health.
We talked and planned and dreamed of how to integrate this information to our patients and the larger community.
Opening a plant-based practice
Meanwhile, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine had formed and in 2017 they started the ACLM board-certification for physicians, nurses and other health professionals.
This Lifestyle Medicine board-certification not only includes evidence-based treatment with a plant-based diet but also five other pillars of health: exercise, sleep, avoidance of risky substances, stress management and social connectivity.
Dr Bingham and Dr Patel became board-certified in 2018, followed by Catherine in 2020.
This was an important step, as it helped us to realize the vision of creating a practice in our community to bring plant-based eating and Lifestyle Medicine under the current healthcare model.
In late 2019 we were finally ready to open our own practice using the cash-model. Dr Patel and Catherine would run it and Dr Bingham would do classes.
The grand opening in January 2020 was amazing! So fun and full of great energy from the community we built over the years.
However, we all know what happened in March 2020. During that time we made a pivotal decision to start taking insurance so we could reach a larger group of people.
Where Connecticut Lifestyle Medicine is today
If you’ve been in to see us you know that we’re not just another doctor’s office. We give you time and talk about everything from what you’re eating, how you’re sleeping and who you’re hanging out with.
Today CT Lifestyle Medicine is still a Lifestyle Medicine practice, and now we offer primary care as well. It’s a beautiful hybrid of both conventional and lifestyle medicine.
Our focus continues to be lifestyle change, predominately through a plant-based foods to prevent, treat and reverse most chronic diseases.
You can keep your own doctor and just see us for a lifestyle consult. Or make the switch to a plant-based doctor for all your primary care needs.
Appointments are with Dr Patel and Catherine, a true team approach – giving you the male/female and doctor/nurse perspectives.
We also offer a membership program that brings together concierge access and community support. Hikes, dinners, virtual classes, yoga, cooking demos — plus your doctor available to text anytime you need.
Above all else, we set up or practice so we’d have the time to spend with you. No-rush visits, low overhead, so we can focus on helping you get you back to what’s most important. Your life.
“Such a great story! Thanks for sharing!
It’s so great to hear the full story of CT Lifestyle Medicine- from the beginning! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 I’m super grateful to be a patient and have your support. I’m excited to see what lies ahead for you all.
Thank you Sarah 🙂
Great recap Cath! You all are AWESOME and this type of prevention healthcare is what’s needed!!
Where have you been for the past 67 years?!?!? I’m so excited to have found you! Thank you Mary Lou Fusi for the connection.
We look forward to meeting you soon!