Gift Expands Mind-Body Wellness Program to All Patients at Sylvester at Deerfield Beach

Michigan entrepreneur Wayne Lobdell is convinced that the mind-and-body wellness techniques his UHealth doctors introduced him to in South Florida are key to his recovered good health – so convinced that he and his wife Terry are ensuring all patients who visit UHealth’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at Deerfield Beach can access a broad range of holistic mind-body preventive and therapeutic interventions to enhance their own health and quality of life.

With a $500,000 donation, the Lobdells established the Department of Psychiatry’s Lobdell Mind-Body Wellness Program, which was officially launched January 8 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the inaugural lecture in what will be a twice-monthly series of complimentary lunch seminars and interactive workshops at Sylvester at Deerfield Beach. The generous gift allows Sylvester at Deerfield Beach to expand its integrative and multi-specialty team approach to care to all patients, and to their caregivers, loved ones and friends, who visit the northern Broward County health center.

“It is an approach that will begin to address the physical, emotional and social needs of all our patients in a very personalized fashion,” said M. Beatriz Currier, M.D., associate professor of clinical psychiatry, Medical Director of the Courtelis Center and Cancer Support Services at Sylvester, and Chief of the Division of Consultation Psychiatry.

Spearheaded by Currier, the Lobdell Mind-Body Wellness Program is designed to optimize the physical, emotional and social well-being of patients by integrating traditional medicine with complementary medical techniques, including acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, tai chi, and herbal medicine therapy, and psychological therapies that include meditation, guided visual imagery, progressive muscle relaxation and cognitive behavior therapy. Ashwin Mehta, M.D., assistant professor of clinical and hospital medicine and Medical Director of the Sylvester Integrative Medicine Service, will provide comprehensive integrative medicine evaluations and interventions with a team of clinicians trained in mind-body medicine.

The Lobdell program also provides two lunchtime educational seminars every month, both of which will focus on the same topic but with different approaches. On the second Tuesday of each month, a UHealth expert will discuss the latest medical advances in the treatment and prevention of a particular medical disorder. Christine Savage, M.D., assistant professor of medicine who specializes in rheumatology, inaugurated the lecture series on January 8 with a comprehensive overview of the diagnosis of and therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis.

On the fourth Tuesday of each month, a related interactive workshop will focus on holistic approaches to care for the medical condition discussed in the first monthly session. The first of those workshops will take place on January 22, and will provide overviews of nutrition, exercise and other mind-body techniques that can reduce stress and optimize medical outcomes for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Lobdell, who overcame a hard-scrabble boyhood that began in the cellar of a Michigan farmhouse to achieve success in restaurants and other venture capital investments, told Sylvester physicians and staff, friends and other well-wishers at the ribbon-cutting that he learned the value of combining traditional medicine with mind-body techniques after months of suffering from a gastrointestinal disorder that left him nauseous, anxiety-ridden and depressed. After consulting a number of doctors in both Traverse City, Michigan, headquarters of his Hospitality Restaurant Group Inc., and South Florida, where he and his wife of 50 years have a second home, Lobdell said he was directed to Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, who said, “OK, we’re going to get a team of doctors and we’re going to get you to feel better.”

After a few months, Lobdell said, he was indeed better, thanks to Currier, Mehta and the team of UHealth specialists who worked collaboratively to address his physical and emotional needs, and to what he calls “the keys” to maintaining his good health: a correct diet and exercise regimen, counseling, yoga, meditation, massage and acupuncture.

“I think the mind and body wellness aspect of it was an important part of it and I feel that mind and body wellness is not just for when you’re not feeling well, but it can prevent you from feeling badly,” Lobdell said.

Handing copies of her husband’s inspirational 2009 memoir “Climb from the Cellar,” to Currier and Mehta, Terry Lodbell summed up her gratitude succinctly, thanking the UHealth system “for making Wayne as good as new.”

In addition to their contribution to the mind-body program, the Lobdells gave $100,000 to Izidore Lossos, M.D., professor of medicine and Director of the Lymphoma Program, for his chronic lymphocytic leukemia and lymphoma research fund at Sylvester, bringing their gift total to $600,000 during Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for The University of Miami.

For more information on the Lobdell Mind-Body Wellness Program, please contact Diana Edwards at or 954-698-3606.

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