Winter 2017

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ATRON PROFILES PATRONS | Winter 2017 25 to employ all modalities that allow for the best life possible for the patient. Integrative medicine encourages a personalized and multidisciplinary, multi-modal approach." To develop topics and select speakers for the series, the family worked with Hershberger to create an advisory committee that includes Torrance Memorial doctors, staff and community members. Erin Hoffman, MSW, MHA, a retired licensed clinical social worker who specialized in the medical/public health arena, was invited to join the committee after sharing her own personal experience with Hershberger. Hoffman was diagnosed at age 40 with Hashimoto's yroiditis, an autoimmune disease that requires lifetime medication to control. She witnessed her father grapple with this same condition, along with a host of other autoimmune conditions. "I saw my dad suffer the last 30 years of his life and I didn't want to follow that path," Hoffman says. "I decided I needed to change course. Our genes are not our destiny. You can turn them off and on based on your lifestyle." Hoffman became a vegan five years ago but says she was not a "healthy vegan" at first. "I thought I could eat everything I wanted to within a plant-based diet, including sweet potato French fries," she says. "So I very quickly gained 15 pounds and my arthritic symptoms came back." After attending the Graziadio Wellness Center speaker series lectures and hearing speakers such as Chef AJ in 2014 on the topic "Food Is Medicine," and John Pierre on "e Pillars of Health," she switched to a "super clean, whole food, plant-based diet" and now, at age 52, is symptom free. "I will always have to take thyroid medicine, but every other lab value has been pristine," Hoffman says. "We have the ability to make the greatest impact on our health three times a day by what we choose to eat. By contributing in this way [through the Wellness Advisory Committee and her group] I can be more impactful than anything I did in my career." Hoffman now leads a monthly group to help community members learn to live a plant- based lifestyle. Lecture titles and topics to date have included "Being an Urban Monk," "Power Foods for the Brain," "Prevention: Nutrition & Supplements for A Healthy Lifestyle," "Goodbye Diabetes, Heart Disease, & Cancer Risk: Preventing and Reversing Disease the Natural Way" and "Memory Rescue." e next challenge the committee is grappling with is trying to resonate with 20- to 30-somethings who don't typically attend health lectures. "How do we get that message across?" Alida ponders. "We don't want them to wait until something goes wrong." Louis continues, "Diseases don't just show up. ey have been percolating for a long time. We're coming to a place where it's not just about popping pills and having operations; it's about prevention through healthy living." e success of the live lectures is evident through its standing room only crowds of nearly 500 attendees with an overflow viewing area. e family is currently working with the advisory committee to choose speakers for 2018. In the meantime, the series is reaching new audiences through the Graziadio Wellness Center's library of past lectures that lives on the Torrance Memorial website. Louis Graziadio and wife Beth con nue the family legacy of support for Torrance Memorial. For more informa on about the Graziadio Wellness Center and the lecture series, please call 310-517-4711. To view past lectures, visit veHealthLectures.

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