A community of UCLA friends was invited to learn more about the latest innovations in research and clinical practices in digestive health at The Road to Health and Wellness on January 31, 2019. The event was hosted by Paramount Pictures CEO Jim Gianopulos, an ambassador of the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, and his wife Ann, both UCLA donors. The evening began with a welcome from Dr. Eric Esrailian (FEL ’06), chief of the UCLA Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases and Lincy Foundation Chair in Clinical Gastroenterology, followed by a mindfulness exercise led by UCLA nurse and integrative health practitioner Suzanne Smith. She spoke about the UCLA Integrative Digestive Health and Wellness Program, which has a multidisciplinary and patient-centered approach that focuses on all aspects of health with an emphasis on whole-person care. She also discussed the benefits of incorporating mindfulness into everyday life and methods to increase awareness within oneself through physical sensations, thought patterns and emotions that allow individuals to acknowledge physical symptoms as they arise.
Noting that nutrition is a key component that can help treat patients with digestive diseases, Nancee Jaffe, a dietitian and integrative health expert in the UCLA Integrative Digestive Health and Wellness Program, shared the latest research in nutrition and the importance of finding a balance between managing symptoms and eating. She also addressed symptom management in the context of health enhancement and personal empowerment, enabling patients to move beyond simply coping to live with balance.