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ELIA Lifestyle Medicine Centre launch

Adventist Healthcare, operators of Sydney Adventist Hospital, opens lifestyle medicine centre to tackle chronic disease.

A novel lifestyle medicine centre launched on Sunday 26th of March, at Sydney Adventist Hospital, Wahroonga, offering a comprehensive, wholistic approach to the treatment and prevention of chronic disease.


Sydney Adventist Hospital (fondly known as the San) has maintained a wellbeing and health-promotion focus for inpatients since it opened in 1903 as Sydney Sanitarium – a place where people learnt how to stay well. Now ELIA Wellness, a health promotion charity and a sister organisation to the hospital has a new centre for outpatients, targeting chronic and lifestyle-related diseases.


“The ELIA Lifestyle Medicine Centre uses evidence-based lifestyle medicine consultations, group programs and interdisciplinary interventions to address the root cause of the chronic disease,” said Dr Andrea Matthews, Medical Director of the ELIA Lifestyle Medicine Centre. “Establishing the centre at the hospital complements the excellent acute-care facility in combating chronic disease. Anyone from the community can attend programs at the centre – with or without a GP referral.”


“The Lifestyle Medicine Centre offers the combined expertise of lifestyle medicine physicians, dieticians, exercise physiologists, registered nurses, health coaches and psychology care all in the one centre,” added Dr Matthews. “We work in close partnership with the patient’s GPs and specialists, and provide additional expert resources, programs and support to address chronic disease and promote wellness.”


Dr Geraldine Przybylko, ELIA Wellness Director said, “We understand that some patients need additional motivation and coaching not only for their physical health, but also for their emotional, social and spiritual health. This is where the ELIA Lifestyle Medicine Centre aims to use a whole-person health approach to help the patient achieve their goals.”


Chronic disease accounts for 90% of deaths in Australia^ and they are largely preventable. Half the population lives with at least one chronic disease*, and a person’s risk of poor quality of life or dying prematurely rises with each additional chronic illness. There is a great need to more effectively help people to live well.


The most common chronic diseases in Australia include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, obstructive lung disease, and mental health disorders. Many chronic diseases share the same risk factors such as smoking, obesity, alcohol misuse, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, chronic stress, and a poor diet.


Many risk factors are modifiable, whereby changes to lifestyle habits can markedly improve overall health and wellness. Not all disease has a lifestyle-related precipitant, but even then, lifestyle medicine initiatives can greatly improve quality of life in many cases.


“Lifestyle medicine as a way to tackle chronic disease and promote optimal wellness has been a respected, evidence-based discipline in healthcare for many years – particularly in the USA,” said Brett Goods, San CEO. “In Australia however, despite equally staggering rates of chronic disease, having a lifestyle medicine centre co-located with a hospital is still a new concept.”


“Living with a chronic disease can be very debilitating and discouraging, with significant impact on the quality of life of patients and their loved ones. When supporting people who suffer from chronic illness, it is crucial we use a compassionate, evidenced-based approach,” he said.


The ELIA Lifestyle Medicine Centre will start accepting bookings from 27th of March, and programs commence on the 17th of April.



For more information, contact:

Dr Andrea Matthews – Medical Director, ELIA Lifestyle Medicine Centre, via email: or by phone: 02 9480 6140


Katherine Filippi- Marketing and Communications or call 0457 524 924


About Sydney Adventist Hospital

Sydney Adventist Hospital, fondly known as ‘the San’, is operated by Adventist HealthCare Limited. It has been a leading healthcare provider for 120 years (since opening in 1903) and has grown to become NSW’s largest not-for-profit private hospital.


About ELIA Lifestyle Medicine

ELIA Wellness is a division of Adventist HealthCare and was formed to champion the cause of lifestyle medicine in practise, research and policy. The ELIA Lifestyle Medicine Centre offers evidence-based programs encompassing seven dimensions of wellness: physically energised, emotionally thriving, environmentally attuned, intellectually engaged, socially connected, spiritually empowered, and vocationally enriched. ELIA stands for Empower Lifestyle Innovation Advocates.


About lifestyle medicine

Lifestyle medicine provides an interdisciplinary, whole-system approach to treat, prevent and, in many cases, even reverse the progression of chronic and lifestyle-related diseases. It does this through the modification of behavioural, social, and environmental drivers**. 



^The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre -


*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare -


** The Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine -




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