Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, local family practitioner, Jefferson Medical Center physician and owner of Two Rivers Treads on German Street was the first-ever recipient of the HEALcare award for low carb leadership at Saturday's HEALcare For Life National Forum, which took place at the Clarion Inn and Conference Center.
Melanie Miller, event oganizer introduced Cucuzzella and praised him for helping her 15 months ago. Miller said, "It's because of this man (Cucuzzella) that every single one of you are standing in this room. He's a true physician because her cares. He believes in healing with food."
The aptly dubbed, "Low Carb Revolution" that has been sweeping the panhandle has taken flight with the diligent work of Cucuzzella, both at the hospital where he works, and by his attendance and promotion at workshops.
Dr. Eric Westman, right, presents Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, left, with the first-ever HEALcare Award for low carb leadership.
Dr. Eric Westman, co-author of the New York Times best-selling book, "The New Atkins for a New You", and Director of the the Duke University Department of Lifestyle Medicine, presented the award saying, "It's my pleasure and my deep honor to give the first HEALcare award for low carb leadership to Dr. Mark Cucuzzella."
Cucuzzella said he praised the people in the crowd for showing courage to begin a lifestyle change. "It's not about me giving people a pamphlet," said Cucuzzella. "I think the people that embark on this have the courage to believe they can get well and do something that's a little challenging at first, to reset their brain so that they don't have to be a medical patient for the rest of their lives."
Cucuzzella advised the audience to seek support and surround themselves with like-minded people who are also trying to achieve a weight loss, improved health, or medication reduction goal.