This is Whole Health: Dr. Glenn Forister

Glenn Forister“When working in family medicine, I had a 60-year-old patient with a history of coronary artery disease and prior stent placement. She was a smoker and was frustrated by multiple failed attempts to quit. She felt like a failure and was very concerned that her heart condition would worsen. She tried nicotine replacement and varenicline with only short-term results. I asked her how important it was for her to quit and how she would self-rate her confidence in overcoming her tobacco dependence.

“I asked her to describe her typical day and times when she craved cigarettes the most.

We discovered a behavioral pattern in her evening transition routine from work to home. She watched the 6 p.m. news every day, felt stressed and then smoked. I recommended that she start a “news fast.” We planned a transition from work to home, including a short walk in nature. She was empowered to change her self-care. With better surroundings and the physical means to deal with stress, she was successful.

At her 1-year visit, she was still not smoking. I learned that prescribing medication, while helpful for some, does not replace a deeper look into Whole Health!”

 Glenn Forister, PhD, PA-C

Dean, School of Health Professions

What areas of whole health are part of this story?

  • Self-Care
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health

To learn more about HSC’s Whole Health Initiative, go to If you have an example of how you have implemented one or more whole health areas and want to be featured in the “This is Whole Health” series, please email

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