“I want everyone to perform at their peak. Consistent routines in sleep and nutrition are paramount.”
— Mark Chassay, MD, MBA, Senior Vice Provost, Clinical Affairs & Healthcare Partnerships; The University of North Texas, Health Science Center
Tell us why you chose medicine as your professional calling?
My mother had multiple sclerosis before I was born. She struggled with endurance and physical activity all her life. As a child, her challenge was impressionable. I became interested in health and gravitated to medicine. I come from a close-knit community in the Houston area, and I wanted to focus on family and sports medicine and to provide care to the whole family.
How do overall wellness and health work together with medical practice?
A practice must have margin for the wellness mission. We must quantify and qualify outcomes for wellness for our patients. As provider burnout reaches unprecedented levels, it is important to note that collaborating with people to regain and maintain their health is a primary driver of provider satisfaction.
You have always been a proponent of physical health and preventative medicine. What habits should individuals develop to ensure they maintain optimal health for as long as possible?
Yes, I am. Most family medicine physicians are, and I am also a sports medicine physician. I want everyone to perform at their peak. Consistent routines in sleep and nutrition are paramount. Outdoor time is a necessity, especially during a pandemic when we can all use the fresh air.
Tell us about the work that HSC does in the community to encourage better health.
There are several important initiatives we are leading. I’ll focus on three of the most impactful. FitWorth is a movement intended to inspire a community wide culture shift to improve health in and around Fort Worth. FitSteps for Life® is the pioneer and leader in cancer exercise treatment; prescribing individualized and structured exercise treatment specifically for cancer patients. Finally, our teams are expanding real science with reversing diabetes. Through a deeper understanding of how the disease progresses, our team can intervene long before any changes in glucose.
What do you see as the most important elements of long-term health?
Movement, minimizing processed foods and laughter!