The Plantrician Project Luminary Award
Each year the Plantrician Project recognizes a Luminary who has worked to advance whole food, plant-based nutrition as the foundation of disease prevention, suspension and reversal.
2016 Recipient Dean Ornish, MD
2015 Recipient Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD
In recognition of your extraordinary vision, groundbreaking research, noble service, diplomatic leadership in the advancement of whole food, plant-based nutrition as the foundation of disease prevention, suspension, and reversal.
Dr. Esselstyn received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from Case Western Reserve University. In 1956, pulling the No. 6 oar as a member of the victorious United States rowing team, he was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Games. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. In 1968, as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star.
During his association with the Cleveland Clinic, which began in1968, Dr. Esselstyn served as president of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic’s Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery.
In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn served as president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, That same year he organized the first National Conference on the Elimination of Coronary Artery Disease. In 1997, he chaired a follow-up conference, the Summit on Cholesterol and Coronary Disease, which brought together more than 500 physicians and health-care workers. In April, 2005, Dr. Esselstyn became the first recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Association in 2009. In September 2010, he received the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Award. Dr. Esselstyn received the 2013 Deerfield Academy Alumni Association Heritage Award In Recognition of Outstanding Achievement & Service, and the 2013 Yale University GEORGE H.W. BUSH ’48 LIFETIME OF LEADERSHIP AWARD.
His scientific publications number over 150, “The Best Doctors in America” 1994-1995 published by Woodward and White cites Dr. Esselstyn’s surgical expertise in the categories of endocrine and breast disease. In 1995, he published his bench mark long-term nutritional research arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients. That same study was updated at 12 years and reviewed beyond twenty years in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, making it one of the longest longitudinal studies of its type. Dr. Esselstyn and his wife, Ann Crile Esselstyn, have followed a plant-based diet for more than 26 years. Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute and serves on the Medical and Expert Advisory Board for the International Plant-based Nutrition Healthcare Conference. The Esselstyns have four children and ten grandchildren.
2014 Recipient T. Colin Campbell, PhD
In recognition of your exceptional contribution, vision, leadership and research in the advancement of whole food, plant-based nutrition as the foundation of disease prevention, suspension and reversal.
Having trained at Cornell (M.S., Ph.D.) and MIT (Research Associate) in nutrition, biochemistry and toxicology, Dr. Campbell spent 10 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition before returning to the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell in 1975 where he presently holds his Endowed Chair (now Emeritus), as the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry.
His principal scientific interests, which began with his graduate training in the late 1950’s, have been on the effects of nutritional status on long term health, particularly on the causation of cancer. He has conducted original research both in laboratory experiments and in large-scale human studies; has received over 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding (mostly NIH), has served on several grant review panels of multiple funding agencies, and has authored over 300 research papers. He has served on many national and international expert committees with mandates to develop food and health policy positions. He is the recipient of several awards, both in research and in citizenship.
Since publication of The China Study in 2005 that he co-authored with his son, Tom (MD, family practice), he has given more than 500 lectures both in the U.S. and abroad. More recently, he published Whole (May, 2013), as well as a new smaller book, Low Carb Fraud (Feb 2014). The very successful 2011 documentary movie, Forks Over Knives features his work and that of his colleague, Caldwell Esselstyn, MD.
Dr. Campbell founded the T Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, which is now headed by his son, Tom Campbell, MD. The Center, in partnership with the Cornell University, offers a highly successful online course in “Plant-Based Nutrition.”
About The Plantrician Project Luminary Award
The actual award presented to the doctors is original fine art by The Plantrician Project’s Official Artist, Kerry Schroeder of Austin, Texas.