ILM Leadership


Edward M. Phillips, MD, ILM’s Founder & Director

Dr. Phillips is Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services at the Boston VA Healthcare System. Phillips founded and directs the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine (ILM) in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School,

Phillips is a Fellow of American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) and serves on the Executive Council that developed and leads the Exercise is Medicine™ global initiative. He is co-author of ACSM’s Exercise is Medicine™, A Clinician’s Guide to Exercise Prescription (Wolters-Kluwer, 2009) and is chair of the Exercise is Medicine Education Committee. Additionally, Phillips is co-founder and co-director of the Lifestyle Medicine Education Collaborative (LMEd) which is working to include lifestyle medicine in medical school curricula.

Phillips is an active clinician and researcher who speaks and consults nationally guiding a broad based effort to reduce lifestyle-related death, disease, and costs through clinician directed interventions with patients. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition has recognized both Dr. Phillips and the ILM with its Community Leadership Award. He appears on national media including Good Morning America, ESPN radio, and in Time Magazine.


Elizabeth Pegg Frates, MD, ILM’s Director of Medical Student Education

Dr. Frates a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford University School of Medicine. She completed her internship at MGH and her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Harvard Medical School program where she served as Chief Resident and is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor.

Dr. Frates has won multiple teaching awards from Harvard Medical School, where she teaches courses to first- and second-year medical students, including the Human Central Nervous System, Musculoskeletal System, Nutrition, and Introduction to the Profession. Two years ago, she developed an elective series on Lifestyle Medicine. As a result of her efforts, the students created a Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group which Dr. Frates now supervises.

Dr. Frates is one of a handful of physicians who has completed wellness coach training and is a certified wellness coach. As part of her training, she learned how to effectively use positive psychology, the Transtheoretical Model of Change, motivational interviewing, appreciative inquiry, and goal setting to enable people to change.

Dr. Frates is the co-author of Life After Stroke: The Guide to Recovering your Health and Preventing Another Stroke (Johns Hopkins Press, 2006). Merging physiatry and wellness coaching skills, Dr. Frates recently launched wellness groups for stroke survivors at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

Sandra Lawson, MBA, ILM’s Executive Director

Sandy has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare services and consulting. As Executive Director, she oversees mission-critical activities, as well as strategic planning, fundraising, and financial management of the Institute. Prior to joining the ILM, she consulted to healthcare organizations to improve clinical and financial performance, as well as define new product offerings and technologies for the marketplace. Sandy was also a senior executive for a $2B post-acute care company in charge of quality improvement, program development, and outcome measurement systems. She developed an executive education program to train site managers in clinical and financial operations.Sandy mentors MBA students pursuing careers in healthcare, is a member of the Collaborative Care Technology Work Group (CCTWG), and is on the Advisory Board for the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council. Sandy holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Biology from Boston College.