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Episode 22: The Community Cure

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“Not only do you solve loneliness in the groups, but you actually create a structure whereby new behaviors can be implemented as a norm within the group,” shares James Maskell, Creator of The Functional Forum and Author of The Community Cure. James created a community system for functional medicine practitioners and patients with chronic diseases that is virtual, accessible, and provides group-based care. James realized that groups were necessary for treating chronic disease because people are more successful when they have a support system backing them and because the real healing happens in between doctor’s appointments during day to day life. 

Many people who suffer with chronic illnesses such as autoimmune diseases, do not believe they can be cured. Having a group around them that is supportive and truly believes they can reverse their disease is pivotal for patients’ mindsets.  Loneliness is linked to worse health outcomes, so a group setting can help by reducing loneliness in chronically ill patients. It is also useful for creating structure and reinforcing healthy behaviors that may not be as easy to stick with individually.

Tune into this week’s episode of The Catalyst to learn more about the community care model of functional medicine and the incredible success rate these programs have for treating and reversing chronic diseases.

About James Maskell of Heal Community:

On a mission to flatten the curve of healthcare costs, James Maskell has spent the past decade innovating at the cross section of functional medicine and community. To that end, he created the Functional Forum, the world’s largest integrative medicine conference with record-setting participation online and growing physician communities around the world. His organization and best selling book of the same name, Evolution of Medicine, prepares health professionals for this new era of personalized, participatory medicine.

His new project, HealCommunity, follows his second book “The Community Cure”, makes it easy for clinics and health systems to deliver lifestyle focused care effectively and frictionlessly. He is an in demand speaker and impresario, being featured on TEDMED, HuffPostLive and TEDx, as well as lecturing internationally. He lives in the Sierra Nevadas with his wife and two daughters.

In This Episode We're Talking About:

  • Group medicine is the solution to most of our biggest problems in medicine
  • Executing the details can be tricky and has lead to underutilization
  • By partnering with HealCommunity, clinics and health systems can unleash clinical and financial firepower of group medicine


  • “The first question that I asked is, ‘Is chronic disease reversible?’ And I think that has to be the foundation question. Because if chronic disease is going up like this, and the cost of chronic disease is going up like this, then ultimately, we have to really understand what is chronic disease? Where does it come from? How is it different from acute disease? And how do we get people out of it?” (3:59-4:19 | James)


  • “Not only do you solve loneliness in the groups, but you actually create a structure where new behaviors can be implemented as a norm within the group.” (13:20-13:29 | James)


  • “If you create a whole episode of care that uses Zooms and allows people to connect in between the Zooms, that whole episode can be more effective than coming to a location every week. And the reason for that is that in between the Zooms, is where health happens.” (14:52-15:09 | James)


  • “You can create new profit centers on insurance and reduce burnout by taking the time element that’s needed for behavior change, put it on the group, so you can focus on your precision work.” (44:39-44:52 | James)

Links for this Episode:

Connect with James Maskell of HealCommunity:

Connect with Dr. Lara Salyer:

Thank You For Listening!

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About The Catalyst Host, Dr. Lara Salyer:

I worked as a family physician for 15 years until burnout changed the trajectory of my career. I realized I wanted to start a holistic functional medicine practice in my rural hometown and made it happen. In addition to practicing functional medicine, I now mentor practitioners who are looking to change their paths in healthcare by using what I refer to as the “Catalyst Roadmap”. I share each step of this framework with listeners so that they may apply it to their careers, relationships, personal goals, and projects. 

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