UNM physician honored for promoting healthy lifestyles in Native American communities
Anthony Fleg, MD, a family practice physician at UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center in Rio Rancho, was recently honored by the U.S. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition for his work in promoting healthy lifestyles with Native American families and youth.
The annual award recognizes individuals and organizations who are improving their communities through sports, physical activity, fitness and nutrition-related programs.
Fleg is a co-founder and organizer with the Native Health Initiative (NHI), a partnership to address health inequities through volunteer service. This spring, he helped launch an NHI program called Running Medicine which takes a wellness approach to group exercise. NHI is aligned with the New Mexico Department of Health’s Medical Reserve Corps, and Fleg was nominated for the annual award by Bobbie MacKenzie, the corps volunteer coordinator.
“Dr. Fleg’s compassion and dedication has taught youth to seek out communities’ strengths, assets and resources in order to promote healthy lifestyles,” said MacKenzie when nominating Fleg. “He has conducted anti-tobacco campaigns, mentored youth on various health issues such as exercise, hydration and nutrition to combat diabetes, and organized various health runs and walks. He is an inspiration to all he comes in contact with and continues to make a healthy impact in the lives of New Mexicans though his loving service every day.”
Fleg is an assistant professor in the UNM Department of Family and Community Medicine. He joined the faculty in 2014 after completing his medical residency at UNM in 2011. Much of his work has been devoted to empowering young people to become leaders and to think about health careers. His clinical interests include providing strength-based approaches to healing, holistic medicine and working with patients in chronic pain.