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The RESTORE Program: Changes in Lifestyle Mean Changes in Physical and Mental Health

Mike McFarland running a marathon
Mike McFarland successfully participating in his goal marathon.

Mike McFarland came into the world prematurely and with several complications, including paralysis on his left side. But that didn’t deter him from leading an active life and discovering his love for running.

When Mike was 21 and on a church mission in Georgia, he was hit by a car. He spent six months in a hospital, followed by a year of outpatient therapy, where he had to learn to walk again.

For Mike, that was just a temporary setback.

Because he was set on preparing for a half-marathon.

While on a training run in the foothills above Salt Lake City, Mike tripped over a rock and broke several ribs. 

A physical therapist that was helping Mike recommended he see Laura LaMarche, DPT. She is the founder of the Runner's Clinic at the University Orthopaedic Center. During a session, Laura suggested that Mike participate in a RESTORE shared medical visit at University of Utah Health.

The RESTORE program addresses lifestyle factors, such as sleep, stress, nutrition, and physical activity, that influence joint pain and other chronic medical conditions. Once a week for six weeks, patients share a two-hour medical visit with a physician, registered dietician, health coach, and other medical experts to learn ways to improve overall health through their lifestyle.

"The RESTORE program changed my life by giving me the confidence to make the right choices, especially with exercise and my diet,” Mike says. “Dr. Joy English and her team teach you the value of taking care of yourself, mentally and physically. They really want to see you succeed."

“In the RESTORE program, patients become active participants in their health rather than passive bystanders,” says Joy English, MD, RMSK, medical director of the Injury Clinic at University Orthopaedic Center, “Providing patients with the tools to improve their health for the long term and working with patients as passionate as Mike has been the most rewarding experience of my career in medicine.” 

Today, Mike has traded running for walking and swimming and revels in his newfound confidence, fueled by his care team at University of Utah Health.