As a family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group, Dr. Jeanette Berry has always been a proponent for healthy living, but it was her patients who inspired her to pick up running at the age of 40 and take her “practice what you preach” philosophy to the next level. Uplifted from her patients’ years of dedication to races and marathons, Dr. Berry began running and training alongside her patients in three running groups six years ago: Black Chicago Runners, Black Girls Run and Women Run the World.
“Surrounding yourself with like minded individuals with similar goals can help you feel accountable in maintaining your health,” she says. “The people I run with inspire me to push myself on days I don’t feel like running.”
Joining these groups encouraged Dr. Berry to continue her running journey, starting out with 5ks, 10ks and now the Chicago Marathon with Team Advocate. This year, she will be participating in her fourth Chicago Marathon with some of her patients, where she hopes to accomplish her goal of finishing under five hours.
“I run with Team Advocate every year to help support and raise money for charity,” says Dr. Berry. “The first year I ran the Chicago Marathon I raised money for autism awareness. The past two years I’ve raised money to drive awareness about breast cancer and will do the same this year, since both sides of my family have a history of breast cancer.”
But for those who will not be running marathons anytime soon, Dr. Berry provides personalized care and encourages her patients and colleagues to be healthy at home and in the office. Besides running, she packs her own lunch, drink lots of water and eats a pescatarian diet, which excludes eating all meat except for fish. She tells her patients that 80% of your health depends on what you eat and focusing on its nutritional value, one’s portion control, and incorporating intermittent fasting.
Whether you’ve seen Dr. Berry on the race course or in the physician’s office, it’s certain that she’s inspiring others to make healthy happen.
“Dr. Berry is a marathon runner who inspires many of us to stay active in the office, both staff and patients,” says colleague, Don Martinez, Professional Development Specialist and Physician Assistant. “She’s a phenomenal person.”
The 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon is Sunday, October 13. To join or support Advocate Health Care’s charity running team, CLICK HERE. Funds raised will benefit patients and families in need.