Physician Profile: Teaming Up for Better Health
Carl Myers, M.D., and Jean Myers, B.S.N., M.S., are on a mission to help their community achieve better health, and people in their town can’t seem to get enough of their good advice—or of their new vegan restaurant’s signature sandwiches.
As an oncologist practicing in Yuma, Ariz., Dr. Carl Myers always stresses that diet and other lifestyle factors play a major role in patients’ overall health.
“Unhealthy diets not only promote deadly diseases, but also affect our energy levels, how we look, and how we feel,” says Dr. Myers. “Some of my patients have switched to a plant-based diet, and I can see the difference in their skin and how happy they are, and they all lose weight.”
Jean Myers teaches The Cancer Project’s Food for Life Nutrition and Cooking Class Series. The Food for Life series is popular in Yuma—every class has a long waiting list. Mrs. Myers wanted all community members to have a chance to attend regardless of income, so she asked the Yuma Regional Medical Center Foundation to sponsor the six-week courses. With generous support from the hospital, she has taught at least six series every year for the last four years.
“Seeing people get excited about what they can do for their health is very rewarding,” says Mrs. Myers. “People feel quite empowered when they realize they don’t have to sit back and wait for their cancer to return.”
The Myers’ concern about their community’s health also led them to open Nature’s Express, a small chain of vegan fast-food restaurants. Mrs. Myers’ favorite dish is a homemade black bean burger served on a “nest” of brown rice pilaf and healthy greens. Dr. Myers says he taste tests every item on the menu, but his favorite is the avocado wrap.
Inside the restaurant, the Myers offer books and resources on how plant-based diets improve health and well-being. Their display includes The Cancer Survivor’s Guide and other PCRM resources. Dr. Myers is especially thankful for PCRM’s Spanish-language materials.
The Myers developed a passion for nutrition decades ago, and they and their three children shifted to plant-based diets. They hope their efforts will help other families make similar dietary improvements, both at home and on the go.
Kim Garcia Photography