Asian Society of Lifestyle Medicine

Wayne Dysinger, MD, MPH, FACLM

 Paul William (Bill) Dysinger, by God’s grace and with His assistance, was involved with the following activities:    

1. was born on May 24, 1927 in a rustic farm house (no electricity or running water) in Middle Tennessee, USA.

2. his Mother’s dad, C. N. Martin, was a pioneer Adventist preacher in the Northwest USA and later served as a missionary to the Southeastern USA; his Dad was a workaholic who had little formal education but who succeeded in a wide variety of activities, including farming, as a general handy man, as a baker, in general business, in hospital administration, and as a health care provider; his only sibling is a sister who is 18 months younger and is married to Charles Harris, a health care administrator who served in Southeast Asia for several years and most recently  served the local conference as a church auditor.

3. first memories were in Memphis, TN where his dad worked in a bakery shop.

4. influenced by missionary relatives to Bolivia and Peru, committed to medical mission service at age 12 years

5. graduated from Madison College High School in 1945;  Dr. E. A. Sutherland signed his diploma

6. between high school and college (1945-47), he worked two years on his Dad’s dairy farm and also obtained his Private Pilot flying license.

7. completed pre-med studies at Southern Missionary College (now Southern Adventist University) in 1951 where he majored in sciences and minored in Religion and was one of the first two four year pre-meds to go directly to Loma Linda from Southern.

8. completed medical studies at the College of Medical Evangelists (now Loma Linda University School of Medicine) in 1955; that same year the 50th anniversary of the founding of CME at Loma Linda was also celebrated

9. after studying medicine for four years in the western USA, chose to go east for his general medicine internship at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, MD, 1955-56

10. fulfilled his military obligation by serving two years (1956-58) in the U. S. Public Health Service helping to provide health care to native Americans, one year with the Blackfeet Indians in Montana and a second year with the Navajo and Hopi Indians in northern Arizona

11. in 1958 married Yvonne Mae Minchin, a nurse he had met during his internship and they have four children, 3 boys and a girl, who have provided them 17 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren, most of whom live with them on their retirement farm or near by.

12. immediate family is international: he was born in Tennessee and 2nd and 4th children were born in Loma Linda, CA; wife was born in Australia; their first child was born in Thailand, Southeast Asia; the third in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) East Africa; and four of their 17 grand-children were born in Africa—two in Khartoum, Sudan and two in Nairobi, Kenya.

13. following work for native Americans, was recruited to the U. S. State Department where served 2-1/2 years as a Foreign Service Reserve Officer, mostly in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, but had opportunity, while travelling with diplomatic passports to visit more than 50 countries around the world, including 17 Adventist mission hospitals in 16 different countries.  This influenced him to go into Public Health and Preventive Medicine as a specialty.

14. while awaiting entry into Harvard University School of Public Health, worked at Loma Linda with 1st appointment in January 1960 in the Department of Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine in helping the beginning of the Adventist Health Study, including writing the first publication from that study—an article on emphysema in a non-smoking population in a prestigious medical journal.

15. following his MPH school year of 1961-62 at Harvard, entered directly back into service with the Loma Linda School of Tropical and Preventive Medicine and was appointed director of 1st Adventist Community Health training program at Heri Hospital in Tanganyika (1962-64).

16. a new School of Public Health (SPH) was voted by the Loma Linda University Board in 1964 and he was involved in its development from the beginning.  Served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and International Health under Dean Mervyn Hardinge for the first 14 years of SPH’s existence.  First accreditation was in 1967 and classes in the new SPH began that year.

17. during 28 years of service to Loma Linda, also served the SPH at various times as Founding Chair of Department of Tropical Health and later as Founding Chair of International Health and as Chair of Department of Health Administration.  Also served one year as Chair of Department of Health Sciences in School of Allied Health Professions, as medical consultant to the Riverside office of the California Department of Rehabilitation, as the Associate Director of the Loma Linda Preventive Medicine Residency and as the founding Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine in the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Hospital—which employs the most Preventive Medicine residents of any other VA hospital in that large System. 

18. his continuing permanent appointment at Loma Linda is as Emeritus Adjunct Professor of Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine and as Emeritus Professor and as Emeritus Associate Dean of the School of Public Health.

19. has always had a strong interest in International Health and has taught graduate level courses in the USA, Mexico, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad, Colombia, Venezuela, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Indonesia; has taught certificate courses in more than 40 other countries; has lived overseas with his family a year or more in full-time work in Cambodia, Singapore, Pakistan, Yemen and Tanzania—a total of 9 years.

20. served as medical director of first Adventist live-in Lifestyle program—a 10-day program at Fountainbleu State Park in Louisiana in 1965.  Desmond Doss, the Congressional Medal of Honor awardee and hero of the movie “Hacksaw Ridge,” was part of the volunteer staff who was otherwise mostly from Wildwood.  This was part of the influence that enabled Wildwood to open the first permanent Adventist Lifestyle Center.  Otherwise this program was widely publicized and it launched much interest in the new lifestyle approach in health care.

21. After 28 years at Loma Linda, he accepted the position as the first physician in the General in Conference headquarters of ADRA in Silver Springs, MD (1988-92) where he was medically responsible for ADRA programs in some 35 countries around the world—mostly Child Survival programs funded by USAID.  His work included new program development, administrative trouble-shooting, training of community health workers, and otherwise advising and assisting program operations for all ADRA health related programs.

22. retired from regular employment in June 1992; is one of the few physicians who has 35 years of SDA denominational service credit.

23. retired to a 190 acre farm in the rural hills of Middle Tennessee which has subsequently attracted family to move there; the John and Edwin Dysinger families are now operating an organic produce growing farm providing food to many families in Nashville and Middle Tennessee and now serves also as a training center for sustainable agriculture (see bountifulblessingsfarm.org).  The farm is located about 50 miles southwest of Nashville and its international airport.

24. early in retirement he chartered a nonprofit corporation, Development Services International (DSI), which has been used to sponsor many projects, including introducing medical missionary work and health evangelism seminars and workshops in the new (at that time) Euro-Asia Division in eastern Europe, in West Africa and elsewhere.  In addition, has served as a consultant to ADRA, Johns Hopkins University, the World Health Organization, Adventist Frontier Missions and others.  DSI was also used to assist the evaluation of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division of SDA in 2001-02 for new medical mission opportunities in South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.  This report and recommendations was presented to the Division in a Health Advisory Conference in Korea in 2002.

25. early in retirement he served as principal guest lecturer to a senior camp in the Ky-TN Conference of SDA.  The Holy Spirit marvelously worked as he sought to teach the Adventist health message within the framework of the 3 Angels Messages.  News of this effort came to the General Conference of SDA, and the Ministerial Association asked that I write it in book format and “Heaven’s Lifestyle Today” was published as a “Ministry Tool” for the Church in 1997.  It has been translated and published also in Spanish and Russian.  In addition to the book, it is also available in Power Point and as a DVD video series.  Other major publishing efforts included working with his wife to write and edit the “AIMS Health Evangelism Study Guide” which has been translated and published in English, Spanish, Russian and German and widely used around the world.  More recently, he was asked by Loma Linda University to write “Health to the People”, a history of Public Health, Preventive and Lifestyle Medicine and Medical Evangelism Training and outreach from Loma Linda, 1905-2005, as part of Loma Linda’s Centenary Celebration.  It is available in both a story book format and as a research publication on a searchable CD.

26. In addition to much international activity in his retirement, has also been very active in local community health efforts near his retirement home where has held six CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Project) programs, has been active in the Hickman County Health Council and a number of other initiatives seeking to promote a Healthier Tennessee.  In 2012 was awarded title of “Rural Health Practitioner of the Year” by the Rural Health Association of Tennessee.  In 1999, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by Southern Adventist University and in 2000 the same honor was awarded by Loma Linda University School of Public Health.  He has also been active in service in his local church, Martin Memorial SDA Church in Centerville, TN.

PWD, 011817
  
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Asian Society of Lifestyle Medicine