House Calls

SPR 2018

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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P H O T O G R A P H S B Y L E I G H W E B B E R NAME: DR. JACOBO MINTZER TITLE: Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Roper St. Francis Healthcare & Executive Director of its Research and Innovation Center OUTSIDE THE OFFICE, FIND HIM: Jogging on Sullivan's Island, whipping up healthy fare, traveling with his family, and teaming up with fellow researchers on myriad passion projects picture of health R esearch is what makes Dr. Jacobo Mintzer tick. In fact, Dr. Mintzer—who works as Roper St. Francis Healthcare's Chief Research and Innovation Officer and executive director of its Research and Innovation Center—approaches his own well-being in much the same way that he approaches, say, his pioneering Alzheimer's research. "It's like a personal-interest research project with a single subject: me," he says. When Dr. Mintzer's alarm rings each morning at 4:30 a.m., this "personal research project" is what catapults the Sullivan's Island- based doc from his bed to the beach, where he may catch the sunrise during a long scenic jog, or to the gym, where he starts many a day with strength-training exercises. Later on, when he or his wife, Dr. Olga Brawman-Mintzer, are whipping up dinner for themselves, it's what inspires Dr. Mintzer to throw a marinated slab of cauliflower or eggplant onto the grill instead of a juicy steak. (Of course, flavor is a factor here, too: "Marinated with the right spices and served with a little hummus on top, cauliflower steak is amazing," he says.) His choices are guided by advice from medical experts, such as the AARP's Global Council on Brain Health, which recommends 150 minutes of aerobic exercise and two strength-training sessions per week for optimal health and mental clarity. But he also sees his own well-being as an ongoing experiment—a viewpoint that keeps him interested and engaged. "Research is tedious, but it's the only way to find the best possible way to do things," Dr. Mintzer says. "You uncover things through a process of structure, observation, and comparison, with a chance of eventual success. That's not so different from how I approach lifestyle changes that affect my own health." Making good choices can be challenging, especially given Dr. Mintzer's strict dietary limitations: he keeps Kosher for religious reasons and he's allergic to seafood. He also has a sweet tooth and finds it tough to bypass certain desserts and junk foods. "There's no immediate reward and no guarantee of looking or feeling better, so it's very difficult to say, 'I'm not going to enjoy these French fries,'" he says. But as it goes in the lab, he understands that even small actions can add up to astonishing results over time. "You have to take a risk—through a consistent, well-guided and focused effort—for the chance of success." This willingness to persevere is at the backbone of Dr. Mintzer's Living Laboratory Dr. Jacobo Mintzer, Roper St. Francis Healthcare's Chief Research and Innovation Officer, stays in shape by approaching his own well-being like he does his work – BY BRIDGET VENATTA h o u s e c a l l s { spring 2018 } 39 P H O T O G R A P H S B Y L E I G H W E B B E R

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