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LEVELAND — In recent days, medical professionals and health watchdogs have slammed Dr. Daniel Neides, director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, over an anti-vaccine rant he published on an Ohio news site. Neides has since apologized for the column. Meanwhile, a review of his career and published work offers a more nuanced picture of his views and motivations — he’s well-regarded among his patients, but also turns to therapies of questionable efficacy in treating them. After the flap over his column, STAT reported Tuesday that the clinic would be reevaluating some of the institute’s offerings.

Here are four things to keep in mind about the 50-year-old family doctor at the center of this media firestorm:

He’s a passionate advocate for preventive health care.

Neides told this reporter during an interview last year that promoting healthier habits — such as eating nutritious foods, exercising, and reducing stress — is crucial to reversing rising rates of chronic disease and an epidemic of health care spending. That is not a controversial view among US providers.

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“Our mission here is to be the leader in the country in terms of wellness and chronic disease reversal,” Neides said of his work at the clinic’s Wellness Institute, adding that the US is heading into “dangerous waters” because of its failure to address the unhealthy lifestyles of so many of its citizens. He has also lobbied in favor of increasing tobacco taxes and sharply criticized the marketing of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation technique.

Neides often pitches therapies focused more on metaphysics than science.

In a 2015 column, he expressed pride that the clinic’s Wellness Institute had opened the “first-ever Chinese herbal clinic” at a major health provider. He touted the benefits of herbal therapy in treating everything from heartburn to nerve pain. “You might imagine how rewarding it is for me, a champion of wellness, to see Eastern medicine truly complementing my Western remedies,” he wrote.

In another article, he promoted the clinic’s TRIM-LIFE “weight release” program, which uses a combination of yoga, hypnosis, and mindfulness techniques to help patients “release” weight, as opposed to losing it through diet and exercise. Neides wrote that he participated in the program himself. “Hypnotherapy can help shrink one’s stomach to its normal size by making people feel satisfied with smaller portions,” he wrote. “It helps eliminate the desire for foods that poison our body.” 

Some patients do benefit from such therapies, although they do not have the scientific backing that informs medical decision-making in most clinical disciplines, said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the vaccination education center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

He helped the Cleveland Clinic launch its own food branding.

The clinic’s “Go Well” labeling can be found in supermarkets and restaurants across Northeast Ohio. Neides has helped to promote the brand, which is used by retailers to advertise healthy food options. The clinic gets a percentage of the sales of such products, which range from breads made with probiotics to organic salad dressings. 

He told me the brand — for which the clinic was seeking a patent — could be a crucial guide for consumers. “If we don’t turn the ship around … the health care system will bankrupt the country,” he said, noting that the nation’s $3 trillion tab for medical spending is crowding out other priorities.   

Neides has a top rating in patient satisfaction surveys.

In independent survey results published on the clinic’s website, Neides is given the highest, five-star rating. The ratings for Neides show that patients gave him five stars for courtesy, listening skills, and time spent with patients. In an accompanying video, Neides explained the philosophy he has employed over 20 years as a primary care provider. “The biggest thing I try to do with patients is to partner” with them, he said in the video. “The idea of a paternalistic relationship where the doctor basically pontificates his or her medical knowledge and tells the patient what they need to do — those days are way behind us.”  

  • We( my husband and I ) are both patients of Dr. Neides. We know that he is sincere in his desire to help his patients. Currently Dr. Neides is helping my husband through a very difficult time with a blood infection. He has been most helpful to us and we strongly urge The Cleveland Clinic to remember that Dr. Neides is by far the reason we are Clinic patients. Thank You.

    • Please understand that Dr. Neides’ comments were detrimental to your husband’s health. Decreasing herd immunity levels by causing unjustified fears of vaccines in the public is an ethical no-no, and with herd immunity lower that increases the odds that your husband, or someone like him, would be exposed to more pathogens that could overwhelm his system.

      His clinical work is not being questioned, his inability to discern the good science on vaccines from conspiracy theory blogs is the problem, and he should be punished appropriately.

  • Heres one direct from Inventiv Health, a ZZ, he is a true poet, so I have stolen his prose, and hope everyone likes it: so all the shills on this page can copy . Like most of the comments below, doesnt make the SLIGHTEST bit of sense, but sounds wonderful!

    Oh man the cognitive dissonance from this loon is appalling. Keep it up guys!

    (Whats cognitive dissonance….)
    ?

    …..it has plenty to do with the numerous falsehoods you’re claiming here. It’s the psychological discomfort displayed when one is confronted with facts that challenge personal beliefs.Though I’m actually off in the distinction. What is seen here is the Dunning-Kruger effect. A form of cognitive bias based on some form of illusory superiority by a relatively unskilled person.
    Judging by the number of unsupported claims being made here, along with a slew of logical fallacies, it’s not a very difficult thing to point out.

    He continues: . Jessa brought up an axiom, a self-evident reality?????????? need i go on?

    • Too bad I have far more degrees than you do, and all of them in science.

      You’re using psychological projection to hide your own ignorance.

  • for things you need to know?
    1. he is honest
    2. he is refusing kickbacks from pharma
    3. he is honest
    4. why isnt he allowed to give his honest, true opinion?

    • Angela, would you fire an astronaut whose “honest, true opinion” was that the moon is made of cheese? What bother me most, as I have mentioned, is that making up facts (or presenting opinions as facts, or fabricating outcomes) is mainstream behavior in the Cleveland Clinic’s workplace wellness program. And who knows that better than the employees subjected to it? https://theysaidwhat.net/2016/04/15/cleveland-clinics-michael-roizen-shows-how-wellness-impacts-performance/

    • Al Lewis, references please, proof, not just gobbledegook you cut and paste. Read my timeline angela coral eisenhauer (fb) Tdap is crap, and your flu vaccine USA, was BANNED in Australia in 2010.

    • Al go get a real job, or do some medical or microbiology training? what they said? what scientific journal was that scientific report on the uselessness of flu vaccines published again? FACTS mate, not character assassination, for dubious reasons?

    • The anti-vaccine movement falls into a classic line of conspiracy theory. Unproven, but satisfying to an underlying fear that the general public is being dupped.

      In some cases conspiracy theories are true, but this has been studied. A lot. Evidence is weak to support this theory among the people who know what they are talking about.

      We would all ignore people like you, who deny scoentific findings, but your refusal to vaccinate harms everyone else.

      Dig in more. Read opinions that oppose your views. See if your sources really check out beyond this community of anti-vaccine fanatics

    • steve dunjin picked up another shill. I cant understand a word you are saying. I worked in pathology, am a chemical analysist, exposed the useless aP vaccine, was NEVER anti vaxxine. So what is all your gobbledegook on conspiracy theories and crap about again? You a psychiatrist? Your quote”””The anti-vaccine movement falls into a classic line of conspiracy theory. Unproven, but satisfying to an underlying fear that the general public is being dupped.””” sorry I dont understand what the hell you trying to say……… On it is duped. I think you mean. but do you actually understand what you are saying, cause it doesnt make the slightest amount of sense to me, just cut and paste from a sheet from InventivHealth, PR pharma marketing or such. And why do I bother replying to Mumbai shills?

    • Another anti-vax troll that thinks that being exposed to the full bacteria after immunization by aP is somehow the vaccine causing people to spread the disease. She’s not educated, she’s lying. She also hangs out at the anti-vax blog for Weston Price.

      Neides is NOT allowed to imply that he speaks for his employer when making such unfounded and worthless statements about vaccinations.

    • wow Jay, you know all about me, how strange? Even the fact I have been openly exposing the fact the 46,000 percent increase in whooping cough, IS CAUSED by the vaccinated, constantly catching, recatching and spreading whooping cough, over and over for 6-12 years. THAT EVERY infected baby in Australia, since 1996 has been infected by a symptomless Dtap vaccinated child, usually the 2 or 3 year old sibling. Wow, thanks for reading my facebook page, and reading the FDA references, and all the other references on my page. WOW< thrilled! As for hanging out on blogs, I post everywhere, even replying to paid shills on this page.

    • “Even the fact I have been openly exposing the fact the 46,000 percent increase in whooping cough, IS CAUSED by the vaccinated, constantly catching, recatching and spreading whooping cough, over and over for 6-12 years.”

      No evidence, that indicates you’re lying.

      Too bad you’re so ignorant that lies are all you have, rather than credible scientific evidence.

    • “THAT EVERY infected baby in Australia, since 1996 has been infected by a symptomless Dtap vaccinated child, usually the 2 or 3 year old sibling.”

      I’ll debunk this one at more length, now.

      http://www.pnas.org/content/111/2/787

      This is the study to which the crank above is referring. It uses a primate model, not humans. It also requires extensive exposure to the wild bacteria for those primates to acquire an external infection that doesn’t cause symptoms within the primate. At this point, those immunized primates were infectious, causing pertussis in other un-immunized primates.

      None of this has been studied in humans, as it would be incredibly unethical. It requires exposing both immunized and unimmunized individuals with a dangerous pathogen.

      What we know happens, however, is that there is a secondary pertussis strain that isn’t as severe or dangerous that has taken the place of primary pertussis.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25301209

      Again, Ms. eisenhauer is NOT A SCIENTIST and she should avoid making statements that aren’t backed up by real scientists.

  • Dr. Neides is an excellent physician. I have known him since 1996, I am his patient as well as my husband & 3 daughters.
    I honestly think so many people have no idea what they’re talking about-bashing him, saying he should be fired and that he has no idea what he’s doing.
    His patients love him, I know this because I also used to work with him years ago. He goes out of his way to see every single patient he can.
    He is the only physician that was able to help me with my medical issues I was having by running a series a test & saying “were going to beat this” because he said his goal was to “greatly increase my quality of life & my family”.
    I have a chronic illness, he’s been helping me get better after All of the doctors I have seen since 2008 who have not been able to help me.
    I have lost so many years of my life-but Dr. Neides cares.
    I understand what he said in his blog caused uproar but so many people have taken it to a whole new level.
    Let me tell you that I have seen many CCF doctors, one specializing in my illness & that doctor could not help me, she didn’t seem interested in helping me.
    I have seen some with awful bedside manners, one that left me tears nearly everytime I saw him but I didn’t know who else to go to at the time. He’s a good doctor, a good person who doesn’t deserve to be beat up by all these ignorant comments online/on twitter. Thank you to the people who believe in Dr. Neides.

  • Flu shots are just BIG money makers! They have side effects that patient’s are NEVER told including paralysis! The drug manufactures, Hospitals, & Physicians are not held liable due to the 1986 Vaccine Protection Law. Yo u must prove your injury was related to the Vaccine and you must do this in Washington DC. There is something VERY wrong here. This is the tip of the Iceberg. Follow the money-greed & corruption is very real here. I work in health care and have witnessed the damage first hand. If you speak out-you are fired or made out to be a “nut case” that doesn’t know what they are talking about. They are many more that share this view. We are college educated and do our homework. The evidence is there-do the research and you too will see that Dr Neides has spoken the truth.

  • The Cleveland Clinic’s wellness program is detested by its own employees for fat-shaming, and they also appear to be making up outcomes. It’s a pure profit center for them. They sell wellness to local employers. Click through for more of the back story. Cleveland Clinic’s wellness program is widely disliked among its own employees. This rant was not a surprise. Here is more information on it and him. https://theysaidwhat.net/2017/01/11/cleveland-clinic-wellness-rant-breaks-the-record-for-stupidity/

  • These are strange comments. One calls a Offit “corrupt and evil” without evidence even though Offit created a vaccine that saves many lives. The other comment believes Dr Neides has his patients health in mind yet Neides provided incorrect information on vaccines.

    • PRoffit vaccine saved lives? Babies with twisted intestines, some dead, some half intestines missing? wow, to stop diahorrea, and the ones who get this rotavirus vaccine, shit it out for weeks, and the WHOLE family get sick and spread it. ? Bit like Tdap vaccine, or Dtap, designed that those vaccinated dont get symptoms, just spread it for 6-12 years, to newborn babies. What a con! 46,000 percent increase in whooping cough due to Dtap ie acellular pertussis vaccine? wtf? Soon we will need a permanent IV, instead of needing shots yearly. And buggar the poor babies, who catch all this stuff from us, just cause we dont show symptoms?

    • I never read anything about Dr Offit corrupt and evil, in the article, or the comments? Please elaborate, who is Dr Offit, does he make flu vaccines?

    • Look at her lie about diseases and vaccines.

      The pertussis vaccine doesn’t cause one to be contagious. That’s just stupid and shows exactly how ignorant you are, angela.

  • FAKE NEW ALERTS!: Paul Offit is the holder of the rotavirus vaccine patent and beneficiary of millions of dollars of earnings from the administration of that vaccine. Why would the author ask such a corrupt and evil doctor to comment?

    • Because Paul Offit is also one of the most highly regarded immunologists around the world, publishing incredible research and actually working hard to make sure people are protected from preventable diseases.

      And yet here you are, attacking him.

      How pathetic.

    • PRoffit vaccine saved lives? Babies with twisted intestines, some dead, some half intestines missing? wow, to stop diahorrea, and the ones who get this rotavirus vaccine, shit it out for weeks, and the WHOLE family get sick and spread it. ? Bit like Tdap vaccine, or Dtap, designed that those vaccinated dont get symptoms, just spread it for 6-12 years, to newborn babies. What a con! 46,000 percent increase in whooping cough due to Dtap ie acellular pertussis vaccine? wtf? Soon we will need a permanent IV, instead of needing shots yearly. And buggar the poor babies, who catch all this stuff from us, just cause we dont show symptoms?

  • Dr. Neides has shown over and over again that he has his patients’ health at heart. Judging by patient feedback and responses, Dr. Neides cares deeply about his work and advocates the best for citizens’ health.
    Dr. Neides is brave enough to talk about important issues such as the ubiquitous exposure to toxins that have deleterious consequences to peoples’ health. Only cowards would use bullying and intimidating tactics to vilify Dr. Neides. These cowards likely have something to hide and are afraid the people would find out the truth.

  • The first in a series of videos coming out this week being offered for free viewing. I just watched last night’s release and it is an eye opener and supports the fact that we have not been told the truth regarding the safety or efficacy of vaccines: http://www.vaccinesrevealed.com/

    • Still trying to push that stupid blog and youtube video here?

      Didn’t you ever look into the poor credibility of those in that video? No, you didn’t, because you’re also a follower of Age of Autism, a blog full of anti-vax quackery.

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