I Really, Really Liked Dr Hallberg and am so sorry she is no longer with us!
Dr. Sarah Jean Dran- Hallberg
Lafayette – Dr. Sarah Jean Dran-Hallberg, a passionate researcher, devoted physician, friend, loving daughter, wife, and self-proclaimed soccer mom, died of lung cancer on March 28, 2022. She was never a smoker and after her diagnosis, she became an advocate for education about a non-smoker lung cancer “epidemic” that has especially struck women in their thirties and forties.
Sarah was born in 1971 to Ellen Dran and the late John Dran in Toledo, OH. She is survived by Brad, her husband of 24 years; children Noah, Ava, and Luna; sister Jenna.
Dr. Sarah, as she was lovingly called by her patients, was an internationally recognized leader in the nutritional management of Type 2 Diabetes and other metabolic diseases. She founded IU Health Arnett’s Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program in 2012. She was also the medical director of Virta Health, a nutrition science company that focuses on Type 2 Diabetes reversal and is a pioneer in telemedicine.
Her national — then international — campaign to reverse Type 2 Diabetes was launched by a Tedx talk at Purdue in 2015. It has over 8.5 million views, is used by many physicians to educate their diabetic patients and has inspired many people to revise their lifestyles, ultimately reducing or even eliminating their need for medications. The talk’s title, “Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Starts by Ignoring the Guidelines” is indicative of Sarah’s constant push to challenge the status quo and advocate for evidence-based health advice.
Dr. Sarah was the lead investigator of a 5-year clinical trial that tested Type 2 reversal using carbohydrate restriction, and she has co-authored over a dozen manuscripts and peer-reviewed articles. She has published opinion articles nationally, including in the New York Times. Dr. Sarah also appeared on numerous podcasts and was a frequent conference presenter and lecturer. She took her message to Congress, the Pentagon, local governments, company executives, physician groups, and numerous other health actors.
Dr. Sarah was a Fellow in the Aspen Institute’s Health Innovator Fellowship, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and The Justice League. She served on the American Board of Obesity Medicine, the American Board of Clinical Lipidology, was a Fellow of the Obesity Medicine Association and the National Lipid Association, and Chair of the Scientific Council of the Nutrition Coalition, as well as a member of its Board. She was a recipient of the Greater Lafayette YWCA’s Woman of Distinction award, a recipient of Indiana’s highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash, the 2022 annual recipient of the Metabolic Health Summit’s David Shevock Pioneer Award, and an inductee into the Illinois State University’s CAST Hall of Fame.
Sarah will probably be best remembered for her energy, enthusiasm, and absolute devotion to her calling and to her patients. She never gave up her battle with the status quo, for the sake of her patients and for science-based medicine. She had a genuine concern for others. She believed in her patients and helped them believe in themselves and their ability to take charge of their own health.
Sarah’s family would like to thank the people and organizations who allowed Sarah to be Sarah, including Dr. Dale Brown at Illinois State University for noticing Sarah’s potential early on and allowing her personality to flourish, IU Health Arnett for supporting Sarah in the establishment of its first medical weight loss clinic, her clinic family of Joni Anderson, Patti McKee, Monica Keyes, Zach Roberts, and Danielle Wharff, as well as the patients whom Sarah loved and was honored to serve. Sarah’s family is very grateful to Mr. Sami Inkinen, Ms. Meredith Loring, Dr. Stephen Phinney, Dr. Jeff Voleck, and all Virtans for building Virta Health and unconditionally loving and supporting Sarah through her cancer journey; Her fellow Aspen Institute Health Innovators (TJL) whose support and friendship brightened many of Sarah’s worst days; Dr. Warren Ng, whose weekly flower delivery and inspirational cards always made her smile. We would like to thank Sarah’s cancer care team at IU Health including Dr. T.I. Jones, Dr. Matt Orton, Dr. Vijaya Kakani, Dr. Erika Ugianskis, Dr. Tamara Hazbun, Ms. Nadine Cline, N.P., and all of the devoted nurses who work with the utmost care and professionalism. We would also like to thank Guardian Angel Hospice for making Sarah’s final days as comfortable as humanly possible. Life is not worth living without friends, and Sarah had some of the best. A few whom we consider family: the Strachan-Koslowski family, the Hazbun family, the Mumford family, the Grama family, Ms. Nina Teicholz, Dr. Jim McCarter, Dr. Shaminie Athinarayanan, and Sarah’s “adopted daughters” Dr. Brittanie Volk and Dr. Amy McKenzie. And last but not least, we thank the status quo, and all of those people who raised her ire to the point that she felt she had to do something. Sarah is noted for saying, “I went to medical school – because I was pi**ed.” That’s Sarah being Sarah.
A public memorial visitation will be held on April 10th, from 2-5 p.m. at Soller Baker Funeral Home, 400 Twyckenham Blvd, Lafayette, IN 47909
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to: Reversing T2: A Dr. Sarah Hallberg Legacy Project. https://www.gofundme.com/f/dr-sarahs-legacy-t2-reversal
**Every donation up to $1000 will be doubled. This generous match, from an anonymous donor, ends April 30th**. You can leave condolences at www.soller-baker.com
Source: Journal & Courier