Focus ~ Food ~ Fitness


Meet the Founders of The Pivotal Health Plan

Dr Sharief Ibrahim was deeply moved by a community initiative that was successfully undertaken by Rick Warren (the senior pastor of Saddleback one of the largest churches in America) and Dr Mark Hyman (an internationally recognised health expert and best selling author). Together they developed The Daniel Plan which went on to transform tens of thousands of lives in California. Having carried the same ethos and vision for many years, Dr Sharief decided to contact Pastor Chris Demetriou of CornerstoneTheChurch in Walton on Thames. The response was immediate... "Let's turn Walton into the healthiest town in the United Kingdom!" Out of that determination The Pivotal Health Plan was initiated.

Dr Sharief Ibrahim MBBS, MRCP, FRCP
Consultant Physician

Following graduation from medical school Dr Sharief was privileged to work as a medical director of a primary health programme in Saudi Arabia, supervised by the World Health Organisation. This work gave him the understanding that health is “state of physical, mental and social wellbeing and not just absence of disease”. This ‘holistic’ view of health led to him pursuing a career in general medicine in the United Kingdom. Gaining the membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) he resisted the temptation to take on a medical super speciality and was accepted for higher medical training in general and geriatric medicine in South East London. This took him through an enjoyable training rotation working at Guy’s and St Thomas and King’s College Hospital before he achieved my consultant status (CCST) with a dual accreditation in general and geriatric medicine. Reaching this stage, Dr Sharief was thrilled to practise within this wider-scope medicine, now at a consultant level. He progressed comfortably within my beloved speciality, making some achievements, which were recognised and hence awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP).

Dr Sharief's work allowed him to see general medical problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, with the wider view of a Geriatric Consultant. This view has enabled him to offer effective non-drug treatments to control these long-term conditions. Other invaluable skills have been gained from his geriatric practice because elderly people usually come to hospitals with multiple medical, functional and social problems. Dealing with such complexity, the physician should come to understand the origin and interaction of these problems in order to set up priority and pull all threads together to set an action plan that would restore some balance, making the elderly feels better. From the onset he came to understand that every individual is unique. They have a unique set of genes and are exposed to unique environmental factors, including and beyond their lifestyles. They need personalised medical care. 

This type of thinking has come as result of some serious personal experience of transforming his own illness first into health and now into vitality and fitness. A combination of medical conditions and lack of general fitness earlier in his medical career left him unable to walk half a mile from the train station to the house, compelling him to take taxis on regular basis. Things got worse and Dr Sharief had two surgical operations. After the second he was unconscious for 5 days. Waking up in intensive care unit with tube still in his windpipe, From that moment he changed course and started to learn about health and fitness for the first time. This has equipped him with different set of skills compared to his earlier medical career. 

Dr Sharief become aware, from an early stage of his medical career, of the importance of information in raising people’s awareness of health problems and to motivate them enough to take action to improve their quality of life. Out of this reality he has expanded his interests to include journalism, writing general, health and medical articles for various newspapers.
It is interesting to come to an understanding that lifestyles don’t just stop at healthy diet and regular exercises. These are the tip of the iceberg; there is a lot more under the surface. This has opened my awareness to pay special attention to the role of other lifestyles issues such as stress, sleep and social relations. Current conventional medicine equips doctors with knowledge and skills to find and specify disease pattern in their patients. Following this model, an intervention or treatment can be prescribed only when the disease is clearly identified. This medical procedure has proved fully successful in acute medical emergencies and to treat infections. However, in chronic illnesses it generally only provides symptomatic relief and may reduce disease progression for a while. It generally does not shift the disease away, or modify the disease process. This approach may be called ‘fixing medicine’, in which the doctor uses an external agent (drug) and the patient remains a passive care recipient.

Dr Sharief's lifelong struggle at both personal and professional level has pushed him steadily towards gaining the necessary knowledge and skills that in turn enabled him to pursue the development of the Pivotal Health Plan. 
Dr Sharief Ibrahim MBBS, MRCP, FRCP
Consultant Physician
The Vitality Clinic

Rev Chris Demetriou
Senior Pastor

Pastor Chris Demetriou and his wife Loraine founded Cornerstone Minsitries twenty-six years ago. It started as a small Bible Study and grew rapidly to a congregation that soon exceeded 500 people. 

CornerstoneTheChurch is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic community made up of 41 nations. It has always placed an emphasis on strengthening the family in order to strengthen the church, in order to strengthen the community. Pastors Chris and Loraine were ordained by Pastor Ray McCauley at Rhema Bible Church in South Africa - having worked in the ministry for some years. Over the years, their powerful ministry has since transformed many thousands of lives.

Pastor Chris' background is in music. He was a successful songwriter and record producer - having worked in various capacities with artists such as Cat Stevens, David Bowie and Mike d'Abo. He is associated with over 160 recordings and has had a number of top five hits. One of his songs was used during the opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and it appears in the Guinness Book of Records as the first time a 'sample' was used on a music track. Pastor Chris is also a notable media entrepreneur and is in the top 1% of the most viewed contacts on LinkedIn.

The church moved into its new building in Walton on Thames eighteen months ago. It is a lighthouse to the surrounding community, and the state-of-the-art facility has become a hub of creativity and a positive force in the area. Together with Dr Sharief Ibrahim, Rev Chris Demetriou has a vision to make Walton the healthiest town in the United Kingdom

Share by: