Wellness Warriors – October 2020

Mark Leyngold (left) - October Wellness Warrior

Mark Leyngold (left)- October Wellness Warrior

Name: Mark Leyngold
Department: Surgery
Years of Service: 6

What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Weight training, fitness, outdoors, hiking

How do you live a healthy lifestyle?
I try to have work/life balance by enjoying my time with friends and family, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.

What inspires you to make healthier choices and live a healthy lifestyle?
I like to have some structure in my life and to feel good in general. I believe healthy habits help me function better and be more effective at work, in my relationships, and in life in general.

Do you have a success story you would like to share?
I came to the US from Russia in 1992 when I was 13 as a refugee. After many years and struggles and with the help of my family I was able to achieve my goal of becoming a plastic surgeon.

Mark makes fitness and healthy eating a part of his daily life. He encourages residents and his patients to take breaks and eat a healthy diet regularly. He is an inspiration to our department because of his healthy living choices.


Teresa Cavanaugh - October Wellness Warrior

Teresa Cavanaugh – October Wellness Warrior

Name: Teresa Cavanaugh
Department: College of Pharmacy
Years of Service: 2.5

What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I enjoy CrossFit, reading lots of fiction, going for walks, and playing with my granddaughters.

How do you live a healthy lifestyle?
I try very hard to create healthy boundaries between work and the rest of my life. If I did not schedule self-care into my days, it would not happen. I go to the gym 5-6 days a week. It serves as a stress reliever, improves my physical well-being, and is my community. I know that I cannot be thinking about work or other problems if I am focused on lifting heavy weights or running as fast as I can. I try to eat well to fuel my body but really adhere to an 80/20 rule to allow me to also enjoy food that is maybe not so healthy from time to time. I also try to remember to take breathing breaks periodically throughout the day. For example, I use the 90 seconds it takes for me to microwave water for tea to focus on breathing. Lastly, I make sure to stay connected to friends and family. These relationships are key to my health.

What inspires you to make healthier choices and live a healthy lifestyle?
I am a firm believer that a body in motion stays in motion. I exercise now to maintain strength so I can continue to do the things I love. I also know the more I take care of myself, the more I am able to meet my responsibilities. Eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep are all important to have the energy to get through busy, demanding days. I also feel strongly it is important to role model good behavior to the next generation of professionals (and my granddaughters).

Do you have a success story you would like to share?
A few years ago, I was getting really burned out and had no idea. I was invited to attend a retreat to learn integrated mind-body skills. I had no idea what mind-body skills were but thought it sounded interesting. It was a wonderful experience that truly changed my life. Incorporating mindfulness strategies, including mindful movement and meditation, into my life has brought me a long way from falling over the precipice of burning out. I became a mind-body facilitator at the University of Cincinnati and was able to bring the workshop to the University of Florida College of Pharmacy through a college Prosper Faculty Development grant. We have 10 faculty and staff currently trained to be facilitators and have had over 50 students participate in the workshop series. COVID put a damper on this, but we intend to offer it again (safely) this spring.

Teresa made a New Years resolution to walk 2019 miles in 2019 (that’s 5.5 miles EVERY day!) she has stuck to this goal and keeps going strong. In addition, she is an advocate for our faculty, staff, and students to live balanced lives and has started an initiative to train people in various wellness techniques. This included having a group of faculty attend the mind body training to continue to help others. Teresa’s influence in our college has helped many see wellness in a very positive way and her continued efforts to serve as a role model and coach in the process is unmatched.


The Wellness Warrior Award is a peer-nominated recognition of individuals on the UF-UF Health campuses who make strides to live better by making healthier choices. The award is an acknowledgment of the determination and dedication it takes to live a well and healthy lifestyle. Wellness Warriors are individuals who lead by example, encouraging those around them to also make healthier choices.

Nominate a colleague whom you feel is deserving of this recognition.

Published: October 28th, 2020

Category: Wellness Updates, Wellness Warriors