New Weight Management Program Started at FCHC

As 2024 approaches, many people will set “losing weight” as their New Year’s resolution. In fact, every year it is high on the list of New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, weeks or months later, many people become frustrated with their lack of weight loss and abandon their resolution.

But this New Year there is hope. FCHC has introduced its new Medical Weight Management program designed to help you successfully achieve your weight loss goals.

Why the Program Is Needed

“We understand that weight loss can be very difficult to achieve,” says Britney Ward, Director of FCHC’s Medical Weight Management program and the Corporate and Community Health Promotion department. “There is absolutely no judgement here. We are so hard on ourselves, expecting our will power to make the weight loss happen when, in fact, there is so much more to it than that. We want to meet people where they are at in their journey and give them the tools to actually succeed. When people walk out with a smile, telling us they actually feel hope for the first time in a long time, we know we are doing our job.”

Ward says at least 75% of Fulton County adults are considered overweight or obese. “Obesity is high in Fulton County. We have always offered fitness, nutrition, and other wellness options here at the Health Center to help the community. This program takes weight management to a whole different level, unlike anything else offered in the region.”

The Program Foundation

FCHC Medical Weight Management offers a comprehensive approach to help patients:

  1. Reach goals and reduce the risk of chronic health conditions
  2. Acquire tools, information and strategies to support progress
  3. Gain insight into themselves and their habits
  4. Feel empowered in their journey

This fall, FCHC established the Medical Weight Management program through a collaboration with area physician Victor Cherfan, DO who has a great deal of experience in developing weight management programs. Dr. Cherfan’s role is to provide oversight and to spend one day per month seeing patients. In addition, several other FCHC staff members and departments are involved including the FCHC Diabetes and Nutrition Education Department, FCHC lab, FCHC Outpatient Pharmacy and FCHC Fitness.

“We’ll work with you to develop a customized plan that helps you meet your overall weight and health goals,” says Ward. “Our commitment is to provide services and support which enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being to help patients live their fullest lives.”

Our Approach

Patients can refer themselves to the program without the need for a provider’s referral. “We’ve  found that those who self-refer to us are more motivated to stay with their weight loss goals and work toward them as opposed to being told by a physician or other health care provider they need to do it,” says Ward.

They are given a packet of information ahead of time to review and to complete health questionnaires. The patients then meet with Nurse Practitioner Becky Shirley, MSN, CNP, to perform an initial patient assessment. “It’s important to know what they have tried in the past and what their current motivation is,” says Shirley. “After collecting their health history and vitals, we focus on the motivating factors that brought them to us. We discuss the importance of calorie tracking, medications that can be a tool in the process, and provide each patient with an individualized plan to promote weight loss.”

As part of the initial assessment, the provider will determine your Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR) and create a calorie intake plan. You will then meet with a dietitian to discuss your specific needs, while being educated on healthy meal planning as well as how diet, physical activity, sleep, and stress can affect your weight loss and overall well-being.

What Is Included in the Program?

-Monthly visits to meet with an FCHC provider and dietitian

-Group classes to address diet, physical activity, sleep, stress & well-being

-Weight loss medication options

-Updated lab work

-Progress updates to other providers when needed

-Free FCHC Fitness gym membership

“Cutting calories is a main component of the weight management plan,” says Ward. “Medication is a tool that can help curb the hunger. Not everyone needs it, but about 75% of our patients want the assistance of the medication at the beginning.”

The length of the program varies based on each individual’s weight loss goal. It is covered by most health insurance plans.

What About Bariatric Surgery?

FCHC will continue to offer Bariatric Surgery by FCHC General Surgeon Timothy Duckett, MD, along with support groups. “Bariatric surgery is being rolled into our Medical Weight Management program, and it will remain as an option for some patients,” says Ward. “Our goal is to be the one-stop shop offering counseling, nutrition education, medications, exercise, surgery, and more to help people lose weight.”

Are You Eligible to Participate?

The FCHC Medical Weight Management program is geared for adults 18 years or older. In addition, patients must:

-Have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 27 or higher and a comorbidity (such as high blood pressure)

-Or, have a BMI of 30 or higher

Our Medical Management Staff

Your progress is monitored by a comprehensive team which provides ongoing support even after you reach your goals.

Providers:

Victor Cherfan, DO

Rebecca Shirley, MSN, CNP

Dietitians:

Jill Crossgrove-Murrillo, RD, LD, CDCES

Janna Mennetti, RD, LD

Nurses:

Brianna Fisher, BSN, RN, CDCES

Kaitlin Pursel, BSN, RN

Angie Burns, LPN

Support Staff:

Jesse McKean

An Intersection of Health & Happiness

The new FCHC Medical Weight Management program offers a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to help patients establish and reach their weight loss goals. It is located in the main FCHC Health Center facility at 725 S. Shoop Ave., Wauseon. Patients enter through the North Medical Office Building on the Health Center’s ground floor. The Medical Weight Management program is located just through the double doors at the end of the hall in Suite G06.

For more information about the FCHC Medical Weight Management program, call 419-330-2772 and choose Option 1 or visit fchcweightmanagement.org.