Berkley Bridge, Nofolk, VA

Building Community-Based Obesity Care

At the second annual Sentara Obesity Management Conference, building community-based obesity care provided a taste of reality that stands in stark contrast to abstract models filled with evolution, equity, empowerment, engagement, and other buzzwords. More than a hundred healthcare professionals from all over Virginia gathered for an understanding of how integrated teams are delivering urgently needed care in Tidewater Virginia.

The conference provided insight into two clinical programs that have fully integrated medical and surgical care for obesity. Keynote speaker Walter Poires described Sentara Comprehensive Weight Loss Solutions Center as a model for such efforts. That’s high praise coming from a legendary innovator in surgical care for obesity.

Program director Stephen Wohlgemuth took the content beyond adult obesity care by including Dominque Williams, who directs the Healthy You for Life Program at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. He also graciously invited the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) to present on the importance of patient advocacy and addressing weight bias.

No doubt other programmes are developing good examples of comprehensive obesity care. The Geisinger Obesity Institute comes to mind. Yet too many people are only talking about theoretical solutions to obesity and tolerating appalling barriers to urgently needed care. So seeing people who are simply rolling up their sleeves to deliver real evidence-based obesity care — despite all the obstacles — is nothing short of inspiring.

Click here to read more about the Sentara Comprehensive Weight Loss Solutions Center, here to read more about the Healthy You for Life program, and here for the presentation from OAC on weight bias and patient advocacy.

Berkley Bridge, Norfolk, VA, photograph © Josh Hohensee / flickr

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September 20, 2015