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Weight Management

Weight Management Program Targets Seniors

Weight Management Program Targets Seniors
“I hear from so many of my patients that they are feeling better—their joints don’t hurt as much and they have more energy,” says Mary Ellen DeMartini.
Losing weight can be a hard process—and one made even more difficult to conquer as we age and experience other physical and health-related challenges. But, for Lee Physician Group patients age 65 and older, with a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher and on Medicare, help is available through the Lee Physician Group Weight Management Program.

Created as part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services initiative, the program provides patients the opportunity to participate in a one-year weight loss program—with no out-of-pocket copays or deductibles. Run by advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs), participants receive one-on-one counseling and support. “We teach people to eat right and move more,” explains Mary Ellen DeMartini, ARNP. “Our approach is one of healthy and sustainable changes—there are no drugs involved. We focus on counting calories, portion control and incorporating exercise.”

Mary Ellen holds her patients accountable so they keep their goals in mind and stay on track, but she also provides constant motivation and encouragement. “I am really here to be an advocate, a cheerleader,” she says. “I explain that it’s OK to fall off, but it’s important to get back on the horse. I also show my patients the value of what they’re doing, even if they don’t lose weight one week, if their blood pressure or blood sugar is lower, then that’s a win.”

Since April, Mary Ellen’s group of 17 participants has lost more than 140 pounds. Many have dropped shirt, pant or dress sizes, and even medication dosages. “I hear from so many of my patients that they are feeling better—their joints don’t hurt as much and they have more energy,” she says. “Losing weight—especially through sustainable lifestyle changes—cures a lot of ills and ailments.”

If you are a Lee Physician Group patient, meet the criteria and think you may benefit from this program, talk to your physician about a referral.

What to Expect from the Program:

  • An initial assessment of your lifestyle habits
  • Weekly sessions for the first month
  • Biweekly sessions during months 2-6
  • Monthly sessions during months 7-12, as long as there is weight loss of at least 6.6 pounds during the first six months
  • Assistance formulating realistic, measurable goals
  • Guidelines and tools for improving diet and increasing physical activity
  • Motivation and support as you progress toward your goals
  • Comprehensive, holistic care


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