Back to home November 2013
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.
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.
Exercise in your Golden Years