Larry Conner had tried everything to lose weight. Finally, he was referred by his primary care provider at a routine check-up and has lost over 30 pounds. He describes improvements in his daily life and overall health. “It’s helped me at my job,” said Connor, who works as a videographer. “I used to be always out of breath, feeling ready to collapse.”
Now, he can bend over with ease and has gotten back on a bike for the first time in years. He adds, “It’s nice to have the staff [PCP, dietitian, counselor] all in one place. It makes it easy and more financially doable.”
Another patient, Vanessa Headen, was struggling with osteoarthritis and decided to try the program to take some pressure off her knees. “I’ve learned how to eat better, to watch calorie intake, especially as it involves sugar…it has made me more conscious of what I eat,” said Headen.
She now reads labels in the grocery store and her whole family participates in looking for hidden sugars. She has lost 17 pounds so far and says the program has been “helpful, an eye-opener.” She adds, “I would really recommend it.”
On multiple occasions, staff even uncovered the need for counseling about other conditions, such as eating disorders, and made referrals to bariatric surgery specialists, both of which can be overlooked in routine medical visits.
Laurel Sisler, MSW, director of the weight management program, explained, “The UNC Weight Management Program is unique in that it delivers best-practice weight management to patients in their primary care office, in collaboration with specialists in nutrition, sports medicine and behavioral health. Rather than having to go off site, our patients can get comprehensive and coordinated care in a place they trust.”
To enroll, please call 984-974-6519. Please direct any further questions to Stephanie Wilhoit-Reeves.