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St. Rita's opens new Weight Management Center PDF Print
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 8:00 PM


DHI Media Staff Writer

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LIMA — After months of preparation, St. Rita’s Medical Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its Weight Management Center, the newest addition to the facility’s network of practices, on Monday morning.

The center is located at 830 West High St., Suite 150, and is a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive weight management program that includes medically-supervised weight loss, behavior modification, exercise, nutritional education and psychological evaluation.

Along with individualized nutritional plan diets, exercise, behavioral modification, meal replacement, Bariatric weight loss or surgery, the center offers laparoscopic and robotic surgeries.

The team is comprised of a full range of medical disciplines — from surgeons to psychologists to physiologists — who are ready to meet the needs of patients on many levels.

Medical Director Doctor Stephanie Dunkle-Blatter is a general and Bariatric surgeon who brought her expertise — including her work in a fellowship at Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania — to St. Rita’s in October 2013.

“We’ve been seeing patients for a few weeks and had a support group cooking demonstration,” she said. “We are thrilled with how it’s going.”

Dunkle-Blatter said losing weight is one of the hardest things to do and it’s a life-long commitment.

“We are here for the long run with follow-up support for life,” she said.

After an individual attends an informational seminar and meets with a physician for a consultation, a plan is established specifically for that individual.

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ plan,” Dunkle-Blatter explained.

Statistics show nearly 70 percent of US citizens are overweight and one-third are obese. Carrying excess weight can cause life-threatening conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer.

Registered Dietitian Becky Niekamp said there are two components to the medically-supervised weight loss. First, program participants meet with Niekamp for a one-on-one consultation and assess their individualized nutritional plan. Participants also attend support group meetings the second Tuesday of each month and listen to guest speakers present “Tips to LivWell”.

“We have had one support group meeting so far, kitchen clean-out and tips for a well-stocked pantry,” she said. “Everybody can come to the support groups. It’s really nice to have others to talk to that are working through similar situations with similar goals.”

Upcoming monthly support group topics include Vitamins and Minerals, Treat Yourself Without the Guilt, Goal Setting, Eating Out at Restaurants, Bari Yoga and Holiday Eating and Party Strategies.

Program Director Joyce Bochenneck said she is very proud to be part of the program encompassing a great team of physicians who support and encourage patients for life.

“The program has drawn a lot of interest from the community,” she said. “Our last two seminars have seen a full attendance.”

Bochenneck said interested individuals from any county are welcome to join the program and do not need a doctor’s referral.

“People can call and make an appointment to attend an informational seminar — which are held two times per month — before scheduling an initial medical consultation with one of our doctors,” she said.

For more information or to make an appointment, call the Weight Management Center at 844-LIV-WELL (548-9355).


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