For over 12 years, the SSM Health Weight Management Program at SSM Health DePaul Hospital — St. Louis has been the preeminent program in Missouri, offering holistic approaches to weight management utilizing both inpatient and outpatient wellness procedures. The Weight Management Program also aligns with SSM Health DePaul Hospital’s strategic priorities to address diabetes, heart disease, and access to care.
Obesity is a disease with many serious health risks including diabetes, degenerative joint disease, stroke, and heart disease. In our St. Louis community, many members struggle with obesity and the morbidities that coincide with the disease. The new Weight Management facilities will help reduce the devastating impact of obesity and obesity-related illness in the St. Louis, St. Charles, and Metro East regions. Diabetes alone, one of obesity’s largest comorbidities, affects 30% of the St. Louis Medicare population and costs the United States over $116 billion annually. In the St. Louis region, the death rate associated with diabetes is 32.8 per 100,000 persons, a notable 12.5 persons higher than the national average.
The majority of those in the weight management program are women, many with trauma in their past requiring specialized care.
The holistic care delivered by the SSM Health Weight Management Program can take the better part of a year and our caregivers are with them every step of the way.
Statewide, the SSM Health Weight Management Program treated 760 cases last year — with over 800 new patients expected to participate in 2018. Patients range from 18 to 70 years in age with significant increases among younger age groups. Seventy-five percent of those affected are women, many with trauma in their past and extremely private about that history.
For many, their journey through this program begins with prominent bariatric surgeon Dr. Mario Morales. Their exceptional patient care continues under the watchful eyes of a multidisciplinary team of dieticians, counselors, and physical therapists working together to create the best plan and experience for every patient.
The holistic methods of care delivered by the SSM Health Weight Management Program at SSM Health DePaul Hospital can take nine months to complete, with many insurance providers requiring six months of non-surgical treatment prior to bariatric surgery. The care cycle can last three years on average, with a one year “honeymoon” period for most patients which is why we strive to create a community of care for patients no matter how long they are in need.
SSM Health Weight Management Program at SSM Health DePaul Hospital needs:
- New kitchen for patients to learn healthy eating and tactile life skills
- Updated workout and physical therapy equipment
- Telehealth software platform for patients and providers to role-play real life scenarios
- Zoom Room teleconferencing facility and additional technologies for remote communication and counseling
- Support groups to increase mental wellbeing among patients
- Caregiver education and Bariatric Certification for SSM Health nurses
- Expansion of examination rooms due to increased patient demand
The team at SSM Health Weight Management Services offers customized paths for each patient during their weight loss journey, no matter what the health goals are — ensuring a quality of life each patient deserves.