NORTH CAROLINA | 50 States of Population Health


JOHN D. MCCONNELL, MD and CEO, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (Winston-Salem)

North Carolina John McConnell, MD 

"The increasing burden of chronic disease is the biggest health concern. In many of our highest-risk patients, all of these things, [such as obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease], come together on a single individual.

We have programs on the adult side that focus on weight management, but what is really scary is what's happening with obesity among children. If left unchecked, that will have an even more major impact on the incidence of Type 2 diabetes in adults. So we have a very specific set of strategies for pediatric obesity that are codified in a program we have that has been federally funded, called Brenner FIT (Families in Training). Children with obesity are referred into our center, usually by pediatricians, but the 'patient' is really the family. So they go through an assessment of eating behaviors, physical activity behaviors, even family dynamics. Then a customized regime is developed for the family that involves cooking classes, instructions on physical activity, some behavioral modification approaches and then a longer term follow-up. We do that in partnership with the YMCA. "


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