• This article provides the reader with an overview of an integrated and systematically implemented weight loss surgery support program designed to improve healthy lifestyle behaviors for bariatric surgery candidates before and after their surgery. The purpose of the article is to:
- Provide an outline of the program and the partnerships involved
- Document the health impact of the program on participants
- Consider the health impact differences between participants with and without glucose impairment
A structured, evidence-informed, telephonic course designed to prepare weight loss surgery candidates for the lifestyle changes required to sustain long-term weight loss following their bariatric surgery showed positive health outcomes and extremely high levels of program satisfaction and participation.
Gretchen A. Benson, B.S., R.D., CDE, is the manager of disease management services including weight loss surgery self-management support services at HealthPartners.
Nicolaas P. Pronk, Ph.D., FACSM, is vice president and health science officer at JourneyWell, a HealthPartners health and wellness division. He also is the current president of the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion, an American College of Sports Medicine affiliate society. He is particularly interested in the application of scientifically informed health promotion programs in practice-based settings, including the worksite, medical care delivery, and in the context of health policy.
Jeffrey J. VanWormer, M.S., is the director of the Heart of New Ulm Project at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (Minneapolis, MN). His published research is primarily in the areas of obesity management, nutrition, and physical activity. He currently serves on the editorial review board of the Journal of Behavioral Analysis in Health, Sports, Fitness, and Medicine.
Abigail S. Katz, Ph.D., performs health services research at both JourneyWell and HealthPartners. She holds a Ph.D. in social policy and has extensive experience in areas of applied public health, including tobacco and substance abuse prevention research.
Thomas J. Marr, M.D., has been the HealthPartners health plan lead for the Designated Weight Loss Surgery Network since 2001 and has established one of the nation's highest performing bariatric surgery centers of excellence.