National Jewish Health Receives $3.5M Grant to Help Primary Care Providers Improve Weight Management Programs

Grant from Colorado Health Foundation to benefit MCPN and Salud clinicians and patients

The Colorado Health Foundation has awarded a three-year, $3.5M grant to National Jewish Health to develop and implement sustainable weight management programs in two primary care clinical systems: Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) and Salud Family Health Centers.

“The Colorado Health Foundation has provided us with an exciting and important opportunity to advance weight management in primary care settings,” said Fred Wamboldt, MD, co-director of the Center for Health Promotion at National Jewish Health. “Our partnerships with the Metro Community Provider Network and the Salud Family Health Centers, two of Colorado's premier clinical networks working with the medically underserved, will help reach people disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic.”

“Intervention Tools for Sustainable Best Practice in Obesity: A Primary Care Initiative” will establish collaborations with these providers and health care professionals to improve how they address obesity in their practices.

“Although obesity is recognized as a major health problem in America, it remains a difficult problem to address with patients,” said Dr. Wamboldt.  “We will help providers develop tools and processes to constructively discuss weight management and help their patients successfully achieve their weight goals.” As a result, MCPN and Salud providers will better help patients know the risks associated with obesity and increase their physical activity and healthy eating.

Since 2008, National Jewish Health has offered their FitLogix® program to corporate customers. It provides  customized personal coaching, Internet education and support, and wireless activity monitors and scales to help people lose weight. As part of this initiative, National Jewish Health will assist MCPN and Salud to each enroll 1,000 patients into the FitLogix program. National Jewish Health will then seek to establish sustainable, independent weight management programs in each clinic that incorporate lessons learned from each clinic’s FitLogix experience. National Jewish Health will provide technology support to MCPN and Salud to implement the new programs.

This project is also partnered with LiveWell Colorado and Hunger Free Colorado, two organizations committed to improving the nutritional status and health of Colorado’s citizens.

“Reversing obesity trends in Colorado will take a collective approach,” said Maren Stewart, President and CEO of LiveWell Colorado. “This program will be a great resource for the growing number of people who want to achieve a healthier weight, and when more people are healthier, our whole state benefits.”

Lastly, National Jewish Health intends to help other community health centers in meeting weight management guidelines by sharing tools and lessons learned from this project on a website containing the program templates, tools and resources that are developed though the Colorado Health Foundation’s support.

“The practice redesign and knowledge/technology transfer efforts will promote long-term sustainability, and hopefully serve as a model of how to foster similar successes elsewhere in Colorado and throughout our country,” said Dr. Wamboldt.

“Salud is thrilled about this partnership with National Jewish to positively impact the health of our patient population through increased education and providing tools to assist in obesity reduction, improved nutrition and healthy outcomes”, said Jerry Brasher, President/CEO at Salud.

"MCPN is extremely proud and honored to be partnering with National Jewish Health in this weight management effort. A large number of MCPN patients could benefit from this type of program, including the over 8,000 diabetic patients in our network," said John Reid, Vice President of Fund Development at MCPN.

National Jewish Health has partnered with HealthCare Research, Inc. to measure the success of the educational program by evaluating key indicators related to improving weight management in patients.

National Jewish Health is known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders, and for groundbreaking medical research. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. U.S. News & World Report has ranked National Jewish Health the number one respiratory hospital in the nation for 15 consecutive years.

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