St. Rita’s health focus:


By Joyce Bochenek - Guest Column

Nearly 60 percent of children and teens today will be obese by the time they are 35 years old if current obesity trends continue, according to a study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. Losing weight and maintaining that weight loss is extremely hard today in a society of fast food, calorie-laden drinks and overeating. Many factors cause excess weight. Genetics, lifestyle behaviors, medications, physical inactivity and psychological issues all contribute to the obesity epidemic in America today.

Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Weight Management Solutions is a local program that is here to help you. We have assembled a multi-disciplinary, non-judgmental team comprised of physicians, PA, dietitians, psychologists, behavioral health consultant and an exercise physiologist to guide you through your weight loss journey.

We meet individually with each patient to set attainable goals and focus on your plan of care. We counsel patients on behavior modification, which is extremely important if they wish to see results. Patients with eating disorders such as binge eating, nighttime eating, eating out of boredom and grazing are addressed with your own dietitian and Behavioral Health Consultant.

Our program treats the mind, body and spirit of each patient. We offer bi-monthly support groups. The staff enjoys engaging with our patients during grocery store tours and other support groups such as weight loss and relationships, managing emotional eating and goal setting.

All our patients can engage in physical activity with instruction from our exercise physiologists, Abe Frieson. Abe will take you through a fitness center orientation prior to using the fitness center.

Experience a cutting-edge bioelectrical impedance analysis with our SECA mBCA scale. Our non-invasive assessment provides an in-depth analysis measuring fat mass, muscle mass, total body water, intracellular water, extracellular water, and skeletal mass in a rapid 17 seconds. Distinguish between weight changes and understand the real health benefits even when your weight remains the same.

Treatment for obesity can include a bariatric surgery procedure. Our program has enabled our patients to enjoy a better quality of life after surgery. Mercy Health-St. Rita’s has achieved accreditation by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. The MBSAQIP Standards, outlined in the Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2016 ensure that bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success.

The accredited center offers preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for their severely obese patients.

“Obtaining the Comprehensive Center accreditation from the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program allows the patient to be confident they are receiving the highest level of care for the disease of obesity. Treating obesity requires a multidisciplinary approach including nutritional education, behavior modifications, counseling, improved exercise/fitness, pharmacotherapy and can include surgical intervention. Long-term follow up is very important for the successful treatment of obesity for our patients. A program accredited with the MBSAQIP Comprehensive Center recognition assures the patient they will receive an individual and comprehensive care plan for their weight management from a highly trained and diversified team,” said Dr. Jason Bowersock, MD, FACS.

If you wish to learn more about our program and weight management options, take the first step on your journey to living well by attending a free informational seminar. Seminar date, times and locations are available at or by calling 844-LIV-WELL.

By Joyce Bochenek

Guest Column

Joyce Bochenek, BSN, is the program coordinator at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Weight Management Solutions. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 419-996-5918.

Joyce Bochenek, BSN, is the program coordinator at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Weight Management Solutions. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 419-996-5918.


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