Internal Medicine employees drop weight, live healthier

Sun, Jun 8, 2014

Around Campus

FitSolalelParticipants in a unique, 90-day employee wellness challenge in the Department of Internal Medicine lost a total of 131 pounds, lowered their cholesterol, reduced body fat and learned a healthier lifestyle.

Dr. Darrin D’Agostino, DO, Chairman of Internal Medicine, and Brielle Soltic MS, PA-C, an instructor, recently announced the results of the pilot project “IM FIT.” Almost 70 percent of the 102 Internal Medicine employees enrolled in the project.

When the project started, the average weight of participating employees was 176 pounds. At its conclusion, the average weight was 162 pounds.

“This project was an enormous success,” D’Agostino told employees. “And that was because of you and your enthusiasm to lead by example and create a culture of wellness at UNTHSC.”

All participants received recurring individual assessments that included lipid-panel blood work, body-composition analysis and vital-sign checks. They were given pedometers, food diaries, customized food plans and other tools to assist them. The American Heart Association provided free blood-pressure monitoring at group meetings.

The project even inspired some employees to hold “walking meetings” around campus or perform simple squat exercises while waiting at the copier machine, D’Agostino said.

The next phase of the project is to evaluate opportunities to expand the project to the entire UNTHSC campus and, hopefully, to bring it into the community in the future, Soltic said.

Several employees were recognized for accomplishments during the project:

  • Biggest weight loss — Steve Sosland
  • Biggest drop in body fat — Solaleh Azimipour (pictured with Brielle Soltic and Darrin D’Agostino)
  • Biggest drop in cholesterol — Patricia Alphin
  • Most Lunch and Learn attended — Carmen Lavarreda, Cecilia Pena, Dr. Judith O’Jile, Luis Reyes, Miguel Reyes ( 5 way tie)
  • Biggest muscle gain — Ashlee Loewen
  • Most completed food diary — Lashundra Marshall


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