The Department of Public Health Sciences in collaboration with the Department of Family Medicine has created a Program for Obesity Education and Research at Loyola University Medical Center. The overall goal is to increase obesity education and research for local community residents and health professionals.
Community Weight Control Program – We have held six-week weight loss programs over the last year for overweight adult patients of Family Practice. The programs are run by Dr. Casas of Family Medicine and Dr. Hatchett of Preventive Medicine with the assistance and involvement of medical students and other faculty from both departments. The program promotes weight loss with healthful eating, physical activity and lifestyle change. The program also provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in obesity management issues.
Community Partnership Development – Our initial aim to provide a forum for basic and clinical researchers to develop new areas and projects for collaborative research has been met. We established working relationships with the Office of Students Affairs and the Department of Pediatrics. Dean Morris and students of the Student Enrichment Program were active partners in several local health fairs and community events to promote physical activity and healthy nutrition. We plan to continue working with Dean Morris and Student Affairs. In addition we are active members of the Maywood Health Initiative which is a large group of local health agencies, churches and organizations working to promote health in Maywood and Proviso Township.
Near South Diabetes Management Program – This program, designed and facilitated by faculty from Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine, promotes diabetes management through healthful eating, physical activity and lifestyle change. In the coming year faculty will pursue funding for this project
Training for Healthcare Professionals
Obesity Training and Development Seminars – In October of 2004 we hosted a CME workshop on the obesity care process led by nationally recognized expert, Bob Kushner which was attended by 14 faculty members. In addition, we host a bi-monthly obesity seminar series for students, residents, faculty and staff which provides CME and CEU credits.
Community Programs – The majority of the community-based education programs that we facilitate involves medical students, (as noted previously) and offer opportunities for them to gain experience in the issues related to the management of obesity and overweight.
Honors Ethics Project – As a capstone experience, a 4 th year medical student in the honors ethics program conducted research on body mass index as a vital sign with Dr. Casas of Family Medicine and Dr. Luke of Preventive Medicine. This was submitted for presentation to the annual meeting of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. In addition, the results are being submitted as a manuscript to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Family Medicine Residents – Two Family Medicine residents are currently working on manuscripts based on their research experiences. These residents were mentored by Dr. Luke of Preventive Medicine and Dr. Bading of Family Medicine.
Jumpstart Health Education Outreach Project – This research project was funded by the Westlake Health Foundation with the goal of promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles through outreach efforts to community organizations and churches in Proviso Township. The project includes a weight loss intervention, workshops and obesity training for providers. Over 600 community residents, staff, and providers were served with this program,
LUMC Research Funding Committee – A proposal to study physical activity patterns among parochial school 3rd graders was funded by the internal funding committee as a pilot project. This project has been successfully completed and is currently being written up for publication by a 4 th-year medical student.
Genetic Research – Genetic research on obesity continues to be a main focus of the Department of Preventive Medicine with two grants supported by NIH. In addition, a new grant application is being submitted as part of a collaboration with Harvard Medical School.