Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville now offers a weight loss program for those who need non-surgical help in their weight loss journey. The Foothills Weight Loss Management Program is led by Wendy Heidel, a Family Nurse Practitioner who received her Master of Science in Nursing at University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
We sat down with Wendy to learn more about her and the services available through the Foothills Weight Loss Management Program.
Can you tell us about yourself?
“I’m a Family Nurse Practitioner, new to the practice but not to bariatrics. I’ve been a primary care provider for 18 years before I made the switch to bariatrics.
I had bariatric surgery myself and it was life changing for me. I’ve been helping my primary patients in their weight loss journey, whether it’s nonsurgical or through bariatric surgery.”
What services does the Weight Loss Management Program provide?
“For nonsurgical patients, we have nutritional support where we talk about the kinds of food to eat, calories, protein, carbs, and everything you need to know for weight loss. We also have medications that we prescribe that aid in weight loss. This, of course, depends on your diagnosis and insurance coverage. We also discuss exercise and exercise habits.”
What’s unique with the program?
“First and foremost, the experience. I’ve been a bariatric surgery patient myself and so, I can relate to patients who are going through certain struggles in losing weight.
We can also help patients lose weight to get ready for non-bariatric surgery such as a knee replacement. And of course, our program also helps patients who come here to lose weight in preparation for weight loss surgery.”
What kind of patients do you serve at the center?
“We have nonsurgical patients with a BMI of 30 and above. We’re helping people with morbid obesity and post-bariatric patients who need help in re-focusing on their weight loss journey.”
Why do you think it’s important for people to set goals, especially in weight loss?
“In weight loss, we are often bombarded with a lot of to-dos – eat this, do that, exercise, etc. It can be very overwhelming for many patients. What I strongly recommend is setting short-term goals. For example, this month, we are going to focus on walking. Just aim to do 120 minutes a week. Goals like this are attainable and make it easier for patients to focus on and feel accomplished.
What other things would you like people to know about the Foothills Weight Loss Management Program?
“Most insurance companies cover the program. We also offer telemedicine for those who can’t always make it in-person.
We set up a treatment plan on a month-to-month basis. In this way, we keep people accountable.”
How does one become a patient?
“Just make an appointment with us! For bariatric patients, extra steps may be required. Otherwise, we are available Mondays 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM, and Fridays from 8:30AM until 12PM”
To request a Weight Loss Management Program appointment with Wendy, NP, call the main Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons office at (865) 984-3413 or visit: ONLINE APPOINTMENT REQUEST LINK