DMC “Challenge Ambassador” Loses 37 Lbs During Two-Month Healthy Eating Campaign

 

More Than 1,400 SE Michigan Residents Took “Pledge” to Eat Less, Exercise More
By Tom Nugent

 

One number says it all: 37.

That’s how many pounds a very determined Detroit healthcare professional named Imana (“Mo”) Minard was able to shed during the recently concluded “DMC 61 Day Health Challenge.”

“For me, participating in last fall’s Health Challenge was absolutely life-transforming,” said Ms. Minard, the highly skilled medical professional (RN, MSN) who manages the Detroit Medical Center emergency room and clinical decision unit.  “I not only amazed myself by losing 37 pounds, but I was also able to lower my blood pressure significantly by confronting my obesity and then going to work on it.

“Having been through that wonderfully empowering experience, I better understand the crucial importance of healthy eating and healthy exercise in my life.”

Like the victorious Mo Minard – an award-winning caregiver with a reputation for keeping her cool during even the most stressful moments at one of Detroit’s busiest emergency rooms – more than 1,400 residents of Southeast Michigan last fall “took the Pledge” by signing up for the annual DMC-sponsored nutrition-and-exercise public health education campaign.

And just like Mo, most of the Challenge participants (including more than 300 members of the Detroit Police Department) soon learned that the Pledge to “eat less sugar and take more steps while also eating more fruit” during the last two months of 2015 wasn’t really as difficult as they’d feared it would be.

“Once I got into the swing of it, I discovered that I actually enjoyed the process,” said the 42-year-old ER manager. “Knowing that I could stop eating candy bars and French fries – while also increasing my daily exercise – was quite empowering. For me, the goals of the Challenge are now my permanent goals . . . and I’m going to continue this healthier way of life indefinitely.”

Having achieved a 37-pound weight reduction during last fall’s campaign, Minard says she plans to have shed “at least 100 pounds” by the time the 2016 campaign begins in October.

A former Detroit Fire Department paramedic who won a 2010 citation for saving a city child from a house fire, Minard served as the DMC’s “Health Challenge Ambassador” during last fall’s two-month public education campaign.

Launched in the fall of 2011 by DMC Harper/Hutzel and Receiving Hospital CEO Reginald Eadie, MD, MBA, the annual healthy-eating-and-exercising education campaign has been growing rapidly in recent years . . . while also attracting a fast-growing amount of news media attention.

“When we launched the Challenge four years ago with a dozen or so Southeast Michigan community partners, we were hoping it would eventually begin to catch on,” said Dr. Eadie. “This year, while adding the Detroit Police Department as one of our new Challenge partners, we were also greatly encouraged by its success on social media.

“To our surprise, the 2015 Challenge scored more than 48,000 views on Facebook and drew more than 12,000 followers on Twitter. The yearly Challenge has now become a regular fixture on the healthcare scene in Southeast Michigan – and for a medical doctor who also serves as the president of three Detroit Hospitals, that is a hugely encouraging outcome.”

For her part, Ms. Minard says she couldn’t agree more. “As a healthcare professional,” she said, “I know that being overweight is bad for my overall health.  There’s no doubt that obesity is a major risk factor for such chronic conditions as adult-onset diabetes and hypertension, along with heart disease.”

The yearly DMC Health Challenge began under Dr. Eadie’s leadership as president at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital . . . after he and a few colleagues concluded that helping both patients and hospital staffers to “say no to soda pop,” might slow down the fast-growing obesity epidemic in Southeast Michigan.

Participants in the annual public health education campaign are asked to sign a pledge in which they promise not to consume sugary beverages or fried foods. At the same time, they commit themselves to consuming less sugar in “junk foods” . . . while also exercising moderately several times per week.

Like Dr. Eadie, DMC CEO Joe Mullany says he has been “greatly encouraged” by the growing success of the yearly DMC 61 Day Health Challenge. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that public education has a major role to play in achieving better public health,” said Mullany during last fall’s successful campaign. “And to see the enthusiastic response the campaign has been getting in Southeast Michigan of late is exciting, to say the least.

“At the Detroit Medical Center, our goal is to do everything we can to help improve public health . . . and the Challenge is clearly a major step in that direction.”

At the headquarters of the Detroit Police Department, meanwhile, Chief James Craig said that many of his officers and staffers have eagerly embraced the goals of the yearly DMC Challenge . . . because they understand that a fit and healthy police officer can “do a much better job” of serving the public.

So enthused was Chief Craig, in fact, that he came up with what he described as a “helpful sound bite” to describe the DPD’s participation in the campaign.

That sound bite drew waves of delighted laughter during a public Challenge meeting at DPD headquarters last fall, when the Chief told reporters: “Let’s put the handcuffs on obesity!”

[To learn more about the DMC 61 Day Challenge and how you can participate in the Challenge goals throughout the year, click on www.dmc.org/61days.]

DMC message reaches international audience at Clinton Health Summit

23982753623_2d65a81a43_hOn Monday, Jan. 25, DMC’s mission of healthier communities reached an international audience as Dr. Reginald Eadie joined a distinguished panel hosted by former President Bill Clinton. Tenet Healthcare CEO Trevor Fetter was among the guests at The Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Summit and made opening remarks

Monday’s session was titled: The Quest for Longevity and Our Rising Death Rates. The panel centered on several elements that affect health, including equal access, environment, happiness, and also personal choice.

Introducing Dr. Eadie as one reason why Detroit has a bright future, Clinton turned the discussion to some of the initiatives underway at DMC.

Dr. Eadie talked about how the 61 Day Challenge has helped DMC employees and community members take control of their health. He also discussed the intensive medical and nutritional support that will be needed to address the health concerns resulting from the Flint water crisis. Most importantly, Dr. Eadie described the approach he believes will bring the health message home for the masses. He called it “education through explanation.”

“It was a privilege to be the voice chosen to share with the nation some of the great things we are doing here at the DMC and in the metro area to improve the health of the community,” Dr. Eadie said. “It was validation that some of the things we are doing are best practices. In addition, I was able to learn what others are doing across the country. It was also a reminder that Detroit is not unique, and we like other parts of the country still have a lot of work to do.”

Dr. Eadie explained to the audience how getting out into the community and educating people to the importance of health insurance helped bolster the numbers of people signing up for affordable healthcare. He talked about how patient education has helped DMC as a pioneer Accountable Care Organization bring down the astronomical costs of caring for patients with chronic diseases. Dr. Eadie also made a direct connection between the success of the 61-Day Challenge and educating people about what a habit like excessive sugar consumption actually does to the body.

It was an idea that clearly impressed Clinton, who returned for further discussion on Dr. Eadie’s “education through explanation” concept. Dr. Eadie also identified reduced obesity rates as the one thing he believes would save more lives.

Joining him on the panel were Dr. Ellen Meara, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Clinical Practice at Dartmouth College; Dr. J. Craig Venter, Co-Founder, Executive Chairman, and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute; and Dr. Dan Buettner, Author and National Geographic Fellow.

DMC’s Social Media Team live tweeted the session and captured these PHOTOS.

Watch the full panel and other Health Matters Summit Highlights HERE.

Adult Obesity Rates Continue To Rise

Some bad news. According to CDC researchers around 38% of American adults were obese in 2013 and 2014. This is an increase from 35% in 2011 and 2012.

After looking at weight since 1999, researchers agree that adult obesity rates have risen significantly in the last 10 years. When compared with data from a decade ago, there has been a significant rise. In 2003 and 2004, around 32% of adults were obese, compared to the latest 38% figure.

The New York Times quotes Marion Nestle, a professor in the department of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. She says:

“The trend is very unfortunate and very disappointing. Everybody was hoping that with the decline in sugar and soda consumption, that we’d start seeing a leveling off of adult obesity.”

Now is the perfect opportunity to do something about your health…

Eat Right, Feel Better. Take the 61 Day Challenge!

The 61 Day Challenge is a health education campaign focusing on fitness, nutrition, health education and commitment to living a healthier life. It is an annual community program with a 61 day focus on healthy lifestyle management. Individuals and groups of all ages and backgrounds participating in the challenge are encouraged to Take the Pledge, promising to make healthy changes in their life. You can learn more about our 61 Day Challenge HERE.

DMC 61 Day Challenge Tips: The Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical Index that ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of glycemic response (i.e. their conversion to glucose within the human body). Glycemic Index uses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar. The Glycemic Index  is one the best tools for fat loss because it measures how quickly foods breakdown into sugar in your bloodstream. High glycemic foods turn into blood sugar very quickly. Starchy foods like potatoes are a good example. Potatoes have such a high GI rating; its almost the same as eating table sugar.

During our 61 Day Challenge, it is important to also rank the 5 servings of fruit by their GI as well.

Glycemic

Remember, your DMC family and friends can help support and encourage you through these 61 Days. Also, keep in mind that an easy way to ensure your challenged amount of fruit intake is to carry it with you when you leave home.

As with any dietary change, the best advice is to consult your doctor when necessary.

To learn more healthy tips, visit www.dmc.org/61days. 

 

Mo Minard & The DMC 61 Day Challenge

DSC_8875

Mo Minard

Hello, all.

In today’s edition of Paging Dr. Eadie, I’d like to begin by telling you about an outstanding Detroit Medical Center (DMC) professional named Imana “Mo” Minard.

Ms. Minard is the highly skilled MSN-RN who for the past several years has been managing both the Emergency Department and the Clinical Decision Unit here at the DMC.

She has impressive credentials and a well-earned reputation as a savvy manager who never loses her cool, regardless of the situation in the Emergency Department.

But I’m also quite impressed by a recent personal decision Ms. Minard made – the decision to join this year’s 61 Day Health Challenge, so she can begin losing some of that extra weight she says she hasn’t enjoyed carrying around with her during the past few years.

To show you why I’m excited for her, please let me back up for a second and explain a couple of things.

First of all you should know that 42-year-old Mo Minard is an accomplished healthcare professional . . . a disciplined manager with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in nursing.  (She also spent more than ten years as an emergency paramedic with the City of Detroit Fire Department, so you know she’s a veteran pro with the courage and the savvy required to take care of business in any emergency setting.)

Mo’s tough, for sure.

But just like the rest of us, she’s also very human.

And when her beloved father, Tony Moore, died suddenly a couple of years back, Mo went into an extended period of agonizing grief.

As she struggled to come to terms with her shattering loss, she took comfort wherever she could.

“Food can be very comforting,” Mo was explaining just the other day, “and it never talks back to you.  You can always count on it to be there when you need it.  And while I was struggling with my dad’s death, I ate almost constantly.”

After more than two years of this excessive over-eating, Mo says she’s now afraid to get on the scale: “I can’t face what I know it will tell me,” she explained with a sigh of alarm.  “I’m sure I’ve gained 50-60 pounds, and I must be up near 300 pounds, at this point.”

In recent months, however, Mo has become increasingly determined to start shedding the excess poundage.  “I’m tired of feeling uncomfortable all the time,” she says, “and I know that being this overweight is very bad for my overall health.”

A bummer, right?  But it’s easy to imagine the bright flash of hope that Mo experienced a few weeks ago when she learned about the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge.

(The annual Challenge, in case you haven’t heard yet, is  a two-month period – November through December – in which Detroit-area residents both young and old take a special pledge to eat better, exercise more and learn more about good health and nutrition.)

This year’s Challenge will begin with a special KICK OFF gala event at the DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan Auditorium in midtown Detroit, from ten a.m. to noon on Friday, October 30.

As Mo Minard discovered only recently, the Challenge was launched at DMC Harper Hospital a few years back, when I and a few of my colleagues realized that if we could help participants to avoid excess sugar and fried foods – while also eating more healthy fruit, exercising more and learning more about nutrition – all of us working together might be able to help make a dent in the so-called “obesity epidemic.”

This year’s Challenge Motto says it all, my friends: Less sugar, more steps, EAT MORE FRUIT!

As always, this year’s KICK OFF will be marked by the high-energy participation of our 2015 “Challenge Community Partners” – all of whom will be taking this year’s Challenge Pledge.  There will also be plenty of music, along with some upbeat presentations by different groups who are vowing to join the Challenge.

The gala Oct. 30 event is sure to be lots of fun . . . and Mo Minard says she can’t wait for the action to begin.

“As a professional healthcare provider, I know that education is the key to better health,” she said the other day, “and I’m excited about the opportunity to take part in this year’s Challenge.

“For several months now, I’ve been telling myself: You can do it, Mo.  You can do this.  Don’t be afraid of failure.  If you slip once or twice, that’s okay . . . because with the 61 Day Challenge, recovery can always begin at your very next mealtime.

“Right now I’m feeling very optimistic about taking the Pledge – see you October 30th at the KICK OFF!”

[To learn more about the KICK OFF event, contact Tonita Cheatham at 313-966-4012 or cheatham@dmc.org.]

Drinking Too Much Water – What Are The Risks To Young Athletes?

The most recent submission to the New York Times’ Well Blog is a very timely one. In it, Gretchen Reynolds casts an eye over a recent report on overhydration which suggests that young athletes are perhaps being forced to drink too much water.

With at least three young athletes known to have died since 2008 because of drinking too much fluid, Dr. Kevin Miller, co-author of the overhydration report, set about investigating this problem.

 

Dr Miller’s advice is simple:

The key, he said, is for athletes to drink when they feel thirsty — not before and not after they feel sated. “You do not need to ‘stay ahead of your thirst,’ as many people think.”

You can read more about the risks of drinking too much water in the New York Times’ article HERE.