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.]

Roz Thompson “Knocks the Ball Out of the Park” As 2015 DMC Health Challenge Comes to a Close

        Have you heard that old saying, “Time really flies when you’re having fun?”

        In the case of the 2015 DMC 61 Day Health Challenge, that ancient maxim seems especially true. Has it really been more than eight weeks since we launched our exciting journey together through the world of “Less sugar, more steps, eat more fruit”?

Indeed it has.

But before we declare the DMC’s 2015 holiday health-education campaign to be a ringing success and start wishing each other a Happy New Year, I want to take a moment to salute yet another Challenge participant for her outstanding diet-and-exercise accomplishments during the past two months.

Her name is Rosalind (“Roz”) Thompson – and she recently told me (with totally understandable pride) how she managed to lose about 20 pounds during the Health Challenge, while also improving her score on a blood-sugar test designed to help measure her risks for developing adult-onset diabetes.

For Ms. Thompson – a veteran nurse (RN, MSN) who also owns an MBA and has enjoyed a fabulous, 37-year career as a care provider at the DMC – the Challenge began in earnest after she received an alarmingly high blood-sugar score during a similar test back in October.

Troubled by that score and by the fact that she was also significantly overweight, the hard-working Ms. Thompson (who currently serves as Clinical Coordinator of Inpatient Psychiatry at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit) decided eight weeks ago that she was going to take the Challenge “Pledge” – and would therefore refrain from consuming the “empty calories” contained in candy, soda pop, doughnuts and other “junk” foods . . . while also engaging in moderate exercise frequently and including more fruit in her daily diet.

And she did!

“I gave up my Ruby Red Squirt [soda pop],” a proud Roz Thompson told me the other day, “along with my fried chicken and other sweets. And I want to thank you – and the DMC Challenge – for providing me with the motivation I needed to better manage my blood sugar and lose weight!”

Like the triumphant Roz Thompson, hundreds and hundreds of Detroit-area residents in recent weeks have benefited from the lowered health risks and the sense of empowerment that can flow from making the decision to cut out the nutrition-less sugar in their lives and begin exercising more often in order to improve their overall health.

Among the beneficiaries of this year’s challenge, we can also include many of the 1,600 officers and staffers at the Detroit Police Department.  Led by their health-savvy Chief James Craig, hundreds of DPD members worked enthusiastically to meet the goals of this year’s challenge – and will now go on to continue meeting them in a year-long health-and-fitness partnership with the Detroit Medical Center.

As the third annual version of the DMC Challenge winds down and the New Year looms, it’s good to know that so many Detroit-area residents have “gotten the message” – and that many of them will continue to work hard in the coming year at “eating healthier” and “exercising more often” in order to enjoy better health.

Here’s wishing all of us a healthy and happy New Year . . . and I’ll see you again in October for the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge of 2016!

[To learn more about the DMC Challenge and how you can continue to benefit by eating better and exercising more during 2016, just click on www.dmc.org/61days.]

Congrats to Mo Minard and Kelley Marks For Meeting the DMC Health Challenge!

Mo Minard

Mo Minard

Six weeks down and two to go!

That’s how much time remains in the third annual DMC 61 Day Health Challenge . . . during which hundreds and hundreds of Detroit-area residents have been doing a great job of “taking in less sugar, taking more steps and eating more fruit.”

Among those determined health-seekers are several hundred members of the Detroit Police Department – which is now partnering with the DMC in its own yearlong program to eat better and exercise more in order to better serve the citizenry in 2016.

But the ranks of this year’s Pledge-takers also include two outstanding professionals whose powerful stories can serve as an inspiration to us all.

Let me start with the hard-charging Imana “Mo” Minard, MSN-RN, currently the manager of both the DMC’s Emergency Department and its Clinical Decision Unit.

Six weeks ago, Mo Minard “went public” with a vow to successfully complete the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge by losing a significant amount of the extra weight she’s been carrying around for years.

Guess what?

Mo has already shed 24 pounds – and she says that the “good eating and exercise habits” she’s picked up during the Challenge are going to be part of her daily life from now on.

“It’s been going really well,” says Mo, “and it’s also getting easier each day. I’ve been tempted at times – just the other day I lost a dear friend at a hospice, and I was grieving over it, and I realized that I wanted a chocolate bar with caramel. But I didn’t give in. I sat at my desk and I said: let me put a piece of sugarless gum in my mouth instead of that candy bar.

“I was proud of myself for that and I’m going to keep on avoiding empty sugar calories and exercising every day from now on.”

These days, Mo says she’s feeling newly empowered and upbeat and she told me just last week that she expects to be “down a hundred pounds” by the time next year’s Challenge rolls around.

Like Mo Minard, the high-spirited and fiercely determined Kelley Marks has also been meeting the Challenge successfully in recent weeks. Mrs. Marks, who owns a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Language Pathology from Wayne State University and is currently raising three children with her husband of 12 years, took the Challenge Pledge in early November . . . and has already lost 29 pounds.

“I have been sharing my story in the hope that it will be a blessing to somebody,” says Mrs. Marks, now 37. “In early November when I took the Pledge I weighed 406 pounds and I knew that I needed to confront my weight problem. With the help of the Challenge – and also with lots of prayer – I have already lost 29 pounds and I feel absolutely great about that!

“I didn’t think I could do it but I am doing it. I have a lot of people around me who are very supportive and that has also helped a lot. I think that over-eating and being overweight starts in your mind – and I think of my struggle to change that behavior as The Battle of the Mind. I am now starting to win that battle and it’s a wonderful feeling.

“I am going to continue the Challenge into the next year and I truly believe it is going to help me learn to find enjoyment in something beyond chocolate – and losing all this weight is going to help me get much healthier in my life!”

As a physician and a hospital president, I can tell you that the DMC Health Challenge stories now being told by Mo Minard and Kelley Marks are sweet music to these ears.

Here’s wishing them and the rest of us a joyful – and a sugar-free – holiday season, as the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge enters the homestretch and zooms toward New Year’s Eve!

To learn more about the Challenge and how you can take part, just click on www.dmc.org/61days

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. 

 

Here’s wishing all of us a Happy National Eating Healthy Day, Nov. 4!

DMC CEO Joe Mullany at the #DMC61DayChallenge Kick Off Event

DMC CEO Joe Mullany at the #DMC61DayChallenge Kick Off Event

Did you know that Wednesday (November 4) is National Eating Healthy Day – a nationwide celebration of all the terrific health benefits to be gained by paying closer attention to what we eat and drink?

It’s true.  Sponsored each year by the American Heart Association (AHA), National Eating Healthy Day was created in order to remind all of us that guzzling soda pop and wolfing French fries can lead to some very bad outcomes . . . such as obesity, hypertension, adult-onset diabetes and even fatal heart disease.

But those kinds of horrific health problems can often be avoided – simply by saying no to that next sugar doughnut or gooey holiday dessert cake . . . while also exercising moderately each day and educating ourselves better about healthy nutrition.

That’s a pretty important message, don’t you think?

Of course, it also happens to be the same message we’re putting out every day between now and January 1, here at the Detroit Medical Center . . . as the fourth annual DMC 61 Day Health Challenge swings into high gear!

To learn more about how you can celebrate National Eating Healthy Day and pick up some helpful tips about healthier grocery shopping and nutrition basics, just click on: www.dmc.org/61Days

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

Hundreds attended the 61 Day Challenge Kick-off on Friday; it’s time to take the pledge and join

22584820746_863772fd78_o (1)Several hundred DMC employees, physicians and community members, joined DMC executives and special guests in a packed auditorium at Children’s Hospital Friday, to take the pledge and kick off the 61-Day Challenge to eat better and get more exercise.

DMC CEO Joe Mullany talked about what the challenge means for Detroit Medical Center. Other speakers included Challenge founder Dr. Reginald Eadie, CEO of Detroit Receiving and Harper-Hutzel Hospitals, Chief Administrative Officer Conrad Mallett, event emcee WDIV Local 4 news anchor Rhonda Walker, Weight Watcher’s president and CEO Florine Mark, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Quindell Peyton, a Cornerstone Health +Technology High School student, performed a poem about time and drew two standing ovations from the audience. He talked about the tick tock, ticking and tocking away of time. You can’t stop it, but you do have a choice of whether to use it or abuse it, he said. Those in the auditorium vowed to make the most of their time for health over the next 61 days. With right hands raised and repeating after The Honorable Conrad Mallett, they said in unison, “I pledge to not harm my body by not drinking soda pop, eating fried food, and consuming sweets. I will eat more fresh fruit and increase my exercise activity.”

The 61 Day Challenge officially starts Sunday, Nov. 1. New for this year is “Step Up with Andrei”, an exercise challenge from DMC COO Andrei Soran, inviting DMC employees to take more steps than he does during the 61 Day Challenge period, and be eligible to win great prizes, including gift cards worth up to $150. It’s time to make a change and you know it, so get on board. (More Photos)

Learn more at www.DMC.org/61Days or use the hashtag #DMC61DayChallenge on social media.