PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Pensacola is currently implementing a wellness and lifestyle program designed to help promote healthy lifestyle changes and improve the physical well-being of patients.
The Medical Home Port Population Health program was created to provide patients with a health care support team focused on a patient's individual wellness, fitness and weight loss needs.
The program was started last year and was specifically created to assist patients who frequent the hospital with health conditions that could be better managed with lifestyle changes. Many of these patients have conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or use tobacco products. By changing unhealthy habits, patients can improve their overall health and reduce the number of health care visits.
"Many illnesses are lifestyle related," said Laticia Jackson, health educator, Naval Hospital Pensacola. "Change does not happen overnight, but we are here to support our patients through making lifestyle changes and we work with them as a team."
Patients who are good candidates for the program are identified by their primary care manager (PCM) at NHP and are referred to the Health Promotion and Wellness Department. The department contacts the patients to see if they are interested in participating in the program, which is voluntary. If patients choose to participate, they will make an initial appointment with the program manager.
"During the initial appointment, patients will meet with several members of the health care team including myself and a health educator," said Carol Buckland, program manager, health promotion and wellness department. "We'll explain the details of the program and identify goals that are important to the patient."
Over the next 90 days, patients will focus on their individual goals with the support of a team that includes dieticians, fitness coaches, health educators, life coaches and other experts. From learning to plan meals to learning to cope with stress, patients will learn the skills to make lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health.
Since its inception last year, Buckland and her team have seen many success stories. She recently saw a previous program participant who lost almost 40 pounds while participating in the program.
"I was so proud of him, but more importantly, he was proud of himself," said Buckland.
While not everyone who participates may see such drastic changes, everyone who participates will be given the tools to be their own success story.
"Everyone who walks through our door is a success story because they took ownership of their life," said Jackson.
Patients enrolled at NHP who would like to participate in the program should contact their Medical Home Port Team or speak with their PCM. The program will also soon be available at the Naval Air Station Whiting Field as well for patients enrolled to the branch clinic there.
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For more news from Naval Hospital Pensacola, visit www.navy.mil/local/nh_pensacola/.