Programs & Classes
Mark Tousignant, MD, a minimally invasive surgeon with Backus Physician Services, is Medical Director of the Backus Weight Loss Center.
He leads monthly community education events outlining the program.
The Backus Medical Weight Loss & Wellness Program
The Backus Medical Weight Loss and Wellness Program will educate, motivate and support those seeking significant weight loss and lifestyle change to improve long-term health and overall wellness.
We will seek to empower individuals to create measurable, realistic goals, to adopt a healthy eating lifestyle while incorporating increased consistent physical activity.
The comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to weight loss and wellness is for people who want to lose weight and live healthier lives. The 17-week program includes education and support from registered dietitians, physical therapists and behavioral health specialists. Participants receive one-on-one consults as well as 16, one-hour education classes.
Participants will have access to a wide range of Backus licensed healthcare professionals to help them lose the weight they have wanted to shed for years.
The program includes:
- An initial assessment by dietitians, nurses, physical therapists and behavioral therapists.
- Meal plans
- Exercise plans
- Behavioral change strategies
- Food diaries
- Cooking classes
- One-hour weekly classes on Thursdays at 5 p.m. at the Backus Outpatient Care Center that will include weigh ins and weekly topics that focus on the Food Guide Pyramid, behavior therapy, exercise, portion control, label reading, record-keeping, super market tours, stress management, keeping the weight off and more
Backus Hospital’s Weight Loss and Wellness Program, overseen by director Dr. Mark Tousignant, is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to weight loss and wellness. This unique program incorporates the expertise of a registered dietitian, fitness trainer and behavioral health specialists other programs may lack. Participants address nutrition, activity and the emotional aspects of eating to promote long-term wellness benefits.
The program offers an individualized approach through one-on-one appointments with both the dietitian and the fitness specialist as well as the option to meet individually with a behavior specialist.
You can expect:
- WEEKS 1-2: Individual Sessions
- Introductory Meeting
- Fitness evaluation (optional) and exercise plan
- Measurements: weight, and review of available blood work.
- Nutrition assessment to address diet & medical history, review of medications, assess current eating habits, personal goals and create a meal plan
The Weight Management and Wellness program offers education and support in weekly group meetings.
These classes are led alternately by the dietitian, physical therapist and behavior specialists.
- WEEKS 2-17: Group Classes
- One hour group education meetings
- Nutrition: Review of the food pyramid, calories, portions, cooking class, grocery store tour, menu planning, label reading, food journaling and dining out
- Behavior: Mindful eating, readiness to change, goal setting, stress management, emotional regulation, perfectionism, self esteem, and preventing lapse & relapse
- Physical Activity: Overview and demonstration of activities, benefits, thera-bands, yoga, walking, local options for exercise, etc.
- Access to one-on-one time with the dietitian and physical therapist will be available as needed. (This service is included in the price of the program)
- Access to the behavior specialist one-on-one will be available at your own cost. (This is often covered by insurance)
Over the last 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. Currently, more than 64% of adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese, as defined by a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Of the 64% of adults, approximately 21% nationwide are classified as obese. According to a recent Backus study, Windham and New London Counties have even higher rates, at more than 28%. Obesity is associated with significantly increased risk of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia, certain forms of cancer, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis. In response to this growing epidemic, Backus Hospital has developed a medical weight loss and wellness program.
Cost: The cost of the program is $415, which is less than $25 per class.
Who is eligible?
- Adults 18 years of age or older
- Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 26 or greater
- You have had a physical exam in the last 12 months and your primary care doctor has cleared you for exercise
Who is NOT eligible?
- Your Body Mass Index is between 18-25
- Doctor referral and medical clearance for exercise using the “Certificate of Medical Necessity” form – must supply upfront
- Physical exam in the last 12 months/ Copy of most recent blood work (total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, & Hemoglobin A1c) – must supply upfront
- Completion of “Release and Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement” – must supply upfront
- Blood pressure, weight, height, waist circumference – taken at first session
- You must complete a 6 minute walk test. This is administered during the exercise assessment by the physical therapist. – done at first session
- Blood pressure, weight, and Food Frequency questionnaire.
- Evaluations: quality of life and of program
- If available: cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, & Hemoglobin A1c