Bradley Free Clinic to offer wellness program with weight loss f - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Bradley Free Clinic to offer wellness program with weight loss focus

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The Bradley Free Clinic is now offering a wellness program that will help those less fortunate lose weight without having to spend money.

It's the first of it's kind at the clinic.

The program called the Wellness Advocate Program focuses more on prevention than treatment.

The clinic's operating officer, Carla Santos, says there is a need in the valley for a program like this for the low income community.

Last year, the clinic treated over 400 obese patients.

Treating the chronic conditions associated with obesity is something the clinic spends money on daily as one of the clinic's highest prescribed medication is a hypertension drug.

The hope is that this program will help reduce the number of severe cases that the clinic treats and it will be able to spend it's money elsewhere.

Santos says, "Adding prevention services would be a huge benefit to the patients because then we could use the resources to continue to help other patients."

The program is costing the clinic very little as it's mainly operating through volunteers.

Those volunteers are medical students from Jefferson College of Health Sciences and Virginia Tech Carilion.

Each student will have their own patient that they will guide through the twelve week program.

They'll walk the patients through how to eat right and make exercise goals.

The program is a way for the students to gain hands on experience with helping patients change their behaviors which is sometimes difficult to learn in a classroom.

The clinic has already had two rounds of the programs to work out all of the kinks.

It now feels it has an effective formula.

The program begins tonight.

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