Steve - Amelia Holistic Health and Integration Program Client

Steve knew something had to change – wanting to get back to working part-time, his lack of energy and excess weight were holding him back.  Steve had been a client at GCB’s Amelia office for years, where he receives both his behavioral as well as physical healthcare needs through the Holistic Health and Integration Program.  The program offers the coordination and integration of all the client’s healthcare needs, including access to classes and support groups that focus on nutrition, health education, exercise, weight loss and quitting smoking. 

Steve was open to changing his lifestyle, so he was referred to Melissa, who is a nurse and nutritional education provider at GCB in Amelia.  Melissa specializes in teaching clients how to best manage their diabetes and high blood pressure through proper diet, exercise and overall good habits.

“Steve was motivated to feel better,” Melissa says. “His major issue was a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits.  He loved sweets and fried food - and as a diabetic, he wasn’t controlling his sugars.” Melissa’s philosophy is ‘increment changes towards a larger goal,’ no matter how small.  Five months into practicing a healthier lifestyle, Steve is down to one sweet a week and a vegetable with each dinner.

“He’s lost at least 12 pounds,” says Melissa, “and his cholesterol is down dramatically, as are his sugars.  He’s succeeded in setting goals and completely turning his habits around.”

“I learned how to interpret nutritional labels, something I never paid any attention to before,” Steve says.  “I’m using the tricks Melissa shared with me to decrease my smoking, and I’m walking as much as possible for exercise.  I feel better than I have in years.”

The education that Melissa provides includes nutritional hand-outs, food prep, recommended vegetables to eat with diabetes, monitoring blood sugars, managing medication and more.

Today, Steve enjoys cooking and stays away from red meat.  Down to one candy bar a week and sugar free drinks, he has more energy for walking and is encouraged by his progress. “The most important thing,” he says, “is that I’ve kept the promises I made to myself. Because of that, I feel better about myself. “

Alex Tincher has been Steve’s care manager for almost one and a half years. “His improved self-esteem is great to see,” he says.  “Getting back into the work force will be another great boost for him.  Positive momentum is a powerful thing.”