It’s New Year’s resolution season. That means lots of folks in Douglas County, and across the country, will soon be starting diets and workouts in efforts to shed pounds and live healthier.
Thanks to a recent commitment from Centura Health, people taking on that perennial resolution now have the support of automated allies scattered throughout the south metro area to encourage them, provide free advice and reward them when they make progress.
Weigh and Win is a Kaiser Permanente-supported program that promotes weight loss and healthy living by providing participants with free, personalized health coaching and, in some cases, monetary rewards for hitting weight-loss benchmarks. At its center are automated kiosks that sign-up participants, record data at private weigh-ins and track progress.
“It’s available to anyone over 18 in Colorado for free,” said Kaytee Long, Weigh and Win’s health promotion manager. “It’s meant to be very positive. Something to motive you. Another resource.”
Since launching in 2011, Weigh and Win has signed up more than 81,700 participants across Colorado and distributed upward of $480,000 in rewards, organizers say. Participants’ average weight loss after a year in the program was 17.7 pounds.
Centura has worked with Weigh and Win since 2014 when a kiosk was placed at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital. This fall, the Colorado-based health care network announced it is installing and/or sponsoring 10 additional locations, many of them in Douglas and Arapahoe counties.
“Here at Centura Health we are so excited about our partnership with Weigh and Win,” Monica Buhlig, director of community health for Centura’s Mountain North Denver Operating Group, said in a news release. “This project is just one of the many ways we are transforming traditional health care coverage and helping our community stay healthy and out of the hospital.”
Last week, a kiosk was installed at Parker Adventist Hospital, 9395 Crown Crest Blvd.
Hospital spokeswoman Rachel Robinson said the hospitals in Centura’s south metro network — Parker, Castle Rock, Littleton Adventist and Denver’s Porter Adventist — arrived at the same two goals after recently conducting individual community health needs assessments: focus on mental health and obesity.
“We’re excited because this isn’t just for our associates and physicians, it’s for everyone in the community,” Robinson said of the kiosk. “Hopefully this tool, with the incentives, will help inspire people.”
The Parker location is the 100th in Weigh and Win’s state-spanning network, Long said. Others in place, thanks to support from Centura, include kiosks at Littleton Adventist Hospital, Porter and an existing one that Centura has taken over sponsoring inside Littleton’s Douglas H. Buck Community Recreation Center, Long said. They cost $4,950 in their first year, including installation and maintenance, and $3,000 in subsequent years, Long said.
Participants can sign up at a kiosk or online at WeighandWin.com. Progress is charted at quarterly weigh-ins at the kiosks. They take weight measurements, readings of the participant’s body mass index — calculated using height and weight — and a full length photo to visually capture progress. Rewards are distributed every 90 days via pre-paid cards, Long said. The payouts are based on percentage body weight lost. For instance, a 5 percent decrease nets $15 in rewards. Only participants with an unhealthy body mass index — 25 or above — qualify for regular payouts, though all participants are eligible for monthly prize drawings.
Weigh and Win also sends users daily emails or text messages with personalized exercise and meal plans, motivational quotes and tips and a weekly grocery list, Long said.
“It eliminates the barriers of logging on, remembering passwords, all of that,” she said. “We send it directly to the participants.”
Sandra Frank was the first Parker Adventist staffer to register at the hospital’s kiosk last week. The clinical educator for nurses in the emergency room said she participated in another hospital-endorsed program that helped her lose 25 pounds since March and wants to keep at it.
“It’s convenient here at work,” she said of Weigh and Win. “I just want to continue doing what I’m doing.”
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