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Stephanie Armstrong-Helton

Michigan Bariatric Institute Expands Services
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Port Huron, MI...Celebrating its first year of serving the Blue Water Area and Thumb Region, patients taking advantage of Michigan Bariatric Institute (MBI) services through St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron now have a number of additional supports to include in their weight loss tool kits, including the area's only bariatric-center based, medically supervised weight loss, exercise, and food supplementation programs.

Prior to obtaining bariatric surgery, patients must undergo a rigorous process to ensure that they have utilized every traditional weight loss option available. The new medically-supervised weight loss program offers an enhanced opportunity utilizing trusted medical experts within the MBI service people have come to know and trust.

The MBI weight loss program provides patients with a personal, safe and significant weight loss program under the close supervision of a physician and registered dietitian. Highly-trained staff provides each patient with a personally customized diet plan and works with them individually to ensure an understanding of how proper nutrition as well as lifestyle habits work in tandem to help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

The 12-week program is available to patients after an initial consultation with a MBI surgeon, baseline laboratory testing, an assessment and introductory class offered by a registered dietitian. Once enrolled in the program, patients benefit from a weekly clinic visit with the dietitian to review food logs, nutrition education and meal planning. The program includes bi-weekly assessment visits with the doctor.

Simultaneously, patients can also take advantage of an exciting new six-week exercise program developed in collaboration with the Blue Water YMCA. Designed to help patients realize the body they want after weight loss surgery, this program allows patients to get started on a gradual exercise and physical activity plan.

For optimal effectiveness, the program begins prior to and resumes shortly after bariatric surgery. Medically supervised by the doctor, the program is offered through Certified Personal Trainer, Exercise Therapy Specialist, and Fitness and Nutrition Specialist Tom Kingsbury. The program is designed to help patients tone muscles, increase energy, boost metabolism, tighten loose skin, decrease risk of cardiac disease and lower blood pressure. The first series of sessions is scheduled to begin Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

Once bariatric surgery is completed, patients can also now take advantage of MBI's new Bariatric Advantage program. This follow-up program offers a comprehensive line of nutritional supplementation including protein drinks, chewable vitamins and calcium supplements geared toward the bariatric patient.

Following bariatric surgery, patients are on a strict liquid diet that requires 60 to 70 grams of liquid protein each day. Bariatric Advantage products have been formulated for easy digestion, just the thing patients need to meet their successful weight loss goals. Protein supplements are also useful for individuals who want to lose weight without surgery, or for those who often skip meals due to busy schedules.

"Unique to patients taking advantage of Michigan Bariatric Institute services, these programs offer a comprehensive array of supports dedicated to the overall health of the bariatric patient, meeting their needs on multiple levels," comments Rebekah Smith, RN, President and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. "When we launched the Michigan Bariatric Institute in January 2012, we did so with the goal of offering more than just surgical services for patients dedicated to living a healthful lifestyle. We are pleased that we now offer these important services found collectively no were else in the region."

Providing services since 2005, the MBI offers a multidisciplinary team approach to weight loss surgery. MBI surgery centers are also located at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, MI, and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, in Pontiac, MI. St. Mary Mercy Livonia is designated as a Center of Excellence. MBI at St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron has been offering access to adjustable gastric banding and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy since January 2012. MBI is committed to assisting patients through every aspect of the weight loss process. From educational seminars to pre-surgical classes to support groups, the MBI staff partner with each patient to ensure a smooth transition through each phase of weight loss as well as enjoying expected outcomes.

For more information about the multiple programs and services available through Michigan Bariatric Institute, please call the center at 810-985-1650. To learn more about St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron, visit us online at:, or check us out on facebook and twitter.

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St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron. A member of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.

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St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron | 2601 Electric Avenue, Port Huron, Michigan 48060 | 810-985-1500