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Bariatric Care Team Hosts One-Mile Walk with Patients

Bariatric WalkRecently, the bariatric care team at UF Health hosted a one-mile walk with weight loss surgery patients. Kfir Ben-David, M.D., UF Health’s director of bariatric surgery and an associate professor, was joined by patients and other UF Health physicians on the bariatric care team, including Georgios Rossidis, M.D., a UF Health bariatric surgeon and an assistant professor; Michael Michel, M.D., a UF surgical fellow; Alex Cuenca, M.D., Ph.D., a UF surgical resident; and Nikolaus Gravenstein, M.D., a UF Health anesthesiologist and the Jerome H. Modell, M.D. professor of anesthesiology. Gwen Hasse, R.N., a bariatric nurse coordinator; Tammy Lux, P.A., a physician assistant and Michelle Parry, M.B.S.C.R., a clinical reviewer.

The walk began at the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital, and moved around the Garden of Hope to the 13th Street overpass-bridge, then looped back. Participants wore orange and blue wrist bands with the phrase “Healthy Living and Exercise.” Volunteers were stationed along the walk to provide water and encouragement at quarter-mile intervals.

Patients were gracious for the walk and happy the surgeons joined in.

“The surgery changes our lives.” said Terry Vandalin, a UF Health weight loss surgery patient. “Before, I could barely walk from the car into a building. Now I just completed a mile! It’s so nice that our surgeons care and came out to walk with us. Thank you for giving us the encouragement we can do this.”

Dr. Rossidis was excited to walk alongside his patients.

The event was “a wonderful venue to reunite with our patients and see their progress and success!” he said.

On the third Thursday of each month, the UF Health Surgical Weight Loss Support Group meets in room 5011 at the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital from 6-7 p.m. Each meeting includes a different presentation topic, guest speaker or event. For information about patient support group meetings or weight loss surgery, visit our website or email Gwen Hasse at hasseg@shands.ufl.edu.