UF Health Weight Loss Surgery Center staff members recently hosted a 1-mile walk with bariatric surgery patients.
The walk began at UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital, moved around the Garden of Hope and over the 13th Street overpass bridge, then returned to its starting point. Participants wore orange and blue wristbands with the phrase “Healthy Living and Exercise.” Volunteers were stationed along the walk to provide water and encouragement at quarter-mile intervals.
Kfir Ben-David, M.D., UF Health Weight Loss Surgery Center director and UF College of Medicine bariatric surgeon, was joined by patients and other staff members. They included Alex Cuenca, M.D., Ph.D., UF College of Medicine surgical resident; Nikolaus Gravenstein, M.D., UF College of Medicine anesthesiologist; Gwen Hasse, R.N., bariatric nurse coordinator; Tammy Lux, P.A., physician assistant; Michael Michel, M.D., UF College of Medicine surgical fellow; Jerome H. Modell, M.D., UF College of Medicine anesthesiologist; Michelle Parry, MBSCR, clinical reviewer; and Georgios Rossidis, M.D., UF College of Medicine bariatric surgeon.
Patients were happy the surgeons and staff members joined in.
“The surgery changes our lives,” said Terry Vandalin, a UF Health Weight Loss Surgery Center 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 to do this.”
Rossidis was excited to walk alongside his patients and said the event was “a wonderful venue to reunite with our patients and see their progress and success.”
On the third Thursday of each month, the UF Health Surgical Weight Loss Support Group meets from 6-7 p.m. at UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital, Room 5011. Each meeting includes a different presentation topic, guest speaker or event.
For information about patient support group meetings or weight loss surgery, visit UFHealth.org/uf-health-weight-loss-surgery-center or email firstname.lastname@example.org.