Busy nurse loses 50 pounds through telehealth

July 11, 2016
Nurses Nangle loses weigh with Telehealth program
Kendra Nangle says the MUSC Health Weight Management Center's Focus program worked so well for her that she has referred more than 35 people to the program. Photo by Dawn Brazell

Kendra Nangle lost 50 pounds in four months while raising twin 2-year-olds and working 12-hour shifts as a nurse. Yes, it’s a lot of numbers, and yes, she even surprised herself.

“I lost much more than I expected,” Nangle said. “I was hoping for maybe 15 or 20 pounds. I totally underestimated what I’d be able to do.”

She did it through the telehealth-based Focus Carolina program at the MUSC Health Weight Management Center, which just went statewide. “I did it through video chat on my iPad,” Nangle said. 

She came into the Weight Management Center for her initial blood work to check her cholesterol and blood sugar levels. She also was measured, received a FitBit and was set up to supplement her diet with shakes and special meals.

Then, she had 10-minute video conversations each week with a member of a team that included a dietitian, an exercise physiologist and a behaviorist. “It was a great place to have reliability and still have someone looking at me every week. You couldn’t hide behind a phone call or not coming in or putting off things. It was too convenient to not do it.”

Patrick O’Neil, Ph.D. serves as the Weight Management Center's director. He’s also a professor in the MUSC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “We’ve had phenomenal successes through our Focus program because it combines a partial supplement-based program with personal interaction with our registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and behavioral specialists,” O’Neil said. 

“Our team offers guidance in techniques that have been proven to be effective. All of our programs offer structured, healthy ways to lose weight and keep it off, for people with a little or a lot to lose.”

The Weight Management Center was recognized by Health magazine as one of the top 15 medical weight management programs in the U.S., based on the input of national weight loss experts. More recently, it was designated the Best Weight Loss Center in Charleston by the Charleston City Paper and has been recognized nationally for its work using telehealth technology to deliver weight management services.

Josh Brown, Ph.D., is the center’s director of clinical services and training and an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “This telehealth offering of the MUSC Focus program is a fantastic fit for busy, on-the-go people who might have trouble making an in-person meeting,” Brown said.

“Leveraging safe, secure and simple technology, we’re able to meet with patients throughout the state in real-time on their computers, smartphones or tablets, using the latest telehealth technology.

“Our hope is to reach people who don’t have access to proven weight loss programs where they live, those who can’t get to an academic medical center like ours for regular visits, and those who are simply too busy to come in,” Brown said. “We are delighted that we’re now able to assist any South Carolinian anywhere in the state in reaching their weight loss and lifestyle goals.”

Nangle is such a fan that she’s referred more than 35 people to the program – busy women and men like her. “Everyone’s excuse is, ‘I don’t have time because I work 12-hour shifts.’ There’s no way not to have time when you can call in for a 10-minute FaceTime chat. It takes nothing to pull out your phone. You’re likely already on or your iPad and have them call you and check in on what you’re doing.”

For more information about the MUSC Health Weight Management Center, check out its website or visit its main campus in downtown Charleston or its satellite clinic in North Charleston at 8471 Resolute Way.

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Helen Adams