News: Lovell FHCC employee TeleMOVES! into healthier lifestyle
Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Darren Moore
CHICAGO – As the shoulder-length brown-haired woman finishes placing mail and packages into her cart, she maintains a smile that cannot be missed. She begins her walk out of the mail room and heads down the hallway, head high, glowing with a stature radiating confidence. As she continues her route, she exchanges numerous greetings with fellow employees, and her delight for what she has achieved and still will achieve is evident and clearly noticed by her peers.
Shortly after turning 50 years old, Navy veteran Terri A. Washburn, a mail clerk at Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, decided it was time to take back control of her health and sign up for TeleMOVE!
Washburn, from Roseville, Calif., has lost 32 pounds since beginning the program July 15, 2013.
“I can breathe better because I’ve lost weight, and I’m not carrying as much weight now when I walk,” Washburn said. “I have energy all day. I’m eating the best I have in over 25 years.”
TeleMOVE! is an at-home derivative of the Department of Veterans Affairs “MOVE!” weight management program offered through Lovell FHCC Telehealth services. It assists veterans who want to regain control of their weight by helping them create a healthy lifestyle.
Washburn was issued a MOVE! handout booklet, a pedometer and a weight scale, and is currently participating in the 80-day program for a second time. She said the self-paced, automated system from home has made a positive impact on her life by monitoring her eating and exercise patterns and providing continuous feedback.
“I just really love this program. It’s really helped me out,” Washburn said. “Everyone’s like, ‘You’re so dedicated,’ and I’ve never been dedicated to anything in my life.”
To begin each day, Washburn calls in and listens to an automated message that provides her tips as she continues the program.
Before work, she heads to the gym to walk one and a half miles on the treadmill. Washburn then utilizes her mail route during the day to add on another two-to-three miles of walking. She has changed her diet to eating three portion-controlled, healthy meals a day and a snack in the morning and in the afternoon.
“When (my patterns) go back up, the system will say I’m trending back up and need to get back on track,” said Washburn, who is working hard to reach her goal weight by Christmas. “That’s only happened to me once, and I got right back on track. I get so much feedback from everybody about how much weight I’ve lost, and that really makes me feel good and keeps me going.”
Washburn said TeleMOVE! and the Lovell FHCC care coordinators have truly changed her life and helped her generate a positive self-image. Laila G. Navarro, BSN/RN/BC, a Lovell FHCC home Telehealth care coordinator, from Algonquin, Ill., works with Washburn and other veterans during their journey through the program, helping them set and achieve their goals.
“Terri is one of the best that I’ve enrolled … she is so encouraged and so motivated to move,” Navarro said. “We have had a few vets who work here enroll because they saw her. I know that the program has boosted her self-confidence … she’s very positive and she’s so focused and just living healthy.”
Veterans must have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more to be eligible for TeleMOVE!
Navarro said the overall goal of the program is to teach veterans tips and basic health information that they can adapt to their everyday living.
“It’s not a fad diet, it’s about lifestyle change – it’s about living healthy for the rest of their lives,” Navarro said. “These are little things that we’re trying to ingrain in their brains so that for the rest of their lives they know what it is to live healthy.”
For more information about Telehealth services, veterans can contact Home Telehealth at (224) 610-1780 or their primary care provider.