Renown’s Health Improvement Programs provide tools for maintaining healthy habits.
Written by Tabitha Mueller
Photos by Lou Manna
These food models are used for nutrition education at the Renown Health Improvement Program
In this age of fad diets and products touting quick weight loss solutions, navigating a healthy lifestyle can be a tricky endeavor. Renown’s Health Improvement Programs prove, however, that it does not have to be overwhelming.
Diet and exercise have profound effects on health, and through a balanced diet and regular exercise, people not only can maintain a healthy weight, but also manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
Sometimes putting this knowledge about diet and exercise into practice is easier said than done. Bristy Zimmerman, a registered dietitian with Renown Health, says she became a dietitian to help others improve their quality of life through nutrition. She recommends that anyone interested in pursuing this should start by visiting a primary care physician, who can refer that person to the appropriate Health Improvement Program that best suits his or her individual needs.
Renown’s Health Improvement Programs began about five years ago. The offerings include diabetes management classes, a diabetes prevention program, a physician-led medical weight-management program, and one-on-one nutrition counseling visits with a registered dietitian.
Doctors and dietitians with Renown’s programs work with patients to develop sustainable, healthy habits and provide them with the tools necessary for creating positive changes in their lives. Renown’s registered dietitians offer nutrition counseling for weight challenges and various medical conditions, including kidney disease, diabetes, and gastrointestinal issues.
Renown Health Improvement Programs team members, from left, Kimberly Colegrove, Bristy Zimmerman, and Lindsay Hammond
Never too late
“Almost 80 percent of participants in past classes have lowered their A1C (an indicator of prediabetes) to a normal range by the six-month mark of the program,” says Lindsay Hammond, the Diabetes Prevention Program coordinator with Renown’s Health Improvement Programs.
“It is never too late to adopt a healthier lifestyle,” Zimmerman adds.
She notes that improving one’s health can start with swapping out processed foods that are high in sodium and added sugars for more whole foods such as whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.
Renown’s Health Improvement Programs empower individuals desiring to improve their health by ensuring they have access to the support and resources necessary to keep them on track.
Tabitha Mueller is a freelance writer who believes in the nourishing power of food and using available resources to help people achieve their goals. When she is not writing, you can find her hiking around Tahoe or cooking in her kitchen.
Patients will need a referral for Renown’s Health Improvement Programs from their primary care providers before participating, except for the Diabetes Prevention Program, which is open to walk-ins.
Each of Renown’s Health Improvement Programs differs in terms of who qualifies and what is covered by insurance. For details, call 775-982-5073.