January 7, 2019
East Morgan County Hospital’s Weigh and Win program location was named as top 10 ‘weigh in’ locations in the state last month.
In a joint effort with the City of Brush, East Morgan County Hospital, Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center and the Weigh and Win Program, the city’s Weigh and Win program location at the hospital was recognized after losing a collective 3,634 pounds by participants.
As of December 2018, the Weigh and Win program says there are 102,000 participants across the state and lists dozens of kiosks on its website.
“Weigh and Win helps Coloradans incorporate healthy eating and active living habits into their routine through personalized health coaching with daily exercise plans, meals plans and more,” according to the program’s website.
Weigh-in locations, like the one at EMCH in Brush, let participants track their progress and sometimes provide cash award incentives.
The program is self-described as “a free program in Colorado that pays people to achieve a healthy weight.”
The program has been offered in Brush for at least five years, City Clerk Andrea Strand said.
“It’s a free service. It encourages wellness and, I think, encourages health and a sense of nutrition and exercise,” EMCH’s Chief Executive Officer Linda Thorpe said. “It does give you the tools to be more successful in that.”
Thorpe has heard how this program has made an impact for even EMCH employees, she said, adding anyone, not just Brush residents, is welcome to come in and sign up at EMCH for the free program. There is a draw of participants from multiple counties in the area.
The Weigh and Win program says it’s free for all Coloradan adults, 18 years and older,
Thorpe is aware of more than 600 participants at their kiosk, she said, with about 36 who have been heavily involved in the last quarter.
Usage has reportedly been fairly steady over time, Strand said, as some people drop off but others get involved.
“It’s just stayed really steady. It’s about 5 percent of our population using it, which is pretty good for as small as we are,” Strand said.
With the cash incentives and holiday initiatives, Thorpe said she has heard that it has had an impact for participants.
Thorpe explained that there are different levels of involvement, depending on the preferences for participants.
“There’s a lot of ways you can get involved with getting emails, texts or coming in and actually weighing in on the unit,” she said. “You can customize the Weigh and Win, on whether it’s exercising you need help with, nutrition, dieting, and then they also will give cash rewards to the members, all members … for maintaining or losing weight.”
The partnership includes the city funding the units and the hospital providing the internet, electricity and location, Thorpe said.
“I think it’s really valuable. We’ve partnered with the larger employers and some of the smaller employers that maybe don’t have an official benefit program or partner that they can provide this kind of service to,” she said.
Several City of Brush employees have reportedly done well with the program, Thorpe said, along with hospital employees and patients.
“One of our board members lost a significant amount of weight as a result of being a part of this program,” she added, “and really enjoyed it.”
“I think it’s good motivation, but it’s also giving you what to eat for the week, having your list of all those grocery items you need,” Thorpe said. “For exercise, it will give you the 10 exercises you need to do. There’s just a ton of information you can get from the Weigh and Win program, depending on what your need is.”
It is possible to sign up online through the Weigh and Win website, Thorpe said.
She explained why EMCH decided to join the partnership.
“We’re doing it as a community partnership … really, just trying to improve the overall health and wellness of our community is the goal,” Thorpe said.
The Weigh and Win program reports about 350,000 pounds lost overall, with $700,000 dollars awarded for weight loss across the state.
Kara Morgan: [email protected] or 970-441-5103