St. Mary’s ends weight loss program

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LEWISTON — St. Mary’s Health System will shut down the weight management part of its Integrative Medicine & Weight Management practice on Main Street on Aug. 25.

Hospital officials declined to say exactly why they are ending the program.

“Several key factors have led to this difficult decision, and despite having looked at various ways to remedy them, we have concluded that closing this service is the necessary next step,” Chief Medical Officer Christopher Bowe said in a statement released Wednesday.

St. Mary’s spokesman Jason Gould said he did not know how many patients or staff members will be affected, but he estimated that it would be “a small number.”

Patients must be referred to the program by a doctor. According to its website, the program is “designed to be a long-term approach to weight loss with a strong focus on keeping the weight off.” Customized to each patient’s needs, the program can incorporate medical supervision, nutrition, behavioral changes, exercise and medication.

The program is not accepting new patients as it prepares to shut down. Current patients are expected to be notified soon.

“Patient letters are being prepared now that provide specific information about clinical needs during this transition time,” Bowe said. “We are also working closely with our primary care providers and additional resources outside of our system to be sure that the patients have options for ongoing care.”

The integrative medicine part of the practice will stay open, Gould said.

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