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Choose to Lose winners awarded free health insurance
Hinsdale – Adventist Midwest Health has awarded two corporate employees with a free year of health insurance for having successfully lost the greatest percentage of weight among their colleagues.

Choose to Lose winners Madhav Gogawale and Laticia Thompson were awarded the free year of insurance through the program. Gogawale, a resident of Shorewood, is a senior technician in information technology, while Laticia Thompson, also of Shorewood, is regional director of organization development.

Gogawale lost about 22 pounds by focusing on portion control and regular exercise. He walked around his neighborhood every day, averaging about 10 miles a week.

“By nature, I’m very health conscious,” Gogawale said. “When I saw the program, I thought, let’s go take part this year. I’ll lose a few pounds and have some fun.”

But in order to keep with his goals, Gogawale also had to tap into his will power. He is a competitive person, he said, and so frequent updates on how everyone taking part in the program was doing with their weight helped push him on.

This was also the case with Thompson, who lost about 27 pounds.

“Throughout the whole process, I was gunning to be that first or second person,” Thompson said. “I could not wait for those announcements to come out every other week about what the standings were.”

Thompson said she surprised herself with her success. She’s struggled with weight loss in the past, she said, and she wasn’t sure she would meet her goals during the program’s duration.

She succeeded by cutting out carbohydrates and reducing her sugar intake. Even with the program over, she’s continuing to keep track of what she eats.

“There is nothing that tastes as good as losing weight feels,” Thompson said. “That is always a constant reminder for me.”

About 140 employees with both Adventist Midwest Health and Adventist Health Partners participated in this year’s program, said Trish Reynaert, marketing coordinator with Adventist Health Partners. Reynaert was the CREATION Health lead during this past round of the Choose to Lose program.

Winners were chosen based on the percentage of weight lost, Reynaert said. Throughout the program, which ran Jan. 24 to May 1, educational seminars were offered to participants, with physicians providing healthy living tips. Healthy recipes were shared, and Zumba classes were held twice a month for all employees at the corporate office.

“We want to encourage people to make healthy changes in their lives,” Reynaert said. “This gives them some incentive to do that, and to keep it off.”

Program winners will have one final weigh in at the end of this year, to show that they’ve kept the weight off, Reynaert said. Their individual health insurance incentive goes into effect for 2014.

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, christopher.lafortune@ahss.org; (630) 856-2354.



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