by Marlaina Donato
In a sea of weight-loss options, WE Care, in Latham, cuts through one-size-fits-all approaches and offers tailored solutions to achieve permanent lifestyle changes. Since 2012, a medically supervised, multifaceted paradigm has been their hallmark—a more comprehensive and integrative approach to weight-loss treatment. “Most of our patients have struggled with weight for years, if not their entire lives. We provide a more holistic look at this problem and have tools that many people have never tried or knew are available,” says WE Care Medical Director and clinician Dr. Raymond Carrelle.
The WE Care philosophy underscores, “You cannot look at this just as a diet or something to do short term. It truly is a lifelong process in the sense that you are changing your relationship to food and physical activity. You need to address the behaviors that trigger people to fall off track.” states Carrelle.
WE Care is a medical office and accepts most major health insurance plans. For individuals not covered by insurance, there are out-of-pocket options including one-time visits, a six-week trial and packages ranging from three to 12 months. The facility also offers additional out-of-pocket services such as nutritional supplements, body composition analysis and metabolic testing. Metabolic testing allows the medical team to assess a person’s resting metabolic rate and determine which calorie goals should be targeted. This is especially useful for patients that have not been successful with weight loss despite following a diet plan.
They also offer low-cost, onsite exercise programs that are open to anyone 18 and older. Current classes include yoga and small group personal training. There is also a free, four-week introduction to exercise program available called WE Care 101.
The WE Care provider team includes family nurse-practitioner Linda Katz, Board-Certified Physician’s Assistant Rachel Colfer and Registered Dietician Shulamit Shechter. “Our medical providers have the knowledge to assess how current medical conditions and medications may be affecting weight and have skills to counsel on behavioral changes. They are able to order lab work to look for conditions that might be contributing to weight or are resulting from weight issues and can prescribe currently approved medications to assist with weight loss.” explains Carrelle.
He believes that while most short-term programs may yield results, the challenge is in maintaining that weight or continuing to shed unwanted pounds. “Our program takes a long-term approach by providing accountability and support through structured office visits, nutritional counseling, educational programs and behavioral counseling. We are not a meal replacement program. We seek to educate people on how to live a healthier lifestyle and tailor everyone’s program toward their individual needs,” emphasizes Carrelle.
Every individual is metabolically and emotionally diverse, and has different needs, motivations and behaviors. Therefore, approaching each weight-loss case from this synergistic viewpoint is why a medically supervised program can help yield better and more lasting results. Other considerations include gender differences. “Weight-loss issues can differ between men and women. Some studies have shown that men do better on a calorie restriction diet compared to women. Many of our female patients have dealt with weight gain following pregnancy or menopausal changes. We definitely take these factors into account when developing a person’s program,” says Carrelle.
No matter where a person is along the road to better health, Carrelle can attest to the power of making a commitment. He says, “The key to success in our program is being ready to make a change. A person has to be in the right mindset to work on this, and we can help guide you, provide education and hopefully, inspire you!”
WE Care is located at 713 Troy-Schenectady Rd., Ste. 215, in Latham. For more information, call 518-713-5347 or visit CommunityCare.com for helpful videos, articles and recipes.
Marlaina Donato is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.