The Primary Care Obesity Network (PCON) is a network of primary care providers in Central Ohio linked to the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The network is the first of its kind in Ohio.
PCON’s goal is to implement evidence-based obesity care by establishing a sustainable multi-sector collaboration between primary care practices, a tertiary care obesity center and community organizations to address childhood obesity in Central Ohio.
Depending on their need, each of the participating primary care offices functions as either a Level 1 PCON clinic (physician only) or a Level 2 PCON clinic (registered dietitian working with the physicians). The Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition provides education and training, as well as administrative support to all participating clinics.
PCON offices provide a close to home treatment option for children who are at or above the 85th percentile for Body Mass Index (BMI). The PCON program also empowers participating physicians to provide treatment in the early stages of overweight or obesity.
Clinic administrators are involved in the change process. Physicians and dietitians use motivational interviewing to identify patient’s goals, provide them with educational materials, and create an individual plan to help the patient reach their goal of lowering their BMI.
Using a combination of electronic health records and data abstraction, outcomes such as patients’ weight, height, lifestyle behaviors and utilization rates are tracked.
Training includes an annual 3-4 hour session, supplemented by webinars and office lunch sessions.
One of the key features of the Primary Care Obesity Network is to integrate the clinic setting with the community by building sustainable relationships. This is done through an initiative called the Patient Centered Medical Neighborhood (PCMN).
The PCMN links ALL patients to pertinent resources within their own community through their PCP office, regardless of whether the patient is overweight or not. Hence, prevention remains the primary focus for the PCMN initiative.
The administrative staff of the PCON will establish partnerships with the relevant resources and organizations in the community and provide resources, educational materials, information on current community events and tools to each PCON office. A specific theme e.g., community gardening is used for a 3-month period.
Examples of themes for the PCMN include:
Increasing physical activity
Strategies for changing behavior
Parenting and lifestyle intervention
Improve outcomes of your own overweight patients.
FREE access to a licensed dietitian in your office for 3-4 hours to provide care for your patients twice a month. Use of the dietitian time will be designated by the practice under the guidance of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition staff. The dietitian can provide services for any nutritional need but will focus on obesity and breastfeeding.
Receive program materials, access practical tools, and effective strategies for obesity management in your practice.
Receive feedback on clinical (e.g., patient progress) and administrative outcomes (e.g., billing) in your practice.
Receive ongoing support for improvement, as well as feedback about project progress.
Provide linkages to resources in the community to help your families be healthier
Topic-specific webinars directed to the physicians that provide additional education or resources to be utilized within their practice. Covering topics of comorbidities, physical activity, eating behaviors and nutrition.
For more information:
Michael Bramlish, MPH, CHES