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Journey to a Better Life

EvergreenHealth Weight Loss and Bariatric Care patient Charlotte has lost 148 pounds thanks to collaboration and an open mind

For most of her life, Charlotte never struggled with her weight. It wasn't until she experienced difficult fertility issues that rapid weight gain, despite her best efforts to manage it, began to significantly impact her life – and her health.

Though she didn't know it, Charlotte had developed metabolic disease, which affects the body's ability to store and use energy reserves. Her weight gain was contributing to several chronic health complications and after multiple trips to the hospital, she knew it was time to seek expert care.

She met with Dr. Sonia Hans, a triple board-certified provider in endocrinology and obesity medicine with EvergreenHealth Weight Loss and Bariatric Care.

Over the next year, they worked together to optimize her weight management by focusing on nutrition, physical activities and overall wellness aimed at addressing mental health and the emotional toll of obesity. But Charlotte was still struggling to lose weight.

"It's a common misconception that everyone can lose weight by just improving their nutrition and increasing their physical activity. Many people have more advanced metabolic disease, and they simply need more tools to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way," Dr. Hans shared.

In many cases, bariatric surgery is a safe and effective tool to support patients' weight loss journey – though only 1% of patients who are eligible decide to pursue the procedure, according to EvergreenHealth bariatric surgeon Dr. John Dockins.

"Bariatric surgery is a tool to maximize the work patients like Charlotte are putting in to living a healthy lifestyle. The real work is what she does every day by continuing to prioritize her nutrition, staying committed to physical activity and making sure she's mentally healthy, too," Dr. Dockins said.

Charlotte decided to pursue surgery and she's down nearly 150 pounds from her heaviest weight, and she's reduced or discontinued most of her medications.

Now, Charlotte connects with patients who are considering bariatric surgery, to help break down the stigma surrounding weight loss.

"I always thought bariatric surgery was the easy way out, but it isn't. It was the right way out," Charlotte said.

EvergreenHealth Weight Loss and Bariatric Care offers three pathways to help patients lose weight and improve their quality of life.

  1. Healthiest Best Weight Loss Program: A dietitian helps establish dietary, lifestyle and wellness goals through motivational coaching, individual food planning and wellness opportunities.
  2. Physician Partnered Weight Loss Program: An endocrinologist specialized in obesity medicine performs a metabolic evaluation and works with the dietitian team to determine whether weight loss medication is appropriate, in addition to improving nutrition, increasing activity and working through behavior modifications.
  3. Bariatric Surgery Program: Bariatric surgery is another proven treatment for those with advanced metabolic disease or those unable to maintain weight loss due to medical and physiological factors.

To learn more about weight management at EvergreenHealth, visit

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