BLACKFOOT — Bingham Memorial Hospital (BMH), a member of Bingham Healthcare, hosted an open house Wednesday to educate the public about its new weight-loss program called EM-POW-ER.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held outside of the newly renovated space located on the second floor of the Bingham Memorial Specialty Plaza at 326 Poplar St. Guests took tours of the building and talked to weight-loss specialists, as well as Dr. Tammy Fouse, bariatric and general surgeon at BMH, about the new program. All attendees could enter into a drawing to win a membership to a gym in Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, or Pocatello. Light refreshments were served.

“For more than a decade, the specialists at Bingham’s weight-loss program have been helping thousands of people to take control of their weight and improve their lives,” Fouse said.

“But, while our team has always been committed to providing information about dietary, exercise, and mental health care that is also necessary for recovery, I knew there were other ways we could be supporting our members. This is why we created EM-POW-ER.”

The program still features the same care provided by a dedicated team of weight-loss specialists.

“We are blessed beyond measure to have such a talented and dedicated team here,” Fouse added. “I want to thank and salute this team. Our goal is not to be a one-stop shop.”

Numerous components have been added to enhance the program.

In addition to non-surgical and surgical weight-loss options, their holistic health and wellness program now includes customizable exercise programs, support groups, and self-improvement classes (e.g., cooking and nutrition as well as yoga and meditation classes). The program also has specific paths to help teenagers who are struggling with their weight as well as classes dedicated to a woman’s overall health and well-being.

“There is definitely not a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss,” said Fouse. “In order to help people in their pursuit of weight loss and an improved quality of life, I’m pleased that our new holistic health and wellness program now offers weight-loss and healthy lifestyle plans specifically tailored to an individual’s needs. I want everyone to have the support they need on what can sometimes feel like an isolating and difficult journey.”

The ribbon was cut by Dale Cummings, who credited Fouse with helping to save his life. Cummings said he started out on his weight-loss journey after he quit driving a semi truck and he weighed 591 pounds. He said he was barely able to get in and out of his truck and was close to being bed-ridden. He developed a serious skin infection and was told he’d have to be on an antibiotic the rest of his life to treat it.

Cummings said a dermatologist he was seeing referred him to Dr. Fouse. She got him on a high-protein diet, and in the first 10 days he lost 15 pounds. From there, he was able to lose between seven to 12 pounds, and is now at 235 pounds.

Free weight-loss seminars are held once a month in Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, and Pocatello. To learn more about an upcoming seminar or to register for one, visit www.BinghamMemorialSeminars.com/Weight-Loss

Bingham County Chronicle editor John Miller contributed to this report.

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