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Bariatric program welcomes new medical director

June 30, 2012
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE - Adirondack Health has helped many individuals achieve an improved lifestyle through its weight loss programs. The successful program has grown steadily in the past 12 years, and was recently enhanced with the addition of Dr. Gwynn Antonson as its medical director.

Dr. Antonson received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. She completed her family medicine residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine. In her spare time she enjoys baking, swimming, exercising, sewing and knitting. Dr. Antonson has travelled extensively, visiting 13 countries thus far and plans to visit all 50 states. Both she and her husband reside in Lake Placid.

She is board certified in Family Medicine, and is board eligible in bariatric medicine, which is the art and science of medical weight management. "I believe that physician supervision is necessary to detect and treat weight-related medical conditions as well as guide patients on their weight loss journeys," Dr. Antonson remarked. "The prevention of obesity in children, adolescents and adults is extremely important to me."

Article Photos

Dr. Gwynn Antonson

Since 2000, Adirondack Health has provided a surgical weight loss program, also known as bariatric surgery. The program, along with surgeon Dr. Michael Hill, was designated a Bariatric Center of Excellence in 2007 by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Hill, chief of surgery, has been with Adirondack Health since 2001, and is board certified in general and thoracic surgery.

The health concerns associated with weight challenges are well documented, and obesity has surpassed smoking as the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. While 67 percent of residents in Essex and Franklin counties are considered obese or overweight, not all qualify for or would choose a surgical weight loss option.

In the cases where surgery is not an option, there are other clinical pathways available to achieve a healthy weight and lifestyle. Dr. Antonson has joined Adirondack Health to provide the guidance, resources and knowledge for patients focusing on medical weight loss options and to expand the Bariatric Center to offer a more comprehensive approach to weight management.

Medical weight loss is an ideal option for adults or children with fewer than 100 pounds to lose, or those who have had weight loss surgery but have gained back some weight. Adapting to a healthy lifestyle is central to both the surgical and non-surgical programs. The medical program will incorporate healthy eating, behavioral modifications and physical activity into customized programs. Medication may be useful in some cases to help curb appetite and control food cravings.

"We will give patients all the tools they need to succeed," said Dr. Antonson.

To learn more about the Bariatric Center of Excellence at Adirondack Health, call 518-897-2531.



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