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CKHS Offers Weight Loss Options for a Healthier You

The holiday season is here — a time full of family festivities and events that includes holiday foods. During this time of year, it can be difficult to keep the weight off.  

Wellness Works encourages employees to learn about healthy weight-loss options that are offered within Crozer-Keystone to help you lose weight and keep it off for good.  Several of the options are covered with little or no out-of-pocket cost under your Crozer-Keystone Choices medical plan administered by AmeriHealth Administrators. 

Healthplex® Sports Club

“Weight loss requires both diet modification and an increase in exercise. No matter what level of fitness you are, the Healthplex® Sports Club is a great place to start and has the support staff to help you make healthy lifestyle changes,” says Dennis Mathias, general manager of the Healthplex® Sports Club.  

Mathias continues, “With the multitude of exercise alternatives from personal training to small group training with more 100 group classes per week, not to mention almost 100 pieces of equipment, a six-lane pool, basketball, racquetball, squash and tennis, we can find something for everyone. Also, with the Members 4 Ever program, every member gets four free sessions with a fitness coach to help them identify their needs and develop a plan for success.”  

The Healthplex® offers a reduced membership rate for Crozer-Keystone employees. In addition, employees covered in a Choices Medical Plan administered by AmeriHealth Administrators are reimbursed a total of $400 ($100 quarterly) if you work out at least 24 times in a continuous three-month period.  

For more information, call 610-328-8888 or visit


B.L.A.S.T. (Behavioral Learning and Supportive Thinking for long-term weight loss) is another weight-loss option that helps men and women who have lost weight in the past but have struggled to keep it off make long-term changes to their lifestyle. The program is supervised by Nancy Horvitz-Rist, M.D., a Crozer-Keystone internal medicine physician. 

“It helps participants learn behavior modification techniques, accountability and a supportive personal approach. Classes are taught by Ciara Lynch Levin, MSN, RN, PMHCSN-BC. She is a psychiatric-mental health nurse with 15 years of experience,” says Horvitz-Rist. “There are complex factors with weight gain and Ciara works with attendees to achieve lasting improvement in their lives.” 

B.L.A.S.T. is held at the Healthplex® Sports Club. There is a fee to attend. For more information or to register, call (610) 761-9695.

Surgical Weight Loss

If diet and exercise have not worked in the past, weight-loss surgery may be an option. The dedicated team members of the Comprehensive Bariatric Surgery Program at Crozer-Chester Medical Center believe that reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong commitment.  

“Treatment by a physician for weight loss may be necessary when an individual’s own efforts to lose weight have failed and/or a co-existing medical condition makes it critical for a person to lose weight,” says Leon Katz, M.D., F.A.C.S., medical director of the Comprehensive Bariatric Surgery Program and The Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery at Crozer.  

Katz continues, “We provide a wide variety of laparoscopic surgical options, including gastric bypass, gastric band and the latest surgical option- sleeve gastrectomy. Surgery may not be for every one and it is important to speak with your physician about your options.” In addition to weight-loss surgery, Katz also performs advanced laparoscopic general surgery procedures, such as appendectomies, hernia repairs, colectomies and cholecystectomies.  

Nutrition Counseling  

Employees covered under the CKHS Advantage or Advantage PLUS have access to one-on-one nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian, within plan limits, through the Nutrition Center at Crozer.  Nutrition counseling is offered on a limited basis for healthy weight maintenance, with more extensive counseling available for medical conditions including high blood pressure, kidney disease, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal disorders, cancer, gluten-free lifestyle, and more. The Crozer-Keystone Center for Diabetes also offers nutritional counseling for pre-diabetes and diabetes at Springfield Hospital, Community and Brinton Lake.

Wellness Works Employee Wellness Program 

Wellness Works, Crozer-Keystone’s free employee wellness program, provides resources for employees to live healthy all year long and offers a Healthy Lifestyle Tracker, which serves as a “roadmap” to good health. Members can access their personalized Tracker 24 hours a day at They can also view, update, and save their information as many times as they want through Jan.15, 2012, when the 2011 Tracker is due. The last saved version of the Tracker will automatically be submitted to Employee Benefit Services for review and approval. Once the Trackers have been received and reviewed, then Employee Benefit Services mails Healthy Rewards to eligible members’ homes in the spring. 

 “We encourage employees to pursue a healthy lifestyle. The Healthy Lifestyle Tracker makes it easy for employees and their spouses who are Wellness Works members to receive rewards while pursuing and maintaining good health,” says William Kreider, CKHS vice president for Human Resources. “We care about the wellness of our employees as they are part of our CKHS family. Our staff deserves as much support and assistance to improve their health as they provide to our patients and community. If you have not previously explored the benefits of participating in Wellness Works, please check out And watch for more health improvement opportunities in 2012. 

For more information about the Wellness Works Program, call Employee Benefit Services at 19-6380 or (610) 595-6380. Before starting any new weight-loss program, consult your physician first. Call 1-800-CK-HEALTH (1-800-254-3258) for more information about any of the programs mentioned or to find a physician that is right for you.

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