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Patients Celebrate Their Weight-Loss Success at FirstHealth Event

| Date Posted: 10/1/2015

PINEHURST – Several dozen people whose lives have been changed by weight-loss surgery were joined by relatives and members of their FirstHealth weight-loss surgery team in celebrating their new health status during the Second Annual “Celebrate Your Success” celebration.


Hosted by the FirstHealth Bariatric Surgery program, the event was held Sept. 19 in the Shadowlawn Room of the Clara McLean House on the campus of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.


The 70-some weight-loss surgery patients and relatives who attended were welcomed by Raymond Washington, M.D., medical director of the FirstHealth Bariatric Surgery program, before being treated to a bariatric-friendly buffet meal courtesy of Special Eats.


The evening continued with a cooking demonstration by Special Eats owner and caterer Sueson Vess and a keynote address by Dr. Connie Stapleton, owner of Mind Body Health Service Inc. and author of “Eat It Up! The Complete Mind/Body/Spirit Guide to a Full Life after Weight-Loss Surgery.”


A national and international speaker on the prevention of weight re-gain and recovery from all addictions, Dr. Stapleton is a Ph.-D.-licensed psychologist who works directly with surgical weight-loss patients before and after their surgery. She refers to herself as her patients’ “recovery conscience,” because they often tell her they hear her voice reminding them of ways to do “the next wise thing” in their everyday lives.” Her motto is “My health. My responsibility. This day. Every day.”


The evening concluded with a book-signing with Dr. Stapleton as well as door prizes, awards, a scrapbook-signing and photos.


Also participating in the program were weight-loss surgery team members David Grantham, M.D., bariatric surgeon; patient navigator Melissa Herman, R.D., CDE; clinical coordinator Jan Norris; and nurse educator, Christi Embler, R.N.


Herman called the program “a rewarding experience” for everyone concerned.


“Long-term success requires practicing healthy habits, continued education and, most importantly, support,” she says. “This was an opportunity to share in the success of our patients and celebrate their hard work while also helping them reaffirm their commitment to recovering from obesity.”


For more information on the FirstHealth Bariatric Surgery program, visit







Jamie Waldschmidt says that her weight-loss surgery was the best thing she has ever done for herself. She is pictured during the Sept. 19 “Celebrate Your Success” celebration hosted by the FirstHealth Bariatric Surgery program along with a scrapbook message she left to her surgeons for “helping me achieve a healthier me.” Waldschmidt is a certified surgical technician at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.


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